Cheney in the Limelight: Is Former VP Breaking Tradition?

As the debate over those policies has gone forward, the key players who put the policies in place have sat on the sidelines. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, for example, has been so quiet that when a student at Stanford University finally got a few questions to her last week, captured on a little digital video recorder, it became a YouTube sensation.

As a former Cheney aide puts it, "It drives him nuts that nobody is out there defending these policies."

Cheney's thinly veiled frustration over the silence of his former Bush administration colleagues comes through in a recent interview with the Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes.

"I went through the Iran-contra hearings and watched the way administration officials ran for cover and left the little guys out to dry," Cheney told Hayes. "And I was bound and determined that wasn't going to happen this time."

Cheney makes it clear he's not returning to his undisclosed location anytime soon.

"I'll do my damndest to defend anybody out there -- be they in the agency carrying out the orders or the lawyers who wrote the opinions," Cheney said. "I don't know whether anybody else will, but I sure as hell will."

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