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

September 2014

Israel and Palestine

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Washington Is Burning

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

On Free Will

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

They Were Awake

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Post
“There was torture by the previous regime and by the current Iraqi regime,” Dr. Amin said. “Torture by our Kurdish government, torture by Syrians, torture by the U.S.”
Visiting His Own Grave © Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Article
On Free Will·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Philosophers have labored for more than two thousand years to explain consciousness. Innocent of biology, however, they have for the most part gotten nowhere.”
Collage (detail) by Frederick Sommer
Criticism
The Soft-Kill Solution·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"Policymakers, recognizing the growing influence of civil disobedience and riots on the direction of the nation, had already begun turning to science for a response."
Illustration by Richard Mia
Article
Israel and Palestine·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“If Israel believes it needs to make a wall eight meters high between us and them, let them have it eighty meters high. Under one condition: It has to be on the international border.”
Photograph (detail) © Ali Jadallah / APA Images / ZUMA Wire
Article
Washington Is Burning·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Fueled by the national-security spending and corporate lobbying that followed 9/11, the flood of (mostly white) newcomers to the city appears irreversible.”
Portrait © © De Agostini Picture Library / Bridgeman Images

Chance that a movie script copyrighted in the U.S. before 1925 was written by a woman:

1 in 2

Engineers funded by the United States military were working on electrical brain implants that will enable the creation of remote-controlled sharks.

Malaysian police were seeking fifteen people who appeared in an online video of the Malaysia-International Nude Sports Games 2014 Extravaganza, and Spanish police fined six Swiss tourists conducting an orgy in the back of a moving van for not wearing their seatbelts.

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