If, as I do, you believe that the writings of the Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes reflect the views of Dick Cheney, particularly on matters having to do with the “Axis of Evil,” then you would have to conclude from the lead editorial in this week’s edition that the vice president is really, truly angry about the drift of U.S. policy toward the Axis’ two surviving charter members, especially Iran. “Stunningly Shameful” is the name of the piece written by Hayes on behalf of the editors, which also, of course, includes Bill Kristol.
The title is taken from a quote attributed to “former adviser to Condoleezza Rice,” the principal villain of the piece about whom, you’ll remember, Hayes did a real hatchet job in a lengthy feature article in the magazine’s June 2 edition. One can speculate who that “former adviser” is — it could be someone from her National Security Council days like Elliott Abrams or J.D. Crouch or from the State Department, such as Robert Joseph or, of course, John Bolton whose complaints about the ”intellectual collapse” of the administration, if not Bush himself, has become a staple of New York Times coverage since Rice sent William Burns to the Geneva talks last weekend. In any event, I can’t imagine Hayes writing about anything of special interest to the subject of his fawning biography without the latter’s presumed or even actual approval. (The 2007 book, ‘Cheney: The Untold Story of America’s Most Powerful and Controversial Vice President,’ is available used and new for as little as $2.79 on amazon.com.)
“It has been a dispiriting few weeks,” Hayes sighs. “Several conservative political appointees have said that they are embarrassed to be working the Bush administration.” Would that include the vice president?