Wednesday, August 31, 2011

CHENEY FEARS TRIAL AS WAR CRIMINAL; No Heads Are Exploding: Just A Growing Number Of Really Pissed Off Politicos!

CHENEY FEARS TRIAL AS WAR CRIMINAL; No Heads Are Exploding: Just A Growing Number Of Really Pissed Off Politicos!

Powell's long-time aide and chief of staff, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson told ABC news Cheney, 'Was president for all practical purposes for the first term of the Bush administration,' adding, '[He] fears being tried as a war criminal.'

The attack comes in the wake of attempts by Cheney to publicise his new book, with Powell accusing the one-time vice president of taking 'cheap shots' at the former Bush administration.

According to early reports, Cheney's forthcoming book breaks with the former administration's version of events.

But former Secretary of State Powell has dismissed Cheney's sensational claims as 'supermarket tabloid' material designed to 'pump up sales'.

He brushed off Cheney's claims that Powell tried to undercut President Bush's policies in Iraq.

He also dismissed Cheney's assertion that Powell had stood by while his former deputy leaked the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame, pointing out that the scandal eventually led to the criminal conviction of Cheney's former chief of staff Scooter Libby.

Cheney had claimed that he would make heads in Washington 'explode' with revelations including that he told George W. Bush to bomb Syria and has ‘no regrets’ about water-boarding terror suspects.

He also revealed that he prepared a secret signed resignation letter, while still in office, in case of health complications.

But Powell branded the former Vice President's promotional tag-line 'cheap' insisting: 'My head isn’t exploding and I haven’t noticed any other heads exploding in Washington DC.

'It’s the kind of headline I would have expect to come out of a gossip columnist or the kind of headline you might see one of the supermarket tabloids write.'

He added: 'Mr Cheney has had a long and distinguished career. I hope in his book that that’s what he focuses on, not these cheap shots that’s he taking at me and other members of the administration.'

Powell also criticised Cheney's approach to former colleagues. In 'In my Time', to be published later this month, he describes former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as naïve and said Colin Powell was right to resign after the 2004 election.

Might Dick Cheney Really Be Tried For War Crimes?
Christian Science Monitor
By Peter Grier, Staff writer / August 31, 2011 Is there a possibility that former Vice President Dick Cheney will be tried as a war criminal? The question arises because Lawrence Wilkerson, a former top aide to ex-Secretary of State Colin Powell, ...See all stories on this topic »

Why I Won't Read Dick Cheney's Book
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Mr. Cheney's approach to these deadly lies was to choose and interpret US intelligence to reinforce his goal, as opposed to arriving at a truth upon which to base US policy. 2) He is a killer. His deliberate actions, probably intended to get himself ...See all stories on this topic »

Taciturn Cheney Can't Stop Talking About Heart Device
USA Today
By Susan Page, USA TODAY Even in his 565-page memoir, Dick Cheney doesn't reveal much about his innermost thoughts and feelings. By H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY Former vice president Dick Cheney calls his heart pump "a great piece of equipment. ...See all stories on this topic »-
USA Today

Dick Cheney, Torture And Teshuvah
The Jewish Journal of Greater L.A.
by Aryeh Cohen Vice President Dick Cheney speaks to a crowd of service members on Balad Air Base, Iraq, March 18, 2008. Cheney was in the area visiting with service members deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. (US Air Force photo by Senior ...See all stories on this topic »-
The Jewish Journal of Greater L.A.

