To Follow the Worms

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Dick Cheney - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2004 by World Economic Forum.

By David Glenn Cox

The easiest way to spot a liar is that liars always
over-embellish their case. They can’t just leave it at, "It was that
way when I got here." No, they will continue to color the edges with
frills. "I just walked in the room to get a cup of coffee and when I
turned around I found it broken on the floor."

The former Vice President has taken up the mantle for his former
boss, a man who is now too busy collecting cash to worry about the
legacy of his regime. The former President is more comfortable in his
new world, and its demands are more attuned to his academic abilities.
So he rests comfortably and counts his cash. Ah, but Mr. Cheney is not
so predisposed. While the other Bush minions have scurried away like
vermin when the kitchen light comes on, Mr. Cheney stands his ground to
defend the indefensible. To try again for the umpteenth million time to
make a case long discredited by simply repeating the same, tired lies
verbatim.

"I focused on those challenges day to day, mostly free from the
usual political distractions. I had the advantage of being a vice
president content with my responsibilities I had and going about my
work with no higher ambition."

This is from the third paragraph and the first two paragraphs were
thank yous and introductions. Mr. Cheney’s tenure was marked by
political distractions; he was the administration’s enforcer, its hit
man. He had no higher ambition because he needed none; he was the
Machiavellian power behind the throne. It is as if every word out of
Cheney’s mouth was either a lie, a defensive reflex or redirecting
blame. His speech on foreign policy is, in fact, a speech in defense of
Dick Cheney.

"The point is not to look backward. Now and for years to come, a lot
rides on our president's understanding of the security policies that
preceded him. And whatever choices he makes concerning the defense of
the country, those choices should not be based on slogans and campaign
rhetoric, but on a truthful telling of history."

Gee boss, the bank has been robbed and the crooks are gone but the
point is not to look backward. A president’s got to understand that it
only looks like a crime because he wasn’t there; so you should just
trust us that what we told you was the truth. You should not
investigate possible crimes based on campaign promises made to
investigate possible crimes. That should be clear, they claim they had
good reasons for what they did so Mr. Cheney’s assurances should be
investigation enough.

"Our administration always faced its share of criticism. From some
quarters, it was always intense. That was especially so in the later
years of our term, when the dangers were as serious as ever, but the
sense of general alarm after September 11th was a fading memory.

Part of our responsibility, as we saw it, was not to forget the
terrible harm that had been done to America and not to let 9/11 become
the prelude to something much bigger and far worse.

It would appear at first glance that there would be no need to
explain this statement, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11,
9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11,
9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11. Got
that? Yes, 9/11 was the sword and shield of the Bush-Cheney
administration; it is almost as if they didn’t exist before 9/11. Mr.
Cheney's Energy Task Force had met in March of 2001 and the contents of
those discussions still remains a state secret. However, information
leaked in 2003 states that discussions centered on Middle East oil
reserves and that maps of Iraq oil fields and future oil fields were
posted on the walls with American oil company names drawn upon them.

"That attack itself was, of course, the most devastating strike in a
series of terrorist plots carried out against America at home and
abroad. In 1993, terrorists bombed the World Trade Center, hoping to
bring down the towers from a blast down below. The attacks continued in
1995, with the bombing of U.S. facilities in Riyadh; the killing of
servicemen at Khobar Towers in '96; the attack on our embassies in East
Africa in 1998; the murder of American sailors on the USS Cole in 2000;
and then, of course, the hijackings of 9/11, and all the grief and loss
that we suffered on that day. 9/11 caused everyone to take a serious
second look at threats that had been gathering for a while and enemies
whose plans were getting bolder and more sophisticated."

The attack was the best thing that ever happened for the Bush
administration; all the resistance to their plans was eliminated. The
attack on the Pentagon, which from a terrorist point of view would be
pretty stupid, gave them the power they needed. Why waste an airliner
on a military target rather than a terror or emotional target? Why not
the Capitol? Why not the White House? Why not the Indian Point nuclear
power facility? Yet, from a strategic standpoint, an attack on a US
military installation was vital. The Twin Towers were private property,
under local law enforcement jurisdiction; to attack the Pentagon made
it war, worthy of a full military response.

