The Cowering of Babylon the Great According To Cheney

By Dick Cheney and Liz Cheney
Sept. 9, 2016 6:45 p.m. ET
September 11, 2001, in New York.
Fifteen years ago this Sunday, nearly 3,000 Americans were killed in the deadliest attack on the U.S. homeland in our history. A decade and a half later, we remain at war with Islamic terrorists. Winning this war will require an effort of greater scale and commitment than anything we have seen since World War II, calling on every element of our national power.
Defeating our enemies has been made significantly more difficult by the policies of Barack Obama. No American president has done more to weaken the U.S., hobble our defenses or aid our adversaries.
President Obama has been more dedicated to reducing America’s power than to defeating our enemies. He has enhanced the abilities, reach and finances of our adversaries, including the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, at the expense of our allies and our own national security. He has overseen a decline of our own military capabilities as our adversaries’ strength has grown.
Our Air Force today is the oldest and smallest it has ever been. In January 2015, then-Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno testified that the Army was as unready as it had been at any other time in its history. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert testified similarly that, “Navy readiness is at its lowest point in many years.”
Nearly half of the Marine Corps’ non-deployed units—the ones that respond to unforeseen contingencies—are suffering shortfalls, according to the commandant of the Corps, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. For the first time in decades, American supremacy in key areas can no longer be assured.
The president who came into office promising to end wars has made war more likely by diminishing America’s strength and deterrence ability. He doesn’t seem to understand that the credible threat of military force gives substance and meaning to our diplomacy. By reducing the size and strength of our forces, he has ensured that future wars will be longer, and put more American lives at risk.
Meanwhile, the threat from global terrorist organizations has grown. Nicholas Rasmussen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told the House Homeland Security Committee in July that, “As we approach 15 years since 9/11, the array of terrorist actors around the globe is broader, wider and deeper than it has been at any time since that day.” Despite Mr. Obama’s claim that ISIS has been diminished, John Brennan, Mr. Obama’s CIA director, told the Senate Intelligence Committee in June that, “Our efforts have not reduced the group’s terrorism capability or global reach.”
The president’s policies have contributed to our enemies’ advance. In his first days in office, Mr. Obama moved to take the nation off a war footing and return to the failed policies of the 1990s when terrorism was treated as a law-enforcement matter. It didn’t matter that the Enhanced Interrogation Program produced information that prevented attacks, saved American lives and, we now know, contributed to the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden. Mr. Obama ended the program, publicly revealed its techniques, and failed to put any effective terrorist-interrogation program in its place.
We are no longer interrogating terrorists in part because we are no longer capturing terrorists. Since taking office, the president has recklessly pursued his objective of closing the detention facility at Guantanamo by releasing current detainees—regardless of the likelihood they will return to the field of battle against us. Until recently, the head of recruitment for ISIS in Afghanistan and Pakistan was a former Guantanamo detainee, as is one of al Qaeda’s most senior leaders in the Arabian Peninsula.
As he released terrorists to return to the field of battle, Mr. Obama was simultaneously withdrawing American forces from Iraq and Afghanistan. He calls this policy “ending wars.” Most reasonable people recognize this approach as losing wars.
When Mr. Obama took the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2009, Iraq was stable. Following the surge ordered by President Bush, al Qaeda in Iraq had largely been defeated, as had the Shiite militias. The situation was so good that Vice President Joe Biden predicted, “Iraq will be one of the great achievements of this administration.”
Today, Iraq’s border with Syria has been erased by the most successful and dangerous terrorist organization in history. ISIS has established its “caliphate” across a large swath of territory in the heart of Syria and Iraq, from which it trains, recruits, plots and launches attacks.
On Aug. 20, 2012, Mr. Obama drew a red line making clear he would take military action if Syrian President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons. A year later, Mr. Assad launched a sarin-gas attack on his own people in the suburbs of Damascus. Mr. Obama did nothing—a failure that destroyed America’s credibility and strengthened the hand of our adversaries.
We now know that the president’s refusal to act came as the Iranians and the U.S. were engaged in secret talks about Iran’s nuclear program. In his new book, “The Iran Wars,” Wall Street Journal correspondent Jay Solomon writes that according to Iranian sources, “Tehran made it clear to the American delegation that the nuclear negotiations would be halted if the U.S. went ahead with its attack on Assad.” The Iranians were now in the driver’s seat, not just regarding their own policy in the Middle East, but in determining America’s.
President Obama and Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry were so concerned with pleasing Iran’s ruling mullahs that they were willing to overlook the American blood on Iranian hands and decades of Iran’s activities as the world’s leading state sponsor of terror. In pursuit of the nuclear deal, they made concession after dangerous concession.
Every promise made to the American people about the Obama nuclear agreement has been broken. We were promised a “world-class” verification process. Instead, the Iranians are allowed in key instances to verify themselves.
We were promised the agreement would “block every pathway” to an Iranian nuclear weapon. Instead, the Obama-Clinton agreement virtually guarantees an Iranian nuclear weapon, gives them access to the latest in centrifuge technology and will likely usher in a nuclear arms race across the Middle East.
We were promised that non-nuclear sanctions, including those that block Iran’s access to hard currency and our financial systems, would remain in place. Instead, the Obama administration has paid the mullahs at least $1.7 billion in cash, which includes at least $1.3 billion in U.S. taxpayer money, the first installment of which was ransom for the release of American hostages.
In case there is any doubt that the regime will use these funds to support terror, Iran’s parliament recently passed Article 22 of its 2016-2017 budget, mandating that all such funds be transferred directly to the Iranian military. Fifteen years after 3,000 Americans were killed by Islamic terrorists, America’s commander in chief has become the money launderer in chief for the world’s leading state sponsor of terror.
Iran isn’t the only adversary benefiting from the age of Obama. Russia is threatening NATO, invading sovereign territory, selling air-defense systems to the Iranians, using its military to defend the Assad regime, bombing American-backed rebels in Syria, and playing a larger role in the Middle East than at any time since Anwar Sadat expelled his Soviet advisers from Egypt in 1972.
Across the region, nations that previously were strong American allies are making different calculations. Russia is seen as a reliable ally standing with Mr. Assad, while the U.S. walks away from its friends. The steady stream of visitors from the Middle East to Moscow, including most recently Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is evidence of Moscow’s growing role in the region. Neither Russia nor Vladmir Putin shares America’s interests.
China is also ascendant—threatening freedom of navigation through the South China Sea and developing weapons systems that directly threaten American military superiority. North Korea represents a growing nuclear threat to the U.S. homeland. Mr. Obama’s announced pivot to Asia turned out to be hollow, further alienating our allies and emboldening our enemies in the region.
Undoing this damage will require an effort of historic proportions. Our next president must abandon Mr. Obama’s fantasy that unilaterally disarming, retreating and abandoning our allies will bring peace and security. We must begin at once to rebuild our military. This means ending sequestration and returning to a Defense Department budget built around defeating the threats to our nation. We must remedy readiness shortfalls, modernize and upgrade our nuclear arsenal, develop and build a robust missile-defense system, and invest in technologies necessary to maintain our military superiority, particularly against advances by adversaries like Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.
Among the most important lessons of 9/11 was that terrorists must be denied safe havens from which to plan and launch attacks against us. On President Obama’s watch, terrorist safe havens have expanded around the globe.
Our next president must recognize that Islamic terrorists pose an existential threat to the U.S., and must instruct the military to provide plans necessary to defeat them and deny them safe havens. These should include expanding the pace of our air campaign against ISIS, removing the onerous rules of engagement, and dedicating additional special operators and other American forces as necessary to defeat our enemies.
Winning the war against Islamic terrorists will also require that we rebuild our intelligence capabilities. Our next president should reinstate the Enhanced Interrogation Program, ensure that Guantanamo remains open so we have a facility to hold enemy combatants, and increase our intelligence activities so we can identify and disrupt plots before they are carried out.
We must make clear that we will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon or become nuclear capable. Our next president should renounce the Obama-Clinton nuclear agreement, develop a strategy in consultation with our allies in the region to address Iran’s state sponsorship of terror, and make clear that all options are on the table where Iran’s nuclear program is concerned.
We must also rebuild our relationships with allies across the globe so that we can build the coalitions necessary to defeat Islamic terrorism and restore our strength and power. This includes reinvigorating NATO and affirming America’s unshakable commitment to the most effective military alliance in history.
Generations before have met and defeated grave threats to our nation. American strength, leadership and ideals were crucial to the Allied victory in World War II and the defeat of Soviet Communism during the Cold War. It will be up to today’s generation to restore American pre-eminence so that we can defend our freedom and defeat Islamic terror.
Since World War II, America has been freedom’s defender—for ourselves and for millions around the world. We do this because our security depends upon it and because there is no other nation that can.
As Americans calculate the costs of leadership, we must remember that the costs of failing to lead—or of inaction—are much higher. Imagine a world where Russia, Iran, China and North Korea set the rules; where militant Islam spreads its evil ideology unchallenged across the globe; where parts of Europe are once again enslaved by Russia, our NATO alliance impotent; and where China achieves military superiority over the U.S. and dominates Asia and beyond.
Finally, imagine a world where the terrorists and their leading state sponsor have nuclear weapons. Fifteen years after 9/11, we can say with certainty that this is the world that will be created by withdrawal and retreat—by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s policies—if we don’t reverse course.
Mr. Cheney was U.S. vice president from 2001-09. Ms. Cheney is the Republican nominee for Wyoming’s at-large seat in the House.

