Dick Cheney's memoir In My Time comes out next week, and the New York Times and Drudge Report both got their hot little hands on early copies. It sounds as excruciating as you might imagine: No apologies, no regrets, plenty of self-satisfied machismo. If Cheney had it all to do over again, the only thing he'd do differently is bomb the shit out of Syria.
Here's a rundown of the highlights:
- In June 2007, Cheney urged George W. Bush to bomb a suspected nuclear reactor in Syria. "'I again made the case for U.S. military action against the reactor,' Mr. Cheney wrote about a meeting on the issue. 'But I was a lone voice. After I finished, the president asked, ‘Does anyone here agree with the vice president?' Not a single hand went up around the room.'" The Israelis eventually took it out.
- He tried to get Colin Powell fired after 2004 for insufficiently supporting the war in Iraq. His resignation in January 2005, Cheney says, was "for the best."
- Cheney was running the country in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks as Bush fearfully wandered the nation in Air Force One, but he didn't think it was worth actually telling anyone who was in charge. "My past government experience had prepared me to manage the crisis during those first few hours on 9/11, but I knew that if I went out and spoke to the press, it would undermine the president, and that would be bad for him and for the country. We were at war. Our commander in chief needed to be seen as in charge, strong, and resolute - as George W. Bush was."
- He repeatedly offered his resignation to Bush, on account of his being the most hated figure in national politics, and feared being a drag on Bush's reelection ticket. He also kept a signed, post-dated resignation letter in his man-sized office safe to be opened on the occasion of a debilitating heart attack, stroke, or reclamation to Hades.
- Cheney claims that then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, then-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, Rep. Jane Harman, and Sen. Jay Rockefeller—all Democrats—unanimously approved of the administration's illegal warrantless wiretapping program and agreed that the full Congress should be kept in the dark about it.
- Unsurprisingly, he thought the Iraq war went swimmingly.
- While recovering from heart surgery in 2010, he was unconscious for several weeks, during which he had a "prolonged, vivid dream that he was living in an Italian villa, pacing the stone paths to get coffee and newspapers." Wasn't that an episode of The Sopranos?
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