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A Semi-defense Of Stephen Hayes

belowtheWSJNew Yorker
Cheney was facing me, an even look on his face. His legs were crossed in the Western-male manner, with the ankle of one leg resting on the knee of the other. His voice was deep, low, and clear--strong but not loud. The way the lower-right corner of his mouth pulls downward when he speaks connotes an ordinary man's matter-of-fact pessimism--or, in rare flashes, when it pulls upward, an urge to mirth so deeply suppressed that it could never make it all the way to the surface, only near. Afterward, when I listened to our conversation on tape, I was struck by how strong the theme of peril to the United States had been--struck because, as Cheney was talking, my main sensation had been one of immense reassurance. His presence had an effect like that of being hooked up to an intravenous line that delivers a powerful timed dosage of serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Everything felt kind of evened out, no highs, no lows. He wasn't going to be flaky or half-baked, he wasn't going to let his emotions distort his views, and he certainly wasn't going to be soft or naive. But whenever he suggested something that, coming from somebody with a more animated manner, might be taken to indicate a swashbuckling inclination, like that "very robust intelligence capability," his rocklike manner made it sound like the very least we could do, unless we wanted to be foolhardy.
P.S.Michael ChiklisJason Zengerle