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Thursday, May 04, 2006

How weak IS Bush





Cheney sought Rice's role at National Security Council, Vanity Fair to report


Bush apparently gave Cheney power to preside over National Security Council meetings

Shortly after taking office, Vice President Dick Cheney fought to take over one of the national security adviser's key duties, claims an unnamed ex-official in the June issue of Vanity Fair.

"At one point early in this Bush administration, a former official tells me, Cheney wanted to chair meetings of the National Security Council "principals"— the secretaries of state and defense, the C.I.A. director, and so on—in Bush’s absence, co-opting the usual role of the national security adviser, then Condoleezza Rice," writes Vanity Fair national editor Todd Purdum in an advance copy provided by the magazine to RAW STORY.

"He lost," Purdum adds within parenthesis.

Although Cheney's alleged desire to chair principals meetings has been reported before, the results of a RAW STORY investigation suggest that the Vice President may have gotten what he wanted.

Practically unnoticed, a National Security Presidential Directive issued Feb.13, 2001, and signed by President George W. Bush, formally gave the vice president that duty, albeit at the President's discretion.

"When I am absent from a meeting of the NSC, at my direction the Vice President may preside," Bush wrote.

But before the document was officially released, an article in the New York Times published in February, 2001 claimed that "officials who read the directive today and who were familiar with its development" said that it "rejected suggestions that Vice President Cheney head important meetings of the National Security Council."

...............

In April 2004, a U.S. News & World Report article claimed that the vice president's unprecedented role on the N.S.C. caused it to become "dysfunctional."

"This is the most dysfunctional NSC that ever existed," an unnamed senior U.S. official told the magazine. "But it's not Condi's fault. The person that's made it so dysfunctional is Cheney."

"For the first time, a vice president is sitting in on meetings with other NSC principals and is constantly involved in the policymaking," wrote Kenneth T. Walsh for U.S. News. "A copy of every NSC memo goes to the vice president's staff, so that Cheney can play an active role on issues that interest him."

posted by Steve @ 7:32:00 AM

7:32:00 AM

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