The Beast of the Sea: Bush, Cheney, RUMSFELD (Revelation 13:10)

The document reveals gaps of intelligence on WMD. Why didn’t Pentagon chief share it?
By John Walcott
What Donald Rumsfeld Knew We Didn’t Know 
On September 9, 2002, as the George W. Bush administration was launching its campaign to invade Iraq, a classified report landed on the desk of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It came from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and it carried an ominous note.
Please take a look at this material as to what we don’t know about WMD,” Rumsfeld wrote to Air Force General Richard Myers. “It is big.”
The report was an inventory of what U.S. intelligence knew—or more importantly didn’t know—about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Its assessment was blunt: “We’ve struggled to estimate the unknowns. … We range from 0% to about 75% knowledge on various aspects of their program.”
Myers already knew about the report. The Joint Staff’s director for intelligence had prepared it, but Rumsfeld’s urgent tone said a great deal about how seriously the head of the Defense Department viewed the report’s potential to undermine the Bush administration’s case for war. But he never shared the eight-page report with key members of the administration such as then-Secretary of State Colin Powell or top officials at the CIA, according to multiple sources at the State Department, White House and CIA who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity. Instead, the report disappeared, and with it a potentially powerful counter-narrative to the administration’s argument that Saddam Hussein’s nuclear, chemical and biological weapons posed a grave threat to the U.S. and its allies, which was beginning to gain traction in major news outlets, led by the New York Times.
While the threat posed by a nuclear-armed Iraq was at the heart of the administration’s case for war, the JCS report conceded: “Our knowledge of the Iraqi (nuclear) weapons program is based largely—perhaps 90%—on analysis of imprecise intelligence.”
The rationale for the invasion has long since been discredited, but the JCS report, now declassified, which a former Bush administration official forwarded in December, nevertheless has implications for both sides in the 2016 presidential race, in particular the GOP candidates who are relying for foreign policy advice on some of the architects of the war, and the Democratic front-runner, who once again is coming under fire from her primary opponent for supporting the invasion.
Then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, whose military assistant was on the short list of people copied on the JCS report, is one of Jeb Bush’s foreign policy experts. Other supporters of the war, though they do not appear to have been aware of the JCS report, are involved in the various advisory roles in the 2016 campaign. John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is advising Ted Cruz; and Elliott Abrams and William Kristol are supporting Marco Rubio, whom Reuters reported is also briefed regularly by former Cheney adviser Eric Edelman.
The rise of ISIL and recent attacks in Paris and San Bernardino have given Democrat Bernie Sanders the ability to draw a straight line from the current Middle East chaos straight back to Clinton’s vote in favor of what he calls “one of the worst foreign policy blunders in the modern history of the United States,” a conflict that has claimed the lives of 4,500 Americans and some 165,000 Iraqis.
Rumsfeld was not under any legal or administrative obligation to circulate an internal DoD report, but not doing so raises questions about whether the administration withheld key information that could have undermined its case for war. Time and again, in the fall of 2002 and into early 2003, members of the administration spoke forcefully and without qualification about the threats they said Saddam Hussein posed. The JCS report undercut their assertions, and if it had been shared more widely within the administration, the debate would have been very different.
The report originated with a question from the man whose obsession with “known unknowns” became a rhetorical trademark. On August 16, 2002, Rumsfeld asked Air Force Maj. Gen. Glen Shaffer, head of the Joint Staff’s intelligence directorate, “what we don’t know (in a percentage) about the Iraqi WMD program,” according to a Sept. 5 memo from Shaffer to Myers and three other senior military officials.
On September 5, Shaffer sent Myers his findings, titled “Iraq: Status of WMD Programs.” In a note to his boss, he revealed: “We don’t know with any precision how much we don’t know.
And while the report said intelligence officials “assess Iraq is making significant progress in WMD programs,” it conceded that “large parts” of Iraq’s nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs were concealed. As a result, “Our assessments rely heavily on analytic assumptions and judgment rather than hard evidence. The evidentiary base is particularly sparse for Iraqi nuclear programs.”
What Myers said when he received the report is not known, but by September 9, it had made its way across Rumsfeld’s desk, where it elicited his terse, typed summation: “This is big.”
But it wasn’t big enough to share with Powell, who in five months would be asked to make the U.S. case for war to the United Nations. Nor was it shared with other members of the National Security Council, according to former NSC staff. An intelligence official who was close to CIA Director George Tenet said he has no recollection of the report and said he would have remembered something that important.
Did President Bush see it? Or Vice President Dick Cheney? If they did, it didn’t temper what they said in public. Cheney had already kicked off the administration’s campaign in Nashville on August 27, saying, “The Iraqi regime has in fact been very busy enhancing its capabilities in the field of chemical and biological agents. And they continue to pursue the nuclear program they began so many years ago.”
“Many of us,” he added, “are convinced that Saddam Hussein will acquire nuclear weapons fairly soon.”
This was the beginning of what White House chief of staff Andrew Card later called a campaign to “educate the public” about the threat from Iraq.
Rather than heed the JCS’s early warning — as well as similar doubts expressed by some CIA, State Department and Defense Intelligence Agency officers — and seek more reliable intelligence, Rumsfeld and Cheney turned to a parallel intelligence apparatus they created that relied largely on information from Iraqi defectors and a network of exiles led by the late Ahmed Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress.
“Mr. Hussein’s dogged insistence on pursuing his nuclear ambitions, along with what defectors described in interviews as Iraq’s push to improve and expand Baghdad’s chemical and biological arsenals, have brought Iraq and the United States to the brink of war,” the Times wrote. The piece repeatedly cited anonymous senior Bush administration officials and Iraqi defectors.
Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice cited the Times story on talk shows that Sunday morning. Rice repeated a sentiment, credited in the Times story that “The first sign of a ‘smoking gun’ … may be a mushroom cloud.”
Chalabi later described himself and his supporters as “heroes in error.” One of the people relying on those errors was President Bush himself.
A month after Rumsfeld’s note to Myers, on October 7, Bush appeared at a VFW hall in Cincinnati, where he declared without reservation: Iraq “possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons.”
Asked whether Rumsfeld had sent the cautionary intelligence report to the president, one senior member of the Joint Staff who was copied on it said he wasn’t certain, but added, “That’s the last place they would have sent it.”
The threat of Iraqi nuclear weapons was central to the administration’s effort to drum up public and political support for an invasion. “Mushroom clouds” were a leitmotif of speeches from Cheney and Rice. But the JCS report reveals the extent of the intelligence experts’ doubt and confusion on that subject:
“We think they possess a viable weapon design,” the report says, but qualified it repeatedly. “We do not know the status of enrichment capabilities”, it says, and: “We do not know with confidence the location of any nuclear-weapon-related facilities.”
No matter what aspect of Saddam’s WMD program was being discussed, the ambivalence in the report was the same. Was Iraq secretly reconstituting its biological weapons program, as Cheney had asserted in Nashville? The report’s answer: “We cannot confirm the identity of any Iraqi facilities that produce, test, fill, or store biological weapons.”
As for administration officials’ repeated claims that Iraq had mobile bioweapons plants, which in one especially colorful version were disguised as milk and yogurt trucks, the report says: “We believe Iraq has 7 mobile BW agent production plants but cannot locate them.” It summarizes the knowledge of Saddam’s germ warfare programs by saying: “Our knowledge of what biological weapons the Iraqis are able to produce is nearly complete our knowledge of how and where they are produced is nearly 90% incomplete.”
United States’ knowledge of Iraq’s chemical weapons, according to the JCS intelligence report was just as sketchy. “Our overall knowledge of the Iraqi CW program is primarily limited to infrastructure doctrine. The specific agent and facility knowledge is 60-70 percent incomplete.”
“We do not know if all the processes required to produce a weapon are in place,” the report says, adding that the Iraqis “lack the precursors for sustained nerve agent production” and “we cannot confirm the identity of any Iraqi sites that produce final chemical agent.”
This did not prevent the president from telling his audience at the Cincinnati VFW hall in October, “We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents,including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas.” He added: “And surveillance photos reveal that the regime is rebuilding facilities that it had used to produce chemical and biological weapons.”
The JCS report, however, says U.S. intelligence was unable to “confirm the identity of any Iraqi sites that produce, test, fill or store biological weapons.”
Finally, while advocates of an invasion also claimed that Iraq was developing longer range ballistic missiles capable of hitting Israel with weapons of mass destruction — Bush had made the claim before the U.N. General Assembly three days after Rumsfeld sent the report to Myers — the report says: “We doubt all processes are in place to produce longer range missiles.”
In February 2003, Powell appeared before the same body of foreign dignitaries to make the administration’s case, with CIA Director George Tenet sitting behind him:
“My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What were giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence.”
Though it is easy to conclude the report was buried because it contained inconvenient truths, the precise reason it wasn’t circulated remains unclear. It was partially declassified (eight of nine pages) in January 2011, more than eight years after it was written. Efforts to reach Rumsfeld, directly and through an intermediary, were unsuccessful. Wolfowitz, his former deputy and a major advocate of toppling Saddam Hussein according to the 9/11 Commission report, did not return calls for comment. Myers, who knew as well as anyone the significance of the report, did not distribute it beyond his immediate military colleagues and civilian boss, which a former aide said was consistent with the role of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs. The report could have been divulged in a briefing by his staff to members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, but it wasn’t, probably because none of them was aware of its existence, according to former members of that committee.
Instead, on October 1, 2002, less than a month after the JCS report, the intelligence community produced a 92-page National Intelligence Estimate, or NIE, on Iraq’s WMD programs that made no mention of the report and instead claimed in its “Key Judgments” that: “We judge that Iraq has continued its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs in defiance of UN resolutions and restrictions. Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons as well as missiles with ranges in excess of UN restrictions; if left unchecked, it probably will have a nuclear weapon within this decade.”
Later, the NIE, an unclassified summary of which was made available to reporters two days after the Top Secret report was circulated, says: “We assess that Baghdad has begun renewed production of mustard, sarin GF (cyclosarin), and VX . . . .” It adds: “We judge that all key aspects — R&D, production, and weaponization — of Iraq’s offensive BW program are active and that most elements are larger and more advanced than they were before the Gulf war. Baghdad has mobile facilities for producing bacterial and toxin BW agents.” The NIE’s red flags and dissents, and it had a number, were subtle or tucked into footnotes.
Paul Pillar, at the time the national intelligence officer for the Near East who was involved in producing the NIE, said in a phone interview that he had never seen Shaffer’s September 5 Pentagon report. When it was read to him, he called it an excellent summary of the limits of the U.S. intelligence community’s knowledge about Saddam’s WMD programs.
But just because the JCS report wasn’t seen by key officials who might have benefited from its more lcautious tone, doesn’t mean it wasn’t available for inspection. Its middling “Secret” classification meant that, in theory, nothing would have prevented sharing the report’s contents had any member of Congress requested a briefing from the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
For Clinton, then the junior senator from New York and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the new evidence of early doubts raises a different question: How might her vote have changed if she and other lawmakers had known of the report’s existence? Would she have taken it into account? The depth of her inquiry into the evidence has been called into question before. According to Her Way, a biography by New York Times reporters Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta, Jr., Clinton never read the classified NIE. Clinton has never disputed that account, but she was not alone.
The Washington Post reported on April 27, 2004, after the invasion had begun going sour, that in the fall of 2002, before the vote on whether to invade Iraq, no more than six senators and few House members had logged into the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility where they had to go to read the Top Secret estimate.

