Cheney Pissed at Bush: Distraction with the Wrong Cover-Up

Today’s news will be dominated with Bush’s admission that Cheney was mad at him for not pardoning Libby.

Bush, in an interview aired Monday on TODAY, said Cheney was angry that Bush only commuted the sentence of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, convicted of lying during the leak investigation.


‘I can’t believe you’re going to leave a soldier on the battlefield,’ former president says ex-VP told him.

Of course we already knew this. This was widely reported just after Obama’s inauguration. And as I pointed out at the time, the underlying story to the non-pardon probably has everything to do with making sure that Libby won’t ever reveal Bush’s own role in exposing Valerie Plame’s identity.

It would have been nice if Matt Lauer asked Bush about whether he refused to pardon Libby so as to keep him silent, but I suppose Lauer’s job is to help Bush sell books, not to ask tuff qweschins.

But an even better question would have been to ask Bush whether he believes, with the statute of limitations expiring on the torture tape destruction, his own role in approving torture is now safe. Bush allies have spun a nice story that the White House opposed the destruction of the torture tapes and was mad that Jose Rodriguez did it anyway. If that’s true (ha!), then Bush ought to be pissed that Rodriguez is, apparently, getting away with it. But again, I think Lauer’s role is to help Bush sell books, not ask the difficult questions.

As the press is distracted with a rehashing of the successful cover-up of one of Bush’s crimes, we ought to remember that today marks the successful cover-up of a more horrible crime.

  1. Citizen92 says:

    Does anyone know if the Commonwealth of Virginia restored Libby’s voting rights following his conviction?

  2. klynn says:

    Hey, I know what you mean when you type “tuff qweschins,” but I bet when this goes FP at FDL the spell police will come and “geet cha!”

    Maybe ital or quotes?

    Or not…

  3. BoxTurtle says:

    In the 8 years of his presidency, this is the only documented time that Bush stood up to Cheney.

    Boxturtle (In Dicks defense, everyone gets angry when they are bit by their own lapdog)

  4. JohnLopresti says:

    I thought the vice president was exaggerating, but maybe he knows many of the still secret specifics of what the 2×6 ploy caused, literally rather than figuratively. That question alone might be sufficient to give Issa pause, should he want Boehner to ponder yet further investigations of the matter. Though, Issa*s committee would be likely to provide further hype rather than more facts; Hoekstra*s committee would be the more revelatory in that regard (in putative executive session).

  5. dustbunny44 says:

    And Cheney doesn’t see the irony in (figuratively, but nearly actually) executing a working agent on the battlefield in order to keep from owning up to his leadership failures?
    What a heartless ass.

  6. phred says:

    So I was watching football yesterday and an ad came on promoting the Bush interview, showing a clip where Bush said, “Lets talk about waterboarding”.

    When did we become a country that not only stopped prosecuting war crimes, but started using them for commercial purposes: to sell programming and its associated merchandise?

    As you might imagine, I was not amused.

    John Durham is now a member in good standing of the Torture Team. I hope he is proud of the company he keeps.

    • onitgoes says:

      Yow. The slow steady drip of getting US serfs to accept the unacceptable and previously unthinkable. How disgusting. But reminds me a bit of that great Viet Nam war documentary, “Hearts & Minds,” which showed the direct relationship between US gridiron football and the warz of aggression.

      Documentary is recommended; very insightful.

    • OldFatGuy says:

      OUTSTANDING point phred.

      Yes, Mr. Durham. You’ve now joined that “team.”

      Don’t let any worries about what your great great grandkid will have to say when s/he’s in class and they read your name in the history books as part of the team that brought torture to the US. I’m sure they’ll have nice thick skins and will handle the questions/teasings well.

      Good luck sleeping well, asshole.

    • nonpartisanliberal says:

      Street gangsters call themselves soldiers too. Cheney just works a more lucrative street.

      He could have called Libby a sacrificial lamb for taking the fall for covering up Cheney and Bush’s crime. “I can’t believe you are going to leave a lamb on the sacrificial alter!”

  7. rosalind says:

    related: i went to see “Fair Game” Friday night, and recommend to all plame-ologists with a caveat – to leave your own expectations of what the movie should be at the door and give yourself over to the one that is – a personal movie focused on the repercussions Cheney and Bush’s reprehensible actions had on the lives of Valerie Plame & Joe Wilson and their family, with two incredible performances by Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.

    (actually, you all should see the film if only for the moment the actor portraying Karl Rove comes on screen – a moment that produced a huge wave of laughter in my audience – methinks the real Mr. Rove will not be pleased by the porcine proportions of his on-screen alter-ego, but my Friday night audience was tickled pink.)

  8. klynn says:

    Thank you for posting two posts today that have asked questions about the SOL on the torture tape destruction.

    I wish all of FDL could focus on this grave issue of incredible importance to our nation history of the rule of law.

    Has bmaz heard back yet? My guess is it will be nothing or some robo generated message that he’ll receive at 5:05 PM EST.

    Mason, have you heard back yet?

  9. willaimbennet says:

    What did the one uber-rich draft-dodger say to the other?

