Tag Archives: Dick Cheney

Doug Casey on Some Encounters with US Deep State Sociopaths

An inside look at some beloved US sociopaths, from Doug Casey at internationalman.com:

US Deep State Sociopaths

International Man: Government attracts sociopathic types who are interested in wielding power over others. These are the kinds of people who rise to the top of the Deep State, the permanently entrenched bureaucracy.

You’ve met your fair share of swamp creatures. Tell us about the time you met former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Doug Casey: It was at the New Orleans Investment Conference, the year Dick Cheney was running for president. A friend of mine who took a dislike to Cheney invited me to join him at a special meeting that had been organized for Republican fat cats—potential donors to Cheney’s campaign.

Cheney was pressing the flesh and holding forth. I joined the group, and Cheney comes up to me, as he did to everybody. He says, “Dick Cheney, it’s nice to meet you,” and sticks his hand out. I looked at him and said, “Dick, I’m not going to shake hands with you. I despise you and everything you stand for.”

I thought that delivering a verbal gut blow in public might shatter his criminal persona. But he’s a skilled politician and has been around the block many times.

His comeback was, “Well, why do you say that?” That gave me 60 seconds to detail exactly why I thought he was a horrible human being. He tried not to show it, but it threw him off balance and destroyed any possibility of raising money from the assembled fat cats. I think it’s important that self-important public figures be treated appropriately, as they deserve.

About a week later, I was at another conference in San Francisco. Cheney was also there; he was attending all of the hard money/conservative conferences. He figured that attendees—wealthy, conservative Republicans—were likely donors to his campaign.

Anyway, my friend Mark Skousen ran into Cheney at the Hyatt’s business center.

Mark went up to Cheney, and to break the ice said, “Mr. Cheney, it’s nice to meet you. I understand that you met my friend Doug Casey last week in New Orleans.” I don’t think Mark was trying to wave a red flag in front of an angry bull—just being naive.

Cheney wouldn’t shake hands and refused to talk to him.

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No Matter the Liberal Metric Chosen, the Bush/Cheney Administration Was Far Worse Than Trump. By Glenn Greenwald

Bush and Cheney were criminals, Trump is not. From Glenn Greenwald at greenwald.substack.com:

Fantasies of a Trump-led fascist coup have redounded to the benefit of many — especially those responsible for abuses far worse than those of the current president.

President Bush and Former American Vice President Dick Cheney in the Presidential Limousine. Image courtesy George W Bush/National Archives (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).

That the liberal belief in and fear of a Trump-led fascist dictatorship and violent coup is actually a fantasy — a longing, a desire, a craving — has long been obvious.

The Democrats’ own actions proved that they never believed their own melodramatic and self-glorifying rhetoric about Trump as The New Hitler — from their leaders joining with the GOP to increase The Fascist Dictator’s domestic spying powers and military spending to their (correct) belief that the way to oust The Neo-Nazi Tyrant was through a peaceful and lawfully conducted democratic election in which vote totals and, if necessary, duly constituted courts would determine the next president.

The motives for concocting this Wagnerian fantasy about coups, dictatorship, concentration camps and civil war are numerous. Politics is boring, and your life unspectacular, if it’s dedicated to a goal as banal and uninspiring as empowering a septuagenarian career-politician — the centrist-authoritarian author of the 1994 Crime Bill, the credit card industry’s most loyal servant, and key Iraq War advocate — along with his tough-on-crime prosecutor-running-mate who always seems as if she just left a meeting of the Aetna Board of Directors where massive hikes in deductibles were approved.

Glory is available only if one can convincingly herald oneself as a front-line warrior risking it all to courageously battle unprecedented evil and a Nazi-like menace. But working to do nothing more than elect Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and the rest of the painfully ordinary and mediocre corporatist and imperialist Democratic Party politicians through a standard American election? There’s no glory residing in that, no courage needed for it, to put it mildly.

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The Project for a New American Century and the Age of Bioweapons: 20 Years of Psychological Terror, by Matthew Ehret

Like 9/11, the coronavirus panic and response sets the stage for totalitarianism. From Matthew Ehret at strategic-culture.org:

A little over 20 years ago, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) conducted a military exercise that involved a “hypothetical scenario” of hijacked planes flying into both the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.

One year later, on October 24-26, 2000, another “hypothetical” military exercise was played out featuring an airline crashing into the Pentagon killing 341 people followed by yet another May 2001 Department of Defense “hypothetical scenario” which saw hundreds of medical personnel training for a “guided missile in the form of a hijacked 757 airliner” crashing into the Pentagon.

