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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cheney "Got In The President's Face" Over Libby Pardon: "He Just Wouldn't Give It Up"

Treason is the word Georgies daddy used, isn't it?In next week's cover story, TIME magazine delves deep into the relationship between former President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney -- in particular, their falling-out over the pardon of Scooter Libby in the Valerie Plame leak.
Massimo Calabresi and Michael Weisskopf examine the "last hours ...in the mysterious and mostly opaque relationship at the center of a tumultuous period in American history," a press release from the magazine reads.
Cheney stretched the boundaries of his relationship with Bush in his relentless quest to get his ex-Chief of Staff pardoned:
Petitions for pardons are usually sent in writing to the White House counsel's office or a specially designated attorney at the Department of Justice. In Libby's case, Cheney simply carried the message directly to Bush, as he had with so many other issues in the past, pressing the President in one-on-one meetings or in larger settings. A White House veteran was struck by his "extraordinary level of attention" to the case. Cheney's persistence became nearly as big an issue as the pardon itself. "Cheney really got in the President's face," says a longtime Bush-family source. "He just wouldn't give it up."
And there was a darker possibility. As a former Bush senior aide explains, "I'm sure the President and [chief of staff] Josh [Bolten] and Fred had a concern that somewhere, deep in there, there was a cover-up." It had been an article of faith among Cheney's critics that the Vice President wanted a pardon for Libby because Libby had taken the fall for him in the Fitzgerald probe.
Bush and his lawyer ultimately agreed that Libby had lied under oath. Read the whole story.

Cheney Wanted To Use Military To Arrest Terror Suspects In U.S.
Bush-Era Debate: Using G.I.’s in U.S.

WASHINGTON — Top Bush administration officials in 2002 debated testing the Constitution by sending American troops into the suburbs of Buffalo to arrest a group of men suspected of plotting with Al Qaeda, according to former administration officials.
Some of the advisers to President George W. Bush, including Vice President Dick Cheney, argued that a president had the power to use the military on domestic soil to sweep up the terrorism suspects, who came to be known as the Lackawanna Six, and declare them enemy combatants.
Mr. Bush ultimately decided against the proposal to use military force.
A decision to dispatch troops into the streets to make arrests would be nearly unprecedented in American history, as both the Constitution and subsequent laws restrict the military from being used to conduct domestic raids and seize property.
The Fourth Amendment bans “unreasonable” searches and seizures without probable cause. And the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 generally prohibits the military from acting in a law enforcement capacity.
In the discussions, Mr. Cheney and others cited an Oct. 23, 2001, memorandum from the Justice Department that, using a broad interpretation of presidential authority, argued that the domestic use of the military against Al Qaeda would be legal because it served a national security, rather than a law enforcement, purpose.
“The president has ample constitutional and statutory authority to deploy the military against international or foreign terrorists operating within the United States,” the memorandum said.

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