Hangin' With Cheney and Premature 9/11 Truthism


Stephen Hayes' uniquely high-access new book on the vice president of these United States is excerpted interestingly in the July 23 Weekly Standard.

Among all sorts of superprecise details (of the sort that make this reader less, rather than more, likely to trust the veracity of the account–for example, ever wonder where the TV remote was on Cheney's desk in relation to his coffee mug on 9/11? Hayes sees all, knows all, asks all questions, and his interview subjects remember all!) the most interesting thing to me was we learn that Cheney and his crew were themselves premature 9/11 Truthers:

At 10:28, the north tower collapsed. The frenzy in the bunker came to a halt and, but for an occasional whisper, the room went silent. On the television, one floor after another gave way, a bit of order amidst the catastrophe. The building must have been charged, thought David Addington, counsel to the vice president, who was standing against the outer wall of the bunker.


Shortly after Cheney hung up, the officials in the bunker were advised that a plane had crashed in Pennsylvania.

Everyone had the same question, says Rice. "Was it down because it had been shot down or had it crashed?" Rice and Cheney were both filled with "intense emotion," she recalls, because they both made the same assumption. "His first thought, my first thought–we had exactly the same reaction–was it must have been shot down by the fighters. And you know, that's a pretty heady moment, a pretty heavy burden."

The weakest, yet very telling, thing about the excerpt (I know, it's chronological, but the article could and should have cut straight to 9/11) is that it is frontended with what sometimes seems most important to GOPers: a reminder of what a lame-o stinker that Bill Clinton was.

…..they climbed into limousines for the one-block trip across Lafayette Park to the White House, where, according to the schedule, they were to have coffee with the Clintons and Gores before the inaugural ceremony.

Clinton wasn't ready.

"We got in the cars and we had to wait," says Cheney. "And then we had to wait some more, and then we had to wait some more, and then we had to wait some more." The famously unpunctual Clinton was finishing his term in signature style. "We must have waited about half an hour before we could go over there."

More and more and more waiting, adding up to a half hour! And wouldn't you know it, the unspeakable Mr. Clinton was upstairs pardoning people while Cheney calcified in his limo. Luckily, he lived to guide us through the hard times of the past 7 years.