Cheney: U.S. Likes Texan 'Arrogance'
Dick Cheney will support the Republican nominee for president in 2012. And that's just about all he'll say about the election right now. In a Wednesday “Fox and Friends” appearance to promote his memoir, Cheney took a pass on questions about the GOP ...See all stories on this topic »
Newly Organized Progressive Coalition Challenges Corporate-Funded Tea Party ...
Between The Lines
Working with and dozens of other peace, social justice, labor and environmental groups, Rebuild the Dream organized more than 900 house meetings across the US in mid-July, where those attending selected priority issues and hammered out what ...See all stories on this topic »

The Biggest Lie Rick Perry Ever Done Told | MoveOn.Org
By Alicia
In case you were wondering where all that job creation crap came from . . .MoveOn.Org

Condoleezza Rice Rejects Cheney's 'Attack On My Integrity'
WASHINGTON Aug 31 (Reuters) - Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday she resented what she viewed as an attack on her integrity by former Vice President Dick Cheney in his just-published memoir. Speaking in an interview with ...
See all stories on this topic »

Shadow Government: Cheney's Unfortunate Legacy For Conservatives
Foreign Policy
It's incredibly discouraging to see former US Vice President Dick Cheney vituperatively reopen disputes from George W. Bush's administration. His scorched-earth excoriation of critics makes little distinction between those who would recklessly endanger ...
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Right Off The Bat, It’s Worth Noting That this is a better field to choose from than we had in 2008. Back then, we had Duncan Hunter (whom I worked for), Fred Thompson, and a bunch of other guys it was impossible to get excited about. Unlike a lot of conservatives, I was at least lukewarm on Mike Huckabee, but I really didn’t like Romney or Giuliani and McCain made my skin crawl. This time around, the field’s better, but the number of potentially viable candidates is probably a little smaller, too. In fact, barring Sarah Palin’s entry into the race or a Rick Perry meltdown, this is perilously close to turning into a two person race already. Let’s start with the front-runner…

1) Rick Perry: Perry’s leading the polls in Iowa and South Carolina, he has money, charisma, and he’s doing well with conservatives. So, he’s definitely the front runner and could certainly win, BUT — and this is a big but — his lead is more fragile than he looks. There are a number of potential pitfalls that could cut Perry down to size.

A) Perry is the front runner and he excites conservatives, which means that the establishment Republicans and the mainstream media hate him with the burning heat of 1000 suns. In addition, the other candidates, the Bushies/Karl Rove contingent, and Ron Paul’s crazier fans who think Perry was helping the Bilderbergers institute a North American Union are ALL going to be gunning for him. If there’s one lesson that can be learned from what was done to Sarah Palin, it’s that there doesn’t have to be much “there there” to damage someone’s reputation. Toss enough smears against the wall for a long enough time and some of them will eventually stick.

B) When the entirety of your political world changes from being one state (Texas) to the whole United States, you will quickly find that you’re way behind on the learning curve. There are undoubtedly huge gaps in Rick Perry’s level of knowledge about certain national issues that could conceivably be exposed in interviews or debates. In the age of YouTube, those mistakes, even if they’re largely inconsequential, like Palin’s weak Katie Couric interview in 2008, live on forever and are ENDLESSLY repeated. Hopefully, Rick Perry’s staff is drilling him non-stop to get him fully up to speed in a hurry.

C) Rick Perry has one very obvious Achilles heel: illegal immigration. He is probably to Bush’s right on the issue, but he’s well to the left of most of the base. I also notice that Perry has yet to stake out an official position on the issue on his website. Could that one issue cost him the nomination? You bet it could. However, he does have a saving grace: Mitt Romney has a terrible record on illegal immigration and has moved to the Right. So, if Perry does the same, that at least gets him back on an even plane with his top competitor.

Christopher Hitchens
: Does Rick Perry believe his idiotic religious rhetoric?

National Post (blog)
I happened to spend several weeks in Texas earlier this year, while the Lone Star State lay under the pitiless glare of an unremitting drought. After a protracted arid interval, the state's immodest governor, Rick Perry, announced that he was using the ...See all stories on this topic »

2) Mitt Romney: Being a Mormon doesn’t help Mitt Romney, but his real problem is that he comes across as a phony, plastic, car salesman of a candidate who doesn’t believe in anything and will say whatever he needs to say to get elected. Although Romney’s not a bad speaker, he inspires no passion or excitement because it’s hard to get jazzed up about a political robot mouthing slogans that are programmed into him based on poll testing. Romney is competent, organized, can raise money, and he has successful private sector experience, but he’s not a movement conservative, he’s not particularly likable, and he reeks of inauthenticity.

