Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 30, 2007


Tapped speculates: Dick Cheney will be sacrificed

Cheney is the final sacrifice -- the last layer between Bush and the disapproving public, the skeptical media, and the angry Democrats. In one sense, having him there has always provided Bush a human (and humanizing-by-contrast) buffer against the hordes who oppose him and his policies. To sacrifice Cheney is therefore to have sunk to but one level above the very bottom, the core of the presidency itself.
[H]is neck is moving slowly but inevitably toward the noose. Somebody, after all, has to pay for the complete collapse of the Republican majority and the conservative agenda. And since Bush himself has never paid the price of his own failures in life, it is Cheney who will pay for them next.

Where have I heard such speculation before ? Oh - here:

Negroponte going back to State as deputy may look like a downgrade, but it is a preparation to kick out Rice and to elevate him to Sec. State. She is ineffective for the Cheney/Bush projects and will have to leave. I expect her to resign for personal reasons and to again move into some academic position.

An alternative, but less likely, thought would be a resignation of Cheney for health impediments and Rice taking up his position but without the influence.

The Scooter Libby trial (firedoglake is the place to go to follow the details) already has some not-so-pretty suprises - for Libby and Cheney that is. To suddenly have a serious condidtion would certainly help him to avoid taking the witness stand or worse.

But then - his Iran project is not done yet. These European and Arab allies just don't want to go along.

Then there are those 81+ staffers of his who need to be taken care of (Staff in National Security: 18(!); Mrs. Cheney: 6; Homeland Security: 5; Domestic Affairs: 3; ... .)

So maybe yes, maybe no. The question is probably more when than if. What is your take?

Posted by b on January 30, 2007 at 01:21 PM | Permalink


Color me unconvinced for now. Billmon didn't refer to this government as the Cheney administration for nothing and he doesn't strike me as the type to fall on his sword for anyone's benefit; not even his own. He's being pushed, of that there is no doubt, but he's no Rumsfeld and he won't go quietly. I'm not quite ready to bet against the possibility that when the smoke clears, he won't still be standing there, hunched and snarling at the rest of the world.
Besides, this Plame case has taken so very long to play out that I can't shake the feeling it's merely a distraction...

Posted by: aubanel | Jan 30, 2007 2:01:47 PM | 1

My take is the same it's been for the past few years. They've acted at every step like criminals who believe themselves above the possibility of getting caught. I think they (both Cheney and Bush) believe they're in their positions for life.

I'd quite like to be wrong, of course. But it is what it is.

Posted by: mats | Jan 30, 2007 2:03:47 PM | 2

I don't doubt that the Libby trial is an attempt to bring down Cheney before it's really too late. The odds of its succeeding are problematic, at best. Certainly, he shows no sign (from his last belligerent interview) that he could be convinced to step down for 'health' reasons. An indictment is another matter, but it would take a brave prosecutor to tackle that. Could that be one of the reasons for the removal of many US Attorneys?

Posted by: Dick Durata | Jan 30, 2007 3:24:20 PM | 3


Posted by: Snipes | Jan 30, 2007 3:33:58 PM | 4

what mats (#2) said.

Posted by: Bea | Jan 30, 2007 3:49:01 PM | 5

Rove is alive and well and spinning for the Team.

One word: Bullshit.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jan 30, 2007 3:52:18 PM | 6

Cheney leaving this Administration? Hard to conceive. If it happens, it will be like the scene in "Titanic" where the ship breaks in half -- there won't be much of the movie left to go after that. You may be sure the end is very, very near.

We all know the two competing power centers in this Administration were always the Bush-Rovian (Powell Condi Bolton) circus on the one side fighting with the Cheney-Rumsfeld neocon crew for control of everything. They have never really gotten along, but they have cooperated and fed off of each other's projects. Which they call cleaning up the other crew's messes.

The wars in the Middle East are Cheney projects, with Bush simply cheerleading. Cheney is highly unlikely to leave power without first being sure that these wars expand beyond Iraq and Afghanistan into Iran and Syria. That said, however, once Cheney gets that expanded fustercluck rolling, he can go ahead and retire right after breakfast the next day in full knowledge that America will never be the same again, ever.

There may be a deal in place between Cheney and Rove that Cheney will leave later this spring, right after we bomb Iran back into the 19th Century. There will be no getting out of the Middle East at that point, and Cheney's leaving will be helpful to the election of a Republican in 2008.

The Unitary Executive is Cheney's primary project, and his gift to Bush. David Addington is the implacable legal mind behind it, and to a lesser extent Gonzales. Rove has always found this concept a political embarrassment, in spite of the raw power it lets him exercise through his boy George. It is nothing more than the Nazi concept of "rule by emergency," which Professor Carl Schmitt spelled out in his seminal works during the 1920's. As he put it, whomsoever is in total charge during the exception or emergency state is the true leader. The Nazis (and Cheney/Addington) took that to its logical conclusion -- declare a permanent emergency, and the True Leader rules by decree, in order to save the State from whatever enemy the State feels the need to be saved from. It can go on forever.

The Constitution of the Weimar Republic was never abandoned or abrogated or altered by the Nazis. Like the American Constitution under Cheney, it was simply no longer observed. It became a quaint document, a goddamned piece of paper. A museum piece. Some parchment.

By the way, this latest Executive Order by der Bush, putting a Political Officer in charge of every government agency, is a straightforward establishment of the other Nazi principle, that of the Fuehrerprinzip, or Fuehrer Principle.

It means you put one loyal man in charge of every department, every battalion, every organization in the State. They get absolute obedience from those below, and they give absolute obedience to those above them. No more nuance, no more discussion, no more excuses, just results the way the True Leader wants them.

It is very revealing to examine the concept.
. That der Bush is putting it into place is clearly a major move on the part of Cheney and Addington. That does not strike me as something Cheney would do if he was ready to hang up his horns.

"At one stride comes the dark."
~ Coleridge

Posted by: Antifa | Jan 30, 2007 4:53:04 PM | 7

Summary by Froomkin...

We've covered most of this here.

Posted by: Monolycus | Jan 30, 2007 6:21:34 PM | 8

Between the two, Cheney and Bush, if anyone's going to be sacrificed, it's going to be Bush.

In the end, it will be (figuratively, of course), Bush, twisting at the end of a rope that Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest of the neocons provided.

Posted by: incognito in austin | Jan 30, 2007 10:19:47 PM | 9

okay, if anyone needs a laugh or a little encouragement, i have two strong recommendations. the first is a slightly mad, but wonderful diary at dkos by budhydharma about cheney as toast (warning: must be willing to go with the flow on this - honestly, i think it is well worth it). the second is howard zinn's newest article "Impeachment by the People" calling for convening extragovernmental "people's impeachment hearings" all over the country.

Posted by: conchita | Jan 30, 2007 11:13:36 PM | 10

bush & cheney are both expendable bit players in a much larger power complex, one manifestation of which is the empire they currently serve. their mission is to expand this power complex by removing limits & obstacles, by advancing the positioning of the imperial stormtroopers across the playing field, by concentrating local powers of the face put on authority back in the homeland. but we did not arrive at this present state of the world simply through the efficacy of the oilmen in the oval office alone. they are only playing roles expected of them. demanded of them, actually. the actors are interchangeable, sometimes taking different paths & using different methods. some out in the open. some obscured under various cover. behind masks. smile. scowl. smirk for the audience. variety, indeed. but always dependent on the same grand script which all are committed to defend & to continue -- progress -- whether onstage or off. choose a set piece. leviathan. machine. empire. civilization. corporation. newsroom. choose a costume. politician. economist. captain of industry. soldier. scientist. salesman. celebrity. enter stage left or stage right, it hardly matters if the story's not going to change. if the audience doesn't rise to their feet, rip down the curtains, set fire to the ideological floorboards suspending us in abstractions & preventing our souls from ever touching real, honest earth. grounded. alive.

Posted by: b real | Jan 30, 2007 11:54:44 PM | 11

well said, b real. interestingly, in a completely different way, buhdydharma is saying something very similar. he offers these as tools.

Posted by: conchita | Jan 31, 2007 12:08:07 AM | 12

antifa, I think you have Bolton on the wrong team. He was a founding member of the PNAC along with Cheney and Rumsfeld... and Libby, Khalilzad, Wolfowitz, Abrams, Armitage, etc.

