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Laura Rozen has some inside scoop on the arguments behind the scenes about publishing the expose piece on Dick Cheney.  And it is fascinating: 

A careful reading of the story of Cheney’s coup against a feeble executive reveals that paragraphs 7 through 10 were written and inserted in haste by a powerful editorial hand. The banging of colliding metaphors in an otherwise carefully written piece is evidence of last-minute interpolations by a bad editor whom no one has the power to rewrite….That in turn suggests that this piece has been ready to run for some time. Insertions like the one about the veep’s office not being part of the executive branch and seriatim “softenings” show that jamming it into the paper at the end of June, when only cats and the homeless are around the read the paper, was made at the last minute.

Why? My guess is that this series ready to go during the debate over the supplemental funding of the Iraq war and that Downie or someone at the top held it back until Gellman and others started carrying snub-nose .38s to work under their seersuckers….

I think Digby’s characterization of this is particularly instructive:

When I read it this morning, I also thought that stuff about Cheney not really being the defacto president and how he’s lost some battles with the big guy seemed pasted on to the story. I ignored them. Certainly this first part of the series gave no examples of such a thing — quite the opposite. The portrait that was painted was of a secretive, megalomaniacal VP who has been running the country through underhanded and unaccountable means by manipulating his ridiculously stupid boss and exerting his power by any means necessary. You really can’t read the article any other way….

Fascinating stuff. The DC establishment is at war with itself.

Certainly won’t be holding my breath for the Meet The Press exploration of this important Beltway issue, will I?

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com