3) Michele Bachmann: Before Perry got in, it was shaping up to be a Bachmann vs. Romney fight, but the Texan has stolen a lot of her thunder. To be perfectly honest, Bachmann is probably going to have a tough time getting more traction unless Palin doesn’t get in and Perry collapses. If that were to happen, then Bachmann could have a shot as the Romney alternative. If that doesn’t happen, then she’s going to have to put everything she has into Iowa, hope she pulls off a come-from-behind victory, and then ride the momentum from there.

Bachmann, who’s charismatic, photogenic, genuinely conservative, frighteningly organized, and an enthusiastic campaigner has a couple of problems. She’s a congresswoman, not a governor and she has trouble staying on message. Fiery conservatives can win elections, but they need a lot of message discipline. When those on the opposition are telling everyone that you’re a radical, extremist, crazy person, the public doesn’t take them at their word, but they do watch you very carefully to see what you say. In Bachmann’s case, every two or three weeks, she blurts out a line or two that allows her to be portrayed as a wild-eyed radical. In the race for the presidency, where every comment can become national front page news, those little gaffes can absolutely kill you over the course of a campaign.

4) Sarah Palin: Out of everyone who’s run for the presidency in the last few elections, on both sides of the aisle, I find Sarah Palin to be the most admirable person. She’s extremely competent, charismatic, she’s succeeded in business, politics, raised a big family, made a huge difference for the GOP in 2010, done more for feminism than anyone since Susan B. Anthony — she’s just an extraordinary human being. Of course, because all of that’s true, the Left has put together an unprecedented three year long, incredibly vicious smear campaign aimed at her and her family.

Sadly, it was effective. Sarah Palin has lost some conservative support and her numbers with Independents are mediocre. While I do think she could conceivably win the presidency and the nomination, I think it would be a tremendous uphill fight for her. If she got in the race tomorrow, she would probably get a big enough bounce to put her in second place, but it’s entirely possible that a week later she could be sitting in third place, with roughly 10% of the vote. Additionally, while she would fight to make up that ground, she’d have Bachmann fighting her tooth and nail for her constituency and poll after poll would likely show her performing worse than the other major candidates against Obama.

Although again, I am a great admirer of Sarah Palin and do think she could conceivably win the nomination and the presidency, I would advise her to take a lesson from Richard Nixon in 1964, skip the election and look for her chance to run again in either 2012 or 2016….if she wants to run at all. After all, even though she doesn’t hold political office, Sarah Palin is making millions of dollars and is one of the single most influential people in politics. That’s not to say that the presidency wouldn’t be a step up, but it would be a much smaller step up for her than for any other Republican candidate in the race.

5) Ron Paul: Paul can raise money, dominate online polls, and he has inspired the largest group of rabid, diehard supporters you’ll find anywhere in politics. Unfortunately, most of those fanatical supporters are conspiracy theorists, pacifists, or Big-L Libertarians. In other words, the very traits that have allowed Ron Paul to acquire that frothing mass of zealous supporters who can outwork and out-donate any other candidate’s followers 1-for-1, make it impossible for him to have wider appeal. That’s because most of the primary voters are conservatives, not Libertarians, they’re turned off by conspiracy theories, and Paul’s pacifistic/isolationist foreign policy views are anathema to most conservatives. So, although Ron Paul will generate lots of excitement for a certain segment of the base, he will never be able to acquire the critical mass he needs to win the nomination.

6) The Rest: Herman Cain is an appealing guy, but he’s raw and has made too many rookie mistakes. Rick Santorum is a strong advocate for social conservatives, but he lacks the charisma and necessary stature (He lost his last race as a senator) to take off. Newt Gingrich doesn’t seem to be getting much traction. Jon Huntsman is far too moderate to have any appeal. Buddy Roemer, Gary Johnson, and Thaddeus McCotter don’t seem to be getting enough oxygen right now to even get a serious look from most voters. That’s particularly a shame in the case of McCotter, who’s charismatic and conservative. While you should “never say ‘never,’” at the moment, none of these candidates look likely to move up into the top tier right now.

