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Dick Cheney

Fleeing the sinking ship.

“‘The real anomaly in the administration is Cheney,’ Mr. Scowcroft told Jeffrey Goldberg of The New Yorker. ‘I consider Cheney a good friend – I’ve known him for 30 years. But Dick Cheney I don’t know anymore.’” As Cheney consigliere Scooter Libby preps for a likely Plamegate perp walk, the NYT refocuses on the broader question of our entry into the Iraq war. And, as the Scowcroft quote attests (and as Medley also notes), prominent Republicans are starting to pile on. “‘Iraq was at core a war of choice, and extraordinarily expensive by every measure – human life, impact on our military, dollars, diplomatically,’ said Mr. [Richard] Haass, a former senior State Department official under President Bush.

Or, as former Powell chief of staff Lawrence Wilkerson puts it, “[T]he case that I saw for four-plus years was a case that I have never seen in my study of aberrations, bastardizations, perturbations, changes to the national security decision-making process. What I saw was a cabal between the vice-president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy didn’t know were being made.

Update: Jeffrey Goldberg discusses his Scowcroft piece, and Slate‘s Fred Kaplan evaluates it, noting that George H.W. Bush is also something of a Dubya critic in the article. Speaking of Scowcroft, Dubya Sr. says: “He has a great propensity for friendship. By that, I mean someone I can depend on to tell me what I need to know and not just what I want to hear….[He] was very good about making sure that we did not solely consider the ‘best case,’ but instead considered what it would mean if things went our way, and also if they did not.” Listen up, sonny…Papa just learned you.

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