Paying For Bush & Cheney’s Sins (Revelation 13:10)

The back story to America’s disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq and what lessons they teach us today
December 28, 2015
In these early days of the current US Presidential election nominee campaign there is much tough talk and saber rattling underway among the candidates, the Chicken Hawk set in Washington, talk show pundits and various elected officials.
That, as well as a never ending stream of talk and opinion on TV’s Fox News and right-wing radio shows about “getting boots on the ground” and “getting tough” in the middle east (again) without much careful thought or public discourse (again, it seems) about the proven numerous and dire consequences to the US of those first American boots on middle east ground.
In fact, a new CNN poll says Americans are more likely to say that terrorists are “winning the war against the United States” than they have been at any point since the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Thus the current saber rattling talk is being met by a public “broadly unhappy with the nation’s progress, with nearly three-quarters of Americans saying they are not satisfied with how the war on terror is proceeding.”
That figure, following terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California this fall, is well above the previous high of 61% who said they were dissatisfied in August 2007, according to CNN.
But those who forget the hard lessons that history teaches often are doomed to repeat them.
The public premise given to the American people for the calamitous invasion was that Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction” — a claim that turned out to be untrue and based on manipulated (and often faulty) US. intelligence data that was gathered to support the then already decided upon invasion decision.
Americans were told they could face a “mushroom cloud,” if the US military did not act to change the regime in Iraq. Scare tactics. Make Americans fearful in order to garner their support for an invasion of a country on the US national credit card.
Sound at all familiar to anything happening in the US today in 2015?
In Baghdad, Iraq today, “Bombs go off on average every 12 hours (and) the awful routine that follows each bomb looks hauntingly familiar to Americans who watched the Iraq war play out on television,” CNN reported over the weekend.
Today, many politicians and would be Presidents want to send American troops back into Iraq and Syria as well. Will another American “intervention” in the middle east be any more successful than the disaster that Iraq turned out to be?
That is why, according to a CNN report Sunday, it is crucial Americans understand how the Iraq war went so terribly wrong.
What if there had been someone in 2002-2003 that could have warned us what would happen if the US. invaded Iraq?
It turns out there was one man who did that and it was long before 2003. Listen to this:
“Once you got to Iraq and took it over and took down Saddam Hussein’s government, then what are you going to put in its place? That’s a very volatile part of the world and if you take down the central government in Iraq you can easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off. It’s a quagmire.”
That is the voice of Dick Cheney in 1994 after he served as US. Secretary of Defense, predicting that Iraq would become a “quagmire” for the US should this country intervene militarily there.
But move ahead to 2003 when Dick Cheney is then Vice President in the George W. Bush administration.
Now listen to the words of Cheney as he made the rounds of the Sunday morning political talk shows on the TV networks. This is what Cheney said on the “Meet The Press” TV show:
“From the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is that we will be treated is liberators,” if America invades Iraq.
He was asked by host Tim Russert, if Cheney’s assumption was wrong and American troops were viewed as conquerors, “Do you think Americans are prepared for a long, costly and bloody battle?”
So what flipped by 180 degrees Cheney’s opinion about intervening in Iraq and why was George W. Bush so determined to go to war with Iraq?
On October 26 of this year, CNN broadcast a special news program called “The Long Road To Hell” examining this very question. On Sunday, Dec. 27, CNN re-broadcast the program.
And the answer to the question of why President Bush, Dick Cheney and then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld were hell bent on invading Iraq may surprise you.
Here is the back story.
The reason had nothing to do with the imaginary “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq
That story was simply fodder to soften America up, to get American citizens eager to support an invasion of Iraq, according to the CNN program broadcast Sunday.
The 9/11 attack on America was the key to understanding why America invaded Iraq.
The decision to invade Iraq was really made on Sept. 11, 2001, the day of the terrorist attacks in the US that brought down the World Trade Center Towers and set part of the Pentagon building on fire when a terrorist flown jet crashed into it.
That is the catalyst that changed President Bush and Dick Cheney into two people hell bent on becoming invaders in the middle east.
“911 pushed him (Bush) and Cheney into a very dark place….I think it meant for George W. Bush “I have to prove that we’re a tough guy”…I have to prove we can reshape the middle east, otherwise the rest of my administration various terrorist groups and tin pot dictators are going to take advantage of me.”
Those are the words of Richard Clarke, who was in charge of counter-terrorism in the White House on 9/11/01, as broadcast on CNN’s report Sunday.
President Bush wanted to be perceived by the world as a tough guy. Someone who could not be pushed around. Sound like any posturing that might be going on today?
Clarke says it was that very night, the night of the 9/11 attacks, when the Iraq war really began.
Clarke’s words again:
“On the night of 9/11 we all meet in the situation room in the east wing, in the bunker and Rumsfeld is there straight from the Pentagon which is still on fire at the time, and the President is there and in that conversation Rumsfeld starts talking about invading Iraq…while the Pentagon is still burning.” (Italics ours)
This is long before the United States had any inkling of who was behind the 9/11attacks. At that point it could have been anyone or any group or any nation that staged the attacks, up to and including the Crips or the Bloods, two L.A. street gangs.
Clarke again:
So while the Pentagon was still burning, “One of the most disastrous chapters in the history of American intelligence began. Building a case to go to war against Saddam Hussein,” said the CNN report.
Building a case to get “American boots on the ground” in the middle east — even though Hussein had nothing whatsoever to do with the 9/11 attacks.
“When you want to believe something, and you say to the world “give me intelligence that says this,” they will give you intelligence that says that,” said Clarke. “9/11 changed everything.”
CNN reported that information was gathered very fast, so fast that many Iraqi intelligence sources were “barely vetted.”
From then on, President Bush was riding a “powerful wave of patriotism,” says CNN. His approval ratings soared. He was John Wayne, Chuck Norris and Duane “The Rock” Johnson all rolled into one man.
How powerful was this wave of patriotism? Even journalists, who are supposed to be both skeptical about government claims and neutral in their positions, were jumping on board this amazing jingoistic juggernaut.
Then CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather – before his disgrace and downfall over a false story CBS News broadcast about President Bush – was seen on the NBC Tonight Show saying, “George Bush is the President. He makes the decisions. And, you know, this is one American…wherever he wants me to line up, just tell me where.”
Thus it was that Rather and most of the mainstream news media at that time found itself already in the bag and on board for the Bush administration’s reasons to get “boots on the ground” in the middle east.
And three months after 9/11, the US. went to war in Afghanistan against the Taliban.
Despite grim predictions from experts about what the long range consequences of US. boots on the ground in the middle east would be, the Taliban was toppled, “Boosting the Bush administration’s confidence and the nation’s trust in him,” says CNN.
“As the months went on, the rhetoric grew increasingly fightening,” reported CNN.
Over and over on TV news programs and TV and radio talk shows, President Bush and others in the administration – and most of all perhaps the pundits and anchors on the right-wing oriented Fox News – kept hammering the same theme over and over: “weapons of mass destruction,” and (implied) we must be fearful of a “mushroom cloud” (e.g., a nuclear attack on the US.) as long as Saddam remains in power.
Fear. Americans must be fearful of what will happen to them unless the US, headed by a strong, tough leader goes after and topples Saddam Hussein.
This is what was sold over and over to the American public with the news media’s help at the time.
Sound familiar to anything that is happening in America today?
“The ensuing war and dismantling of Saddam’s government plunged Iraq into chaos, resulting in years of deadly sectarian violence and the rise of al Qaeda in Iraq, a precursor of ISIS. Tens of thousands of Iraqis, more than 4,000 US. troops and 179 British service members were killed in the lengthy conflict,” reported CNN on October 26, 2015.
In May of this year CNN reported that barring a miracle, “Whoever wins the White House will become the fifth consecutive American president ensnared by a nation that has consumed trillions of US. dollars and thousands of American lives. It has also blighted a string of high-flying political careers. If the last week on the 2016 campaign trail has proved anything, it’s that American politics is still nowhere near purged of the bitter political divides of a war undertaken 12 turbulent years ago, somewhat like the Vietnam War that reverberated through successive presidencies.”
The CNN report noted that America’s “quagmire” with Iraq started under President George H.W. Bush when Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein marched into Kuwait in 1989, and much later erupted into a full-scale invasion under George W. Bush.
“And now under President Barack Obama a quarter of a century later, America’s misadventure in the fractured Middle Eastern nation has transformed into a slog against the bloodthirsty Sunni radicals of ISIS. With no end in sight,” said the CNN report.
A link to the original October 2015 CNN broadcast of the “Long Road To Hell” is below.
“In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003,” reads a description of the examination, conducted by the Center for Public Integrity and its affiliated group, the Fund for Independence in Journalism.
According to this study, Bush and seven top officials — including Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice — made 935 false statements about Iraq during those two years in a carefully orchestrated campaign of misinformation about Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. “Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion…an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.”
The study was based on a searchable database compiled of primary sources, such as official government transcripts and speeches, and secondary sources such as quotes from major media organizations.
The study says President Bush himself made 232 false statements about Iraq and former leader Saddam Hussein’s possessing weapons of mass destruction, and 28 false statements about Iraq’s links to al Qaeda.
The report also says, “It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al Qaeda.”
This view is based on multiple government reports, including those by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the 9/11 Commission and the multinational Iraq Survey Group, which reported that Hussein had suspended Iraq’s nuclear program in 1991 and made little effort to get it up and running again.
That study also calls the American news media to task, saying most media outlets didn’t do enough to investigate the claims — in other words, they did not do their jobs.
According to the report, “Some journalists — indeed, even some entire news organizations — have since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far too deferential and uncritical.”
In June of 2014 investigative journalist Charles Lewis published a book that details the many “government falsehoods” that have led us into the current quagmire that is Iraq.
The book is called “935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity.”
A video introduction to the book by the author is found here .
According to Lewis his book, “Explores the many ways truth is manipulated by governments and corporations.”
Through examples ranging from the countless lies administrations of both parties have used to justify needless wars to the successful decades-long “corporate suppression of the truth” about tobacco and other dangerous products, Lewis explains the “political, social, and business changes that have increasingly weakened the ability of journalists to play their traditional truth-telling role.”
And he describes the new trends, from the rise of nonprofit reporters to the growing numbers of “citizen journalists,” that give reason to be hopeful about the future of truth.
Lewis was a guest in 2014 on journalist Bill Moyers television program in which he said of the Iraq invasion and war:
“An outrageous thing happened. We lost $2 trillion. More than 100,000 people died. Folks are going to be maimed for life in the tens of thousands… And no one has ever acknowledged that this was a war on a lark. It was a complete war of choice, because a certain little faction wanted to do it and they orchestrated it… Did they make statements that weren’t true? The answer is yes.”
Curiously perhaps, the interview with Lewis begins with a lead-in by Moyers about, “The foresight of the legendary Lawrence of Arabia, who, after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, predicted the trap in which the West would fall attempting to interfere in the Middle East.”
According to Lewis and many others, America is still deep, deep within that trap.