Is America exceptional? Listen to any politician and the answer must be YES! Apparently one of the requirements to run for office is a willingness to say that America is the greatest nation ever, the most wonderful place on earth. Republican contenders for their party’s Presidential nomination have recently been polishing their exceptionalist credentials.

Rick Perry’s campaign website says, “Rick Perry will restore confidence in the American Dream and American Exceptionalism.” His campaign book, “Fed Up: Our Fight to Save America from Washington” (2010), proclaims that Americans are “a people blessed by the Almighty”. Mitt Romney writes in “No Apology: The Case for American Greatness” (2010) that the US is “the world’s leading nation”. Hermann Cain is behind in the polls, so he may need even stronger words. In The American Spectator, March 2011, he wrote: “There is no denying it: America is the greatest country in the world.” Then he repeats the sentence a few lines later.

President Obama offered a different view at a press conference in 2009: “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” Perry in “Fed Up” comments sarcastically on this statement, and says, “America is unique in its greatness”. Romney also criticized Obama’s statement in his book, saying it means that Obama doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism at all. For conservatives, only Americans can rightfully be exceptionalists.

Throughout our history, Americans have claimed exceptional status for our country. John Winthrop, the Puritan leader, thought of his version of America as a “City upon a Hill”: the Puritans of New England would serve as a model for the rest of the world. As a conscious creation of settlers from many countries, a new nation with an unprecedented Constitution, the US was a exceptional nation. But what about now?

Last week I happened to be taking 11 international students to the Lincoln Museum in Springfield and thinking about what American exceptionalism might mean to them. I have been trying to explain my homeland to Africans, Asians, and Europeans. The US is very different from their home countries: for example, our farms and cars and houses are enormous compared to what they are used to. In those ways, every country is exceptional, with different languages, customs, history and economy. When does exceptional mean better?

As we might expect, the stronger the statements about America as the greatest nation, the more ignorance or disdain is displayed about the rest of the world. It is much more difficult to proclaim that the US is best after getting to know another country. Living elsewhere confronts you with two uncomfortable truths.

The first is that other people’s ways of doing things might actually be better than our own. The Germans and the Chinese have better train systems. The Dutch and the Scandinavians are far better at teaching languages to school children. Many peoples are more hospitable to strangers and we have the highest per capita rate of murders with firearms of any industrialized country. To say “America is the greatest” begs the question, “At what?”

A second truth is that Obama is right: each people sees their own country and culture as exceptional and exceptionally good. It makes no sense to argue for American exceptionalism with a Nigerian or a Swede. They might agree that our buildings are taller or our per capita income higher, but then ask, “So what?” Any claim that we are better people, more moral or more happy or more just, will provoke an argument without end.

American exceptionalism is dangerous. The desire to proclaim superiority leads to stupidity, such as Perry’s claim in “Fed Up” that the US has “the best health care system in the world.” It leads to attempts to hide any possible flaws, especially the most embarrassing ones, like our violent denial of Constitutional rights to black Americans through most of our history or our enormous prison population. Exceptionalism of the “We are the greatest” variety is an adult form of the elementary school boast, “My father can beat up your father.”

Leaving arrogance and ignorance aside, it is worth thinking about what is exceptional about the US. Our exceptional flaws should provoke us to seek corrections. Our exceptional virtues, such as our ability to challenge authority, our free press, our system of higher education, and our wide variety of good beers, can be sources of pride.
Steve Hochstadt
Taking Back Our Lives

In America The Rule Of Law Is Vacated
Center for Research on Globalization
by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts With bank fraudsters, torturers, and war criminals running free, the US Department of Justice (sic) has nothing better to do than to harass the famous Tennessee guitar manufacturer, ...
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