Powell Aide: Cheney Was President 'for All Practical Purposes'

Also, he fears being tried for war crimes, says the aide

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Heads might not be exploding as he predicted, but tongues are loosening with the publication of Dick Cheney's memoir In My Time Tuesday. Now a former Powell aide is saying Cheney fears being tried for war crimes.

Cheney's book is critical of several of his Bush administration colleagues--in a scene we'd like to hear her version of, Cheney describes Condoleezza Rice as sobbing that he'd been right all along. Cheney doesn't seem to have any fond memories of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, upon whose departure from the administration in 2004 Cheney essentially says, "good riddance." Powell criticized Cheney's book Sunday, but it's Powell's former chief of staff, Lawrence Wilkerson, who offers an analysis of Cheney to ABC News that plays perfectly into several of the all-time favorite Grand Theories of the Bush Administration held by liberals a few years ago.

Such as:

Cheney Was Really President

Wilkerson: "I can't speak to the psychosomatic or the genetic problems with heart attacks or whatever, but I can speak to power. He wanted desperately to be president of the United States... he knew the Texas governor was not steeped in anything but baseball, so he knew he was going to be president and I think he got his dream. He was president for all practical purposes for the first term of the Bush administration."

Cheney's a War Criminal... and He Knows It

Wilkerson: "I think he's just trying to, one, assert himself so he's not in some subsequent time period tried for war crimes and, second, so that he somehow vindicates himself because he feels like he needs vindication. That in itself tells you something about him. ...
He's developed an angst and almost a protective cover, and now he fears being tried as a war criminal so he uses such terminology as 'exploding heads all over Washington' because that's the way someone who's decided he's not going to be prosecuted acts: boldly, let's get out in front of everybody, let's act like we are not concerned and so forth when in fact they are covering up their own fear that somebody will Pinochet him."
And He Knows He's a Chickenhawk
Wilkerson told ABC News... that Cheney may have "angst" because of receiving deferments instead of serving in the Vietnam War like Wilkerson and others in the administration.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.