Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Amid revelations about faulty prewar intelligence and a scandal surrounding the indictment of the vice president's chief of staff and presidential adviser, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, FRONTLINE goes behind the headlines to investigate the internal war that was waged between the intelligence community and Richard Bruce Cheney, the most powerful vice president in the nation's history.

When Cheney and Rumsfeld were on the staff of George H W Bush (pappa Bush) in 1987, Cheney was allready working on increasing presidential powers, and denying secret information to congress.

Richard Cheney:
November 18, 1987

Discussing the Iran-contra report and proposed reforms on The NewsHour

"I think you have to preserve the prerogative of the President in extraordinary circumstances not to notify the Congress at all [of covert actions]. Or that is to exercise discretion to wait for days or weeks, or even months. I think that's within his constitutional prerogative. I am reluctant to see us impose any additional restraints or restrictions upon the President's ability to operate in this area. ... I don't think that you can pass a law that will guarantee no future president will make mistakes, and I think we have to guard against passing laws now that will restrict some future president in a future crisis that we can only guess at at present."


Across seven administrations they have shared a belief in the importance of American military power. Today, they are President Bush's war cabinet. Here's an overview of their intertwined relationships over the decades, their conflicts, and the events that have shaped their view of America's role in the world. [This historical chart is drawn in large part from James Mann's book, Rise of the Vulcans (2004), a history of the lives, ideas and careers of Bush's war cabinet.]


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