Buzzards of a feather flock together.

Posted by: Ensley | Jan 31, 2007 12:22:33 AM | 13

hmmm, chalmers johnson in the tomdispatch preview of his new book Nemesis does not hold out much hope for congressional remedy nor for the grassroots action:

So the question becomes, if not Congress, could the people themselves restore Constitutional government? A grass-roots movement to abolish secret government, to bring the CIA and other illegal spying operations and private armies out of the closet of imperial power and into the light, to break the hold of the military-industrial complex, and to establish genuine public financing of elections may be at least theoretically conceivable. But given the conglomerate control of our mass media and the difficulties of mobilizing our large and diverse population, such an opting for popular democracy, as we remember it from our past, seems unlikely.

Posted by: conchita | Jan 31, 2007 12:28:52 AM | 14

I was a little surprised when Rummy was ‘quitted.’ He was an establishment figure, with his long past, his loyalty, and his nutty but seductive formulaics about technological superiority, and his blatant lies, all were quite acceptable, useful. But in a way, finally, he was a minor figure, a party hack, a sycophant who understood how to exploit some people, situations, themes. His unknown unknows and handshake with Saddam will go down in history..

Cheney, another cup of tea. Intelligence, knowledge, deep involvement in the core of power (Halliburton, 9/11, etc.) So I doubt it.

But these people play musical chairs - you can sit or not, finally, for some, it makes little difference, they understand that. That show is for the public, a matter of expediency, long understood, accepted. See: When Rummy went, nobody in the public stood up for him, missed him, riled about the loss of his intelligence, input, whatever. Poof! Gone. The State apparatus is accepted as it was by the Soviets, speculation about who is in or who is out (or to become either in the future) is gossip about power challenges in the select group, speculations about personalities, behind the scenes rivalries, etc. Actually, it is more medieval than Soviet: Kings and Queens, princesses and black sheep, and multiple courtiers. It does count, yes, nonetheless.

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 31, 2007 11:02:05 AM | 15

I hear that the Bilderbergers have pushed up their meeting date this year, presumably in response to a crisis that won't wait. Interesting.

Could it be that Cheney Co has finally gotten too close to the precipice? The shared opinion among Libby trial watchers is that curtains are being drawn back (methodically?) from Cheney's and Rove's secret operations.

If you stop and look at it, Cheney has only one option if his secrets are revealed: violence. No way he can sneak away quietly after destroying the govt. By violence I mean some desperate moves, worse than we've seen so far.

I hear this Libby trial is expected to last six months; I doubt we'll see "government stability" for that long, given the stakes.

Posted by: rapt | Jan 31, 2007 1:07:05 PM | 16

Crooks and Liars a few days ago (thanks Conchita): A Rumor Is A Rumor Is A Rumor…

The CC Insider/InDecider has just heard more rumors (see earlier posts) from a SECOND reliable source that Dick Cheney will be stepping down as Vice President and will be replaced as Vice President by Condoleezza Rice. And now we're hearing that she would like to be on the ticket as the GOP VP candidate in '08.

According to our rumor-meister, John Negroponte will be filling Condi's current position as Secretary of State. Negroponte is currently the Director of National Intelligence (the first person ever to hold the few-years-old position) and the former US Ambassador to Iraq.

Posted by: b | Jan 31, 2007 3:13:52 PM | 17

Noirette #15

Rumfeld Remains Defense Department ‘Consultant,’ Opens ‘Transition Office’ Near Pentagon

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 1, 2007 2:24:36 AM | 18

thanks dan! Yes. " Poof! gone " was too blunt. Such people are not rejected; or not often; they change status and moves are made to pay them and show them that they still 'belong' but with less visible power, and less internal influence as well.

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 1, 2007 11:18:00 AM | 19


The testimony in the CIA Plame leak case today, Feb. 1, put Cheney and his team in the same light as Watergate. I don't think “sacrifice” is the right word here anymore. I think resignation is the proper word. In fact, being the optimist that I am, it is possible that indictments may come as a result of this Libby trial. Keith Obermann comes on the tube right now and I will post more later if I learn anything.

Posted by: Rick | Feb 1, 2007 7:54:35 PM | 20

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