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November 16, 2006

Whither Cheney?

Don't be surprised to see Cheney leave office soon.  The appointment of Robert Gates as Rumsfeld's replacement as Secretary of Defense marks the end of Cheney's dominance in this administration.  That's the assessment by Larry Johnon, former CIA agent and blogger at No Quarter.  He says:

Wednesday's surprising resignation/firing of Don Rumsfeld and the nomination of the CIA chief who served Bush 41, Robert Gates, was a dramatic and emphatic smack in the face of Dick Cheney.  While George W. Bush remains stubbornly committed to the present course in Iraq, there should be no doubt that he is no longer willing to be the Charlie McCarthy to Cheney's Edgar Bergen.  Cheney's hand is no longer firmly up Bush's ass and Bush is speaking for himself.

This was a stinging rebuke to Cheney, who had brought his mentor, Don Rumsfeld, into the Bush 43 tent over the strenuous objections of the Bush 41 crowd.  Cheney and Rumsfeld shared the same world view of the NeoCon crowd, which included a fierce distrust and anger toward the CIA.  During the last five years Cheney assisted Rumsfeld's quest to set up a completely independent intelligence operation in the Department of Defense.  At least with the DOD intel capability, the Pentagon and the White House could ignore the CIA view.

Johnson says that Gates is not an ideologue and is willing to admit outside ideas.  Although he may have "cooked" the intel books at the CIA in the 80's, folks on both sides of the political spectrum thought he did a good job at the CIA in the 90's.  "The Gates era at DOD will bring an end to Rummy's reign of terror".

Then he has more about Cheney's likely future:

Cheney has been conspicuously absent since the Republicans were routed at the polls.  His efforts to save Rummy were rebuffed.  And with the Senate in the hands of the Democrats, Cheney's influence on the Hill is over.  Don't be surprised if Dick Cheney develops a heart condition in the next couple of months that will force him to resign as the Vice President.  Whether he stays or goes, the era of Cheney's supremacy at the White House is done.  The neocons are discredited, as is Cheney, and their pet projects--from warrantless wiretapping to torture to trashing habeus corpus--are dead as well.

The results of last week's hard fought wins just get better and better.

Posted by Lynn Allen on November 16, 2006 at 08:43 AM in National and International Politics | Permalink

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