That most lovable of vice-presidents, Dick Cheney, continues to be the focus of the Washington Post (27/6/2007):
“In Oregon, a battleground state that the Bush-Cheney ticket had lost by less than half of 1 percent, drought-stricken farmers and ranchers were about to be cut off from the irrigation water that kept their cropland and pastures green. Federal biologists said the Endangered Species Act left the government no choice: The survival of two imperiled species of fish was at stake.
Law and science seemed to be on the side of the fish. Then the vice president stepped in.
First Cheney looked for a way around the law, aides said. Next he set in motion a process to challenge the science protecting the fish, according to a former Oregon congressman who lobbied for the farmers.
Because of Cheney’s intervention, the government reversed itself and let the water flow in time to save the 2002 growing season, declaring that there was no threat to the fish. What followed was the largest fish kill the West had ever seen, with tens of thousands of salmon rotting on the banks of the Klamath River.
Characteristically, Cheney left no tracks. (my emphasis JT)
The Klamath case is one of many in which the vice president took on a decisive role to undercut long-standing environmental regulations for the benefit of business.” Source Washington Post 27/6/2007.
This was a hall mark of Cheney’s approach. To influence hand picked aides who would do his bidding in backstage operations. Quite often even the President wouldn’t know until the last minute. On each occasion business interests took precedence over the environment.
This was clearly the case in Cheney’s approach to foreign policy where human rights are set aside following his every whim. Yesterday I contrasted Cheney’s power with prospects of Harriet Harman influencing the British administration with the issues she laid out in her bid for deputy leader. No I’m not advocating more underhand and secretive operations, just asking for withdrawal of troops and a brake on privatisation of public services (eg City Academies) to go up the agenda!
All four articles on Cheney.