2001 September 16

Cheney Say U.S. Will Work “The Dark Side” in War on Terror


Five days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S., Vice President Dick Cheney, in a now-infamous interview on the news program Meet the Press, said that the U.S. would have to work “the dark side” in responding to terrorism. Few Americans at the time realized how serious he was. Cheney is now generally regarded as the real architect of the Bush administration’s policies in the War on Terror. He was instrumental in maintaining unprecedented secrecy in the administration and in advancing secret spying and torture. He was also the leading proponent of the argument that when the president acted as Commander in Chief, his or her actions could not be reviewed by either the federal courts or Congress.

See President Bush’s ominous promise of a “wrathful, shadowy, inventive war” on this same day: September 16, 2001.

Cheney gave fair warning of his views on presidential power on two earlier occasions. On December 20, 1974, he advised President Gerald Ford, in office only four months, that he should reassert presidential power in the face of recent congressional encroachments. And in 1987, he stated his views more extensively and more boldly in the Minority Report on the Joint Congressional report on the Iran-Contra scandal, on November 17, 1987.

Read: Jane Mayer, The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals (2008)

Learn more about Cheney: Barton Gellman, Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency (2008)

Follow a timeline on post-9/11 events in the war on terrorism: http://www.investigatingpower.org/timelines/9-11/

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