Conflicts, Confrontations, Commentaries And Nasty Disclosures.
Just A Note: Gen. McChrystal Could Well End Up Like McArthur…Fired!!!
n four years of researching and writing about Guantánamo, I have become used to uncovering shocking information, but for sheer cynicism, I am struggling to think of anything that compares to the revelations contained in the unclassified ruling in the habeas corpus petition of Fouad al-Rabiah, a Kuwaiti prisoner whose release was ordered last week by *Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly (PDF). In the ruling, to put it bluntly, it was revealed that the US government tortured an innocent man to extract false confessions and then threatened him until he obligingly repeated those lies as though they were the truth. (* Ed….Excellent Judge!!!)
The Background: Lies Hidden In Plain Sight For Five Years
To establish the background to this story, it is necessary for me to return to my initial response to the ruling a week last Friday, before these revelations had been made public, when, based on what I knew of the case from the publicly available documents, I explained that I was disappointed that the Obama administration had pursued a case against al-Rabiah, alleging that he was a fundraiser for Osama bin Laden and had run a supply depot for al-Qaeda in Afghanistan’s Tora Bora mountains, for two particular reasons.
The first was because a CIA analyst had interviewed al-Rabiah at Guantánamo in the summer of 2002 and had concluded that he was an innocent man caught at the wrong time and in the wrong place; and the second was because, although al-Rabiah had said that he had met bin Laden and had been present in the Tora Bora mountains, he had provided an innocent explanation for both occurrences. He had, he said, been introduced to bin Laden on a trip to Afghanistan to investigate proposals for a humanitarian aid mission, and he had been at Tora Bora — and compelled to man a supply depot — because he was one of numerous civilians caught up with soldiers of al-Qaeda and the Taliban as he tried to flee the chaos of Afghanistan for Pakistan, and had been compelled to run the depot by a senior figure in al-Qaeda.
These appeared to be valid explanations, especially as al-Rabiah, a 42-year old father of four children, had no history of any involvement with militancy or terrorism, and had, instead, spent 20 years at a management desk job at Kuwait Airways, and had an ownership interest in some health clubs. Moreover, he had a history of legitimate refugee relief work, having taken a six-month approved leave of absence from work in 1994-95 to do relief work in Bosnia, having visited Kosovo with the Kuwaiti Red Crescent in 1998, and having made a trip to Bangladesh in 2000 to delivery kidney dialysis fluid to a hospital in the capital, Dhaka.
As a result, it appeared to me a week last Friday that Judge Kollar-Kotelly granted al-Rabiah’s habeas petition because neither his meeting with bin Laden nor his presence in Tora Bora indicated that he was either a member of, or had supported al-Qaeda or the Taliban.
However, now that Judge Kollar-Kotelly’s ruling has been issued, I realize that the account given by al-Rabiah during his Combatant Status Review Tribunal at Guantánamo in 2004 — on which I based my account of his activities — was a tissue of lies, and that the truth, hidden for over six years, is that, like torture victims groomed for show trials throughout the centuries, he made up false stories under torture, and repeated them obediently, fearing further punishment and having been convinced that he would never leave Guantánamo by any other means.
An introduction to the torture revelations, and an endorsement of al-Rabiah’s explanations about his time in Afghanistan
In her ruling, Judge Kollar-Kotelly methodically dissected the government’s case to reveal the chilling truth. After noting, initially, that the “evidentiary record” was “surprisingly bare,” because the government “has withdrawn its reliance on most of the evidence and allegations that were once asserted against al-Rabiah, and now relies almost exclusively on al-Rabiah’s ‘confessions’ to certain conduct,” she added, with a palpable sense of disbelief:
Not only did al-Rabiah’s interrogators repeatedly conclude that these same confessions were not believable — which al-Rabiah’s counsel attributes to abuse and coercion, some of which is supported by the record — but it is also undisputed that al-Rabiah confessed to information that his interrogators obtained from either alleged eyewitnesses who are not credible and as to whom the Government has now largely withdrawn any reliance, or from sources that never even existed … If there exists a basis for al-Rabiah’s indefinite detention, it most certainly has not been presented to this Court….
