The landmark exposé of the most powerful and secretive vice president in American history
Barton Gellman shared the Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for a keen-edged reckoning with Dick Cheney's domestic agenda in The Washington Post. In Angler, Gellman goes far beyond that series to take on the full scope of Cheney's work and its consequences, including his hidden role in the Bush administration's most fateful choices in war: shifting focus from al Qaeda to Iraq, unleashing the National Security Agency to spy at home, and promoting "cruel and inhumane" methods of interrogation. Packed with fresh insights and untold stories, Gellman parts the curtains of secrecy to show how the vice president operated and what he wrought.
Can you swallow the idea that Dick Cheney thinks of himself as a public servant? Believe it or not, the vice president to end all vice presidents apparently does. But it can only be in the same sense that P. G. Wodehouse's Jeeves served Bertie Wooster -- stoically rescuing a fool from life's perils while treating his featherbrained priorities with silky, barely disguised contempt.
Since our world isn't as sunny as Bertie's, the consequences have been a lot less larky. While I'm not as up on my Wodehouse as friends tell me I should be, I'm pretty sure that waterboarding, extralegal electronic surveillance, and preemptive war don't loom large on Jeeves's to-do lists.