Second Part of WAPO Cheney Expose Further Reinforces LaRouche Assessments
June 25, 2007 (LPAC)--On Monday, June 25, 2007, the Washington Post published the second in a four-part series of front page articles, exposing Vice President Dick Cheney as the architect of the Bush White House assault on the U.S. Constitution. The Post expose, so far, has precisely mirrored Lyndon LaRouche's longstanding assertions that Vice President Cheney has been the "Hermann Goering" of the Bush Administration, orchestrating a series of steps aimed at establishing a wartime dictatorship. In his June 21, 2007 international webcast, LaRouche had cited the recent BAE-Saudi scandal and Cheney's role in attempting to cover up the existence of an estimated $100 billion off-budget British slush fund for covert operations and illegal arms trafficking, as reason for the Vice President's immediate removal from office. In other recent public remarks, LaRouche has urged the Democratic leadership in Congress, particularly Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, to drop their blocking of a Cheney impeachment that has overwhelming public support, and has already been presented before the House of Representatives as an itemized bill of impeachment, sponsored by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH). LaRouche's June 21 observation that the Vice President is in "deep kimchee" for his failure to bury the BAE scandal, has been borne out by the Washington Post exposes, which now suggest that a larger faction within the Anglo-American Establishment has concluded that Cheney has worn out his usefulness and has become a serious liability.
In the second installment, which bears the unambiguous title, "The Unseen Path to Cruelty," the Post writes: "The vice president's unseen victories attest to traits that are often ascribed to him but are hard to demonstrate from the public record: thoroughgoing secrecy, persistence of focus, tactical flexibility in service of fixed aims and close knowledge of the power map of government. On critical decisions for more than six years, Cheney has often controlled the pivot points--tipping the outcome when he could, engineering a stalemate when he could not and reopening debates that rivals thought were resolved."
The article focuses on Cheney's central role in ripping up the Geneva Conventions against torture, and the U.S. Constitution, in pressing for the unrestricted use of Nazi-like torture techniques in the "Global War on Terrorism." Providing a detailed chronology of behind-the-scenes White House meetings, which often bypassed Cheney's Cabinet rivals, particularly former Secretary of State Colin Powell, the Post story identified the Vice President as the chief architect of the policy of "legalized" torture. "The vice president's office played a central role in shattering limits on coercion of prisoners in U.S. custody, commissioning and defending legal opinions that the Bush administration has since portrayed as the initiatives, months later, of lower-ranking officials," the Post story reported. And even after the Supreme Court and the Congress moved to roll-back some of the most egregious Cheney-ordered torture methods, the Post documented, "Cheney won far more than he lost. Many of the harsh measures he championed, and some of the broadest principles undergirding them, have survived intact but out of public view.
The June 25 story also details the secret drafting of a Presidential order, signed by George W. Bush on Feb. 7, 2002, which bypassed the Geneva Conventions and allowed U.S. interrogators to conduct interrogations using banned techniques. Though it was Bush who signed the order, it was merely a verbatim copy of the draft prepared by David Addington, Vice President Cheney's chief counsel, and now his chief of staff. Both Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice were totally bypassed and only learned of the torture policy when it was revealed in the media in June 2004. Cheney and Addington orchestrated this Presidential order, and a series of other executive actions that allowed for domestic spying, and the detention of American citizens as "enemy combatants" by utilizing a network of Cheney loyalists, who had been installed in key posts at the Justice Department and other agencies, and who took their orders directly from the Vice President and Addington, according to the Post account.
Post reporters Barton Gellman and Jo Becker, also documented in this second installment, Cheney's role in emasculating efforts by the U.S. Senate to set clear guidelines on interrogation techniques. Although the Congress passed legislation sponsored by Republican Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John Warner (R-VA), by the time it was voted on, the bill had been stripped of many restrictions, and gave the President, not the courts, final say-so over what constituted torture. Ultimately, the CIA was exempted altogether from the limitations. The Post story concluded by reporting that ultimately, Cheney asserts that the President, as commander-in-chief, has the inherent power to ignore Congress and the courts altogether, a view of "unitary executive" power derived directly from the Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt. "According to participants in the debate [over guidelines for CIA interrogation techniques--ed.], the vice president stands by the view that Bush need not honor any of the new judicial and legislative restrictions. His lawyer, they said, has recently restated Cheney's argument that when courts and Congess 'purport to' limit the commander-in-chief's war making authority, he has the constitutional prerogative to disregard them."