Who Really Ran Pottersville?
Thanks to the Washington Post, we now know that Dick Cheney led four briefings to lawmakers defending enhanced interrogation techniques, according to congressional and intelligence community leaders. What we don't know is who exactly was present at these meetings and what exactly was discussed, including waterboarding. All we know is that, contrary to the red-handed GOP's mantra, future House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was not present at any of them.
These revelations, if you wish to call them that, shouldn't be earthshaking. After all, Dick Cheney has been making the talk show rounds defending torture almost to the point of bringing to the soundstage a mockup of an Iron Maiden. What is curious about this article is that only once is the name "Bush" ever mentioned and that was in the beginning to give the administration's name the Bush brand. Yet Bush was curiously absent, one would be tempted to say oblivious, during all this scuttling back and forth on the part of his more industrious co-president. In fact, Senator Lindsey Graham said, "His office was ground zero. It was his office you dealt with at the end of the day."
Once again, one has to wonder: Who the hell was running the country while Don Rumsfeld was busy spicing up Bush's daily Defense Intelligence reports with Biblical quotations? Who was shaping our government's moral character while Bush was off bike riding in the Maryland woods in the middle of the day?
And who was giving torture the official Cheney seal of approval on a tour of Guantanamo Bay? None other than David Addington, Cheney's second and final chief of staff, a Frankenstein in every way imaginable and someone who actually carries around a pocket-sized version of the Constitution with him, no doubt to clean food from between his teeth.
When I first began blogging almost four and a half years ago, I didn't wholeheartedly subscribe to conspiracy theories about who was really running this government. A book had even been written advancing the idea that Dick Cheney was really the top banana. But now that we've been given just enough objective room to look back on the last eight years, it's more possible than ever to gauge Cheney's influence over the rest of the government.
It all started during Bush's 2000 campaign when HW Bush appointed Cheney the head of a vice presidential scavenger hunt. Within a few weeks, Dick Cheney chose Dick Cheney to be Bush's running mate, curtly saying he thought he was the best man for the job.
On 9/11, Dick Cheney allegedly had a life-altering moment in his bunker and proceeded to craft the response to the terrorist attacks based on his pants-pissing terror (in other words, to judge by Cheney's reaction to 9/11, the terrorists had already won). Meanwhile, Bush was sitting in a tiny chair in a Florida classroom, paralyzed with indecision for seven minutes. Rudy Giuliani became our new President pro tem for the next 24 hours.
During and after Hurricane Katrina, while Bush was helping John McCain celebrate his birthday and giving speeches in San Diego comparing the war on terror to WW II, Dick Cheney was telling power companies to divert power from hospitals and to the refineries.
Through Sy Hersh, we now know that Dick Cheney's office was also "ground zero" for channeling slush funds to three Sunni insurgent groups with the intention of fomenting sectarian civil war between Shias and Sunnis in Iran, advocated false flag missions off that country's coast and led JSOC death squads in their assassination missions all over the world.
Dick Cheney thought the OVPOTUS was a separate branch of government accountable to no one and Bush let it stand unchallenged.
We know that Cheney was directly involved in outing Valerie Plame, a covert CIA agent whose portfolio including assessing the weapons infrastructure of nations such as Iraq and Iran while Bush said he'd fire anyone who was involved then didn't even after Patrick Fitzgerald's two grand jury investigations revealed who was involved.
Prior to the invasion of Iraq on which Bush had officially yet to decide, Dick Cheney held a series of energy task force meetings behind locked doors. All we know is that Iraq's oil and natural gas fields were divvied up. We do not know to this day what was discussed or who besides Cheney had attended these meetings. But consider the re-emergence of the four Anglo-American oil companies that were kicked out by Saddam Hussein 35 years ago and then form your own conclusions about the minutes of those meetings.
Meanwhile, Bush was begging Saudi oil ministers and the King of Arabia to increase oil production and was politely laughed at and patted on the head, meaning that Dick Cheney has influenced the oil market of the Middle East more than Bush ever did.
So who really ran the United States of Potter during the past eight years? And since we now know the origin of much of America's moral putrefaction, why is Dick Cheney still an honored guest on soundstages instead of being clapped in irons and frog-marched to Holland?