Dick Cheney: the nation’s best protected author

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Former Vice President Dick Cheney, now at work on his memoirs, will continue to have Secret Service protection.

Word that Mr. Cheney will continue to have a Secret Service detail for at least another six months came in a story Tuesday by New York Daily News Washington Bureau Chief Tom DeFrank and correspondent Gordon Meek.

Feeling threatened

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By law, former vice presidents receive six months of Secret Service protection after they leave office and can request an extension if they feel threatened. Cheney made the request, which was approved by President Obama. The formal order to keep Cheney under the Secret Service’s watchful eye was signed by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. The Secret Service is part of her sprawling department.

Former President George W. Bush will be under Secret Service protection for 10 years from the day he left the White House. Until recently, former presidents had Secret Service protection for life. But under legislation passed in 1997, a 10-year limit was put in place by Congress to hold down the heavy costs of around-the-clock security. The 10-year limit does not apply to President Clinton who was in office when the new law was passed.

Safe while writing

Cheney is at work on a book that is slated to appear in Spring 2011. It is the first book he has written, although he has been the subject of numerous tomes, several of them unfriendly.

In June, Cheney told the Associated Press that, “I am persuaded there are a lot of interesting stories that ought to be told. I want my grandkids, 20 or 30 years from now, to be able to read it and understand what I did and why I did it.” Before his service as vice president, Cheney had been President Ford’s chief of staff, a member of Congress, Secretary of Defense, and chief executive of Halliburton Corporation.

The former vice president’s memoirs are being published by Simon & Schuster’s Threshold Editions brand. Mary Matalin, a long-time Republican strategist and Cheney friend, is editor in chief of Thresholds. She is married to Democratic strategist James Carville.

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