The administration went on a full-blown campaign trying to tie
Saddam Hussein and Iraq to the attack. They made laughable claims, "I
don’t want the next smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud." Claims of
robot planes loaded with biological weapons and balloon-filling trucks
explained as mobile biological weapons labs, yellow cake uranium,
secret terrorist cells. If Mr. Cheney wants to talk history he should
take care for it will convict him and not vindicate him. It was as if
they were waiting for something like this to happen; the Patriot Act
and other fascist-inspired legislation were quickly pushed through a
cowed and doe-eyed Congress within weeks.

"9/11 made necessary a shift of policy, aimed at a clear strategic
threat: what the Congress called an unusual and extraordinary threat to
the national security and foreign policy of the United States. From
that moment forward, instead of merely preparing to round up the
suspects and count the victims after the next attack, we were
determined to prevent attacks in the first place."

Not since the Reichstag fire has there been such a "necessary a
shift of policy." It is interesting here that Cheney blames his
predecessors and gives his administration a free pass. "From that
moment forward, instead of merely preparing to round up the suspects
and count the victims after the next attack, we were determined to
prevent attacks in the first place." But they are exactly the ones who
failed to prevent the attacks; they had reduced the terrorism czar to a
subcabinet-level position. They ignored his reports and when the czar
went over the heads of his superiors, Donald Rumsfeld told him that he
didn’t want to hear any more about it.

"Everyone expected a follow-on attack, and it was our job to stop
it. We didn't know what was coming next, but everything we did know in
that autumn of 2001 looked bad.

This was the world in which al-Qaida was seeking nuclear technology
and A.Q. Khan was selling nuclear technology on the black market. We
had the anthrax attack from an unknown source. We had the training
camps in Afghanistan and dictators like Saddam Hussein with known ties
to Mideast terrorists."

"Everyone expected a follow-on attack." Everyone? Who is everyone?
Have you ever been sucker punched twice? Were there two Pearl Harbors?
We didn’t know and we didn’t know but it looked bad, so let's invade
the wrong country. The country that we knew had nothing to do with
terrorism or 9/11. The country with the world's second largest known
oil reserves, the one where we had those maps on the wall divvying up
their oil fields to American oil companies, but okay Dick, prattle on.

"For me, one of the defining experiences was the morning of 9/11
itself. As you might recall, I was in my office in the West Wing in
that first hour, when radar caught sight of an airliner heading toward
the White House at 500 miles per hour. That was Flight 77, the one that
ended up hitting the Pentagon.

With the plane still inbound, Secret Service agents came into my
office and said we had to leave now. A few moments later, I found
myself in a fortified White House command post somewhere down below.

There in the bunker came the reports and the images that so many
Americans remember from that day: word of the crash in Pennsylvania,
the final phone calls from hijacked planes, the final horror for those
who jumped to their death to escape being burned alive."

Dick thinks he is a hero and that horror inflicted upon innocents
justifies more horror inflicted on more innocents, but Roger Waters
said it far better than I can:

Sitting in the bunker,
Here behind my wall,
Waiting for the worms to come. ( worms to come. )
In perfect isolation,
Here behind my wall,
Waiting for the worms to come. ( worms to come. )

Waiting, to cut out the deadwood.
Waiting, to clean up the city.
Waiting, to follow the worms.
Waiting, to put on a black shirt.
Waiting, to weed out the weaklings.
Waiting, to smash in their windows and kick in their doors.
Waiting, for the final solution to strengthen the strain.
Waiting, to follow the worms.
Waiting, to turn on the showers and fire the ovens.
Waiting, for the queers and the coons and the reds and the jews.
Waiting, to follow the worms.

"So we're left to draw one of two conclusions, and here is the great
dividing line in our current debate over national security. You can
look at the facts and conclude that the comprehensive strategy has
worked and therefore needs to be continued as vigilantly as ever. Or
you can look at the same set of facts and conclude that 9/11 was a
one-off event, coordinated, devastating, but also unique and not
sufficient to justify a sustained wartime effort."

Or there is a third possibility, that an evil Machiavellian
sociopath reached the highest level of government and used and
manipulated events and situations to his advantage. The evidence is
there and it is as damning as it is incontrovertible. The Energy Task
Force, The Project for a New American Century, it’s all spelled out and
it explains fully why an old man speaks when he should know to remain
silent. Mr. Cheney, history will bury you!

"How now? A rat? Dead, for a ducat, dead!"

(Photo from World Economic Forum)