Is this the real president of the United States?

Submitted by WantToKnow.info on Mon, 30/07/2007 - 14:21

Obscurity has been Cheney's hallmark since he took office in January 2001, and that's the way he likes it. "Am I the evil genius in the corner that nobody ever sees come out of his hole?" he quipped in 2004. "It's a nice way to operate, actually." Cheney is ... the most powerful vice- president in American history. "He has expanded the power of the vice-president fiftyfold," says Bruce Fein, a lawyer who served in the Reagan administration. So dominant has he been in a traditionally submissive role that some commentators are now wondering whether it is time to drop the "V" from his title. "Cheney is de facto president in all areas of policy, bar just a few aspects of the domestic agenda," Fein says. It was obvious the Cheney vice-presidency was never going to stick to convention from the day in July 2000 George Bush announced his running mate. After all, the man who recommended Cheney for the job was ... Cheney. The Bush cabinet was formed in Cheney's image. Figures who were to become seminal -- Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton, Scooter Libby -- were all Cheney's people. September 11 2001 ... was the moment for which Cheney had been preparing for many years. Since his days as White House chief-of-staff to Gerald Ford, living with the fallout of Nixon's destruction, Cheney had harboured ambitions to hit back at Congress and reinstate the untrammelled authority of the president. Within hours of the attacks on New York and Washington, while Bush was still floundering around in Air Force One, Cheney had assembled a legal team within his own office and was actively planning how to roll back the restraints on the president's executive power that had been introduced in the wake of Vietnam and Watergate.

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