HW Turns Against His Son’s Transgressions (1 Kings 15)

Bush-41 Finally Speaks on Iraq War
November 8, 2015
Exclusive: A dozen years too late, President George H.W. Bush has given voice to his doubts about the wisdom of rushing into the Iraq War, putting much of the blame on President George W. Bush’s “iron-ass” advisers, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains.
By Ray McGovern
Media reports on Jon Meacham’s biography of George H. W. Bush, the 41st President, have brought me a painful flashback to the deceptive, destructive – yet at the same time highly instructive – years 2002 and 2003, when his son George W. Bush, the 43rd President, attacked Iraq.
Reality should trump rhetoric regarding that godforsaken war – in my view the most unprincipled and consequential foreign policy blunder in U.S. history. This may be reason enough to renew focus on those years because, for many Americans, those events remain cloaked in mystery and misunderstanding.
With his candor about his eldest son, the 91-year-old Bush patriarch also has sounded what may be the death knell for the moribund campaign of his younger son Jeb to be president #45. I do not suggest that #41 did that consciously. His unusually unguarded remarks, though, will lead voters to be chary of yet another Bush, if only on the “fool me once … fool me twice” aphorism that Jeb’s big brother had trouble remembering.
Meacham’s Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush will not be available to the hoi polloi until next week. Details already reported on the critical years of 2002 and 2003, however, permit – I think, rather, dictate – some preliminary analysis, before the Karl Roves of this world create still more “new history.”
The clear and present danger of getting sucked into yet another quagmire or quicksand pool on false pretenses persists. Thus, it seems fitting and proper to review the lead-up to the unprovoked “shock and awe” on Iraq proudly launched in March 2003 by #43, egged on by Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and other white-collar thugs.
Despite the propaganda and more tangible signs of incipient war in Iraq, my former intelligence analyst colleagues and I – with considerable professional experience watching other countries prepare for aggression against others – were finding it difficult to believe that the United States of America would be doing precisely that.
Still harder was it to digest the notion that Washington would do so, absent credible evidence of any immediate threat and would “fix” intelligence to “justify” it. But that, sadly, is what happened. On March 19, 2003, U.S. “shock and awe” lit the sky over Baghdad.
A Dozen Years Later
That was more than 12 ½ years ago. That not one of the white-collar crooks responsible for the war and ensuing chaos has been held accountable is an indelible blot not only on our country, but also on international law and custom. After all, the U.S./U.K. attack on Iraq fits snugly the definition given to a “war of aggression” as defined by the post-World War II Nuremberg Tribunal. Nuremberg labeled such a war “the supreme international crime, differing from other war crimes only in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”
And the evil continued to accumulate: torture, kidnapping, black prisons, extrajudicial killing, massive invasions of privacy, and even the annulment of such basic human rights as the great writ of habeas corpus that was wrested from England’s King John 800 years ago. And, in the wake of this criminality, bedlam now reigns across large swaths of the Middle East driving millions of refugees into neighboring countries and Europe.
That the U.S. and U.K. leaders who launched the Iraq war have so far escaped apprehension and prosecution might be seen as a sad example of “victor’s justice.” But there are no victors, only victims. The reality that President George W. Bush and his co-conspirators remain unpunished makes a mockery of the commitment to the transcendent importance of evenhanded justice as expressed on Aug. 12, 1945, by Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, the chief U.S. representative at Nuremberg:
“We must make clear to the Germans that the wrong for which their fallen leaders are on trial is not that they lost the war, but that they started it.”
Maybe it is partly because I know the elder Bush personally, but it does strike me that, since we are all human, some degree of empathy might be in order. I simply cannot imagine what it must be like to be a former President with a son, also a former President, undeniably responsible for such trespass on law – for such widespread killing, injury and abject misery.
It is something of a stretch, but I have tried to put myself into the shoes of the elder Bush. In them I find myself insecure and struggling – like Jacob – before his dream about wrestling with God. The story in Genesis shows Jacob full of anxiety, despite God’s promise that God would bless his dynasty. He cannot overcome his fear and is powerless to control his fate.
Jacob is aware that he is at a pivotal juncture but he is physically spent. Alone in the wilderness facing death, he collapses into a deep sleep, only to find himself wrestling all night with God. At daybreak he awakes with an injured hip; he is disabled but his life is spared. He had come to grips with God and, in the end, receives God’s blessing of peace.
What author Meacham has written suggests to me the possibility that the sins of the son are being visited on the father, to reverse one familiar Biblical expression.
In these circumstances, the tendency to require that thugs like Cheney and Rumsfeld bear their share of the blame seems quite human. And, to his credit, Bush-41 concedes “the buck stops” at the President. But I sense him thinking – correctly, in my view – that without those two “iron-ass” advisers, things would have been quite different. The son might even have paid more heed to the experienced cautions of the father and his associates.
Sins of Omission
As the senior Bush knows, sins of omission can be as consequential as those of commission. Judging from what he is quoted as saying in Meacham’s book, it appears he decided to make a (sort-of) clean breast of things – okay, call it a Watergate-style “modified, limited hangout,” if you will. But, clearly, Bush has to be painfully aware that he was one of only a handful of people who might have been able to stop the chaos and carnage, had he spoken out publicly in real time.
He does hedge, saying for example that he still believes the attack on Iraq was the right thing to do. But this is a position he staked out years ago and, especially at 91, it may be too much to expect of him that he acknowledge the full implications of what he says elsewhere in the book about the misguided advice of “hardline” Cheney and “arrogant” Rumsfeld together with where, after all, the buck does stop.
My take is that Bush-41 has not completed his wrestle with the truth and with the guilt he may feel for failing to warn the rest of us what to expect from George, Cheney and Rumsfeld as he watched it happen. The elder Bush did use surrogates – including two of his closest and most prominent friends, James Baker, his secretary of state, and Brent Scowcroft, his national security adviser, to speak out against the war.
But here the mainstream media was of no help. Instead of weighing the merits of the strong arguments of Baker, Scowcroft and other experienced foreign policy professionals made against attacking Iraq, the media gave inordinate attention to incessant debates as to whether the seeming surrogates were actually speaking for the elder Bush.
In effect, the media was demanding what they knew Bush senior would almost certainly not do, “Speak for yourself, George H. W. Bush.” He refused to do it; he would not even comment on the critical views expressed by Baker and Scowcroft on Bush-43’s plan to attack Iraq.
Sure, it would have been hard, but at the time Bush senior was only in his late 70s, as he watched his son fall in with bad companions the dishonesty and foolishness leading up to the attack on Iraq.
With his current modified, limited hangout – especially (his richly deserved) criticism of Cheney and Rumsfeld – Bush the elder may be able to live more comfortably with himself and to get past what I believe must be his regret now over having made no public effort to stop the madness back then.
The chronology below includes some of the more important events and may help inform those who have not had the time or inclination to follow the play-by-play as Cheney and Rumsfeld played on the younger Bush’s unabashed preening as “the first war president of the 21st century.”
Keeping a Watching Brief
The elder Bush knew all too well what was happening. He also knew what his son George was capable of – not to mention the inclinations of Cheney, Rumsfeld and other white-collar criminals. To be brutally candid, it is a little late for the family patriarch to be telling us all this – while blaming the Iraq debacle mostly on Cheney and Rumsfeld, quintessentially blameworthy though they are.
Worst still, if Bush-43 is to be believed, Bush senior had guilty foreknowledge of the war-crime attack on Iraq. George W. Bush divulges this in his 2014 Virgil-style paean to his father, “41: A Portrait of My Father,” in which he arrogates to himself Aeneas-like filial devotion. (Friends more cynical than me suggest that 43’s panegyric should be construed as a benign pre-emptive move to prevent the father from blabbing to his biographer.)
In any event, Bush-43 includes the following sentences about informing his father about plans to attack Iraq: ”We both knew that this was a decision that only the president can make. We did talk about the issue, however. Over Christmas 2002, at Camp David, I did give Dad an update on our strategy.”
By that time, the die had been cast. Frankly, it is as painful as it is instructive to review the flow of key events in the summer and early fall of 2002. But I believe it may be necessary, not only to outline what Bush senior was watching, but also to pre-empt the creation of false history. Here are some selected benchmarks:
July 23, 2002: Tony Blair and his principal national security advisers are briefed at 10 Downing Street by MI-6 chief Richard Dearlove, CIA Director George Tenet’s British counterpart, three days after Dearlove met with Tenet at CIA Headquarters. A participant in the July 23 briefing prepares minutes of the meeting that same day. They are eventually leaked and published in the London Times on May 1, 2005.
The minutes quote Dearlove, Foreign Minister Jack Straw, and Attorney-General Peter Goldsmith. First Dearlove: “Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD.” [Translation: Saddam Hussein will be accused of having weapons of mass destruction that he could give to terrorists.]
“But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. … The Foreign Secretary said the case [for war] was thin. … The Attorney-General said that the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action.”
August 2002: President George W. Bush spends from August 6 to 31 clearing brush at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card sets up a White House Iraq Group (WHIG) to “educate the public” on the alleged threat from Iraq. The group includes heavy hitters like political adviser Karl Rove, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, Bush’s communications director Karen Hughes, and two officials from Dick Cheney’s entourage – Irving Lewis “Scooter” Libby, and Mary Matalin. In his memoir, Cheney notes that both Matalin and Libby “wore two hats” – serving as assistants to both Cheney and the President.
