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kskiska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-04 10:57 PM
Original message
WP: Cheney Is a Silent Partner No Longer
Increased Visibility Intended to Bolster Bush's Image

Monday, January 26, 2004; Page A01

ROME, Jan. 25 -- Vice President Cheney, administration man of mystery, is suddenly everywhere.

After two years of barely speaking to reporters aside from rare appearances on NBC's "Meet the Press," Cheney has given eight interviews in the past month.

After taking just one foreign trip during his first three years in office, he is in the middle of a five-day swing through Switzerland and Rome.

This morning, the reclusive vice president even allowed journalists to photograph him sightseeing. Instead of Cheney's usual silence, he remarked on his "beautiful walk through Rome" as he breezed past the press pack at the Villa Borghese, a 17th-century estate that is now an art museum.

Republican officials said Cheney's new visibility, which is likely to increase as his reelection race heats up, is partly the result of strategists' determination that his long silences had helped make him a punching bag for Democrats and a lightning rod for criticism of President Bush over secrecy, corporate connections and reliance on unproven intelligence.

"The theory is that the criticism is gratuitous and that we shouldn't just accept the story line provided by the enemy," said a GOP official familiar with the strategy. "They're going to write about you anyway, so why not be part of the process?"

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ewagner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-04 11:02 PM
Response to Original message
1. More public appearances
will only make him more of a punching bag.

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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-04 11:02 PM
Response to Original message
2. The criticism is gratuitous? Geez, well, if you say so.
Others may beg to differ.


After Cheney graduated from high school, Tom Stroock, a local oilman who was impressed by the young man, arranged his entrance and full scholarship to Yale. After four semesters, Cheney's grades were so bad, the university asked him to leave. David Nicholas, who has known Cheney since junior high school and who went to Harvard, thinks part of the problem was that the Casper schools had not prepared the boys for Ivy League academics. "We were competing with kids who went to Andover and Exeter, and they knew what it was all about," Nicholas observes. What's more, say those who knew Cheney then, he spent more time "in the bend-your-elbow club," as a former Yalie puts it, than in the library. Cheney hung out with his cohort on the freshman football team, stayed up late playing cards and drinking beer. "Dick wasn't big on studying," remembers Jacob Plotkin, one of his roommates.

Cheney got a union job laying power lines in the blue-collar town of Rock Springs, Wyo. He stayed in constant touch with Lynne, who was in college in Colorado; he had had to endure teasing from Plotkin for writing her almost daily from Yale. On occasion, he drank too mucha practice that led to two DUI arrests within a year. Cheney told Nicholas years later that the arrests motivated him to get his career on track. In addition, Lynne, according to Stroock, "was firm that she did not want to spend the rest of her life married to a lineman."

Lynne persuaded Cheney to go back to school. This time, he started small, enrolling in Casper College for a semester, then transferred to the University of Wyoming in Laramie, where he majored in political science.


Cheney, who avoided military service in Vietnam with education and then marriage deferments, arrived in Washington for the first time in 1968 as a University of Wisconsin graduate student on a fellowship.


June 3, 1997
Project for a New American Century
Statement of Principles


Our aim is to remind Americans of these lessons and to draw their consequences for today. Here are four consequences:

  • we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global
    responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future;

  • we need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values;

  • we need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad;

  • we need to accept responsibility for America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.

Such a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity may not be fashionable today. But it is necessary if the United States is to build on the successes of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness in the next.


Elliott Abrams, Gary Bauer, William J. Bennett, Jeb Bush
Dick Cheney, Eliot A. Cohen, Midge Decter, Paula Dobriansky, Steve Forbes
Aaron Friedberg, Francis Fukuyama, Frank Gaffney, Fred C. Ikle
Donald Kagan, Zalmay Khalilzad, I. Lewis Libby, Norman Podhoretz
Dan Quayle, Peter W. Rodman, Stephen P. Rosen, Henry S. Rowen
Donald Rumsfeld, Vin Weber, George Weigel, Paul Wolfowitz


President Bush showed little interest in policy discussions in his first two years in the White House, leading Cabinet meetings "like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people," former Treasury secretary Paul H. O'Neill says in an upcoming book on the Bush White House.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ /

O'Neill sounds an alarm against an unfit president who lacks "credibility with his most senior officials," behind whom looms a dark "puppeteer," as O'Neill calls Cheney, and a closed cabal. "A strict code of personal fealty to Bush -- animated by the embrace of a few unquestioned ideologues -- seemed to be in collision with a faith in the broader ideals of honest inquiry."


