Cheney's been press-phobic since 70s





RETURNING to the White House after the Memorial Day weekend in 1975, the young aide Dick Cheney found himself handling a First Amendment showdown. The New York Times had published an article by Seymour M. Hersh about an espionage program, and the White House chief of staff, Donald H. Rumsfeld, was demanding action.

Out came the yellow legal pad, and in his distinctively neat, deliberate hand, Mr. Cheney laid out the “problem,” “goals” while addressing it, and “options.” These last included “Start FBI investigation — with or w/o public announcement. As targets include NYT, Sy Hersh, potential gov’t sources.”

Mr. Cheney’s notes, now in the Gerald R. Ford presidential library, collected and synthesized the views of lawyers, diplomats, spies and military officials, but his own views shine through. He is hostile to the press and to Congress, insistent on the prerogatives of the executive branch and adamant about the importance of national security secrets.


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