In an interview with CBS Radio today, Vice President Cheney claimed that he never “exceeded” his role as Vice President over the past eight years. It’s an “urban legend,” he insisted:
Nearing the end of eight years as Vice President, Dick Cheney bluntly dismissed the frequent suggestion that he was the one calling the shots in the White House. “It’s an urban legend,” he said. “It never happened.” […]
“This whole notion that somehow I exceeded my authority here, was usurping his authority, was simply not true.” Cheney said “there was never any question about who was in charge: it was George Bush and that’s how we operated.”
Cheney is, simply put, the most powerful vice president in history. Early in the Bush presidency, Cheney worked out a deal with Bush so he could be active in “whatever area the vice president feels he wants to be active in,” according to Chief of Staff Josh Bolten. “He has been pretty damn good at accumulating power,” remarked former secretary of state James Baker.
Here are just some examples of Cheney abusing his vice presidential powers:
— Cheney’s office failed to provide data on its classification and declassification activities as required by Executive Order 12958. “Cheney’s office provided the information in 2001 and 2002, then stopped.”
— Top Cheney aide David Addington “typed a substitute signature line” for Alberto Gonzales on a memo re-authorizing Bush’s illegal wiretapping program.
— “The Cheney team had…technological supremacy over the National Security Council staff. That is to say, they could read their e-mails,” said former Colin Powell aide Lawrence Wilkerson.
— Documents prepared for the then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice were “routed outside the formal process” to Cheney.
— A Cheney lawyer told the Secret Service in September 2006 “to eliminate data on who visited Cheney at his official residence.”
In addition to his well-documented disregard for the rule of law, Cheney admitted last year that he doesn’t care what the public thinks. It is no wonder he leaves office with 23 percent of Americans saying he is the worst VP ever.