August 2002: With Bush in Crawford, there is trouble brewing for Cheney, Rumsfeld and others pushing for war on Iraq. Close associates of the elder Bush and other senior foreign policy mavens begin to speak out strongly against an attack on Iraq.
Brent Scowcroft leads off the campaign on Aug. 4 at CBS’s Face the Nation. Next up is former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger with an Aug. 12 Washington Post op-ed titled “Unilateral Attack Will Set Dangerous Precedent.” On Aug. 15, Scowcroft publishes an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal with the non-subtle title: “Don’t Attack Saddam.”
Also on Aug. 15, Lawrence Eagleburger, who served the elder Bush briefly as secretary of state, tells ABC News that unless Saddam Hussein “has his hand on a trigger that is for a weapon of mass destruction, and our intelligence is clear, I don’t know why we have to do it [attack Iraq] now.”
Then on Aug. 25, in a New York Times op-ed, Bush-41’s Secretary of State James Baker adduces, in a lawyerly but compelling way, virtually all the reasons that what Bush-43, Cheney, Rumsfeld et al. had already decided on regarding Iraq would bring disaster.
Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Nebraska, also says openly in August that Secretary of State Colin Powell and his deputy Richard Armitage had earlier advised President George W. Bush of their concerns about the risks and complexities of a military strike on Iraq.
More trouble for hawks like Cheney was brewing in the House. Republican Majority Leader Dick Armey publicly warned that an “unprovoked attack” on Iraq would be illegal, adding, “It would not be consistent with what we have been as a nation or what we should be as a nation.”
(Armey later told Michael Isikoff, during an on-the-record interview for Isikoff’s book Hubris, that he had warned President George W. Bush that war on Iraq might result in a “quagmire.” He added that, while he found questionable the intelligence presented to him in support of such a war, he would give Bush the benefit of the doubt. According to Barton Gellman, author of Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency, Cheney told Armey that Saddam Hussein’s family had direct ties to Al Qaeda and that Saddam was developing miniature nuclear weapons. Armey then voted for the war, but bitterly complained later that he had been “bullshitted” by Cheney.)
Stopping the Peace Juggernaut
With the President clearing brush and Andrew Card proceeding at what must have seemed to Cheney a dilatory pace, given the mounting opposition to war on Iraq, Cheney seized the bull by the horns, so to speak. Without a word to Secretary of State Powell or CIA Director Tenet, and not wanting to interrupt the President’s vacation, Cheney set the parameters for using “fixed” intelligence to reverse the alarming efforts toward peace.
With the apparent endorsement of Bush junior, when the President got back in town on Sept. 1, the juggernaut was redirected toward war. (One stands in awe of the unchallenged power Cheney was able to exert – even if it was, technically speaking, ad referendum the President.)
Cheney chose to include in an Aug. 26 speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Nashville extreme, unsubstantiated charges about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq that set the terms of reference for virtually all that was to follow, including, I regret to say, the National Intelligence Estimate that my former colleagues were suborned into “fixing” around the policy.
In his Aug. 26, 2002 speech, Cheney broadly warned that Saddam Hussein intends to “subject the United States to nuclear blackmail.” He continued:
“Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction [and] is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us. … What he wants is … more time to husband his resources to invest in his ongoing chemical and biological weapons program, and to gain possession of nuclear weapons.…
“Deliverable weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a terror network, or a murderous dictator, or the two working together constitutes as grave a threat as can be imagined. The risks of inaction are far greater than the risk of action. … The Iraqi regime has in fact been very busy enhancing its capabilities in the field of chemical and biological agents, and they continue to pursue the nuclear program they began so many years ago.
“Against that background, a person would be right to question any suggestion that we should just get inspectors back into Iraq, and then our worries will be over. Saddam has perfected the game of shoot and retreat, and is very skilled in the art of denial and deception. A return of inspectors would provide no assurance whatsoever of his compliance with UN resolutions.”
Colin Powell, George Tenet and others had five days, before Bush got back in town, to regain their composure after being blindsided by Cheney – time enough, apparently, to remind themselves about who it was that really had the President’s ear. There is no sign that either Powell or Tenet chose to make a federal case out of it, so to speak. Also choosing to remain silent was former the CENTCOM commander, Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, who was right there at the VFW convention.
Hear No Evil — Speak No Truth
Zinni later said he was shocked to hear Cheney’s depiction of intelligence (Iraq has WMD and is amassing them to use against us) that did not square with what he knew. Although Zinni had retired two years before, his role as consultant had enabled him to stay up to date on key intelligence findings.
“There was no solid proof that Saddam had WMD. … I heard a case being made to go to war,” Zinni told “Meet the Press” 3 ½ years later.
The question lingers: why did Zinni not go public when he first heard Cheney lie? After all, he was one of the very few credible senior officials who might have prevented a war he knew was unnecessary. A tough, widely respected Marine intimidated by a Vice President with five draft deferments? It happens. It happened.
Secretary of State Powell was also blindsided, but there is no sign he summoned the courage to voice any objections directly to the President about Cheney’s version of the threat from Iraq and what had to be done about it.
CIA Director Tenet has written that he, too, was taken completely by surprise by what Cheney said. In his memoir, Tenet added, “I had the impression that the president wasn’t any more aware than we were of what his number-two was going to say to the VFW until he said it.” But Tenet, as noted above, knew only too well that the intelligence was being “fixed,” because he was in charge of fixing it.
So for Tenet the surprise was simply one of timing – that Cheney would go out on so long a limb before Bush got back from vacation.
From Cheney’s perspective the timing was perfect. With Bush out of town, it was even easier to avoid messy fights with what Cheney considered a troublesome, unnecessary bureaucracy (he had built up his own). And with UK Prime Minister Blair coming to Camp David six days after Bush got back, it would be cumbersome enough to fine-tune and coordinate the appropriate talking points for Bush to use with Blair on Sept. 7.
And so, with the month of August seeing a phalanx of senior Bush foreign policy advisers and other experts, as well as key Congressional leaders, speaking out in a troubling way against the war, an ever decisive Cheney decided he could not abide by the proverbial maxim that Andrew Card actually let drop publicly in early September: ”From a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August.” Just to be clear, the White House chief of staff was talking about marketing war.
By the time George W. Bush got back to the Oval Office, the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) had gotten its instructions from Cheney on the strategy with which to approach Tony Blair to keep him harnessed onto the commander’s Jeep for war – with particular attention to the joint U.S.-U.K. “marketing” campaign to be launched, big time, the day after the Bush and Blair met at Camp David.
The media did a little warm-up, with the BBC reporting that President Bush had shared with Prime Minister Blair satellite photographs released by a UN agency that allegedly showed clear evidence that Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction. “I don’t know what more evidence we need,” said Mr. Bush. (There were no such photos.)
On Sunday, Sept. 8, came the opening salvo of the marketing campaign – a major propaganda blitz with all hands on deck. The WHIG had been doing its homework and was working with very accommodating media. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Richard Meyers fanned out to the talk shows right after Bush gave Blair the word at Camp David.
The hot topic was new information, apparently made available by the administration to the New York Times a day or two before, concerning “aluminum tubes,” sought by Iraq, supposedly for use in refining uranium for a nuclear weapon.
Rice claimed that the tubes were “really are only suited to — high-quality aluminum tools that are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs.” Rice acknowledged that “there will always be some uncertainty” in determining how close Iraq may be to obtaining a nuclear weapon but warned, “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.” (It turned out the tubes were actually for artillery known to be in Iraq’s inventory.)
Upon her return to the White House from CNN, she must have been awarded WHIG’s first Oscar. Cheney should have been runner-up for his Meet the Press performance accusing Saddam Hussein of moving aggressively to develop nuclear weapons to add to his stockpile of chemical and biological arms. The Vice President actually let slip the White House strategy, expressing hope that Congress would vote for war before it recessed in October (mid-term elections coming the following month).
With members fearing accusations of “softness” if they resisted President Bush’s authorization to use force, Congress voted for war. The war was on.
Also, on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2002, Rumsfeld on Face the Nation warned that inspections in Iraq would have to be intrusive enough to ensure that Saddam Hussein is disarmed. Powell told Fox News that the Bush administration believes that the best way to disarm Iraq “is with a regime change.” And Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Myers on ABC’s This Week added, “We have the forces, we have the readiness. U.S. armed forces will prevail, if called upon to strike Iraq.”
Six Months Later
A half-year later on Feb. 15, 2003, as the elder Bush watched 30 million demonstrators in 800 cities around the world marching against the war for which Bush-43 was so keen, I suspect there may have been a tinge of regret at having pulled strings to ensure young George would not have to experience war by serving in Vietnam.
Unlike his father, George W. had not the foggiest notion of what war is like, and Bush-41 can be thought to have been painfully aware of that. It may have occurred to him to belatedly apply some tough-love to 43 or to even go public in a last-ditch effort to prevent the coming catastrophe. He probably knew that it was unrealistic to expect that the likes of Scowcroft and Baker could influence 43 to change course.
But George H. W. Bush continued to say and do nothing, waiting until now – more than a dozen years after the catastrophic Iraq War was launched – to voice his objections. An unhappy ending for the patriarch of a would-be dynasty.
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He worked for George H. W. Bush when he was director of the CIA and again during the first Reagan administration when he briefed him mornings, one-on-one, with the President’s Daily Brief.

