NUTS? OR JUST PLAIN CRAZY?….Eric Alterman writes about Bob Woodward’s Plan of Attack in his Nation column this week. Here is the second of his six observations:
That’s too bad, because unfortunately Cheney is nuts. As Powell puts it, Cheney was in the grip of a “fever,” no longer the “steady, unemotional rock that he had witnessed a dozen years earlier during the run-up to the Gulf War. The vice president was beyond hell-bent for action against Saddam. It was as if nothing else existed.” Woodward gives us the backstory: Cheney, confirmed by his equally fevered aide “Scooter” Libby, repeatedly pitched–as he does today–the apparently imaginary meeting between Mohamed Atta and Iraqi intelligence in Prague. Powell/Woodward aptly term this contention “worse than ridiculous.” It goes on. “Cheney would take an intercept and say it shows something was happening. No, no, no, Powell or another would say, it shows that somebody talked to somebody else who said something might be happening. A conversation would suggest something might be happening, and Cheney would convert that into a ‘We know.’”
This will now be the third time that I’ve done this, but Eric’s column brings to mind an essay about Dick Cheney written by John Perry Barlow last year. Turns out Barlow knew Cheney pretty well back in the day and thinks that “nuts” might be exactly the right description for him. But with a catch.
Not everyone agrees with me, but Barlow’s essay struck me as eerily plausible. Here it is.