1/15/09

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury...

Nina Totenberg's jaw-dropping piece--something between a preamble for the prosecution and a sort of perverse, greatest hits list--takes a look back at Dick Cheney's "different understanding" of the Vice Presidency.

In the first term, Cheney reshaped national security law, expanded the prerogatives of the executive branch and orchestrated secret, warrantless domestic surveillance, circumventing a court set up by Congress specifically to oversee such surveillance. He presented the president with options that led to a shutdown of negotiations with North Korea, and played a major role in persuading President Bush to go to war against Iraq.

On the domestic front, he screened potential Supreme Court nominees, presided over the budget, led the selection of personnel from Cabinet officers to key lower-level positions. Without the president's knowledge, he engineered the rewriting of the president's tax bill so it included a capital gains tax break that the president had initially rejected. With the president's knowledge, he led an industry-friendly revamping of energy and environmental regulations.

You can read or listen to the rest here.

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