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Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency [Kindle Edition]

Lou Dubose , Jake Bernstein
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $10.99
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Dick Cheney is the most powerful yet most unpopular vice president in U.S. history. He has thrived alongside a president who from day one had little interest in policy and limited experience in the ways of Washington. Yet Cheney’s quiet, steady rise to prominence over a span of three decades occurred largely behind the scenes. Now veteran reporters Lou Dubose and Jake Bernstein reveal the disturbing truth about the man who has successfully co-opted executive control over the U.S. government, serving as the de facto “shadow president” of the most dominant White House in a generation.

Cheney has always been an astute politician. He survived the collapse of the Nixon presidency, finding a position of power in the administration of Gerald Ford. He was then elected to the House of Representatives, and later he earned a spot in the cabinet of the first Bush presidency. But when he became George W. Bush’s running mate, Cheney reached a new level of influence. From the engineering of his own selection as vice president to his support of policies allowing torture as a permissible weapon in the “war on terror,” Cheney has steered America consistently rightward. In Vice, Dubose and Bernstein uncover startling revelations, including

• the extraordinary intimidation of CIA officials by a vice president bent on obtaining intelligence to support a foregone conclusion: the invasion of Iraq

• details on Cheney’s secret energy task force, including his meeting with Enron chief Ken Lay months before Lay was indicted–and how Cheney went to court to erode the powers of Congress
• how Cheney helped to kill 2003 diplomatic overtures from Iran to discuss concessions on its nuclear program and policy toward Israel
• Cheney’s role in engineering multibillion-dollar military contracts in Iraq to benefit Halliburton, the company he once ran
• eyewitness reports from prominent Republican and conservative sources who go on record for the first time to tell the truth about how Dick Cheney has hijacked the American presidency

In the words of one of Cheney’s colleagues from the House: “Dick keeps his own counsel. He’s completely in control. He’s completely sure of himself in everything he does. It’s what got him to where he is today: the most powerful vice president to ever hold office. It’s also what’s bringing about his downfall.” In Vice, we get an unprecedented exposé of how Cheney operates and what his vice presidency will mean to America–now and in the future.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Dubose and Bernstein show in this thorough, rollicking career biography that it's Cheney-not the more publicly criticized Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, Condoleeza Rice or President Bush-who is chiefly responsible for the most unpopular aspects of the Bush regime: an imperial executive office and foreign policy; abandonment of democratic ideals (respect for government checks and balances, the Geneva Convention, the Bill of Rights and the Freedom of Information Act); and questionable corporate-government colusion (the secret energy task force, Halliburton's government contracts in Iraq). Tracing Cheney through three White House adminsitrations, six terms in the House of Representatives, and a tour as Halliburton CEO, the portrait that emerges from these pages is both alarming and compelling; like a J.R. Ewing, Cheney proves to be the kind of fascinating figure you love to hate. As obstacles to Cheney's will-Congress, the Constitution, foreign countries, the press, or other politicians-are sidestepped, ignored, or trammeled, Cheney emerges as a classic Machiavellian; in Cheney's case, it appears that the end which justifies the means is power, pure and simple. Against Cheney, idealistic liberals who believe that an appeal to democratic ideals, the Constitution, or basic decency will work with this administration emerge here as painfully naïve; unfortunately, this realization has only settled in after the damage was already done. Dubose and Bernstein present a sobering and darkly flattering expose of the reclusive power behind the throne, and a grim vision of what his legacy may be.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Dubose and Bernstein, journalists who have covered Texas politics with a particular eye on the career of President George W. Bush, examine the power and personality of the vice president. With a penchant for secrecy and disdain for Congress and the press, Cheney has managed to skirt all the rules that were meant to balance powers in the U.S. government, forever changing the power vested in the office of the vice president. Dubose and Bernstein detail Cheney's close ties to energy interests and how those ties influenced policy and led to efforts to circumvent congressional oversight. In what Dubose and Bernstein call a secrecy "befitting the Kremlin," Cheney maneuvered around sunshine laws and defied the media, Congress, and lawsuits to assert the administration's rights to secrecy in developing national policy on everything from energy to the war in Iraq. Dubose and Bernstein also ponder the implications of Cheney's actions for the future of the U.S. government. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 282 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (October 17, 2006)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,001,976 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
88 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read January 17, 2007
Whether you believe Dick Cheney is trying to protect our country by "fighting terrorism" or is simply unhinged by hubris (and perhaps ill health), you need to read this book. Don't be swayed by terms like "Torture Presidency" or "Lady MacCheney". Yes, the book has bias, but its reporting is too thorough for dismissal as a partisan hack job.

