Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

Featured Posts        





Powell Says Cheney Taking ‘Cheap Shots’ in Book


Cheney holds nothing back in new book (NBC Nightly News, Aug. 29, 2011) — NBC’s Jamie Gangel conducted an exclusive interview with Dick Cheney. (02:44)

August 29, 2011

WASHINGTON — Former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Sunday dismissed as “cheap shots” the criticism leveled at him and others in Vice President Dick Cheney’s memoir.

It was the latest volley in a clash that stretches back to their first years in the George W. Bush administration. …

Powell made the remarks Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation” ahead of the Tuesday release of Cheney’s book, “In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir.”

Cheney said in an earlier NBC interview that the book would cause “heads to explode” in Washington, a description Powell said he expected from a supermarket tabloid and not a former vice president. …

Cheney and Powell had numerous disagreements in the administration, particularly over policy toward Iraq and the run-up to the 2003 invasion by U.S.-led forces. …

[Powell] labeled as “almost condescending” the tone of Cheney’s criticism of Condoleezza Rice, who succeeded him as secretary of state. …

Full story


Read an excerpt from Cheney’s book

In his new memoir, “In My Time,” former Vice President Dick
Cheney discusses pivotal moments of his time in office.


The Personality Profile

of Vice President Dick Cheney

The Personality Profile of Vice President Dick Cheney (Aubrey Immelman, Ph.D., Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, August 2009)
Poster presenting the results of an indirect assessment of the personality of Vice President Dick Cheney, by Jaclynn Beier and Carl Haefemeyer, College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University; research supervised by Aubrey Immelman, Ph.D., director of the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, August 2009.

Aubrey Immelman, Jaclynn Beier, and Carl Haefemeyer
Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics
August 2009


We conducted a remote psychological assessment of former U.S. vice president Dick Cheney in spring and summer 2009, mining open-source data in the public domain. Information concerning Mr. Cheney was collected from media reports and synthesized into a personality profile using the second edition of the Millon Inventory of Diagnostic Criteria (MIDC), which yields 34 normal and maladaptive personality classifications congruent with Axis II of DSM-IV.

The personality profile yielded by the MIDC was analyzed on the basis of interpretive guidelines provided in the MIDC and Millon Index of Personality Styles manuals. Cheney’s primary personality pattern was found to be Conscientious / dutiful. His secondary pattern was Dominant / controlling. Cheney also had an elevated score on the Distrusting (suspicious) pattern; however, it did not reach a diagnostically relevant scale elevation.

Leaders with an amalgam of Conscientious (obsessive) and Dominant (aggressive) patterns such as those evident in Cheney’s profile are best characterized as obsessive enforcers.

Obsessive enforcers are characterized by a moralistic conscience, permeated by a strong power motive. A stickler for rules and propriety, they are unrestrained in discharging their hostile impulses against those whom they find contemptible — ostensibly in the public interest. Not only do they act as though they have a monopoly on divining right and wrong, these personalities also believe they have a right and the obligation to control and punish transgressors, and that they are uniquely qualified to determine how punishment should be meted out.

Although obsessive enforcers operate under the guise of legitimate socially sanctioned roles to serve the public interest, the deeper motives that spur the aggressive enforcing actions of leaders with this personality style are of questionable legitimacy, given the extraordinary force with which they are willing to mete out condemnation and punishment. In the context of public service, the trademark characteristic of obsessive enforcers is first to search out rule-breakers and perpetrators of infractions that fall within the purview of their socially sanctioned role, and then to exercise what they view as their legitimate powers to the utmost.

The modus operandi of the obsessive enforcer invariably provokes opposition and resistance, which in turn incites and perpetuates ever-stronger countermeasures against real and perceived enemies. Their resulting “bunker mentality” may mimic a paranoid orientation, but more likely is simply a manifestation of hardball politics in the service of an obdurate, relentless, uncompromising, no-holds-barred striving to preserve and consolidate personal power and control.