So, what does O'Neill reveal? According to the book, ideology and electoral politics so dominated the domestic-policy process during his tenure that it was often impossible to have a rational exchange of ideas. The incurious President was so opaque on some important issues that top Cabinet officials were left guessing his mind even after face-to-face meetings. Cheney is portrayed as an unstoppable force, unbowed by inconvenient facts as he drives Administration policy toward his goals.


But O'Neill thought it should have been the end. After 9/11 and the war in Afghanistan, the budget deficit was growing. So at a meeting with the vice president after the mid-term elections in 2002, Suskind writes that O'Neill argued against a second round of tax cuts.

Cheney, at this moment, shows his hand, says Suskind. He says, You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter. We won the mid-term elections, this is our due. O'Neill is speechless.

<snip>The former treasury secretary accuses Vice President Dick Cheney of not being an honest broker, but, with a handful of others, part of "a praetorian guard that encircled the president" to block out contrary views. "This is the way Dick likes it," says ONeill.


Project for a New American Century
Letter to President Clinton on Iraq

January 26, 1998

<snip>Given the magnitude of the threat, the current policy, which depends for its success upon the steadfastness of our coalition partners and upon the cooperation of Saddam Hussein, is dangerously inadequate. The only acceptable strategy is one that eliminates the possibility that Iraq will be able to use or threaten to use weapons of mass destruction. In the near term, this means a willingness to undertake military action as diplomacy is clearly failing. In the long term, it means removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power. That now needs to become the aim of American foreign policy.


Elliott Abrams, Richard L. Armitage, William J. Bennett,
Jeffrey Bergner, John Bolton, Paula Dobriansky
Francis Fukuyama, Robert Kagan, Zalmay Khalilzad
William Kristol, Richard Perle, Peter W. Rodman
Donald Rumsfeld, William Schneider, Jr., Vin Weber
Paul Wolfowitz, R. James Woolsey, Robert B. Zoellick


And what happened at President Bush's very first National Security Council meeting is one of O'Neill's most startling revelations.

From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go, says ONeill, who adds that going after Saddam was topic "A" 10 days after the inauguration - eight months before Sept. 11.

<snip>He got briefing materials under this cover sheet. There are memos. One of them marked, secret, says, Plan for post-Saddam Iraq," adds Suskind, who says that they discussed an occupation of Iraq in January and February of 2001.

Based on his interviews with O'Neill and several other officials at the meetings, Suskind writes that the planning envisioned peacekeeping troops, war crimes tribunals, and even divvying up Iraq's oil wealth.

He obtained one Pentagon document, dated March 5, 2001, and entitled "Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield contracts," which includes a map of potential areas for exploration.

It talks about contractors around the world from, you know, 30-40 countries. And which ones have what intentions, says Suskind. On oil in Iraq.


Cheney raised the alarm about Iraq's nuclear menace three times in August. He was far ahead of the president's public line. Only Bush and Cheney know, one senior policy official said, "whether Cheney was trying to push the president or they had decided to play good cop, bad cop."

On Aug. 7, Cheney volunteered in a question-and-answer session at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, speaking of Hussein, that "left to his own devices, it's the judgment of many of us that in the not-too-distant future, he will acquire nuclear weapons." On Aug. 26, he described Hussein as a "sworn enemy of our country" who constituted a "mortal threat" to the United States. He foresaw a time in which Hussein could "subject the United States or any other nation to nuclear blackmail."

"We now know that Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons," he said. "Among other sources, we've gotten this from firsthand testimony from defectors, including Saddam's own son-in-law."

