June 25, 2007

Then The Planes Hit The Buildings, Mr. Shadow President


Along with the ‘spheric attention lately to Dick Cheney as the “fourth branch of government,” there seems to have also arisen a renewed interest in the Cheney-Bush relationship.

Last week, Digby summarized the (delayed) storm over the Cheney power grab, lamenting the fact that the MSM still hadn’t noticed.  She came back on Sunday, however, to highlight an in-depth WAPO piece detailing the Cheney (“just don’t call it that”) shadow presidency.

Although we’ve been excavating these visual dynamics for years, the recent candor and clearer vision is leading to more pictures being reviewed and still more shaking loose.

My fuel for the fire is a lesser known portrait of the pair, shot by the White House, immediately after Bush returned from Offutt Air Force Base following the 9/11 attacks.  It seems fairly obvious the hyperkinetic Bush is offering Cheney a rather grade-schoolish enactment of how these two planes approached the World Trade Center towers.  (Like Cheney didn’t know?)  And Cheney, in his typically stoic style, is doing what?  I’d call it an archetypal example of his playing along.

In any case, most of my observations are embedded with the photo.  What I thought you would also be interested in was how closely this shot mirrors a couple others in the damning WAPO piece.  Specifically, for example, take a look at the first photo featuring Cheney with Colin Powell.  The caption reads:

Vice President Cheney, standing behind the president’s desk during a July 2003 meeting, circumvented Secretary of State Colin L. Powell in 2001 on the military commissions order.

Having seen many examples of Cheney standing close to or behind the President’s desk, it’s hard not to read these images as someone with the instinct for, if not, an actual grip on the seat of power.

(image: Eric Draper/White House.  November 2001.  whitehouse.gov. caption: Upon returning to the White House from Offutt Air Force Base, President Bush and Vice President Cheney discuss the attacks on America while secure inside the operations center in the White House.)

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Michael Shaw
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