for the Buck to Stop
By Sheila Samples, Axis
Flaming world, smoke spewing souls.
Spies and lies. Oh, My!
Dick Cheney knows it's just a matter of time until the buck
His penchant for secrecy borders on the schizophrenic. People
who surround him are so terrified of leaks, they don't even
talk to each other. It's easy to imagine them scurrying through
the White House halls, hugging the shadows - wide eyed with
fear - looking for new hidey-holes to stuff incriminating
papers, files, memos, and tapes that comprise the burgeoning
and ever-so-uncontrollable paper trail.
They can hear his furtive shuffling, his enraged snarls,
coming from the bowels of the shadowy bunker where he prowls
- world dominion within his sight and almost within his grasp.
He is struggling to maintain order, to plug the holes in the
political dike and to drag everything back into the murky
darkness. But with just nine months to go before the 2004
presidential election, things are going horribly wrong. And
time is running out.
This administration embarked on a course of disaster from
the day Cheney selected himself as vice president. Its various
factions are incompatible in almost every way - most of them
bound together only by a lust for war and power, and a total
disregard for human suffering.
The New World Order guys rightly think Cheney is one of
them. He is a charter member of the Project for a New American
Century (PNAC), and possesses the same maniacial obsession
to gain control of the world and all its resources.
The rabid, far-right, Bible thumping Armageddonists, led
by the likes of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, went into
throes of rapture at the coronation of George W. Bush, their
little born-again puppet who couldn't find his ass with a
road map in one hand and a compass in the other. But that
doesn't matter. With Cheney giving Bush "gravitas," and God
as Bush's co-pilot, the opportunity to nudge Biblical prophesy
back on track and headed in the final direction has been dumped
in their laps.
True Republican "believers," although not warmongers, are
eager to pay the price - in the blood of their own citizens
- for a chance to get their hands on the US Constitution,
to rework it into a national chastity belt, and to protect
America's children from conception to birth. After that, in
our new American world order, it's every kid for himself.
This amazing rag-tag gang of zealots clutch their kalideoscopic
agendae and place their entire trust in Cheney. Cheney advocates
their own Straussian belief - "those who are fit to rule are
those who realize there is no morality and that there is only
one natural right, the right of the superior to rule over
the inferior." Cheney is one of us, they whisper among themselves.
It must be so because, unfettered by any sense of morality
and wearing the mantle of executive privilege, Cheney rules
in secret, not just above - but outside - Constitutional law.
Unfortunately for Cheney, millions of Americans do not see
themselves as "inferior." They have a tendency to get really
cranky when a bunch of unelected bozos they kicked out of
power years ago sneak back in and try to rule them. Millions
more are beginning to realize that both Bush and Cheney and
those with whom they so lavishly divide the nation's spoils
are brutishly unconcerned about humanity. Right or wrong means
nothing to them - only black and white.
Americans care about the thousands of souls that have gone
up in smoke; they care about the daily maiming and slaughtering
of both Iraqi and US citizens. Americans are beginning to
realize that the slain, as well as countless others who will
surely die in Bush and Cheney's expanding war on terror, are
nothing more than flesh-and-blood entries on a Halliburton
What is the first word to pop into your mind upon hearing
"Halliburton"? Yeah. Me too. From deep within the shadows
and in treasonous secrecy, Cheney rules two empires - the
US Government, acquired in a hostile takeover, and Halliburton.
Long ago, in a more pastoral world, Cheney began laying plans
for pillaging the world's treasures. As Secretary of Defense
during the first Bush administration, he allowed Halliburton
to draw up a plan for how a private company (not Halliburton,
of course) might provide military support to US troops anywhere
in the world.
This plan, written by Halliburton for Halliburton and its
subsidiaries such as Kellog Brown & Root, resulted in no-bid
contracts for Halliburton, "cost-plus," (open-ended) contracts
for Halliburton and little or no regulation or oversight for
Halliburton. It also resulted in Halliburton getting itself
a brand new president and chief executive officer - Dick Cheney
- who slid effortlessly from the Pentagon into the high-level
Time is running out. Although most of the US media recoil
from using the "H" word and Cheney in the same sentence, British,
Australian and French media have no such qualms. These media
are reporting that Cheney is the "target of a criminal investigation"
for his role in establishing an "occult system of commissions
(bribery) during Halliburton's construction of a natural gas
complex in Nigeria."
And, a recent segment on CBS' 60 Minutes revealed that while
Cheney was Halliburton's CEO, he established "Halliburton
Products and Systems" in the Caymon Islands to get around
the pesky little law barring US companies from doing business
with Iran - a state sponsor of terrorism. An investigation
turned up no office and no employees - merely a "mail drop"
that forwarded the faux company's mail to Halliburton headquarters
in Houston. Seems that Cheney found a loophole in the law
that allowed him to provide millions of dollars of oil-field
work for Iran by setting up a foreign subsidiary - and by
using this offshore mailbox, he helped Halliburton to avoid
paying additional millions of US tax dollars.
When is enough, enough? In addition to its billions of dollars
of open-ended Iraqi contracts, Halliburton got its hands slapped
last week during a Senate Democratic Policy Committee meeting
for serving 14,000 meals and charging US taxpayers for 42,000
meals. Halliburton also recently admitted to overcharging
the Pentagon (that would be you and me) $61 million for gas
imported into Iraq from Kuwait, and two of the corporation's
employees were sacked for taking $6 million in kickbacks.
Pocket change. As Bush would say with a smirk and a shrug,
"So - what's the difference?"
Americans capable of taking a dot in each hand and putting
them together without smashing them into their foreheads know
that Cheney orchestrated the lies that dragged this nation
into war, and they know he did it for corporate profit. Cheney
and those around him who are engaged in an Iraqi corporate
feeding frenzy are in no way "superior." They are greedy,
corporate thugs who are doing irreparable damage, not only
to the United States and its citizens, but to the whole world.
Americans have a right to know if Halliburton wrote the
playbook for the bloody mess we're in - a right to know if
Enron wrote the playbook for this nation's energy policy.
They have a right to know if the 9/11 attacks, the war with
Afghanistan, the invasion of Iraq and whoever else is on Bush's
"to do" terror list, is outlined in Cheney's secret energy
meeting notes that he refuses to relinquish, even under court
But, most of all, Americans have a right to know the truth
about the lies Bush and Cheney are still out there telling
about grave and dangerous threats, mushroom clouds and WMD,
the lies that are draining the lifeblood from our democracy
and sending our uniformed men and women into the violent,
horrible maw of war. Delivering democracy and freedom Hiroshima-style
may be profitable for Halliburton and Cheney - but it doesn't
seem to be working for the rest of us.
War profiteering is treason. That's why Cheney is in too
deep to back out now. He's in a race for time. When he looks
back, he'll find to his horror that time has run out, and
the buck is gaining on him.
I aim to be there when it stops.
Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma freelance writer, a former
US Army Public Information Officer and Axis
of Logic contributing editor.