Recently many individuals and groups have started talking about another civil war in America. These people are not just from one ideology nor are they from obscure fringe groups. State Governors and elected representatives are some of the people calling for open warfare in America. As a soldier I was sent to combat zones in Iraq and Kosovo where open civil war was happening. I am writing this because American civilians have no idea what open warfare is. Before someone makes the first move and starts something that cannot be undone I think we all need to know what life would be like in our hometowns in the event of war.
To start with civil war would not be between two well defined groups. There would be no less than three groups in any one area and dozens in some areas. The federal government would be the third party in any armed conflict. At the beginning of civil war there would be martial law. The federal government would actively kill and imprison all persons not a member of the armed forces that participated in combat. Because of the degradation of our constitution the federal government no longer has any legal restraints. The President, whomever that person may be, has dictatorial powers because of such things as directive 51.
For those who think they would join any side in a civil war know this: When your enemies find out who you are everyone you know and care about would be in danger. All non combatants would also be in danger of death. Your enemies will kill everyone connected to you. This means you mom working at the local grocery store, your sons and daughters at grade school, or your grandparents at their home would all be targets for assassination. Before picking up arms to solve our problems remember that you will be putting all the people you know at risk of death.
Do not think that civil war would be limited to rifles. The only thing America actually produces is weapons of mass destruction. This includes mortars, grenades, rockets, land mines and the deadliest chemical weapons on the planet. We also have the world's largest stockpile of nuclear weapons. This means when your mom goes to work your enemies will bomb and mortar the building she works in. Your child's school will have the same fate. Know that if you survive any length of time you will see everyone you know die if there is civil war.
Some State Governors think they can simply secede from the union without bloodshed. This is a ridiculous delusion. If a state legislation does this there would be instant civil war. On every military installation across the globe American soldiers would kill each other overnight. Post commanders would have to detainee and execute all those not aligned with their own ideology. This means if your post commander is a republican all those soldiers known to be liberals would be executed. Liberal commanders would do the same to republicans.
The next thing to think about is the duration of the conflict. Simply put you will never see the end of it. If you live out your normal life and die of old age you will still not see the end of civil war. In the event of civil war America would never recover. There would never again be a union of 50 states. Instead, our descendants would have several different nations just like Western Europe does.
Let us not forget our large stockpile of nuclear weapons. How long would it take for a conservative faction to nuke San Francisco or Seattle? How long would it take a mentally disturbed liberal to nuke parts of Texas and Alaska? Scarred and war weary soldiers will use whatever weapons they have at hand. So if you still want civil war in America remember that we have several hundred nuclear weapons to play with.
My whole point of this is that if you want to fix America then start restoring the things that made America in the first place. These things are the Constitution and the rule of law. There is no such thing as a unified people. We are all different from one another. The only thing that makes any nation is a constitution. The only civil society is the one that recognizes universal human rights. The only free nation is the one that obeys the rule of law. If you really want to fix America restore these things. This means voting.
(Ed. Note: should anything happen to Obama; Civil War Is Inevitable!)
[JURIST] An Israeli cabinet minister canceled a trip to the UK out of concern that he would be arrested for war crimes allegedly committed during his tenure as the Israeli military's chief of staff, a foreign affairs spokesperson said Monday. Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon[official profile] decided to call off the scheduled trip to attend a fundraising event for the Jewish National Fund [advocacy website] after legal advisers from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) [official website] said that he may be arrested over his involvement in a 2002 airstrike that killed Hamas leader Salah Shehadeh and 14 civilians. Israeli officials are concerned about the possibility of being charged with war crimes in foreign countries based on the theory of universal jurisdiction [AI backgrounder], which allows a country to prosecute serious crimes against humanity no matter where the activity takes place. A spokesperson for Yaalon said he made the decision not to travel [Guardian report] in order to avoid going along with anti-Israeli propaganda.
Last week, Palestinian officials attempted [Jerusalem Post report] to have Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak [official profile, in Hebrew] arrested on charges of war crimes while he was in Britain for a meeting with UK government leaders. The Palestinians submitted a court petition seeking the arrest of Barak for his involvement in Operation Cast Lead [Global Security Backgrounder] in the Gaza strip earlier this year. A British court rejected the petition, saying Barak was a state guest and not subject to such proceedings. In 2006, the MFA warned [JURIST report] top Israeli military officials that inflammatory statements some made about the conflict with Lebanon, such as advocating the bombing of villages that housed Hezbollah rebels, could lead to war crimes prosecutions abroad, the Israeli Army Radio reported Monday. Several Israeli Defense Forces [official website] generals opted not to take trips to Europe because they feared being arrested on war crimes charges. Israeli officials have said that government officials should enjoy immunity from prosecution but there is concern that military leaders, especially retired officials, could be subject to prosecution.
