It isn't often I agree with Lynn Nofziger, but today is one of those days. Well, mostly. Nofziger muses,
I keep wondering. Was it constitutionally proper for Vice President Cheney to order Air Force jets to shoot down high-jacked passenger planes? Or was he exercising authority that belongs solely to the president.
Yes, the president apparently gave him permission to issue the order. But how did the Air Force generals know? The fact is, they didn't. they had to accept Cheney’s word.
In this instance and under those particular circumstances it was probably all right. But it seems to me that this sets a dangerous precedent.
In the future what is to prevent an overly ambitious vice president or one who is at odds with the president from picking up the phone and issuing orders which, if carried out could result in the death of the president.
Not possible, you say. Who would have thought the events of nine/eleven were possible? Not likely is better. But not likely events occur every day.
It seems to me that the person who should have issued the order was the commander in chief, President George W. Bush. If he could talk to Cheney he could talk directly to the military, leaving no doubt who was in charge.
I think that was the voice of inexperience at work. I don’t think it will happen again.
The last paragraph strikes me as too charitable, but otherwise, I pretty much agree.