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Podcast: Q&A With Barton Gellman on the Cheney Legacy

POSTED: 10:09 AM ET, 09/17/2008 by Amanda Zamora

While Dick Cheney may be the most powerful vice president in the history of the United states, we may never fully understand the secrets behind his extraordinary influence. That's according to Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman, who sat down recently with washingtonpost.com's Travis Fox to reflect on some of the most revelatory aspects of his new book, "Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency."

During the last 7 1/2 years in office, Gellman said, Cheney has taken great pains to conceal presidential deliberations on the most important decisions. He has hidden the inner workings of his office behind new classification stamps and declarations of executive privelege, and by not keeping executive records the way they are customarily kept. Just last week, an advocacy group filed a federal lawsuit in an attempt to force Cheney to maintain and disclose his files under the Presidential Records Act of 1978.

"Even history, which Cheney describes as his ultimate judge, is not going to have all the evidence," Gellman said.

Download the full podcast of washingtonpost.com's Q&A with Gellman, or see below for audio excerpts. Gellman will also be online today at noon for a live discussion about the book.


On Cheney's role in authorizing the military to shoot down commercial airliners after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks:


On how the leak of Valerie Plame's identity damaged his office:


On how Cheney kept President Bush in the dark about grave objections by the Justice Department to the administration's warrantless wiretapping program:


By Amanda Zamora |  September 17, 2008; 10:09 AM ET Reporter's Notebook
Previous: Campaign Mix, Price-Gouging Worries, $15B in DHS Contract Losses | Next: D.C. Tax Scam Followed Blueprint

Comments

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Face it this reiver will either walk back to millions from oil buddies or charges of war crimes. Want to take a bet which?

Posted by: DruidMan | September 17, 2008 11:36 AM

Why is this position accountable to no one?

Have we made any progress in answering this question?

Posted by: PV | September 17, 2008 12:12 PM

It was very clever of Cheney to put his job situation in the Executive branch, when convenient, and in the Legislative branch, when convenient, and in neither, when convenient. Answerable to nobody. The Founding Fathers, whose word is final in today's Supreme Court, did not envision a Veep that did more than attend funerals, break tie votes in the Senate, and wait for the Prez to die. This Veep is the de facto President, doing all the heavy lifting behind the curtain, while the de jure President stumbles his way through public appearances and relaxes at Camp David and at his Texas "ranch." Dick is a royalist at heart. No namby-pamby. Any lack of cooperation can well involve torture and decapitation. It is good to be Dick.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | September 17, 2008 1:00 PM

It is to Bush's everlasting shame that he placed his legacy into the hands of someone as reprehensible as Cheney, the Svengali who convinced an intellectually challenged president to ignore the Constitution and to create one to suit his purposes. In another time and place, both would face a swift and harsh justice. In our time they will most likely be blathering to the looney right for astronomical sums of money. In this country, it seems that only the morally devious walk away with the prize.

Posted by: Diogenes | September 17, 2008 3:05 PM

It was the MSM who pushed Cheney on the American people as someone with "gravitas". They also enjoyed smearing Al Gore and Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton instead of doing what was right by this country..the dismantling of this nation has been going on since Richard Nixon..the right wing has just about dismantled the entire nation to the point where we have a meltdown on Wall Street that can take the entire world with it..CONSERVATISM is what they have defined it to be..shame on anyone for supporting these black hearted pigs...

Posted by: goodcake4 | September 17, 2008 4:15 PM

worst VP since John C Calhoun

Posted by: jim | September 17, 2008 4:47 PM

The silver lining of this finacial meltdown may be that Bush would not be able to fund the stupid war in Iraq! But is too late?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 4:58 PM

Cheney has stripped away Freedom and assaulted our Constitution in ways and means that Bin Laden could never dream.

Posted by: GarrisonLiberty | September 17, 2008 8:58 PM

I hope Cheney rots in hell.

Posted by: Lee | September 17, 2008 10:08 PM

@jim
Bush can't fund the war, now? Doesn't that imply that he could at some point? I think he burned through the Clinton surpluses before telling us that the entire Iraq war would cost $82 billion and all be paid for by the Iraqis, who would be ever so grateful for ridding them of Hussein. Six years and a trillion dollars later, along with a nearly 500 billion dollar annual budget deficit, and an imploding economy, the only silver lining is that perhaps 51% of the people may finally wake up and vote the bums out. But just wait. At least 40% of voters will still be voting Republican in November. Pretty serious blinders.

Posted by: Mike | September 17, 2008 10:29 PM

You invistigate what happened. You had better wake up and seriously investigate-watch-survale Cheney and his click. NOW!He will take us in to Iran bedfore leaving office. Use your resurces, cub reporters, interns, etc, old hands and put a watch on Cheney! NOW! He does not use phone-email. But he calls in his click. What are they doing? Are they missing from normal activities-work, dinners, home events? Before he issues the orders to attack there is bound to be meetings, late hours?, odd meeting places, old hands called in: use your heads; find a deep throat like Wood...The issue will not be Wall Street, lipstick, war hero, new guy. The issue is a terrible war that Cheney will start using the Rev.Gds resolution, the Iraq resolution, and some event to claim war is justified. He will pull it off unless the press does its job.

Posted by: Woody | September 17, 2008 10:52 PM

cheney is the ultimate infidel/kafir...

he will be judged and the history books will
label his vicepresidency as one of secrecy and deception. we all know the rumors of him running the whitehouse and using g.w. as a puppet and essentially that is true he just knows how to manipulate people to believe they are doing it on their own with his advice. he knew full well that scooter libby would take the fall for anyone above him because cheney probably guaranteed him a full pardon and a very large financial compesation check. libby will never have to work again due to that payoff.
no, we will all have to have faith in the karmic cycles and believe that mr. cheney's ultimate karma will be like none he could ever have imagined. i believe it.

Posted by: hemnebob | September 18, 2008 9:05 AM

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