A very, very interesting article from Insight (reprinted in full due to its potential importance):
The role of Vice President Dick Cheney as the administration's point man in security policy appears over, according to administration sources.So Bush blames Cheney and Rumsfeld for misleading him, but then he is too chicken to sack them and face the political fallout. So he lets them carry on with their destructive games while he flails about trying to run a government without support?
Over the last two months Mr. Cheney has been granted decreasing access to the Oval Office, the sources said on the condition of anonymity. The two men still meet, but the close staff work between the president and vice president has ended.
"Cheney's influence has waned not only because of bad chemistry, but because the White House no longer formulates policy," another source said.
"There's nothing to input into. Cheney is smart and knowledgeable, but he as well as Bush are ducking all the time to avoid the bullets."
The sources said the indictment and resignation of Lewis "Scooter" Libby marked the final straw in the deterioration of relations between President Bush and Mr. Cheney. They said Bush aides expect that any trial of Mr. Libby, Mr. Cheney's long-time chief of staff, would open a closet of skeletons regarding such issues as Iraq, the CIA and the conduct of White House aides.
"There's a lack of trust that the president has in Cheney and it's connected with Iraq," a source said.
The sources said Mr. Bush has privately blamed Mr. Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for the U.S.-led war in Iraq. They said the president has told his senior aides that the vice president and defense secretary provided misleading assessments on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, as well as the capabilities of the regime of Saddam Hussein.
As a result, the sources said, Mr. Cheney has been ousted from his role as the administration's point man in the area of national security. They said presidential staffers have kept Mr. Cheney out of the loop on discussions on policy as the White House has struggled with the political and intelligence fallout from the war in Iraq.
Mr. Bush is not expected to replace Mr. Cheney unless the vice president follows the fate of his former chief of staff. The sources also said Mr. Rumsfeld is expected to remain in his post until U.S. troops are withdrawn from Iraq.
Bush is scared to sack Cheney because he knows that he too is complicit in The Big Lie. If not for misleading the public, then for being an ignorant, careless and incompetent leader. Either way, a bloody disgrace!
UPDATE: Steve Clemens is an insider who says Mummy Bush is also cranky at Donny and Dick:
Cheney may be tougher to dump than Don Regan, but then again, Barbara Bush is one of those wonders of nature (we hear) who knows no limits and can easily surge beyond category 5 hurricane winds.A few wry comments worth noting:
Should be interesting to watch the role of the First Mother in the coming couple of months. Watch for a lot to change right after the State of the Union address, I've been told.
1. "Mommy !!!! Make it stop !"
2. "She doesn't care about George. It's Jeb she's worried about. If the Bush name gets dragged through the mud thoroughly enough, the dynasty's next emperor won't be able to rise to the throne."