May 8, 2013
The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd
In a documentary soon to appear on Showtime,
“The World According to Dick Cheney”
“I got on the telephone with the president, who was in
Florida, and told him not to be at one location where we could both
be taken out.”
Mr. Cheney kept W. flying aimlessly in the
air on 9/11 while he and Lynn left on a helicopter for a secure
undisclosed location, leaving Washington in a bleak, scared silence,
with no one reassuring the nation in those first terrifying hours.
“I gave the instructions that we’d
authorize our pilots to take it out,” he says, referring to the jet
headed to Washington that crashed in a Pennsylvania field.
“After I’d given the order, it
was pretty quiet. Everybody had heard it, and it was obviously a
When they testified together before the 9/11 Commission, W. and Mr.
Cheney kept up a pretense that in a previous call, the president had
authorized the vice president to give a shoot-down order if needed.
But the commission found “no documentary evidence for this call.”
In other words, Cheney pretended that Bush had authorized a shoot-down
order, but Cheney now admits that he never did.
In fact, Cheney acted as if he was the president
Repent, Dick Cheney
by Maureen Dowd
March 7, 2013
Maureen Dowd is a syndicated columnist
for The New York Times.
Vice-President comes clean:
He was the real president,
and he stands by all of his mistakes
Dick Cheney certainly gives certainty a
In a documentary soon to appear on Showtime, "The World According to Dick
Cheney," America's most powerful and destructive vice-president woos history
by growling yet again that he was right and everyone else was wrong.
R.J. Cutler, who has done documentaries on the Clinton campaign war
room and Anna Wintour's Vogue war paint room, now chronicles Mr. Cheney's
"If I had to do it over again," the
72-year-old says chillingly of his reign of error, "I'd do it over in a
Mr. Cheney, who came from a family of Wyoming
Democrats, says his conservative bent was strengthened watching the
anti-Vietnam War protests at the University of Wisconsin, where he was
pursuing a doctorate and dodging the draft.
"I can remember the mime troupe meeting
there and the guys that ran around in white sheets with the entrails of
pigs, dripping blood," he said.
Maybe if he'd paid more attention to the actual
war, conducted with a phony casus belli in a country where we did not
understand the culture, he wouldn't have propelled America into two more
The documentary doesn't get to the dark heart of the matter about the man
with the new heart.
Did he change, after the shock to his
body of so many heart procedures and the shock to his mind of 9/11?
Or was he the same person, patiently
playing the courtier, once code-named "Backseat" by the Secret
Service, until he found the perfect oblivious frontman who would
allow him to unleash his harebrained, dictatorial impulses?
Talking to Mr. Cutler in his deep headmaster's
monotone, Mr. Cheney dispenses with the fig leaf of "we."
He no longer feigns deference to "W." (George
W. Bush), whom he now disdains for favoring Condi over him in
the second term and for not pardoning "Cheney's Cheney," Scooter Libby.
"I had a job to do," he said.
"I got on the telephone with the president,
who was in Florida, and told him not to be at one location where we
could both be taken out."
Mr. Cheney kept W. flying aimlessly in the air
on 9/11 while he and Lynn left on a helicopter for a secure undisclosed
location, leaving Washington in a bleak, scared silence, with no one
reassuring the nation in those first terrifying hours.
"I gave the instructions that we'd authorize
our pilots to take it out," he says, referring to the jet headed to
Washington that crashed in a Pennsylvania field. He adds: "After I'd
given the order, it was pretty quiet. Everybody had heard it, and it was
obviously a significant moment."
This guy makes Al Haig look like a shrinking
When they testified together before the 9/11 Commission, W. and Mr. Cheney
kept up a pretense that in a previous call, the president had authorized the
vice president to give a shoot-down order if needed. But the commission
found "no documentary evidence for this call."
In his memoir, W. described feeling "blindsided" again and again.
In this film, the blindsider is the eminence
grise who was supposed to shore up the untested president. The
documentary reveals the Iago lengths that Mr. Cheney went to in order to
manipulate the unprepared Junior Bush.
Vice had learned turf fighting from a maniacal
master of the art, his mentor Donald Rumsfeld.
When he was supposed to be vetting vice presidential candidates, Mr. Cheney
was actually demanding so much material from them that there was always
something to pick on. He filled W.'s head with stories about conflicts
between presidents and vice presidents sparked by the vice president's
ambition, while protesting that he himself did not want the job.
In an unorthodox move, he ran the transition, hiring all his people,
including Bush Senior's nemesis, Rummy, and sloughing off the Friends of
George; then he gave himself an all-access pass.
He was always goosing up W.'s insecurities so he could take advantage of
To make his crazy and appallingly costly detour
from Osama to Saddam by cherry-picking his fake case
for invading Iraq, he played on W.'s fear
of being lampooned as a wimp, as his father had been.
But after Vice kept W. out of the loop on the Justice Department's rebellion
against Mr. Cheney's illegal warrantless domestic spying program, the
relationship was ruptured.
It was too late to rein in the feverish vice
president, except to tell him he couldn't bomb a nuclear plant in the Syrian
"Condi was on the wrong side of all those
issues," Mr. Cheney rumbled to Cutler.
Mr. Cheney still hearts waterboarding.
"Are you going to trade the lives of a
number of people because you want to preserve your honor?" he asked, his
voice dripping with contempt.
"I don't lie awake at night thinking, gee, what are they going to say
about me?" he sums up.
They're going to say you were a misguided
powermonger who, in a paranoid spasm, led this nation into an unthinkable
Sleep on that...
No Regrets on Iraq Crimes
- Meet The Director of 'The World
According To Dick Cheney' -