By that time, W. had belatedly realized that Cheney was a crank whose bad advice and disdainful rants against “the diplomatic path” and “multilateral action” had pretty much ruined his presidency.
There were few times before the bitter end that W. was willing to stand up to Vice.
I'm remembering that "W." had pretty much the same reaction to appointing John Bolton to be our UN Ambassador, standing with him and against his many critics and finally realizing and lamenting that "I spent political capital for him." No, 'fraid to say my sympathy for G.W. Bush could barely fill a thimble.
Cheney was the one who struggled for months with the Department of Justice over the warrantless surveillance program. Bush was finally informed that officials from the DOJ were prepared to resign as a group over the program's blatant illegality, but he had to do a lot of frantic catch-up because Cheney had kept him completely in the dark about it. Even the President's National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, and the President's Counter-Terrorism Adviser, Frances Townsend, had very little information about the program.
Former General and Secretary of State Colin Powell is unimpressed with Cheney's "Heads will explode" statement, comparing it to a statement one might find in a supermarket tabloid. Lawrence Wilkerson denies that the Bush Administration continued torturing suspects after the Abu Ghraib photos came out. Gee, if Cheney's favored methods of getting information was so amazingly successful, then why did the Bush Administration feel so free to so completely discard such methods?
Unsurprising update: Condoleezza Rice strongly disagrees that she "tearfully" said anything to Cheney at any time. That description from Cheney struck me as wishful-thinking, after-the-fact revisionism the moment I heard it.