By AMY TEIBEL (AP)
JERUSALEM — The Israeli government and military have retained high-powered international lawyers and set up a joint task force to fend off attempts by Palestinians and their supporters to try Israeli officials on war crimes charges abroad.
For nearly a decade, activists have turned to courts outside Israel in an effort to try Israeli political and military officials outside the jurisdiction of their own courts. While none of the attempts has succeeded, they could intensify further after a U.N. report accusing the Israeli military of committing war crimes during its devastating offensive in the Gaza Strip in December and January.
In a sign of what could lie ahead, British activists this week attempted to have Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak arrested on war crimes charges for his role in the Gaza war. A court rejected the request.
Concerned that government officials and military officers traveling abroad could face war crimes charges, an interministerial team joined by legal experts from the military is in place to protect officials and officers involved in Israeli military operations, a government official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter with the media.
The U.N. report accused Israel of using excessive force and endangering civilians. Some 1,400 Palestinians were killed in the offensive, most of them civilians, according to Palestinian officials and human rights groups. Thirteen Israelis were also killed, nine of them civilians who died from Palestinian rocket fire.
Israel has rejected all war crimes allegations. It says most of the dead in Gaza were armed militants, and says civilians were hurt because Hamas fighters took cover in residential areas.
So far, the cases abroad have invoked the principle of universal jurisdiction, which argues that some crimes are so serious that their alleged perpetrators can be tried outside their own states.
Still, each case has to be addressed individually because legal systems vary from country to country. The Israeli task force has a battery of lawyers in place abroad to help them deal with specific cases as they arise, the government official said. The task force was first assembled years ago to deal with charges related to Israeli military operations in the West Bank and Gaza but could be forced to spring into action if new cases arise.
In Barak's case, he has diplomatic immunity from arrest as a senior government minister.
The defense minister is head of Israel's Labor Party and he had traveled to Britain to attend the annual conference of that country's Labour Party. Tipped off to his visit, two Palestinian human rights groups put together a case against him. Barak termed the attempt "absurd."
It was the latest in a string of attempts by Palestinian activists to target Israeli leaders and military commanders with war crimes allegations.
In 2001, activists tried to bring then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to trial in Belgium in connection with a 1982 massacre in two Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. The case was dismissed after changes in Belgian law.
In 2005, retired Israeli Gen. Doron Almog stayed aboard a plane at London's Heathrow airport and returned to Israel after he was tipped off that police were outside to arrest him in connection with operations carried out in 2002, when he was commander of the Israeli army in Gaza.
Earlier this year, a Spanish court shelved a judge's investigation of seven current or former Israeli officials involved in a Gaza airstrike that killed a Hamas militant and 14 civilians. The court sided with prosecutors who said Spain lacked jurisdiction.
Activists have also sought to arrest another defense minister and two former Israeli military chiefs in Britain and, in one case, New Zealand. Fear of arrest also led a Cabinet minister to turn down an invitation to visit Britain in 2005 and prompted a former Gaza commander to cancel plans to study in Britain.
By BEN HUBBARD (AP)
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas drew scathing criticism at home Friday for his decision to suspend a campaign to have Israeli officials prosecuted for war crimes over last winter's military offensive against Hamas in Gaza.
Abbas' reversal came under heavy U.S. pressure and means no further international action is likely for at least six months.
At issue is a recent U.N. report that alleges both Israel and Hamas committed war crimes in three weeks of fighting.
The 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council had been expected to vote this week on a resolution to refer the report to the U.N. General Assembly, moving one step closer to possible prosecutions.
However, the Palestinians agreed Friday to drop their support for the resolution after intense U.S. lobbying. With the Palestinians out of the picture, the council's Arab and Muslim states followed suit. A vote was delayed until March, meaning the report will now lie dormant while the global body decides what, if anything, to do with it.
In Gaza, the Islamic militant Hamas branded political rival Abbas and members of his West Bank government as traitors.
"This ... represents a betrayal of the Palestinian cause and confirms the extent of the collaboration between Abbas and his aides with the Zionist enemy, against the Palestinian people," said Hamas lawmaker Mushir al-Masri.