The Beast From The Sea (Revelation 13:1-10)

Vice President Dick Cheney, speaks at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Thursday, April 10, 2008, in Washington. Bush administration officials from Vice President Dick Cheney on down signed off on using harsh interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists after asking the Justice Department to endorse their legality, The Associated Press has learned. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Were There Norms Dick Cheney Wasn’t Prepared to Transgress?

George H.W. Bush tells his biographer that his secretary of defense considered using tactical nuclear weapons against Iraqi forces in the First Gulf War.

National Archives
Conor Friedersdorf Nov 5, 2015

When Dick Cheney left the vice presidency his approval rating stood at a dismal 13 percent. As it turns out, even George H.W. Bush thought that he did a bad job.

“After years of holding back, former President George Bush has finally broken his public silence about some of the key figures in his son’s administration, issuing scathing critiques of Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld,” the New York Times reported, cribbing from a Jon Meacham biography of the 41st president that will be in book stores beginning next week.
Said the newspaper:

In his interviews with Mr. Meacham, the former president returned several times to the topic of Mr. Cheney, who handled the role of vice president very differently from the way the first Mr. Bush did under Ronald Reagan. “He had his own empire there and marched to his own drummer… He just became very hard-line and very different from the Dick Cheney I knew and worked with,” Mr. Bush said. He attributed that to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. “Just iron-ass. His seeming knuckling under to the real hard-charging guys who want to fight about everything...”

He speculated that Mr. Cheney was influenced by his wife, Lynne, and his daughter Liz, both strong conservatives. “I’ve concluded that Lynne Cheney is a lot of the eminence grise here – iron-ass, tough as nails, driving,” he said. Still, he called Mr. Cheney “a good man” who pushed boundaries too far. “The big mistake that was made was letting Cheney bring in kind of his own State Department,” Mr. Bush said. “I think they overdid that. But it’s not Cheney’s fault. It’s the president’s fault.” By that, he meant his son. “The buck stops there,” the elder Mr. Bush said.

That critique of Dick Cheney is consistent with how the former vice president has been rendered by journalists like Jane Mayer and Barton Gellman, who’ve cast him as a master bureaucrat who used his insider knowledge of how the executive branch works to shape policy, sometimes without the president’s knowledge.

It is newsworthy that Bush 41 made that critique of his former secretary of defense and his son, and I’ve relayed his comments much as the New York Times journalists did, having not yet seen Jon Meacham’s biography myself. But I was most struck by something that the newspaper mentioned only in passing:

The book includes diary entries…

It reports that as defense secretary for the elder Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney commissioned a study of how many tactical nuclear weapons would be needed to take out an Iraqi Republican Guard division, if necessary.

(The answer: 17.)

Cheney’s interest in tactical nukes has been reported before, but garnered little attention, and escaped my notice.

Like Bush 41, my understanding had been that 9/11 radicalized Dick Cheney. But I’m tempted to change my view of the torture advocate if, prior to 1993, he was contemplating a first-strike use of nuclear weapons against the Iraqi army.

Did Cheney ever see a norm that he didn’t consider transgressing against?

They Worshiped The Beast (Revelation 13:4)

No one should forget the media’s role in the march to the Iraq War 
Brisbane Times

Journalists caught up in a disinformation war failed to question and even championed the case for the bloody conflict in Iraq.