That was a reference to Hussein Kamel, who had managed Iraq's special weapons programs before defecting in 1995 to Jordan. But Saddam Hussein lured Kamel back to Iraq, and he was killed in February 1996, so Kamel could not have sourced what U.S. officials "now know."

And Kamel's testimony, after defecting, was the reverse of Cheney's description. In one of many debriefings by U.S., Jordanian and U.N. officials, Kamel said on Aug. 22, 1995, that Iraq's uranium enrichment programs had not resumed after halting at the start of the Gulf War in 1991. According to notes typed for the record by U.N. arms inspector Nikita Smidovich, Kamel acknowledged efforts to design three different warheads, "but not now, before the Gulf War."


Cheney Energy Task Force Documents Detail Iraqi Oil Industry
Friday, July 18, 2003

WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force appeared to have some interest in early 2001 in Iraq's oil industry, including which foreign companies were pursuing business there, according to documents released Friday by a private watchdog group.

Judicial Watch (search), a conservative legal group, obtained a batch of task force-related Commerce Department papers that included a detailed map of Iraq's oil fields, terminals and pipelines as well as a list entitled "Foreign Suitors of Iraqi Oilfield Contracts."

The papers also included a detailed map of oil fields and pipelines in Saudi Arabia and in the United Arab Emirates and a list of oil and gas development projects in those two countries.

The papers were dated early March 2001, about two months before the Cheney energy task force completed and announced its report on the administration's energy needs and future energy agenda.<more>


Cheney's Home Sending Bad Vibrations
Construction Blasts Have D.C. Folks Shuddering, Speculating
Sunday, December 8, 2002; Page A01

No one in the Massachusetts Avenue Heights neighborhood of Northwest Washington knows what is going on at the house of their neighbor, the vice president of the United States.

But one thing is certain: They're tired of the daily blasting at the Naval Observatory that has shaken houses, rattled windows and knocked mirrors off the walls.

<snip>The blasts, which last three to five seconds apiece, have been going off two or three times a day -- as early as 7 a.m. and as late as 11 p.m. -- for nearly two months, residents say. But neighbors have received so little information from government officials about the top-secret project that speculation is running wild.

The leading theory: A security bunker is being built for Vice President Cheney. The second most-popular guess: The government is digging tunnels to spy on nearby embassies. In third place: A helicopter hangar is under construction.

<snip>The blasting could last eight more months, Gillard said in the letter, but the Navy has attempted to limit noise by silencing backup alerts on trucks and removing most diesel-powered electric generators from the construction site.


Shadow Government Is at Work in Secret
After Attacks, Bush Ordered 100 Officials to Bunkers Away From Capital to Ensure Federal Survival
Friday, March 1, 2002; Page A01

President Bush has dispatched a shadow government of about 100 senior civilian managers to live and work secretly outside Washington, activating for the first time long-standing plans to ensure survival of federal rule after catastrophic attack on the nation's capital.

<snip>Known internally as the COG, for "continuity of government," the administration-in-waiting is an unannounced complement to the acknowledged absence of Vice President Cheney from Washington for much of the pastfive months. Cheney's survival ensures constitutional succession, one official said, but "he can't run the country by himself." With a core group of federal managers alongside him, Cheney -- or President Bush, if available -- has the means to give effect to his orders.

<snip>According to officials with first-hand knowledge, the Bush administration conceived the move that morning as a temporary precaution, likely to last only days. But further assessment of terrorist risks persuaded the White House to remake the program as a permanent feature of "the new reality, based on what the threat looks like," a senior decisionmaker said.


Rebuilding America's Defenses
A Report of the Project for the New American Century
September 2000

In particular, we need to:

ESTABLISH FOUR CORE MISSIONS for U.S. military forces:

defend the American homeland;
fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars;
perform the constabulary duties associated with shaping the security environment in critical regions;
transform U.S. forces to exploit the revolution in military affairs;

To carry out these core missions, we need to provide sufficient force and budgetary allocations. In particular, the United States must:


DEVELOP AND DEPLOY GLOBAL MISSILE DEFENSES to defend the American homeland and
American allies, and to provide a secure basis for U.S. power projection around the world.

the way for the creation of a new military service U.S. Space Forces with the mission of
space control.