The West Bank-based human rights group Al Haq said Abbas has failed to stand up for his people.
Abbas aide Nimr Hamad defended the move as a mere delay, to allow more time to gather support for the report, written by respected jurist Richard Goldstone. "The report wasn't withdrawn," said Hamad. "It's still there."…
Devastating Report Documents Israeli Crimes Against Civilians in ...
The Goldstone report has been denounced in Israeli and ignored by the US press, unless you count the NY Daily News, which called it a blood libel against.
War On You: Breaking Alternative News - http://waronyou.com/
Obama Finds GOP Support on Healthcare Outside Beltway
With congressional Republicans defying him on healthcare, President Obama is trolling for prominent GOP officials and independents outside Washington who ...
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I’ve been busting my brain trying to figure out what it is about this Administration that has so many people pissed off. Racism can’t be the whole story, though I’m sure it plays some part. I can’t believe that the GOP or special interests have conspired to create this situation. It seems more like they’re riding it, not guiding it. The gun fanatics and tea baggers and birthers are actually INVENTING reasons to complain. The President has not even mentioned “gun control” or “amnesty”, but he’s accused of planning for it. They’re sure he wants to raise their taxes; contrary to anything he says or does. They buy into, repeat and refuse to reconsider the most outlandish misrepresentations. Why?
It occurred to me of late that there is a significant thread in the tapestry of President Obama’s agenda that hasn’t been examined closely. It appears in his health care reform outlines when he promises to help cover costs by eliminating fraud and waste in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. It appears in his plans for the financial industry, which involve new and improved regulations and reformed regulatory agencies. It’s sure to appear in the debate over immigration when we ask how it is that millions of people live in the U.S. illegally in spite of clear rules, and how to correct that. And it is the unspoken subtext to his promise to make government more effective and efficient, not just bigger. How many times has he talked about a new era of personal responsibility?
The thread has a simple title: EFFECTIVE LAW ENFORCEMENT.
Picture, if you will, a frontier town out west with a sheriff who has looked the other way for years while the land barons, outlaws and drifters have had it their own way hereabouts. They’ve kept him supplied with whisky and women while ignoring the laws he’s supposed to enforce, profiting handsomely at the expense of the common folk.
Well, things get out of hand, people complain to the Territorial Governor, who fires the sheriff and his deputies and appoints a new one. The new guy is an idealist, very smart and brave, good with a gun; his deputies are behind him 100%. Some of the outlaws put up a front at first, but soon clear out. The drifters play it cool, fading into the background, while the barons shake the new man’s hand and promise to play by the rules while opening up lines of communication to the Governor.
The regular folks are pleased as punch at first, but they soon realize that the new sheriff means to hold EVERYBODY to the law, not just the bad guys. “Mend your fences, clean out your privies regular, control your animals and send your kids to the schoolmarm. That schoolmarm better be teachin’ right, too, ‘cause that’s the law. Barkeep: make sure your saloon is clean. Blacksmith: Safety first.”
Be careful what you wish for. “He who has never sinned… “
I wonder how many readers here have fudged a little bit on their tax returns?
How many, at some point in their lives, have collected unemployment for a few weeks while pretending to look for work?
How many have managed to drive without auto insurance for a while?
How many blessed with excellent health have avoided the expense of health insurance their entire lives? The reform bills under consideration in Congress aim to change all that. How does it make you feel?
And how many have elderly parents with a little too much money in the bank to qualify for Medicare. What do you do? If you take steps to correct that, you are defrauding the government. Watch out. The new sheriff will be looking for you.
Perhaps it’s not a question of enhancing fairness in our society. It’s a question of changing the BOUNDRIES OF ENFORCEMENT that people are afraid of. We’re used to what we can get away with, and maybe a lot of people are worried that the new deputies in town will reach down far enough to draw some brighter lines, catching some ordinary folks who KNOW they’ve been cheating the system.
I think we can agree that advantage taking -- “gaming the system” -- is a common occurrence, to say the least. Would it be fair to say that we are a nation of scofflaws, or that we live in a scofflaw world? If prices are regulated, black markets arise. If campaign finance rules are adjusted, players find ways around them. If tax loopholes are closed, accountants search for new ones. And if we’re far enough down the pecking order, we mostly count on flying under the radar in any case.
