Law Politics and Government
Prof. Kent Worcester
The Violence in Cheneyland
On the upper east side of Manhattan, the reverberations from the drill and blast excavation for the Second Avenue Subway station drums up a chilling reminder for native New Yorkers of the early post 9/11 days. I was in middle school but I understood that New York City was targeted and my life was put in danger but I did not realize that still 11 years later I would never be able to escape the thought that the attack could be repeated. The terrorist attacks committed by Osama Bin Laden on September 11, 2001 made America very well aware of how vulnerable it was. The immediate response was to make sure that it never happened again but the way American foreign policy was changed by Vice President Dick Cheney strengthened surveillance but has not eliminated the threat of another possible attack. Vice President Dick Cheney followed in the footsteps of former President Richard Nixon and took full advantage of the violence. Cheney applied the Nixonland order to the post 9/11 world and made himself the most powerful Vice President.
The Nixonland Cheney created focused on a presidency for Geroge W. Bush defined by foreign policy, fewer checks and balances, a fascination with violence, and secrecy. Vice President Dick Cheney was the most powerful vice president because he controlled who spoke to the President and what information reached him. Cheney’s manipulation of the President happened through his legal counsel, David Addington. Addington rewrote memos and manipulated the language before Cheney passed them along to the President for a final signature. Cheney was getting laws passed and bills signed without consulting Congress and completely disregarding checks and balances. He reasserted greatest power to the executive branch allowing fewer legal constraints when it came to dealing with the first response to the attack.
The Bush Administration acted rashly...
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