Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Just how cozy were Bush and Cheney?

A viable question, especially given the fact these two worked closely together; very close;y, as a matter of fact. But there's one thing that still drove a wedge between the two men. It wasn't the sort of wedge to end a friendship, but it's one that obviously put a bit of strain on both men. The subject? Whether or not to pardon Scooter Libby:

In the waning days of the Bush administration, Vice President Dick Cheney launched a last-ditch campaign to persuade his boss to pardon Lewis (Scooter) Libby - and was furious when President George W. Bush wouldn't budge.

Sources close to Cheney told the Daily News the former vice president repeatedly pressed Bush to pardon Libby, arguing his ex-chief of staff and longtime alter ego deserved a full exoneration - even though Bush had already kept Libby out of jail by commuting his 30-month prison sentence.

"He tried to make it happen right up until the very end," one Cheney associate said.

In multiple conversations, both in person and over the telephone, Cheney tried to get Bush to change his mind. Libby was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in the federal probe of who leaked covert CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity to the press.

Several sources confirmed Cheney refused to take no for an answer. "He went to the mat and came back and back and back at Bush," a Cheney defender said. "He was still trying the day before Obama was sworn in."

After repeatedly telling Cheney his mind was made up, Bush became so exasperated with Cheney's persistence he told aides he didn't want to discuss the matter any further.

The unsuccessful full-court press left Cheney bitter. "He's furious with Bush," a Cheney source told The News. "He's really angry about it and decided he's going to say what he believes."

He did just that the day after becoming a private citizen. In an interview with The Weekly Standard, Cheney heaped praise on Libby and denounced his conviction. "He was the victim of a serious miscarriage of justice, and I strongly believe that he deserved a presidential pardon," Cheney said. "Obviously, I disagree with President Bush's decision."

Let me say that, first off, this is what us political junkies love -- fresh blood in the water. Don't get me wrong. Marcie and I fully supported President Bush, and we absolutely love Vice President Dick "Darth" Cheney. But we love to get the skinny on things going on behind the scenes, and we sort of had a feeling that there might have been some fireworks over Scooter Libby. Cheney simply didn't think a commutation was enough. He believes that Libby was railroaded, and it's a possibility he was. After all, he wasn't the one who leaked the dingbat's bloody name to begin with. That was all Richard Armitage's baby.

But it's still interesting to find out that everything wasn't peaches and cream between Bush and Cheney. They seemed like good friends. And between authors Bill Sammon and Stephen Hayes, one would get the idea the two men were especially close when it came to things like policy. But apparently this is one issue that neither could get the other to see the picture being painted.

It's commendable that Cheney went to the mat for his chief of staff, and that's likely the most frustrating part of the thing for Cheney. He was willing to go the extra mile, and stay loyal to a good friend. Bush, apparently, didn't care, and seemed more concerned with his view of justice rather than loyalty. Not surprising, to say the least, given how he acted during his presidency. After all, no one can say he was retributive like the Clintons were, but there's a difference between not fighting back, and turning the other cheek.

We believe Bush spent too much time turning the other cheek, especially when the Democrats pulled out the long knives for him, and kept them out on the table for eight years. Yeah, we know Bush wasn't like other presidents, and that he really didn't want to get down in the mud with the other pigs, but like I said, there's a difference. Bullies back down when you stand up to them; give them a bloody nose, and such.

Cheney's not likely to pipe down about this. Like I said, for him this is about loyalty. For Bush it appears to be about justice. We'll just have to wait and see when Cheney gets done penning his memoirs.

Publius II

1 Comments:

Blogger JUDY said...

Mr. Cheney to advance his cause--a pardon for Scooter Libby--might do well to listen to the counsel he gave to the Kimmel family.

In 1989, then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney counseled that to advance their cause--posthumous advancement of Rear Admiral Kimmel on the retired list to admiral--the Kimmel family should obtain endorsements from:
1) the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association;
2) Admiral Arleigh Burke;
3) other "voices of that time;" and
4) the United States Senate. He said that until such endorsements were obtained "advice to the President [to advance Kimmel] would not be prudent."

Accordingly, since then we have obtained all of Mr. Cheney's suggested written endorsements and much more (see my website: www.pearlharbor911attacks.com for details).

Presented with the preceding endorsements by my father and uncle in 1991, Mr. Cheney replied "that the promotion process is not the way to address the issue of your father’s place in history.” He made no suggestion as to what the way was.

Tom Kimmel,
eldest grandson of Admiral Kimmel

February 19, 2009 at 12:12 PM  

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