It’s human nature, and history is rich with examples. Remember Prohibition?
The recent tragic news of a murdered census taker makes some sense in this light. The poor victim was not an armed game warden or ATF agent. But he was WORKING FOR THE GUV’MINT! A FED! Some ignorant savage decided a census taker was no better than a cop. They had something to hide, perhaps, and the census is no less than an attempt to keep tabs and deny their right to… something. During the days of bootlegging, the enemy was the "revenooer". Are we regressing to the days of Jim Crow in more ways than one?
Reconsider the outcome of the Somali pirate drama back in April. And what about Obama’s cool dispatch of a pesky fly during an interview back in June. The first made his supporters swell with pride. The second made us laugh out loud. But maybe… just maybe… some folks are not so much IMPRESSED with such displays of competence as they are INTIMIDATED. The perplexingly negative response to the President’s address to the nation’s school children might have been an expression of this unease. Perhaps his articulate displays of intelligence, good humor and capacity – the things we admire most in him – are prone to provoking a disquieting fear in others. Do some citizens PREFER clumsy, indifferent leadership? Does it make them feel more secure as they go about cheating the system?
This is not to say that there’s anything reasoned and rational about this response. Much of it is subliminal, insensible. But that just makes it more apt in explaining the town hall shouting and ludicrous references to Nazis and Commies. We invent targets for our anger when we can’t identify or admit to what it is we’re REALLY afraid of.
Historians have suggested there is a vein of mistrust for intellectuals in the American electorate. My theory is that Obama is provoking that mistrust in a big way by being too savvy and sophisticated. I’ve suggested that his constancy in addressing the public on all the important issues we face is consistent with good leadership, but I couldn’t fathom the unreasoning populist backlash. My scofflaw hypothesis can’t be the whole story, of course, but I wonder if it plays a part in popular resistance to the change he has promised.
At the risk of offending those who consider themselves pure and law-abiding, I venture to say that everyone sins now and again. The President is calling us out. But lots of people might be bothered by evidence that the new sheriff is a capable man, good with a gun. Maybe too good…
KEEPING AN EYE ON NEWT!
Newt Gingrich: Americans Must Fight Hostility to Christianity Growing in Schools
A virulent hostility toward religion is threatening the very fabric of American liberty and prosperity: That's the alarm former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista, are sounding in their thought-provoking new documentary, “Rediscovering God in America II: Our Heritage."
In an exclusive Newsmax.TV interview, the former House speaker contends that American culture has been marked by "a steady increase in hostility to religion over the last 70 or 80 years, in ways that are a profound challenge, both to Western Civilization and to America as we know it."
Christianity appears to be the primary target of the attacks, Gingrich says.
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Gingrich says, "When you look at efforts to drive the cross off of public lands, efforts to drive [out] Nativity scenes. . . there are a number of places in America now where there is a great bias in favor of teaching children about Islam than there is about Christianity. You actually have schools today that will have a class on Islam but refuse to have a class on Christianity. I'll let you decide whether that's a bias."
With top-drawer cinematography complementing the real story of democracy's birth pangs, the DVD manages to avoid sounding the drumbeat of religiosity or politics.
"What we try to do is really put America in a historic setting," says Gingrich, himself a former college history professor. "These movies are not theological, they're not ideological."
The new DVD takes off where Gingrich's New York Times best-selling book “Rediscovering God in America” and its companion DVD by the same name left off.
That earlier effort presented a walking tour of the nation's capital. Much to the ire of hard-core secularists intent on driving faith out of the public square, it documented the Judeo-Christian underpinnings of the nation that are so clearly evident in the tableau of monuments, memorials, and federal buildings seen throughout Washington, D.C.
The new DVD uses the same concepts and techniques. But this time, they follow the birth of democracy across the entire United States, from the spot where the first English settlers landed near Jamestown in 1607, to the cradles of liberty in Philadelphia and Boston, to George Washington's Mount Vernon plantation manse on the shores of the Potomac, to the Gettysburg battlefield where Lincoln honored the men who gave "the last full measure of devotion," and pledged "that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom."
The narrative begins with the landing of the first permanent English settlers in 1607.
Speaker Gingrich explains: "Rediscovering God in America II: Our Heritage begins with the first English-speaking settlers at Cape Henry, Virginia raising a cross, and thanking God for getting them across the Atlantic — their very first act.
