Cheney's “Stealth” Tactics
After Bush read the short legal memorandum, he gave it back to Cheney with his approval.
From article by Barton Gellman and Jo Becker, Washington Post, June 24, 2007
"In less than an hour, the document traversed a West Wing circuit that gave its words the power of command. It changed hands four times, according to witnesses, with emphatic instructions to bypass staff review. When it returned to the Oval Office, in a blue portfolio embossed with the presidential seal, Bush pulled a felt-tip pen from his pocket and signed without sitting down. Almost no one else had seen the text.
Cheney's proposal had become a military order from the commander in chief. Foreign terrorism suspects held by the United States were stripped of access to any court -- civilian or military, domestic or foreign. They could be confined indefinitely without charges and would be tried, if at all, in closed "military commissions."
"What the hell just happened?" Secretary of State Colin L. Powell demanded, a witness said, when CNN announced the order that evening, Nov. 13, 2001. National security adviser Condoleezza Rice, incensed, sent an aide to find out. Even witnesses to the Oval Office signing said they did not know the vice president had played any part."
For more information on Cheney, please see Barton Gellman's new book, "Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency," Penguin Press HC, 384 pages. Published September 16, 2008.