Anecdotal evidence suggests his influence is banking. Yet he bestrides this administration like a Claude Raines villain in an old Warners adventure movie, a guardian-chamberlain dominating Dubya, the cocksure, brittle dauphin on the throne. Fellow reviewer Robert D. Steele says Cheney should be placed in irons, and presents persuasive evidence crystallizing the themes of the book.

Vice documents how Dick Cheney and his long-time counsel David Addington have put into action an authoritarian "unitary executive" theory to give the president unwarranted powers, and have arrogated these powers to the vice president's office, accountable to no one.

It's all here: torture, signing statements, shadow governance in "the dark side, if you will," as Cheney puts it, eavesdropping on the White House staff, the lies leading to the Iraq War, the wiretapping, the secret energy task force, sweetheart Halliburton contracts, the failure - almost surely deliberate - to reconstitute Congress in prospective post-attack plans. The 25 questions for Dick Cheney at the end (page 225 or thereabouts) should be at the top of Congress's list if and when Cheney and Addington get their subpoenas.
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91 of 102 people found the following review helpful
EDITED 5 September 2007 to add ten links to other related books.

This book is vastly more detailed, and covers more high crimes and misdemeanors, than either State of Denial, which misunderstands Bush as being in charge, or Crossing the Rubicon, which focuses primarily on Cheney's role in first permitting 9-11, and then working assiduously to cover up his malicious malfeasance. See also Ron Susskind's book, "One Percent Doctrine," which crucifies Cheney, Rumseld, and Rice.

I take this book so seriously that I urge everyone to get the "Do It Yourself Impeachment" kit. He should be required to immediately resign or be impeached. He should not be allowed to serve another month in office.

For the sake of brevity, here is a list of impeachable offenses documented by this book:

1) Secret meetings in violation of the law to include exclusion of government experts
2) Refusal to honor demand from Congress for a list of participants
3) Lies to the public about Iraq, while holding maps of oil fields and already having in mind a US-only domination of those oilfields (he first focused on Iraqi oil while serving Secretary of Defense Brown)
4) Over-ruling of the Environmental Protection Agency on very important matters including its concern over Halliburton's reliance on hydraulic fracturing that uses chemicals that contaminate aquifers--Cheney personally ensured that the EPA's wording was replaced with Halliburton's wording.
5) Consistent and pervasive usurpation of Congressional authorities and consistent and maliciously deliberate avoidance of appropriate disclosure.
6) Fostered attacks on Sy Hersh, and considered authorizing a break-in on his home.
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90 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheney, the Secret President October 31, 2006
By G. Leon
There is more to Cheney than meets the eye. The first part of the book gives an overview of his political life before becoming Vice President, which is necessary for the reader to understand how he operates. Cheney is very ambitious, secretive, and ruthless. He will do whatever it takes to gain power, despite his unpopularity. He has contempt for our democratic way of life, and regularly circumvents the US Constitution, whenever it gets in his way. After reading this book you will more fully understand how we got into the Iraqi mess, and wonder how much freedom Americans will have after Bush and Cheney are out of office. I was convinced Bush and Cheney should be impeached before I read this book, and this book reinforces my opinion.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book Proves that Bush is a Figurehead December 21, 2006
This book is a must-read for anyone that has even once wondered why Congress refuses to question an executive branch that is the most secretive and power-hungry in American history. I used to have unadulterated hatred and zero respect for George W. Bush, and while the latter remains true, this book made me realize that he is little more than a figurehead behind Cheney's imperialistic and hegemonic foriegn policy. Cheney has thirsted for presidential power since he was Secretary of Defense in the Ford administration and now he finally has it. Every intelligent and informed citizen should read this book.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars George W. Bush - A Heartbeat Away From Being President! November 15, 2006
Dubose provides a great summary of Cheney's influence and how it's accomplished. A lapdog Congress helps - during the 8 years Clinton was in office, the lead oversight committee in the House issued 1,052 subpoenas, but only 5 thru the first 6 years of Bush-Cheney. Another means was withholding information - eg. members and minutes of Cheney's energy task force, though eventually it was at least learned that materials included maps of Iraqi oilfields, with a list of corporate "suitors" for each, long before any pretext to invade and while still embargoed. (Previously, a group of "Vulcans," including Cheney, proposed in '98 taking military action on Iraq to turn it into a model democracy to transform the Middle East.)