    I can’t believe you’re going to leave a soldier on the battlefield!

    no wonder they didn’t give a shit about up-armoring the military vehicles…

    • hackworth1 says:

      Dead Soldiers are perfectly ok with Cheney. American or otherwise. Of course, Cheney’s empty Coors Light cans are also dead soldiers. In any case, Cheney needs more – Cannon Fodder and Coors Lights.

  10. jdmckay0 says:

    I wonder how many voting US’Asians actually remember who Bush was(is)? Seems like sooooo long ago.

    This book tour seems like an exercise in redundant redundancy to me.

  11. tjbs says:

    Something is terribly wrong with this country.

    In my life it started with a president having his head blown off in Texas in broad daylight then the obvious cover-up with the record sealed for 95 years and a government named, in one day like 9-11, the fall guy.

    We are one chicken shit nation afraid of punks like rummy, george jr & sr and dick.

    Land of the free and home of the brave is a tortured statement now a days.

    • kindGSL says:

      In my life it started when I decided to end the drug war as a religious freedom, constitutional law project.

    • mattcarmody says:

      Wanna bet Joe Rodriguez worked with Porter Goss in CIA? And wanna bet that the two of them were brought into the company by either George H.W. Bush or Bush’s boy, Ted Shackley?

  12. TheOracle says:

    I am definitely going to see “Fair Game.”

    But people forget that the outing of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson in 2003 (and the subsequent trial of Scooter Libby) began a couple of years earlier when some forged Niger documents were given to the CIA station chief in Rome, Italy, forged documents that purportedly showed Saddam Hussein trying to get his hands on even more low-grade yellow-cake uranium than he already had.

    The CIA station chief forwarded this politically-manufactured claim to CIA headquarters at Langley. The CIA (probably in a PDF) briefed the president and vice-president. Dick Cheney then asked a CIA agent if this “information” was true, setting off all that followed. CIA officials decided to investigate. CIA officials knew that Plame’s husband, former U.S. ambassador Joe Wilson, had previously been sent on similar fact-finding missions for the CIA. He knew people over in Niger and at the French-controlled Niger uranium mines. He reported back to Washington that there was no evidence to support the claim that Saddam Hussein was trying to get more yellow-cake uranium. A U.S. general and the CIA station chief in Niger reported the same thing to Washington.

    A couple of weeks before the March 2003 invasion of Iraq by Bush and while U.N. WMD inspectors were still on the ground in Iraq searching for any WMD, U.N. officials were finally given a hard copy of the Niger documents. Within minutes, they determined that the Niger documents were forgeries, that someone had been trying several years earlier to make the case that Saddam Hussein had active, current nuclear aspirations in violation of U.N. sanctions. Now, who might have been trying to do that, I wonder?

    • jackie says:

      If we knew/caught/found the ‘unknowns’ who broke into the Niger Embassy in Rome Jan 2001 and lifted ‘official Niger docs and stamps… (Do Italian police’ have a list of ‘what’ was taken??) I imagine that would open up a real can of worms… Plumbers again??

  13. nomolos says:

    That the bush/cheney regime committed all these crimes is awful but to allow them to get away with it is absolutely dreadful and may well be a worse crime.

  14. Adam503 says:

    I’m sick of the endless Cheney references to GOP politicians to names reserved for real heroes. Soldiers and veterans.

    Cheney and his neo-cons are corrupt GOP politicians, NOT SOLDIERS. They were all too chicken to step on a real battlefield.

    Would someone in the media please call Cheney on this.

  15. dstatton says:

    It’s a Catch-22. Bush (and the rest of the gang) will not agree to any interview that threatens tough questions. The lesson of Nixon-Frost.

  16. dosido says:

    something about Bush and books that doesn’t make sense.

    why is this war criminal showing up and opening his yap again? No, we don’t miss you.

  17. AppleCanyon2 says:


    You have always done a fantastic job on this topic as so many others too.

    A couple of questions:

    Is Scooter Libby allowed to practice law ever again or is he practicing now?

    Is Scooter allowed to vote since he was “forgiven” using the term loosely.

  18. billyc says:

    Forgive me for sounding as if I’m OT, but what proof exists that any of the torture tapes were ever destroyed? IMO, the tape destruction story was promulgated to prevent any of us ever seeing those tapes. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least that those tapes exist and have been studied by a number of people in and out of government for years.

    • bmaz says:

      Well, they have sworn to that effect against their interest. Until you or someone else can produce the tapes or copies thereof, or even credible evidence they still exist, you have to assume they are indeed destroyed.

      • billyc says:

        bmaz your logic is sound and a good answer to my musings. I guess my overactive imagination has been fueled by authors such as Barry Eisler, James Bamford, et al. I just have difficulty wrapping my mind around the idea that those tapes were indeed destroyed.

        • bmaz says:

          Oh, that is not particularly out there at all; I am just saying that until there is some evidence they still exist, you have to assume they do not. All I really care about is that the inquiry not end, and I think it effectively did today, at least the criminal inquiry which was the only one going on of any kind.

  19. VORE says:

    Of course we already knew this. This was widely reported just after Obama’s inauguration. And as I pointed out at the time, the underlying story to the non-pardon probably has everything to do with making sure that Libby won’t ever reveal Bush’s own role in exposing Valerie Plame’s identity.

    Of course we all know you were personally present through out all of this and wouldn’t be basing your claim on your own agenda and personal bias.