Dick Cheney’s secret resignation letter

We got our hands on it, or a reasonable facsimile

Topics: Dick Cheney, War Room, George W. Bush,

Dick Cheney's secret resignation letterDick Cheney

Former Vice President Dick Cheney reveals in his new memoir that in March of 2001, he wrote a secret letter of resignation, to be used in the event that he was unable to fulfill his duties. He wrote the letter, he tells NBC, because “there is no mechanism for getting rid of a vice president who can’t function,” and Cheney had a history of heart attacks. He locked the letter in a safe, and told only the president and one trusted aide about its existence. No one has ever seen the letter — until now.

Salon.com’s War Room Secret Vice Presidential Correspondence Recovery Team tracked down the letter by following an elaborate series of clues Cheney placed around Washington, D.C. We reveal the contents of Cheney’s secret letter of resignation below:

The Office of the Vice President
March 15, 2001

Dear Mr. President:

If you’re reading this, it means one of the following things has happened:

  • I’ve had a debilitating heart attack and am unable to function.
  • I’m on the lam, likely somewhere in South America, because they finally found out about the incident in 1973.
  • I became irradiated at a secret energy task force meeting and have grown to 10 times my original size, losing, in the process, my very humanity.
  • I went to Mexico with Lynne and “pulled a William S. Burroughs.”
  • I’m locked in my man-size safe.

And so I voluntarily and of my own accord hereby tender my resignation from the Office of the Vice President of the United States, effective immediately … on the following conditions:

  • Check the man-size safe.
  • Don’t you dare replace me with that sonuvabitch Hagel.
  • In fact, just replace me with David Addington.

There’s nothing I regret more than leaving you, Mr. President, without the sage counsel of your trusted vice president, besides the 1973 thing, but America must move forward in what I am assuming is a time of great national grief at my untimely departure from office. I know you’ll do fine in my absence, but there are some things you should know.



The key to the Resolute Desk’s top-right drawer is in the kitchen behind Barney’s food. Torture is legal. If America is attacked by terrorists, Saddam Hussein is responsible. Pat Leahy can go fuck himself. Colin Powell is wrong about whatever he just advised you to do. So is Condi, probably. And Ashcroft, unless he was talking about porn or something. There’s nothing the American government can do that the private sector — specifically the Halliburton portion of the private sector — can’t do better and more efficiently. If you really really want to wiretap someone you probably don’t need a warrant. If you ever get stuck writing a state of the union, just say something about a manned mission to Mars. Make sure the Justice Department is only hiring and retaining good conservative U.S. attorneys. Don’t try to use the coffee machine in the Cabinet Room. It doesn’t work right and also you’re the president, you shouldn’t be making your own coffee.

I think that about sums up all the possible advice I would’ve given you had I remained capable of fulfilling my duties for the entirety of your time in office. (Did I mention that torture is legal?)

One last, personal note: There’s no doubt in my mind that you’ll be remembered as one of the best, most effective presidents America’s ever known, but just in case it looks like there is some doubt of that, try to make sure everything is as fucked up as possible on your way out of office. The American people, in their infinite wisdom, will pretty much forget it was your fault within six months of the next poor bastard taking over.

Sincerely,

Richard Cheney

P.S. If you find the time, have someone shoot Harry Whittington in the face. He knows what he did.

Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at apareene@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @pareene

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 17
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    John Stanmeyer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.

    Lu Guang

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China

    Carolyn Cole/LATimes

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti

    Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    “Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA

    Google Earth/NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.

    Garth Lentz

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada

    Cotton Coulson/Keenpress

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway

    Yann Arthus-Bertrand

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.

    Stephanie Sinclair

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.

    Mike Hedge

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million

    Google Earth/ 2014 Digital Globe

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.

    Daniel Dancer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon

    Peter Essick

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.

    Daniel Beltra

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico

    Ian Wylie

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Slide 13

    Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.

    R.J. Sangosti/Denver Post

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>