To Follow the Worms

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


“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)

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.