George W. Bush wore a suitably sombre grey suit to deliver his “axis of evil” speech, which began laying out the case for the US invasion of Iraq. Few could have faulted his performance on that day in January 2002, just four months after the September 11 terrorist attacks. He told the applauding joint sitting of the US House of Representatives and Senate that Iraq was allied with terrorists, and posed “a grave and growing danger” to US interests through possession of “weapons of mass destruction”.
What we now know is that Bush’s performance was just that – an act. There was nothing to link Iraq to terrorism.

Yet more than 10 years later the leaders who took us to war are still in denial. Just this week former British prime minister Tony Blair issued what amounted to a non-apology as he tried to spin his way out of the trouble he expects from the findings of the Chilcot inquiry into Britain’s role in the Iraq War. But what has been forgotten is the role of many journalists who led the charge to war.
Eight months after Bush’s address with the drumbeat of war growing ever louder, The New York Times reporter Judith Miller – who often boasted the Pentagon had given her clearance to see secret information – crossed the line from journalist to pro-war activist. On September 8, 2002, Miller wrote about “Mr Hussein’s dogged insistence on pursuing his nuclear ambitions”. It was a bald statement of fact without any attribution.

The story, “US says Hussein intensified quest for A-bomb parts”, quoted not a single person by name, and relied entirely on US government sources.

Miller and The New York Times, with its uncorroborated, unquestioning reporting, had provided the perfect vehicle for the White House. Over the following 24 hours they saturated the airwaves stirring fear of a nuclear Armageddon. On NBC’s Meet the Press, vice-president Dick Cheney cited The New York Times article and accused Saddam of moving aggressively to develop nuclear weapons.
On CNN, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice acknowledged that “there will always be some uncertainty” in determining how close Iraq may be to obtaining a nuclear weapon but, in a phrase as polished as it was hollow, added: “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.” On CBS, Bush cited satellite photos that showed “unexplained construction” at Iraqi sites that weapons inspectors had previously searched for indications Saddam was trying to develop nuclear arms. “I don’t know what more evidence we need,” Bush said. The news flashed around the world that the White House had “confirmed a report in The New York Times” that Saddam Hussein had been attempting to get equipment to produce nuclear weapons.

Australian prime minister John Howard added to the misleading game, saying the intelligence that had come out of the United States “if accurate confirms the intelligence that we have been given”. The fact is it was the same intelligence that the United States had already given to Australia.
Howard made great play of the possibility that “Iraq has not abandoned her aspiration for nuclear capacity”. By suggesting The New York Times story added yet another layer of confirmation, Howard was taking part in the Australian version of the style of journalism that Miller and the White House specialised in: the story leaked to Miller and published in The New York Times had been confirmed by the very people who leaked it in the first place. Iraq’s nuclear ambitions were now accepted as fact. Even the BBC’s prestigious Panorama program, “The Case Against Saddam”, broadcast on September 23, 2002, embraced this “evidence”, suggesting Saddam was trying to get systems to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons production.

The program acted as a reinforcement of Blair’s claim that Saddam’s missiles could hit British territory in Cyprus with only 45 minutes warning.

The Panorama report formed the basis of a Four Corners broadcast two weeks later but the bald assertions of “fact” were balanced by other interviews in the ABC version, bringing a swift letter of rebuke to the program. Panorama was not happy that Four Corners had not accepted its editorial line.
While Miller had given the White House exactly what it wanted on the nuclear story, she now shared the spoils of a second report. It involved Iraqi defector Adnan Ihsan Saeed al-Haideri who told CIA interrogators that he had personally visited 20 weapons of mass destruction sites in Iraq. The fact that a CIA lie detector test showed the whole story was fabricated had little impact on what the White House wanted. Miller’s story quoting al-Haideri ran in The New York Times, while the exclusive TV rights went to a little-known Australian journalist Paul Moran who was working for the Australian ABC.

Moran was well placed to get the story. He had been employed by a CIA-funded organisation, the Washington-based Rendon Group, whose main role was to manipulate the media to support the war. The Rendon Group had even created the Iraqi National Congress, the anti-Saddam organisation which had delivered up al-Haideri to Miller. Now Moran’s al-Haideri interview, packed with disinformation and fabrication, went around the world, picked up by dozens of TV stations.

When US troops reached Baghdad, The Australian published an editorial, “Coalition of the Whining Got it Wrong”, which ended with words that gave perfect meaning to irony: “Never underestimate the power of ideology and myth – in this case anti-Americanism – to trump reality. But at least we know for sure it is not love, but being a left-wing intellectual, that means never having to say you’re sorry.”
The disinformation war claimed the reputations of many journalists who either failed to question their governments, or worse still deliberately championed the case for the invasion which led to the deaths of an estimated half a million Iraqis. There was at least one other casualty of this war created by fabricated news: Moran died in a car-bomb attack in northern Iraq.

This article contains excerpts from Andrew Fowler’s book The War on Journalism: Media Moguls, Whistleblowers and the Price of Freedom (Penguin Random House, 2015).

Fool Me Once Shame On You, Fool Me Twice Shame On Me

Dick Cheney tries to fool the public again

Early signs indicate Dick Cheney is leaning against the Iran nuclear deal.

“It is madness,” the former vice president announced Tuesday.

The results may be catastrophic,” he inveighed.

“This deal gives Tehran the means to launch a nuclear attack on the U.S. homeland.”

“The Obama-Iran deal aids the efforts of America’s enemies.”
The deal “strengthens our adversaries, threatens our allies and puts our own security at risk.”

Cheney hyperbolized, hyperventilated and gave rein to hyperactive imagination — “desperation . . . cave . . . neutered” — and the audience at the normally sedate American Enterprise Institute was riled. When Michaela Anang, a student from Boston with the liberal group Code Pink attempted to heckle the “war criminal” Cheney, Marc Thiessen, the moderator (and online columnist for The Post), leaped up to block her, audience members shouted “get out of here!” at her, and one man, in jacket and tie, engaged her in a violent tug of war to confiscate her banner.

“Thank you very much,” Cheney said with a wry grin.

Supporters of the Iran deal are probably saying the same to Cheney. They are probably more grateful still that applauding Cheney from the front row were Paul D. Wolfowitz, a principal architect of the Iraq war, and Sen. Tom Cotton, (Ark.), author of the Senate Republicans’ letter to the ayatollahs attempting to kill the deal during negotiations. In the second row were former congresswoman Michele Bachmann and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the Cheney aide whose tenure led to a prison sentence.

Surely, those who would like to see Congress undo the nuclear agreement can’t expect that rolling out Cheney is going to save the cause. When it comes to dire predictions based on scary intelligence, the former vice president wouldn’t seem to have the best track record.

Moments after Cheney’s speech came reports that the number of Senate Democrats supporting the Iran deal had climbed to 41 — more than enough to sustain a presidential veto of any congressional disapproval of the deal, and possibly enough to block such a disapproval resolution from clearing Congress. This came despite an all-out campaign by the once-feared American Israel Public Affairs Committee and its affiliates, which spent tens of millions of dollars to rally opposition; The Post called it the largest defeat for AIPAC in more than two decades. The deal’s survival also suggests Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s extraordinary meddling in American politics backfired.
And now, as if to hammer nail into coffin, comes Cheney — angrily questioning “the veracity of the president’s claims” about the deal and labeling several Obama assertions “simply false.”

A lecture on veracity and falsehood from the man who asserted before the Iraq invasion that Saddam Hussein had reconstituted nuclear weapons ? The man who said hitting Iraq would strike “a major blow right” at the base of the 9/11 terrorists? The man who claimed that Iraq had “long-established ties with al Qaeda” and that it was “pretty well confirmed” that 9/11 mastermind Mohamed Atta met with senior Iraqi intelligence officials?

Most everybody — including former president George W. Bush’s brother, presidential candidate Jeb Bush — has come to acknowledge that, given the absence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the United States should not have gone to war in 2003. But not Cheney. When Thiessen relayed a question to him about whether containment of Saddam would have been better than military action, Cheney said “I disagree.”

He unabashedly made allegations against Iran Tuesday that he once made against Iraq, citing evidence of “an agreement between the Iranian government and al Qaeda.” Echoing the old warnings about Iraq’s “mushroom cloud,” he noted that a nuclear Iran could kill 6 million Jews in a day. He acknowledged that intelligence failed to predict the North Korea nuclear test when he was in office — but only to argue that there should be “serious concern” about Obama’s claim that it would take Iran a year to produce nuclear weapons.

There should be concern about Obama’s claims — but there should be even more about Cheney’s. He said, for example, that the deal “threatens the security of Europe” without acknowledging that European powers negotiated it. Dropping his longstanding quest to expand executive power, he said Congress should have seized the authority to ratify the deal.

Cheney said it’s a “false choice” to claim the alternative to the deal is war. But he went on to say that unless Iran makes much deeper concessions, “they must understand that the United States stands ready to take military action . . . Iran will not be convinced to abandon its program peacefully unless it knows it will face military action if it refuses to do so.”