What arose from the smoke and debris of September 11, 2001 was unlike anything the sleeping masses or international community expected.

The shock effect so traumatized the masses that quite suddenly, citizens found themselves willing to give up their liberties at home while acquiescing to any retaliatory action desired by their government abroad. The scale of horror was so great that the international community banded together and showed their love and solidarity towards America in the wake of the tragedy with candlelight vigils across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Russia and South America. Humanity’s natural tendency to embrace and aid our fellow man in times of crisis expressed itself like a bright light in a world of confused darkness and a hope for a durable peace awoke in the hearts of many.

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Still No Peace On Earth, by David Stockman

The United States blew the best opportunity for peace in several generations. From David Stockman at antiwar.com:

Read part 1, part 2, and part 3

When the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989 and the death of the Soviet Union was confirmed two years later as Boris Yeltsin courageously stood down the red army tanks in front of Moscow’s White House, a dark era in human history came to an end.

As we have seen, the world had descended into what was in effect an unbroken global war, incepting with the mobilization of the armies of old Europe in August 1914. The “77 Years War” is the appropriate name for it.

If you want to count bodies, 150 million were killed by all the depredations which germinated in the Great War, its foolish aftermath at Versailles, and the march of history into the second world war and cold war which followed inexorably thereupon.

To wit, upwards of 8% of the human race was wiped-out during that span. The toll encompassed the madness of trench warfare during 1914-1918; the murderous regimes of Soviet and Nazi totalitarianism that rose from the ashes of the Great War and Versailles; and then the carnage of WWII and all the lesser (unnecessary) wars and invasions of the Cold War including Korea and Vietnam.

So the seminal point cannot be gainsaid. The end of the cold war meant the chance for a new start toward world peace was finally at hand. Yet 27 years later there is still no peace because Imperial Washington confounds it.

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Trump Or Cheney? NYT Asks “Who’s The Real American Psycho?” by Maureen Dowd

Trump doesn’t have the blood of millions on his hands, although that doesn’t mean he won’t. From Maureen Down at the New York Times via zerohedge.com:

The NYT’s Maureen Dowd appears to have had enough of the hyperbole, hyper-short-memories, and hyped up virtue-signaling from the establishment. Reflecting on Adam McKay’s new movie “Vice” with Christian Bale playing Dick Cheney, Dowd gently nudges America back from the edge of the divisive Midterms to remember that much evil has come before…

Donald Trump is running wild – and running scared.

He’s such a menace that it’s tempting to cheer any vituperative critic and grab any handy truncheon. But villainizing Trump should not entail sanitizing other malefactors.

And we should acknowledge that the president is right on one point: For neocons, journalists, authors, political hacks and pundits, there is a financial incentive to demonize the president, not to mention an instant halo effect. Only Trump could get the pussy-hat crowd to fill Times Square to protest Jeff Sessions’s firing.

We make the president the devil spawn and he makes us the enemy of the people and everybody wins. Or do they? To what extent is lucrative Trump hysteria warping our discourse?

Trump may not be sweaty and swarthy, but he makes a good bad guy. As with Nixon and Watergate, the correct moral response and the lavish remunerative rewards neatly dovetail.

Even for Washington, the capital of do-overs and the soulless swamp where horrendous mistakes never prevent you from cashing in and getting another security clearance, this is a repellent spectacle. War criminals-turned-liberal heroes are festooned with book and TV contracts, podcasts and op-ed perches.

Those who sold us the “cakewalk” Iraq war and the outrageously unprepared Sarah Palin and torture as “enhanced interrogation,” those who left the Middle East shattered with a cascading refugee crisis and a rising ISIS, and those who midwifed the birth of the Tea Party are washing away their sins in a basin of Trump hate.

The very same Republicans who eroded America’s moral authority in the 2000s are, staggeringly, being treated as the new guardians of America’s moral authority.

They bellow that Trump is a blight on democracy. But where were these patriots when the Bush administration was deceiving us with a cooked-up war in Iraq?

Michelle Obama has written in her memoir that she will never forgive Trump for pushing the birther movement. Yet the Pygmalions of Palin, who backed Trump on the birther filth, are now among the most celebrated voices in Michelle’s party.

The architects and enablers of the Iraq war and Abu Ghraib are still being listened to on foreign policy, both inside the administration (John Bolton and Gina Haspel) and out. NeverTrumper Eliot Cohen wrote the Washington Post op-ed after the election telling conservatives not to work for Trump; Max Boot, who urged an invasion of Iraq whether or not Saddam was involved in 9/11, is now a CNN analyst, Post columnist and the author of a new book bashing Trump; John Yoo, who wrote the unconstitutional torture memo, is suddenly concerned that Trump’s appointment of his ghastly acting attorney general is unconstitutional.

