Richard Cheney to the Box

Wednesday, March 7, 2007 12:56 AM

The article reproduced below from Capitol Hill Blue ("Cheney could die or resign in office") was posted on Monday in response to the news of the blood clot in Dick Cheney's leg, something called venous thrombosis. It is a serious condition aggravated by stress. If Cheney was under stress over the weekend, you can imagine what stress he was experiencing on Tuesday, when his right-hand man, Irving "Scooter" Libby, Esq., was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in connection with carrying out Cheney's own directives while acting as Cheney's chief of staff in the White House.

Cheney has been operating under enormous stress for years, and it can be assumed that he is taking appropriate medication for it. Cheney is responsible for the Iraq fiasco. At any rate, he bears the most responsibility in Washington. That would keep anyone awake at night. The most powerful Vice President in U.S. history and his freewheeling cabal of  embedded "neocon" agents set the stage for "Operation Iraqi Freedom" with false intelligence and lies, and then carried it out.

"Scooter" Libby was an important operative in this undertaking--as important as Paul Wolowitz, Douglas Feith and Henry Kissinger. Please understand that this project for regime change in Baghdad was a Tel Aviv covert operation from the word go, conceived at some point in the 1990's when it became evident that the murderous economic sanctions imposed on Iraq after Gulf War I would not be enough to get the job done.

G.W. Bush went along with Gulf War II enthusiastically, as did most of the U.S. Congress and a vast majority of news media pundits. It was a lovely war back then, remember? No wonder Cheney, Bush and Rove attacked Ambassador Joe Wilson and his wife, CIA operative Valerie Plame, in the aftermath of that fraudulent war. Wilson was a skunk at their party. For the party to continue, their lies and the pivotal roll of Tel Aviv in the whole enterprise had to be kept under wraps.

It is probable that the forged document about Saddam trying to buy uranium from Niger--the forgotten centerpiece of the controversy--was the work of the Mossad. Tel Aviv is a prime suspect for that forgery, but it will be a cold day in hell before the Democrats in Congress investigate the matter. They have nothing to gain by uncovering the truth about the forgery or for exploring the larger issue of what was the real motive and impetus for war.


At this point my guess--it may be wishful thinking--is that Cheney will want to resign and get off the skyline forthwith. He has made a bloody mess of things. Why hang around? Most of the "neocons" have scattered. After all, Iraq has been destroyed, which was the  goal of the exercise insofar as Tel Aviv was concerned. Mission accomplished. There is nothing Cheney can do to rectify his "mistakes", except continue to lie about them. His wife and his doctor must be asking, "What do you need this for?" Cheney doesn't need it. He has made an additional small fortune with his Halliburton stock, due to the war. He has health problems, and he needs rest. In fact, we all need a good, long rest--from Dick Cheney. He likes to drink beer and go duck hunting. He should do that.

Actually, Cheney's exit will make Bush's inevitable pardon of Libby an easier task. At the same time Bush is pardoning Libby, he can issue a blanket pardon for all those involved in blowing the cover of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson. Naturally, that would include Cheney, the ringleader. Maybe Bush, while still an unimpeached and unconvicted President, can also legally pardon himself for all crimes associated with the Iraq war. A blanket pardon for a group of malefactors is often more palatable than a pardon for a lone, contumacious conspirator who doesn't deserve it.

The practical problem is, what happens to G.W. Bush after Cheney has left the scene? Bush was and remains a nullity. Who is going to tell Bush what to think and what to do? With no mentor for Bush on a day-to-day basis, the danger is that the policies and fiats emanating from the White House could become ever more bizarre, and Bush will appear to be even more unstable than he actually is. Who can fill Dick Cheney's shoes? That's a problem for the Republicans and George Bush, Sr.

All we can be sure of is that the enterprise of Iraq has been a colossal disaster for America, and there is nothing anybody can do about it. Thank you, Dick Cheney, G.W. Bush, Irving "Scooter" Libby, the "neocons", and all those in the U.S. Israel Lobby, in the U.S. Congress, and last but certainly not least, thank you Ariel Sharon, for making it possible. Yes, Sharon the kingpin deserves special thanks, whenever the real story comes to light--which may be never.

Cheney could resign or die in office

HAL BROWN / [Washington, D.C.] / March 5th, 2007

I think there is a reasonable chance that Vice President Cheney will either die or have to resign for health reasons. The news today is that he is being treated for a blood clot, or a deep venous thrombosis, in his leg. Such blood clots can travel into the lungs, causing what are called pulmonary embolisms. They are frequently lethal. Most people aren't aware that pulmonary embolisms are the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Cheney is extremely lucky his blood clots were diagnosed, since treatment with anticoagulant medicines like Coumadin and Plavix is usually effective. (These medicines are often erroneously called blood thinners by lay people. They don't "thin" the blood, they inhibit clotting.) Obesity, immobility and age are risk factors for these dangerous blood clots.

Other risk factors can be exacerbated by long airplane trips like the one Cheney just completed. Sitting in one place for a long time is a problem, as is lower oxygen levels in airplanes which lowers oxygen in the bloodstream. This increases the risk of clots. Another risk factor effecting Cheney is that people who have heart and circulation problems can have slower circulation.

One of the reasons doctors recommend that travelers get up and walk around every couple of hours is to prevent such clots in the legs. These clots can be very dangerous because they can come loose and move in the circulatory system through the body, especially to the lungs.

Dick Cheney does have a heart condition. He's had four heart attacks, quadruple bypass surgery, two artery-clearing angioplasty procedures, an operation to implant a pacemaker, and has been told by his doctors to keep his weight down. My observations of him suggest he is having difficult keeping those potentially lethal pounds off.

Anyone who has tried to loose twenty or thirty pound on a doctor's recommendation knows that dieting is especially difficult when you're under stress. I don't think there's anyone who doubts that the vice president is under stress. I wonder what Cheney's personal physician is telling him about how to spend the next two years. Should he remain in an incredibly high stress job or retire and take time to enjoy his family and whatever time he has left?

It may be in his best interest to retire, but would his doctor have the guts to tell him this if it is true? This being noted, the Cheney I observe would be loath to give up the last two years as the second most powerful person in the world. This decision could kill him. Whether he dies in office or resigns for health reasons, the 25th Amendment states that:

"Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress."

This would mean that President Bush would appoint a new vice president and the Congress, which of course is Democratic, would have to confirm his choice. That's both houses by a majority vote. If his choice was confirmed by a majority of one in the Senate, the House could still easily deny his choice if the Democrats had strong objections.

Most of the Republicans running for president are distancing themselves from President Bush. Would Bush choose one of them? Whoever he chooses would, if they so choose, become the Bush heir apparent to the presidency. Thus a Condoleeza Rice candicacy, if she became vice president, would be a real possibilty.

So far the mainstream news media isn't dealing with the suddenly increased possibility of Cheney having to retire or dying in office, but they need to get real. It very well could happen.

Note: I am a clinical social worker, not a physician. The medical information here comes from several reputable medical websites.

(Hal Brown is a clinical social worker and former mental health center director who is mostly retired from his private psychotherapy practice. He writes on the psychopathology of public figures and other topics that pique his interest. He can be found online at

Copyright 2007