No Comment — June 4, 2007, 8:07 am

A Vice President Above the Law

The hallmark of the Bush Administration is impunity. The last leader of the English-speaking world to openly hold himself above the law wound up having his head separated from his body by a sharp blade in 1649. But Cheney succeeds where others before him were brought to a fall. And his formula for success is simple: complete and utter contempt for the law. Of course it’s nothing new for American vice presidents to dabble in the criminal – Aaron Burr was a murderer; and Spiro Agnew involved himself in petty Maryland construction scams. But Cheney’s unseemliness far outstrips Burr or Agnew. The New York Times editorial today recounts Cheney’s long list of corrupt acts:

  • His obsession with secrecy in all respects surrounding himself; his arrangement for the destruction of public records to eliminate a trail of his meetings;
  • His receipt of salary payments from Halliburton during his period as vice president which exceed the pay he draws from the Treasury. And, as Time magazine showed, Halliburton got its money’s worth, since Cheney intervened to support a raft of no-bid multibillion dollar contracts that it secured after Cheney moved back to Washington.
  • His sponsorship of terrorism as the new Cheney-style American way; and his decision to give a Memorial Day speech at West Point denigrating the Constitution and the Geneva Conventions – such outmoded thinking!

They sum it up:

Reviewing this record — secrecy, impatience with government regulations, backroom dealings, handsome paydays — it dawned on us that Mr. Cheney is in step with the times. He has privatized the job of vice president of the United States.

Of course, this list is only a beginning. What about war crimes? What about his conspiracy to out a covert CIA agent? Still, one solution for the public is to take a cue from Maureen Dowd and shorten Cheney’s job title. From now on, let’s just make it “vice.” It’s such a fitting name for him.

Share
Single Page

More from Scott Horton:

No Comment, Six Questions June 4, 2014, 8:00 am

Uncovering the Cover Ups: Death Camp in Delta

Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp

From the June 2014 issue

The Guantánamo “Suicides,” Revisited

A missing document suggests a possible CIA cover-up

No Comment March 28, 2014, 12:32 pm

Scott Horton Debates John Rizzo on Democracy Now!

On CIA secrecy, torture, and war-making powers

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

August 2014

The End of Retirement

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Octopus and Its Grandchildren

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Francis and the Nuns

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Return of the Strongman

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
The End of Retirement·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“For those riding the economy’s outermost edge, adaptation may now mean giving up what full-time RV dwellers call ‘stick houses’ to hit the road and seek work.”
Photograph (detail) © Max Whittaker
Post
The Many Faces of Boko·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“People want education. Open a school and they will rush.”
Photograph © The author
Article
The Octopus and Its Grandchildren·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

On Stanford University’s origins and vision
“The pervasive fantasy that Silicon Valley doesn’t need the government obscures the role of that government in funding much of the research that built it.”
Photograph © Sallie Dean Shatz
Post
God Lives on Lemon Street·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Bethel was Oz-like for me. I mean that with all the awe, utter hopefulness, and mythic fear with which Dorothy and her friends had approached that magical city.”
Photograph (detail) ©© Clemens v. Vogelson (Flickr)
Article
Francis and the Nuns·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“A year and a half into his papacy, Pope Francis is looking an awful lot like his predecessors.”
Photograph (detail) © Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

Estimated additional hours Americans would spend stoned annually if marijuana were legal in most states:

30,000,000,000

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University said that most alcohol-related airplane accidents happen at night and in bad weather.

A waitress in Chengdu ate a cockroach in response to a complaint by a customer who had discovered the bug in his salad. “You will always find cockroaches in the food,” she told him. “It is very normal.”

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

In Praise of Idleness

By

I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

Subscribe Today