In public life the fatal flaw of the “obsessive enforcer” leadership style is that, in carrying out their duties, these leaders may find it difficult to restrain the emotions that drive their controlling behaviors. Ultimately, dominating everything and everyone may become their single-minded goal, at the expense of exercising their responsibilities in a prudent, measured, self-restrained manner.

The major political implication of the study is that it sheds light on the extraordinary degree of power and influence that Vice President Cheney wielded in the Bush administration, and the former vice president’s apparent reluctance to follow the lead of former President George W. Bush in departing from the political arena upon completing his term of office.


3/24/2012 Update

Former Vice President Dick Cheney Recovering After Heart Transplant


Former VP Cheney receives heart transplant (NBC Nightly News, Aug. 24, 2012) — Former Vice President Dick Cheney is recovering following a heart transplant from an anonymous donor. NBC’s Jamie Gangel reports. (02:06)

NBC News’ Jamie Gangel, The Associated Press, and Reuters via
March 24, 2012

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was recovering Saturday at a Virginia hospital after receiving a heart transplant, his office said.

Cheney was in the Intensive Care Unit of Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, his office said.

Cheney, 71, who served as vice president in the George W. Bush administration, has had a long history of heart trouble and has been on the cardiac transplant list for more than 20 months.

“Although the former Vice President and his family do not know the identity of the donor, they will be forever grateful for this lifesaving gift,” aide Kara Ahern said in a written statement that was authenticated by several close associates of the former vice president. …

The odds of survival are good. More than 70 percent of heart transplant recipients live at least five years, although survival is a bit lower for people over age 65.

Cheney suffered a heart attack in 2010, his fifth since the age of 37. That year, he had surgery to have a small pump installed to help his heart keep working. It was one of the few steps left, short of a transplant, to stay alive in the face of what he acknowledged was “increasing congestive heart failure.”

The pump, called a left ventricular assist device, is mainly used for short periods to buy time for potential transplant candidates awaiting a donor organ. The fact that doctors resorted to it illustrated the perilous condition he was in.

“I’ve gotten used to the various contraptions that are always with me, and I’m working and traveling, I’ve hunted a time or two, and I have some fishing planned,” Cheney wrote in his memoir released last year [see top of this page].

In July 2007, he had had a minor surgical procedure to replace a device that monitored his heartbeat. Nearly 20 years earlier, in 1988, Cheney had had quadruple bypass surgery, and had two artery-clearing angioplasties and the operation to implant the device.

In 2005, Cheney had six hours of surgery on his legs to repair a kind of aneurysm, and in March 2007, doctors discovered deep venous thrombosis in his left lower leg. An ultrasound a month later showed the clot was getting smaller. …

Cheney served as Bush’s vice president for eight years, from 2001 until 2009. He was a lightning rod for criticism during Bush’s presidency, accused by opponents of often advocating a belligerent U.S. stance in world affairs during wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Full story


7/2/2014 Related interest

My Head’s Exploding

Is That the Iraq Drumbeat From Cheney & Co. Again?

By Maureen Dowd

Page A25
July 1, 2014

[. . . ]

Who would have thought that Iraq imploding would give the mountebanks who tricked us into war a chance to rear their heads and seek rehabilitation — somehow grabbing onto the hellish spiral as proof that they were right in their original wrongness?

But, then, they did always create their own reality spun from grandiosity.

They are shamefully showcased on cable TV, which has so much airtime to fill that it doesn’t care if it’s hot air. They are once more pounding on the fear button and warning that America needs to attack or risk being emasculated by Middle Eastern terrorists. Doesn’t Vice know that most Americans, especially the Bushes, cannot stand his demented scaremongering anymore? Even Fox News anchors are now pressing him with skeptical questions about the war.

Asked by Fox’s Elisabeth Hasselbeck if he thought we “could be on track for something worse than 9/11,” Cheney replied, “I think that’s a possibility.”

