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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Welcome to the undisclosed location
As I made it to the bottom of the stairs in the East Wing, I turned the corner and found a machine gun in my face. Cheney's security detail had set up outside the vault doors, with body armor, shotguns, and MP5 machine guns. Although they knew me, they were not about to open the vault door.
In the Presidential Emergency Operations Center the cas was decidedly more political. In addition to the Vice President and Condi Rice, there was the Vice President's wife, Lynne; his political advisor Mary Matelin; his security advisor, Scooter Libby; Deputy White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten; and White House communications director Karen Hughes.
"How's it going over here?" I asked.

"It's fine," Major Fenzel whispered, "but I can't hear the crisis conference because Mrs. Cheney keeps turning down the volume on you so she can hear CNN...and the Vice President keeps hanging up the open line to you." Mrs. Cheney was more than just a family member who had to be protected. Like her husband, she was a right-wing ideologue and she was offering her advice and opinions in the bunker.
-- Against All Enemies, pages 18-19.

I bought Richard Clarke's book last night. Having someone say that Bush has done a terrible job in the "war on terrorism" on "60 Minutes" is worth $20 any day. I'm only up to page 24. The preface said pretty much what Clarke said on TV. The first chapter is his personal story of what happened on 9/11; the passage above describes his entrance into the secure bunker in the East Wing of the White House.