The Washington Post series, by Bart Gellman (The Audit’s onetime officemate, I’m proud to say) and Jo Becker, so far gives readers wonderful insight into how things actualy work in Washington, and it reads like a dream. How Cheney runs over less-extreme opponents, including Ted Olson and John Ashcroft, is a something to see.

Among many nice details: Cheney’s office insisted, against Justice Department advice, that a deputy solicitor general tell Michael B. Mukasey, then the chief judge of the federal district court in Manhattan, that he “had erred so grossly he should retract his decision” providing a right to counsel to Jose Padilla. Uh, no. Mukasey, the Post says, derided the government’s argument and “added acidly that his order was ‘not a suggestion or request.’ “


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Dean Starkman Dean Starkman runs The Audit, CJR's business section, and is the author of The Watchdog That Didn't Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism (Columbia University Press, January 2014). Follow Dean on Twitter: @deanstarkman.