Early Cheney: Cheney learned from Rumsfeld during the Ford administration to never write down any opinion given to the President - instead, give it orally, thus leaving no fingerprints. While a Wyoming Representative, Cheney went to Russia and opposed a lead Russian general's proposal to negotiate arms reductions - Cheney wanted to dictate terms instead. He was also the leader in tamping down negative reaction to Iran-Contra - Dubose also points out that not only were illegal U.S. funds utilized, but also illegal monies from Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Halliburton Years: In the five years prior to Cheney, Halliburton received $100 million in government-backed loans; during Cheney's 5 years it received $1.5 billion. Cheney also purchased Dresser Industries (at the top of the oil market, for a 16% market premium), along with an unrecognized $4 billion in asbestos liability that should have been detected by Halliburton. Halliburton went on to declare bankruptcy, yet, paid Cheney $1.5 million for the "successful merger.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
Every American citizen should read, an have this book in there library. Hard hitting, factual journalism. Thank you Lou, Jake.
Published 1 month ago by Albert R. Cuff, Sr.
4.0 out of 5 stars Who Hijacked Who?
Half of this book was written by Jake Bernstein. I guess when Amazon listed the credits, Jake got hijacked. This is fun reading if you are progressively inclined.
Published on May 19, 2013 by Steve
1.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Read When Compared with the Obama administration
Reading this book today makes Cheney look like a piker compared to the Obama administration with its Chicago thuggery and czars who bypass the Congress and have relegated the U.S. Read more
Published on May 30, 2011 by Avid Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't forget the George Bush years!
This book shows how a weak president can be manipulated by powerful people. It reminds us how fragile our system can be.
Published on April 17, 2011 by Peter A.
4.0 out of 5 stars Old Book on Cheney still interesting
"Cheney brought to the Bush ticket experience and gravitas." (Indeed he was a difficult guy to beat in a debate) "authority that often subsumes the President. Read more
Published on March 9, 2010 by zz top
2.0 out of 5 stars It was a Napoleonic thing
I'd be more sympathetic to this book if the title did not impute so much villainy to Mr. Cheney. A more apt title might have played on Napoleon's famous comment, "I found the... Read more
Published on September 16, 2009 by Myrna Minkoff
5.0 out of 5 stars Confirmation
This book confirms what I already knew. Cheney is one cold hearted disgust bucket!!!
Published on June 27, 2009 by D. Greene
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolutely MUST READ
This is perhaps the most insightful book published so far of the Bush-Cheney era, and certainly the most in depth look into the exploits of a man who has been at the center of... Read more
Published on October 4, 2007 by Stan S. Spence
5.0 out of 5 stars Profiling the biggest Dick in history
Former president Richard Nixon was often referred to as Tricksy Dick by his critics. Such a name is probably more appropriate for our current vice president, Dick Cheney. Read more
Published on April 3, 2007 by Newton Ooi
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheney: Secretive and paranoid
"Vice", a perfect name for this book, confirms what so many of us have long thought about Dick Cheney...he's cold, secretive, ruthless, heartless and ultimately paranoid. Read more
Published on March 8, 2007 by Jon Hunt
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