And this isn’t war? In the immortal words of George W. Bush: “You can’t get fooled again.”
Twitter: @Milbank

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CHitler Embarasses Himself On Fox (Rev 13:10)

Fox News Embarrasses Dick Cheney On Iraq And Iran

The former vice president waved off numbers that showed Iran’s nuclear capacity grew rapidly under the Bush administration.
7 hours ago | Updated 7 hours ago

Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Sunday shrugged off the rapid growth of Iran’s nuclear capacity during the Bush years, insisting that the American invasion of Iraq had curbed Iranian nuclear ambitions.

“There was military action that had an impact on the Iranians when we took down Saddam Hussein,” Cheney said on “Fox News Sunday.” “There was a period of time when they stopped their program because they were afraid what we did to Saddam we were going to do to them next.”

The invasion of Iraq in fact deeply strengthened Iran’s hand in the region, ousting a traditional enemy of Iran and installing a new government far more sympathetic to the Iranian regime. Much of Iraq has effectively functioned as a client state of Iran for years.

Fox News host Chris Wallace pointed out to Cheney that Iran had no uranium enrichment centrifuges prior to the Iraq War, but had 5,000 of them by the time Bush and Cheney left office.

Cheney waved off the statistic. “I think we did a lot to deal with the arms control problem in the Middle East,” he said.

Cheney also claimed that the Iraq invasion forced Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi to dispose of his own weapons of mass destruction — a claim that was debunked several years ago. 

In 2006, Time magazine reported that Hussein’s ouster nearly derailed lengthy nuclear negotiations with Gaddafi. American and British leaders had been pressing since the Clinton years to cut a deal with Gaddafi that would require him to dispose of weapons of mass destruction. When Hussein was toppled, Time reported, Gaddafi nearly walked away from the talks, concerned that diplomacy with the United States would make him look weak in the face of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke about the shortcomings of the invasion of Iraq on “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

“The fact of the matter is, we did it right in the first Gulf War. We had to listen to arguments for years afterwards about, ‘Why didn’t you go to Baghdad?’ And the 2003 war came along and you saw why you didn’t want to go to Baghdad,” Powell said. “We had a clear mission, clearly defined and put resources against that mission and took out the Iraqi army in Kuwait, restored the government, what we set out to do.”

“Once you pull out the top of a government, unless there’s a structure under it to give security and structure to the society, you can expect a mess,” he added.

Cheney’s comments on Iraq came amid his criticism of President Barack Obama’s recent diplomatic deal that aims to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Cheney said the U.S. is a “loser” in the pact, while the Iranian regime is “the only winner.”

Supporters of the pact have noted that economic sanctions against Iran have not curbed its nuclear capacities, and that other nations will not be willing to enforce economic levies against Iran if the U.S. abandons the deal. They argue that rejecting Obama’s agreement would leave war as the only remaining tool to deal with a potential nuclear threat.

CHitler: ‘Iraq Was Stable When We Left’

 Cheney: ‘Iraq Was Stable When We Left’
By Sandy Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 02 Sep 2015 10:25 AM
The Bush administration left Iraq “in pretty good shape,” former Vice President Dick Cheney said Wednesday, but President Barack Obama’s decision to pull troops out of the country has created a vacuum that allowed ISIS to “come onto the map.”
“The situation in Iraq was stable when we left,” Cheney told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program. “Even Barack Obama admitted that.”
The coalition government that was left behind at that time included a Sunni vice president and Sunni officers in the military ranks, Cheney said, claiming that Obama’s decision to not leave a “stay behind force” was what created the vacuum in the country, and he thinks “that was a significant problem.”
Further, Cheney said he believes the Bush administration “got it right with respect to Iraq; when we left, Iraq was in pretty good shape as a result of the surge President [George W. Bush] made.”
The former vice president also said that the world was not more stable while late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was in power, as Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi then gave up his nuclear program.
But he does not believe the United States should have worked to keep Qaddafi in power.
“The most important thing was he get rid of the nuclear materials,” said Cheney.
“Imagine what would have happened if he hadn’t done that and ISIS moved in and took over in Libya … we came very close to having a radical group acquiring nuclear capability. The fact that it didn’t, especially with respect to Libya [was] because we took down Saddam.”
Cheney was on the morning show with daughter Liz, a Fox News correspondent, as part of a media push for their new book, “Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America.”

Dick CHITLER Says Iraq War Was Right! (Rev 13:10)

Dick Cheney: ‘We were right’ to invade Iraq

09/01/15 02:43 PM
By Zachary Roth

Dick Cheney just won’t let it go.

In a new book, the former vice president mounts a furious assault against President Obama’s foreign policy, which Cheney argues has damaged American security by retreating from a position of global leadership. And Cheney takes the obligatory shot at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over the deadly attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya. But Cheney often seems more concerned with defending the disastrous foreign policy decisions of the Bush administration—from invading Iraq to the use of torture—made more than a decade ago.

In “Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America,” Cheney, writing with his daughter Liz Cheney, a former State Department official during the Bush administration, takes aim at the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran, writing it will “guarantee an Iranian nuclear arsenal.” The Cheneys insist that invading Iraq was the right call, writing “things were in good shape” in the country when Obama took office. Oh, and they suggest that National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden was probably a Russian spy.

Almost the first half of the book is devoted to defending Dick Cheney’s tarnished legacy as perhaps the most important figure in the Bush administration’s push for war in Iraq and its handling of the war on terror.

At one stage, the Cheneys write that “history will be the ultimate judge of our decision to liberate Iraq.” But just two pages later, as if unable to resist re-engaging the issue, they describe the late Iraqi president Saddam Hussein as a “grave threat to the United States” before concluding: “We were right to invade and remove him from power.”

They even insist that U.S. troops “were in fact greeted as liberators,” just as Dick Cheney predicted before the invasion—a quote that Bush administration critics have frequently hung around his neck.
The Cheneys also offer a strained rationale for why, even though Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11, the terror attacks still were a reason to invade Iraq. “[A]fter 9/11 … we had an obligation to do everything possible to prevent terrorists from gaining access to much worse weapons. Saddam’s Iraq was the most likely place for terrorists to gain access to and knowledge of such weapons.”

As for the Bush administration’s enhanced interrogation program, “it worked,” the Cheneys write. “As we pieced together intelligence about al Qaeda in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the enhanced interrogation program was one of the most effective tools we had. It saved lives and prevented attacks.”

And, they claim, it’s a “falsehood” to say that the torture that occurred at the Abu Ghraib prison “represented official policy,” or “had something to do with or was related to America’s enhanced interrogation program.”

The prison at Guantanamo Bay “was and remains safe, secure, humane and necessary,” according to the Cheneys. And people who oppose the Bush administration’s controversial warrantless wiretapping program “will be accountable for explaining to the American people why they fought to make it more difficult for the United States government to effectively track the communications—and therefore the plans—of terrorists inside the United States,” they write.
Still, the thrust of the book is an attack on Obama’s foreign policy, which, the Cheneys argue, has made the U.S. less safe by failing to wield American power around the globe.

“President Obama has departed from the bipartisan tradition going back 75 years of maintaining America’s global supremacy and leadership,” the Cheneys write, calling the idea that that “America is to blame and her power must be restrained” the “touchstone of [Obama’s] ideology.”
With the Iran nuclear deal, Obama “is gambling America’s security on the veracity of the Mullahs in Tehran,” they write, calling it a “falsehood” that the pact will prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. “The truth is the opposite,” they write. “This agreement will guarantee an Iranian nuclear arsenal.”

Indeed, the Cheneys compare the deal to the Munich agreement of 1938, a frequently used example among conservatives of the dangers of appeasement.

Hitler got Czechoslovakia,” the Cheneys write (in fact, at Munich, Hitler got the Sudetenland, an area of western Czechoslovakia mostly inhabited by German speakers). “The Mullahs in Tehran get billions of dollars and a pathway to a nuclear arsenal.”

The Cheneys also take the chance to go after Clinton on Benghazi, in an effort to reinforce questions about her character as she runs for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. They accuse her of “adopting a false narrative because it serves political purposes,” adding, “It is the difference between lying to the American people and dealing with them truthfully.”

Dick Cheney also recounts that a Pentagon official told him in a phone call that the administration’s “pivot to Asia” was “all about budgets.” From this Cheney writes: “President Obama was pretending the war on terror was over so that he wouldn’t have to continue to allocate significant military resources to the Middle East.”

“We’ll decline comment on second-hand anonymous quotes, but the President has been clear about the re-balance and its place in our national security. The re-balance to the Asia-Pacific region is based on a comprehensive assessment of long-term U.S. interests,” Defense Department spokesman William Urban told msnbc. “The security and prosperity of the United States depends on continued stability in the Asia-Pacific region, and therefore, the United States will stay fully engaged in the region to ensure that we continue to promote those interests.”

Perhaps the strangest charge in the book is the one about Snowden, the former NSA contractor who leaked a trove of classified documents before fleeing to Hong Kong, and, ultimately, Russia.
“Whether Snowden was a Russian operative at the time he stole the U.S. secrets is a subject of debate, although it is hard to conceive of his landing in Moscow as a coincidence,” the Cheneys write. Snowden has denied being a Russian spy.