Bush Backs Goal of Flight to Moon

"The plan was put together under the direction of the National Security Council. Participants said that Vice President Dick Cheney had run several meetings and that the deputy national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, had organized many of the options. "The president didn't make these choices, but he approved them," a senior official said."



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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-04 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. Nice post Stephanie.
You should include Cheney making $24MM in profits trading with Saddam in 1998 thru foreign subsidies....against a US embargo.

I think this crowns a perfect career of using public service to make money in the private sector mixing war profiteering with treason.

Dick Cheney is the High Priest of the morally/ethically bankrupt Republican Corporate Party.
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-04 11:54 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Yes, if you have that story please post it and I'll add it to my list
That post was originally named Dick Cheney - Shadow President so those links are on that theme. I mean really, once you start looking at Dick, it's hard to stop. His crimes are boundless.
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spooky3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-04 11:03 PM
Response to Original message
3. They are getting scared.
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JoFerret Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-04 11:07 PM
Response to Original message
4. Are they getting desperate?
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0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-04 11:13 PM
Response to Original message
5. I guess a duck hunting trip with Scalia has made a new man
out of an old man.

Is Dick being the lighting rod? Or is Dick a good will ambassador now?
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Amager Donating Member (80 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-04 11:15 PM
Response to Original message
6. I don't see how more visibility would help Cheney
He doesn't make a good impression at all. He has a tin ear and donesn't speak PC - he steps on toes. He snarls. I think this will backfire.
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0rganism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-04 11:19 PM
Response to Original message
7. The more visible he is, the more our chances improve
The snarling cyborg will only make any and every Democrat look bright and shiney by comparison.
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shanti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-04 09:47 AM
Response to Reply #7
18. i believe you are right
let the light shine on that filthy cockroach, so everyone can see snarl for all he is!

there's a reason they haven't trotted him out until lately. he has ZERO charisma.
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PartyPooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-04 11:21 PM
Response to Original message
8. He's just as dumb as Dubya and twice as evil!
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Gin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-04 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Maybe Scalia told him he had "Nothing" to worry about....come out of
your hole and be pays to have friends in high places.
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stevedeshazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-04 11:40 PM
Response to Original message
11. Bring it on
Dick Cheney is the only guy I know who interviewed himself and decided he's the best man for the job.
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ScrewyRabbit Donating Member (522 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-04 02:29 AM
Response to Original message
13. Hightower said something to the effect of...
he's got a smile like a landlord that evicts old ladies. I think he's the PERFECT face of the Republican party.
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dbt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-04 05:14 AM
Response to Original message
14. Bring Out The Sneering Reptile!
Parade him far and wide, that the True Face of the Regime may be seen by churl and thrall alike!

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LeftHander Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-04 08:19 AM
Response to Original message
15. "enemy"?
Fucking Republicans have to have an "emeny" and a "war on...." for everything they do. With out an enemy they have nothing. So now anyone who opposes their twisted ideals, questions them or wishes to engage in debate is labeled "the enemy". I hope the jackass who called fellow american's the "enemy" loses his job.
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yellowcanine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-04 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. If you're not with us, you are against us.
Words of G.W. Bush - the rot begins at the top. Unnamed Gooper was just following the playbook.
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-04 09:01 AM
Response to Original message
16. "The theory is that the criticism is gratuitous"
Yes, and coming from a Republican the hypocrisy is palpable.

Join a 12-step program.
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chelaque liberal Donating Member (981 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-04 09:26 AM
Response to Original message
17. "story line provided by the ENEMY" ?????
Words of the "Uniter's" spokesperson....
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yellowcanine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-04 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. Yeah, I noticed that too.
Can you imagine the hoo ha if an aide to Dean waid that about the pubbies?
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Gin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-04 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. He saw his shadow...six more damn weeks of winter....why didn't you
stay in your hole.......fool?
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proud patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-04 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
22. well this means they must be desperate
Cheney looks like hell , I doubt it will help.

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fishnfla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-04 05:04 PM
Response to Original message
23. The puppetmaster appears
read The Price of Loyalty
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