"I would challenge any viewer to go check your child's textbook, and see whether or not that is in the textbook at the beginning of English-speaking colonization," he says.
"Our very basic document, the Declaration of Independence, said that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," Gingrich says. "Yet how many schools today teach children what 'our Creator' means, and why our Founding Fathers wrote that?"
Highlights of the DVD include:
The struggles of many religions to find a home on America's shores. "We do talk about the various religious groups that settled in early America," wife and DVD co-host Callista Gingrich tells Newsmax. "The Catholics did have a difficult time because the Church of England had no time for them initially. They lived in Maryland and Philadelphia, and we do talk about that in our movie."
The historical impact of pacifist Quaker and Pennsylvania founder William Penn. "Quakerism was a very different sect at that time," Newt Gingrich says. "It was Protestant, but it was very different from the other sects. In fact, the first generation of Quakers had no hierarchical structure at all. And that was seen by all the traditional churches, particularly the hierarchical churches like the Church of England and the Catholic Church, as a very strange and radical doctrine. Penn actually went to Pennsylvania — Penn's wood as it was called — to seek religious refuge. And many Americans did: It's amazing how many Americans came to this country seeking the right to worship God in their own way."
The influence of Christianity on the American Revolution. "I think the whole sense of religious belief led them to be prepared to stand separately from the British Empire," the former House speaker, often mentioned as a leading GOP presidential candidate, tells Newsmax. "It was very telling to me for example that when you see the famous scene where Patrick Henry says, 'As for me, give me liberty or give me death,' he's actually speaking in a church in Richmond, because that's where people came. In that period, it was very common to have public meetings in churches."
The enduring effect of America's great revivals. Speaking of the Second Great Awakening that began in the 1790s, which spread evangelical Christianity across the nation, Gingrich says: "It represents a very uniquely American dedication to God," Newt Gingrich says. "This has been historically a country of people who really do believe in a Supreme Being, who really do believe in the importance of religion in their lives and that culture, and overwhelmingly — much more than in Europe — we remained a country dedicated to the idea that our rights come from God, and that we have obligations to God."
Produced in association with David N. Bossie's Citizens United Productions, “Rediscovering God in America II: Our Heritage” brings to mind the words: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. . . "
The American Revolution also involved a revolutionary change in man's relationship to Providence, Gingrich suggests.
"It becomes very clear they relied very heavily on God, and consistently praised God for their survival and their freedom," says the former Georgia congressman.
The Gingriches tell Newsmax that America's Judeo-Christian traditions are in danger of being redacted from its textbooks and media.
"You see it everywhere," Callista says. "You see it in our schools, which refuse to teach accurately the role of God in America. You see it in some of the media, who refuse to cover our religious heritage. And you see it in many of our courts, who have real contempt for God in the public square."
The good news, Newt says, is that America remains a place where revivals can occur — religious as well as political.
"Citizens can complain to their congressmen," he says. "They can replace the congressmen, if they don't get it. They can insist on changing the courts. The American people in the end are sovereign. They have every right to take back power, and to insist on changes in things that are fundamentally destroying America."
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Mary Cheney, the former vice president’s daughter, and her long-time partner, Heather Poe, are expecting their second child, a source close to the family told True/Slant. [Ed. Note: Since publishing this piece, Cheney has confirmed that she and Poe are expecting their second child in mid- to late November.]
Cheney has worked as a principal at Navigators Global, a bi-partisan communications firm, but recently announced that she would be leaving the company for maternity leave and to begin a new consulting firm with her sister, Liz. Close friends were informed that she was expecting a second child about four months ago and she is now visibly showing her pregnancy, the source says.
Cheney, a lesbian, attracted much attention from the conservative movement when she announced she was pregnant with her first child in late 2006. Social conservative pundit and founder of Focus on the Family, James Dobson, penned a controversial op-ed for Time magazine called “Two Mommies Is One Too Many,” opining Cheney’s decision to start a family:
With all due respect to Cheney and her partner, Heather Poe, the majority of more than 30 years of social-science evidence indicates that children do best on every measure of well-being when raised by their married mother and father. That is not to say Cheney and Poe will not love their child. But love alone is not enough to guarantee healthy growth and development. The two most loving women in the world cannot provide a daddy for a little boy–any more than the two most loving men can be complete role models for a little girl.
