Cheney Watch - Update 3

Sunday, December 21, 2008 7:06 AM

From my “Cheney Watch” memo of Friday, November 5th...

"In the wake of the Obama landslide on Tuesday, my main concern from now until the inauguration in January is Dick Cheney, the CEO and éminence grise of the Bush Administration. Aside from Cheney starting a full-scale war with Iran, my concern is for preservation of the historical record of the past eight years, specifically matters relating to the hijacking of the Executive Branch of the USG by the so-called "neocons". This hijacking began pre-9/11 and was finalized by 9/11.... 

"Not for vindictive reasons, but for the sake of the country and honesty, the workings of Cheney-Bush Administration, aka The Cheney Regency, should be thoroughly reviewed and investigated. To do this, the records of its CEO would have to be safeguarded--not so much as evidence in a prosecution for malfeasance and criminal conspiracy, but in order that historians can try to figure out what the hell has been going on inside the worst Presidency in U.S. history."

Now comes this item (below) from the AP in the Washington Post of last Thursday. Cheney now proclaims that he alone will determine which documents will be deposited with the National Archives. Forget G.W. Bush, Jr., in whose Administration Cheney has been serving as the nominal #2 man, and to which presumably the 1978 Presidential Records Act applies. Could not Bush simply instruct Cheney to turn over his V.P. records to the Archives, as the law states? Of course he could, but if he did that, he (Bush) would blow his own cover.

Understand the significance of what is taking place here. Cheney has been the de facto CEO of the G.W. Administration. Bush Jr. is a straw man, a front, a near nullity. The Bush Jr. official presidential records will constitute the cover story, the public face of these past eight years, whereas Cheney's records would constitute the behind-the-scenes reality of that same period, the actual story of what happened and why. Clearly, it is not in Cheney's or Bush Jr.'s interest to let the real story of malfeasance and chicanery see the light of day.


On another matter, aside from the physical resemblance, why do I bracket Henry Kissinger with master fraudster Bernard Madoff? For starters, they have both been secretive, avuncular, beyond reproach or investigation, presumed geniuses in their field and oozing confidence. To boot, they are lookalikes.

Note what Dick Cheney told Bob Woodward in 2005 and what Woodward reported in his book State of Denial: “I probably talk to Henry Kissinger more than I talk to anybody else. He just comes by and I guess at least once a month, Scooter [Libby] and I sit down with him.” The Regent went on to confide in Woodward that, “The president also met privately with Kissinger every couple of months, making the former secretary the most regular and frequent outside adviser to Bush on foreign affairs.” This is detailed in my essay "The Kissinger Connection" of May 2007 and the “The Kissinger Pardon” of July 2007. Also see "The Once and Future Kissinger" in New York Magazine of November 2006. Does anybody think that HK would be meeting with Cheney and Bush on a regular basis after the invasion of Iraq, but not before? It makes sense that he would be in contact throughout.

Does anybody think, in retrospect, that the invasion of Iraq, the entire enterprise of Iraq, was not a 24-carat scam? Aside from Pearl Harbor, it may have been the greatest foreign policy scam of all time, based on the costs and consequences. That should be clear now. For those who recognized the fraud from the start, they invariably blamed "the neocons" who were embedded inside the POTUS 43 Administration, especially at the Pentagon and in "the office of the Vice-President". Dubious characters like Scooter Libby, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith and David Wurmser.

It seems to me, however, based upon State of Denial, that Kissinger must have played a central role from the shadows in the Iraq scam, while letting the "neocon" upstarts take the lead out front as well as the credit. There could be a written record of Kissinger's advice to the White House and of his meetings with the Regent and with the nincompoop-in-chief during the run-up to the Iraq invasion and afterwards. We may never know unless Cheney's records are preserved. 


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Cheney claims power to decide his public records

The Associated Press
Thursday, December 18, 2008; 7:41 PM

WASHINGTON -- Dick Cheney's lawyers are asserting that the vice president alone has the authority to determine which records, if any, from his tenure will be handed over to the National Archives when he leaves office in January.

That claim is in federal court documents asking that a lawsuit over the records be dismissed. Cheney leaves office Jan. 20, potentially taking with him millions of records that might otherwise become public record.

"The vice president alone may determine what constitutes vice presidential records or personal records, how his records will be created, maintained, managed and disposed, and are all actions that are committed to his discretion by law," according to a court filing by Cheney's office with the U.S. District Court on Dec. 8.

Cheney is being sued by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a government watchdog group that is trying to ensure that no presidential records are destroyed or handled in a way that makes them unavailable to the public.

The 1978 Presidential Records Act requires all presidential and vice presidential records to be transferred to the National Archives immediately upon the end of the president's last term of office and gives the archivist responsibility to preserve and control access to presidential records. The law ended the tradition of private ownership of presidential papers, opening White House records to the public and historians.

But the law carves out exceptions for personal or purely partisan records.

National Archives officials have said records of Cheney's dealings with the Republican National Committee would not require preservation under the law. As of November, it had not made a final determination on the status of Cheney's records produced when he acts as president of the Senate, which he says are exempt.

But the law is unclear on how disagreements will be decided about the preservation of disputed records, said Steven Aftergood, a government secrecy expert at the Federation of American Scientists.

"Decisions that are made in the next couple of weeks may prove irrevocable. If records are held from the archivist now they may never be recovered," Aftergood said. A judge in September ordered Cheney to preserve all his records while the suit continued.

© 2008 The Associated Press