After reading the “Letter from Washington: The Hidden Power,” by Jane Mayer, I was very happy to let the Online Only’s Q & A (questions posed this week by Blake Eskin, and answered by Jane Mayer, in Q. & A.: Cheney’s Cheney) make explicit all the questions that had been fluttering aimlessly through my mind for the duration of my subway reading from 157th street to my train change at Times Square.
Eleven pages to read provides me with plenty of opportunities to lose track of those questions, since I tend to want to keep forging through. To aggravate matters, five years of reading Proust, Latin, and Medieval French manuscripts (don’t ask!) have burned my attention span to a crisp (or should I say, to crambles?), reducing me to the treachery of skipping entire paragraphs, scanning them for key words as I fly over them, returning only for reconnaissance flights if I find myself in completely unfamiliar territory.
So imagine how pleased I was that TNY Online Only’s “Q & A: Cheney’s Cheney” conveniently separates the questions from the answers with bold type and plain type (instead of with the opening and closing of a subway door, as in most cases for me). For example, it asks this question (in bold type), which by had been going through my mind somewhere between 145th street and 113th street on the 1 train:
How did David Addington get to know Vice-President Cheney, and how long have they worked together?
And it is answered directly by Jane Mayer herself, immediately, without flourish, exactly the way I wanted it, as follows (just an exerpt):
They met on Capitol Hill in the mid-eighties, when Cheney was a Republican congressman from Wyoming and Addington was a young staff lawyer working for the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs committees. So they have worked together for about two decades. Their partnership was cemented when they worked together on the Minority Report on the Iran-Contra affair. Both Addington and Cheney took the idiosyncratic position that it was Congress, not President Reagan, that was in the wrong. This view reflected the opinion, held by both men, that the executive branch should run foreign policy, to a great extent unimpeded by Congress. Itâ€™s a recurring themeâ€”pushing the limits of executive power and sidestepping Congressâ€”in their partnership. One example is their position that the President, as Commander-in-Chief in times of war, had the inherent authority to ignore the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which Congress passed in an effort to make sure that Presidents donâ€™t violate citizensâ€™ right to privacy by spying on them without warrants.
Click here to read more from the Q & A. To see what else is on the Hard Drive, click here. It’s a bit like finding an hidden drawer in your roll-top desk, full of goodies, as well as intriguing, beribboned batches of correspondence, conversations and moments you didn’t know had occured while you were reading your paper magazine, such as “A Laughing Matter,” featuring Andy Borowitz on the “boundaries of humor,” or “Your Caption Here,” with Bob Mankoff, in which the cartoon caption contest is dissected to your heart’s content.