Despite her sexuality, Cheney has remained a conservative voice and supporter of her father’s campaigns, though she has all but disappeared from the public view since 2004 — even staying silent on the Bush Administration’s Federal Marriage Amendment to the chagrin of gay rights groups.
The same can’t be said for Liz Cheney, Mary’s sister, who has become a central media figure for Republicans since 2008, and famously defended the “birther” movement on Larry King earlier this summer. As the GOP looks for new standard-bearers in the post Bush-Cheney era, Liz Cheney has been promoted as potential party leader , and many have hypothesized about her possible run for office.
During the 2004 presidential election, the Cheney family battened down the hatches on discussions of Mary’s sexuality. In his debate with then vice-presidential candidate John Edwards, Dick Cheney icily ignored Edwards’ comments about his daughter being gay. When Mary announced her first pregnancy in 2006, Cheney issued a brief statement on his excitement at being a grandfather.
It’s anyone’s guess how Mary’s burgeoning alternative family and Liz’s burgeoning conservative political career will reconcile themselves in the coming years.
By thomas unger (about the author) Page 1 of 1 page(s)
For OpEdNews: thomas unger - Writer
Six-Foot Four Inches, an eighth of a ton, lump-jawed, glowering, menacing and with a hint of elfin twinkle in the eyes. Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson is on the job.
Sticking it to the Republicans as no one else has been able or willing to do in recent memory.
On the floor of the House last week using charts on an easel, Republican Style, accusing the Republican Health Care Reform Obstructionists of negligent homicide in the deaths of over 40,000 Americans per year who would be alive if only they had been covered by Health Insurance.
He must have hit a very healthy nerve because oh how the little piggies did squeal! Rep. Tom Price of “Geowjiah” proclaimed an apology was due the People's House for such a vicious and undeserved attack; likening it to his Republican Colleague's outburst at President Obama, for which HE apologized... Actually he didn't.
Rep. Joe Wilson apologized over the phone in a private call to a White House Staffer, not to President Obama, and never apologized to his Congressional Colleagues for embarrassing them and the Body for his rude and unprecedented outburst in the midst of a live broadcast, prime time, during a Presidential Speech to a Joint Session of Congress. Rep. Grayson's comments were broadcast only by C-Span, around midnight, to, essentially no one, except EXTREME political junkies and insomniacs.
The Right-Wing Echo Chamber picked up the banner and ran with it labeling Grayson's presentation “unprecedented” and “groundless”. Interesting charges considering several Republicans had recently accused non-existent “Death Panels” and “Medical Rationing” within the Democratic Reform Plans would result in seniors and others being essentially sent to an early grave. Grayson also cited as the source of his statistics a recently released Harvard Study, not a Health Insurance Wholly-Owned Subsidiary (Lewan Group) organization.
Appearing again on the House floor in response to the demand for an apology, Grayson promptly poked his finger into the OTHER Republican eye by apologizing, not to the House, but to the American People, for CONGRESS not doing more, sooner, to provide healthcare for all Americans, thereby allowing untold thousands of unnecessary deaths.
It is worth noting that Grayson, a first-term congressman from Orlando, Florida (somehow fittingly, home to Disney World) is a Harvard educated Attorney, a successful businessman and one of the wealthiest men in either Body of Congress; having acquired a net worth of over 31 Million Dollars WITHOUT the assistance of Congressional connections.
Having lived at death's door throughout his childhood, needing continuous medical care, Grayson has learned the difference between genuine concerns and unfounded fear. He attributes his survival to adulthood to the health insurance provided his family during those early years through his father's union membership at the workplace.
With a backstory like his, an impeccable set of credentials and total financial freedom from a need for special interest dollars, Grayson is looking more and more like the Republican's worst nightmare. Did I forget to mention, he also seems impervious to the disapproval of his peers?
The Cherry on Top is the fact that Grayson is chock full of charisma.
A totally likable “Bull in the China Shop” with a toothy grin and a ready wit. Light years distant from Senate Leader Reid, who propounds with all the enthusiasm of a man desperately fighting sleep; or House Mom Pelosi, whose diffident chirping is barely audible over the hum of camcorders.
Whether Grayson turns out to be a flash in the pan or a guiding light is a story yet to be told but either way, I'm glad I was around to witness one of the very first chapters.