Cheney pushed for expanded presidential powers. Now that he's leaving, what will come of his efforts? The new president won't have to wait long to tip his hand.
It may not be so simple. At a retirement ceremony recently for a top-level intelligence official, the senior spooks in the room gave each other high-fives. They were celebrating the fact that terrorists have not attacked the United States since 9/11. In the view of many intelligence professionals, the get-tough measures encouraged or permitted by George W. Bush's administration—including "waterboarding" self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed—kept America safe. Cheney himself has been underscoring the point in a round of farewell interviews. "If I had advice to give it would be, before you start to implement your campaign rhetoric, you need to sit down and find out precisely what it is we did and how we did it, because it is going to be vital to keeping the nation safe and secure in the years ahead," he told CBS Radio.