FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Scalia-Cheney Axis of Evil

by

cheney copy

Like Henry Kissinger, it is easy to forget Dick Cheney is still alive until he makes a macabre appearance. But there he was, sitting in the front section of Justice Scalia’s memorial service at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. last week.

Cheney and Scalia were hunting buddies. But their love of blood sports–Scalia even died on a hunting trip–also raised ethical questions over ten years ago after they went duck hunting at a private camp in southern Louisiana. The problem was the court had just agreed to hear the Veep’s appeal of lawsuits from the Sierra Club and Judicial Watch that charged that he and his staff violated an open-government measure in formulating their energy policy. Specifically, they were charged with violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act by allegedly meeting behind closed doors with outside lobbyists for the oil, gas, coal and nuclear industries including Kenneth L. Lay of Enron. Who remembers Enron and Ken Lay?

Federal law rules that “any justice or judge shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might be questioned,” but Scalia disagreed. “Cheney was indeed among the party of about nine who hunted from the camp,” he admitted. “Social contacts with high-level executive officials (including cabinet officers) have never been thought improper for judges who may have before them cases in which those people are involved in their official capacity, as opposed to their personal capacity.”

The Bush administration regarded the case as a test of executive power and claimed that forcing disclosure of confidential records such as private meetings intruded on a president’s power to obtain advice. Without privacy, discussions on prickly matters could be difficult said the White House. The court ended up throwing the case back to a lower court without addressing the White House’s executive power question.

Though many claimed Cheney could not have a heart attack, because he had no heart, he suffered several heart attacks over his life. After repeated attacks, a bypass and a pump, Cheney got a heart transplant in 2012.

“Two years ago this time I was on a respirator, heavily sedated. Just had a pump… installed on my heart because my heart had gotten so weak after six heart attacks and 30-some years of heart disease that it was, you know, it was at the end,” he said after the transplant. “There’s not been a single glitch, no sign of rejection, everything’s just gone perfectly.”

Cheney neither knows whose heart saved his live or thinks about it much. “I don’t spend time wondering who had it, what they’d done, what kind of person,” he said. “The way I think of it from a psychological standpoint is that it’s my new heart, not someone else’s old heart.”

Nor did Cheney’s new heart give him new reverence for life. Soon after his transplant, the Denver Post reported the Veep planned to return to blood sports and participate in Wyoming’s One Shot Antelope Hunt. The event is a duel between Wyoming and Colorado and “the team that kills the most antelope in the shortest time wins,” says the Associated Press. There was no mention if Scalia would be joining Cheney in the killing derby.

Martha Rosenberg is an investigative health reporter. She is the author of  Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health (Prometheus).

More articles by:
July 26, 2016
Andrew Levine
Pillory Hillary Now
Kshama Sawant
A Call to Action: Walk Out from the Democratic National Convention!
Russell Mokhiber
The Rabble Rise Together Against Bernie, Barney, Elizabeth and Hillary
Jeffrey St. Clair
Don’t Cry For Me, DNC: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Angie Beeman
Why Doesn’t Middle America Trust Hillary? She Thinks She’s Better Than Us and We Know It
Paul Street
An Update on the Hate…
Fran Shor
Beyond Trump vs Clinton
Ellen Brown
Japan’s “Helicopter Money” Play: Road to Hyperinflation or Cure for Debt Deflation?
Richard W. Behan
The Banana Republic of America: Democracy Be Damned
Binoy Kampmark
Undermining Bernie Sanders: the DNC Campaign, WikiLeaks and Russia
Arun Gupta
Trickledown Revenge: the Racial Politics of Donald Trump
Sen. Bernard Sanders
What This Election is About: Speech to DNC Convention
David Swanson
DNC Now Less Popular Than Atheism
Linn Washington Jr.
‘Clintonville’ Reflects True Horror of Poverty in US
Deepak Tripathi
Britain in the Doldrums After the Brexit Vote
Louisa Willcox
Grizzly Threats: Arbitrary Lines on Political Maps
Robert J. Gould
Proactive Philanthropy: Don’t Wait, Reach Out!
Victor Grossman
Horror and Sorrow in Germany
Nyla Ali Khan
Regionalism, Ethnicity, and Trifurcation: All in the Name of National Integration
Andrew Feinberg
The Good TPP
400 US Academics
Letter to US Government Officials Concerning Recent Events in Turkey
July 25, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
As the Election Turns: Trump the Anti-Neocon, Hillary the New Darling of the Neocons
Ted Rall
Hillary’s Strategy: Snub Liberal Democrats, Move Right to Nab Anti-Trump Republicans
William K. Black
Doubling Down on Wall Street: Hillary and Tim Kaine
Russell Mokhiber
Bernie Delegates Take on Bernie Sanders
Quincy Saul
Resurgent Mexico
Andy Thayer
Letter to a Bernie Activist
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan is Strengthened by the Failed Coup, But Turkey is the Loser
Robert Fisk
The Hypocrisies of Terror Talk
Lee Hall
Purloined Platitudes and Bipartisan Bunk: An Adjunct’s View
Binoy Kampmark
The Futility of Collective Punishment: Russia, Doping and WADA
Nozomi Hayase
Cryptography as Democratic Weapon Against Demagoguery
Cesar Chelala
The Real Donald Trump
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Propaganda Machinery and State Surveillance of Muslim Children
Denis Conroy
Australia: Election Time Blues for Clones
Marjorie Cohn
Killing With Robots Increases Militarization of Police
David Swanson
RNC War Party, DNC War Makers
Eugene Schulman
The US Role in the Israeli-Palestine Conflict
Nauman Sadiq
Imran Khan’s Faustian Bargain
Peter Breschard
Kaine the Weepy Executioner
Weekend Edition
July 22, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Good as Goldman: Hillary and Wall Street
Joseph E. Lowndes
From Silent Majority to White-Hot Rage: Observations from Cleveland
Paul Street
Political Correctness: Handle with Care
Richard Moser
Actions Express Priorities: 40 Years of Failed Lesser Evil Voting
Eric Draitser
Hillary and Tim Kaine: a Match Made on Wall Street
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail