As You Read This, Cheney is Watching You

Veep gets more bad press

Yesterday, former deputy attorney general James B. Comey offered testimony claiming that Vice President Dick Cheney told officials in the Justice Department of his disagreement to their objections expressed toward a surveillance program in 2004. According to the Washington Post, Cheney’s desire for warrentless wiretaps illustrates his involvement in the program over the last several years.

Melissa McEwan of Shakesville is angry writing, “If the Republicans can’t be counted on to act in the best interests of this country, and can only be moved out of self-interest, then hit them where they live. They’ve had the chance to do the right thing on their own; they have consistently turned a blind eye to the wanton lawbreaking of the administration; time to strong-arm them. Those crooks should be left with one choice—get their unethical, lobbied-up asses frog-marched out of Congress one by one, or vote to impeach Cheney.”

On the conservative side, Macsmind argues that today’s Post article is an attempt by the left to resurrect a “dead” issue, worried that for once a veep is actually doing something. “The reason that Cheney bugs the left is not because he in this instance did anything wrong, but that he does anything at all. Typically Democrat VPs are do nothing dolts like Gore who Clinton had to send on ‘missions’ just to get him out of the office…But my God is this a shocker, the VP of the United States disagreeing with the Justice Department over policy, equals ‘White House hands on the Department of Justice.’”

In line with Macsmind, Outside the Beltway does not see anything interesting or unexpected in the Post’s article, saying in reaction, “that’s not exactly a startling bit of news.” Cheney’s interference, at least with regard to the Post article, does not add that much more meat to the issue. “Note: I have been critical of the wiretap program and the overall way that the administration has dealt with/used the DoJ. However, while the headline seems dramatic, there really isn’t much substance to this report.”

With a broader layer added to this outcry against Cheney, the American Street has the last word: “Eight justice department officials including the FBI director, threatened to quit if the White House continued to force through the illegal program…For all the illegal and shady doings, for all the political manipulations and after all the lost liberties Americans have experienced, has any of it stopped one terrorist or caught one criminal? They called it a ‘War on Terror’, but why does our government wage the war on us?”

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Eric Hirsch is a Columbia Journalism Review intern.