Excerpts from Dick Cheney's forthcoming memoir.

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Feb. 10 2009 3:11 PM

Dick Cheney Remembers

Excerpts from the former vice president's forthcoming memoir.

In his first interview since leaving public office, former Vice President Dick Cheney told Politico last week that he's ready to start writing his memoirs. Slate has obtained the following excerpts from an early draft.

Dick Cheney. Click image to expand.
Dick Cheney

I'll never forget the anguish in his voice. "You have no choice, son," he said. "You've simply got to take that military deferment." I felt punched in the gut. "No!" I shouted. "No, damn you! No! That's the fifth time you've done this to me!"

Without telling anyone, Nixon and I had worked up a little routine. I asked, "Who is the Vietnamese foreign minister?" Immediately, he chimed in, "No, Woo is on first!" The whole room cracked up. Kissinger had to take a pill.

"Let me get this straight," I said. "I choose your running mate?" George gave a wide grin. "You got it, Chief," he said. "Freddie Thompson, Newt, Lugar—heck, even Old Man McCain. You name him, and I'll go with him. Will you do it?"

I felt a shiver rise up my spine. "I'm very busy these days," I said. "But I'll consider it."

Throughout the president's colonoscopy, I stayed cool as a cucumber.

"We want to see the minutes of your energy-policy meetings," she barked, her snotty, liberal leftist nose high in the air. "We want to know the lobbyists you've met with." I just stared through her. "Listen, missy," I replied. "You're not fooling me. You're trying to find out what we're doing, so you can tell everybody, and that's not going to happen!"

It was heartbreaking. He looked at me with those sad, defeated eyes and rasped, "Mr. Vice President, I let you down." Well, what could I say? I put my hand on his shoulder and said, "No, please, never think that way." But, inside, I was angry with him. I wanted to shout, "Christ, Harry, what in hell were you doing, poking your big face right into my line of fire?"

I knew from her glassy-eyed grin that Lynne was well into her fourth tequila and valium. "Guesh what," she said. "Your pretty little daughter has gone and got himself a girlfriend."

The hippies were out there, protesting a war that we were waging to defend their right to protest wars. Sadly, they couldn't see the reality: During wartime, there's just no place for that kind of protest.

I warned Scooter about talking to Robert Novak. "Remember," I said. "No matter what he says, no matter how he acts, he's CNN. We're Fox."

Sorry, folks, but it's not torture to have a little water poured on you. You want torture? Try a two-hour piano recital from Condoleezza Rice.

They said, "Dick, for the sake of the country, we need you in a safe, secret location, out of the public eye." I knew they were right, but, still, I longed to be away from those salt deposits and back above ground.

"Let me be their target," I said. "Put me out front. Let me be your poster boy. Let me be your bait. I'm not afraid of being a target."

But McCain's people wouldn't buy it.

Paulson looked dazed, confused, like a deer in headlights. "It's all turning to shit," he whispered. "Everything is collapsing! We're going down!"

I slapped him hard across the face, leaving a red blotch on his cheek. "Get a grip," I barked. "I'll call Rove. He'll fix this."

Mark my words: There will be another terrorist attack. Thousands will die. Millions will suffer. When it happens, America will see at last that we were right. History will vindicate us, and we'll receive the respect we rightfully deserve. Not that I would ever want that, of course.

The other day, as Lynne and I watched a storm approaching over the horizon, we pondered the incredible journey that has been our lives. Until that moment, I never realized how much Dubai looks like old Wyoming.

I love America. There! I said it! Sue me. I don't care. Because the one thing I've learned is that all the missiles, all the armies, and all the bombs in this big crazy world cannot defeat love. So there you have it, liberals: This "war criminal" pleads guilty as charged—guilty of believing in the power of love.

Hart Seely's memoir as a Yankee fan, The Juju Rules, will be published next year.

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