He’s always busy predicting another 9/11. Too bad he and W. ignored warnings about the first one. Cheney is not only responsible for Iraq melting down and Afghanistan being mucked up. He can also claim credit for so exhausting John Wayne’s America that a skeptic on military intervention, Rand Paul, is a credible candidate for the G.O.P. nomination.

[. . . ]

Full story


Related reports on this site

Condoleezza Rice’s Iraq War Revisionism (May 10, 2011)


Lawrence O’Donnell: Condoleezza Rice on lessons from Iraq (MSNBC “The Last Word,” May 5, 2011) — The former Secretary of State sat down for an exclusive interview with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell. The two had a must-see conversation about the lessons learned from the Iraq war and much more. (11:50)

Iraq WMD Lie Exposed (Feb. 15, 2011)


“Curveball” Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi: ‘I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime.’

George W. Bush Memoir (Nov. 8, 2010)


Bush: Cheney ‘angry’ I didn’t pardon Libby (NBC Today, Nov. 8, 2010) — In an exclusive interview with TODAY’s Matt Lauer, former President George W. Bush recounts Vice President Dick Cheney’s anger over his decision to let a jury’s verdict of perjury stand against disgraced aide Lewis “Scooter” Libby. (04:09)

Bush-Cheney ‘Hell Bent’ on War (Nov. 27, 2009)

Image: Anti-war protesters
Anti-war protesters from the Stop the War group wear masks depicting British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, right, former President George W. Bush, center, and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, left, outside the conference center where the Iraq war inquiry was taking place in central London, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009 . (Photo credit: Lefteris Pitarakis / AP)

Iraq War Plan Soon After 9/11 (Nov. 22, 2009)

Protesters hold placards with the words ‘No Cover Up’ and ‘No More Lies’ as they demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament in London, June 15, 2009. (Photo credit: Shaun Curry / AFP — Getty Images)

Bush Rewriting History on Iraq? (Jan. 13, 2009)

Some of the documents turned over to the U.N. by Iraq prior to the U.S. invasion.

Iraq: Intelligence and Policy Failure (Dec. 10, 2008)


Bush is history (MSNBC, Dec. 9, 2008) — Countdown’s Keith Olbermann lists why White House talking points designated to cast President Bush in a positive light actually serve as a reminder of the president’s many faults and shortcomings. (04:51)

Iraq ‘Biggest Regret’ — Bush (Dec. 2, 2008)


Bush’s exit interview (NBC Nightly News, Jan. 12, 2009) — President George W. Bush delivered an at-times defiant speech in which he expressed regret and discussed some mistakes he has made while in office. Chuck Todd reports. (04:00)



One Year Ago — August 29, 2010

Colossal Taxpayer Waste in Iraq

One year ago today, I reported that the U.S., as it began to withdraw from Iraq, was leaving behind hundreds of abandoned or incomplete projects. More than $5 billion in American taxpayer funds had been wasted — more than 10 percent of the approximately $50 billion the U.S. spent on reconstruction in Iraq, according to audits by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.


Two Years Ago — August 29, 2009

Obama War Strategy Setback

Two years ago today, on August 29, 2009, I reported that Kandahar, Afghanistan showed signs of slipping back under Taliban control as August 2009 became the deadliest month of the eight-year war for U.S. troops in Afghanistan — a setback for President Barack Obama’s war strategy.


Three Years Ago — August 29, 2008

Campaign Against Michele Bachmann: Day 46

Three years ago today, on August 29, 2008 — the 46th day of my 2008 campaign against incumbent U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann for the Republican nomination in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District – I examined links between the Iraqi government and Iran and the role of the Iraq war in empowering Iran.

One Response to “Dick Cheney Memoir: ‘Cheap Shots’ … ‘Heads Explode’”
  1. Dick Cheney Memoir: ‘Cheap Shots’ … ‘Heads Explode’ | Says:

    […] Read More: Dick Cheney Memoir: ‘Cheap Shots’ … ‘Heads Explode’ […]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.