MSNBC is awash in nostalgia for Ronald Reagan and W.

So it’s a good moment for Adam McKay, the inventive director of “The Big Short,” to enter the debate with a movie that raises the question: Is insidious destruction of our democracy by a bureaucratic samurai with the soothing voice of a boys’ school headmaster even more dangerous than a self-destructive buffoon ripping up our values in plain sight?

How do you like your norms broken? Over Twitter or in a torture memo? By a tinpot demagogue stomping on checks and balances he can’t even fathom or a shadowy authoritarian expertly and quietly dismantling checks and balances he knows are sacred?

McKay grappled with the W.-Cheney debacle in 2009, when he co-wrote a black comedy with Will Ferrell called “You’re Welcome America. A Final Night With George W Bush.” In the Broadway hit, Ferrell’s W. dismissed waterboarding as a Bliss spa treatment and confided that he had once discovered Cheney locked in an embrace with a giant goat devil in a room full of pentagrams.

When McKay was home with the flu three years ago, he grabbed a book and began reading up on Cheney. He ended up writing and directing “Vice,” a film that uses real-life imagery, witty cinematic asides and cultural touchstones to explore the irreparable damage Cheney did to the planet, and how his blunders and plunders led to many of our current crises.

With an echo of his Batman growl, Christian Bale brilliantly shape-shifts into another American psycho, the lumbering, scheming vice president who easily manipulates the naïve and insecure W., deliciously played by Sam Rockwell. While W. strives to impress his father, Cheney strives to impress his wife, Lynne, commandingly portrayed by Amy Adams.

Before we had Trump’s swarm of bloodsucking lobbyists gutting government regulations from within, we had Cheney’s. Before Trump brazenly used the White House to boost his brand, we had Cheney wallowing in emoluments: He let his energy industry pals shape energy policy; he pushed to invade Iraq, giving no-bid contracts to his former employer, Halliburton, and helping his Big Oil cronies reap the spoils in Iraq.

The movie opens at Christmas, but it’s no sugary Hallmark fable. It’s a harrowing cautionary tale showing that democracy can be sabotaged even more diabolically by a trusted insider, respected by most of the press, than by a clownish outsider, disdained by most of the press.

After a screening of “Vice” Thursday, I asked McKay which of our two right-wing Dementors was worse, Cheney or Trump.

“Here’s the question,” he said.

“Would you rather have a professional assassin after you or a frothing maniac with a meat cleaver? I’d rather have a maniac with a meat cleaver after me, so I think Cheney is way worse. And also, if you look at the body count, more than 600,000 people died in Iraq. It’s not even close, right?

Whitewash Won’t Cover Blair’s Guilt, by Eric Margolis

Although the Chilcot report on Britain’s role in the 2003 invasion of Iraq was restrained and “proper,” their’s no hiding the sins of those involved. From Eric Margolis at lewrockwell.com:

This week’s Chilcot report on Britain’s role in the 2003 invasion of Iraq was as polite and guarded as a proper English tea party. No direct accusations, no talk of war crimes by then Prime Minister Tony Blair or his guiding light, President George W. Bush. But still pretty damning.

Such government reports and commissions, as was wittily noted in the delightful program ‘Yes, Prime Minister,’ are designed to obscure rather than reveal the truth and bury awkward facts in mountains of paper.

And beneath mountains of lies. The biggest lie on both sides of the Atlantic was that the invasion and destruction of Iraq was the result of ‘faulty intelligence.’ The Bush and Blair camps and the US and British media keep pushing this absurd line.

This writer, who had covered Iraq since 1976, was one of the first to assert that Baghdad had no so-called weapons of mass destruction, and no means of delivering them even if it did. For this I was dropped and black-listed by the leading US TV cable news network and leading US newspapers.

I had no love for the brutal Saddam Hussein, whose secret police threatened to hang me as a spy. But I could not abide the intense war propaganda coming from Washington and London, served up by the servile, mendacious US and British media.

The planned invasion of Iraq was not about nuclear weapons or democracy, as Bush claimed. Two powerful factions in Washington were beating the war drums: ardently pro-Israel neoconservatives who yearned to see an enemy of Israel destroyed, and a cabal of conservative oil men and imperialists around Vice President Dick Cheney who sought to grab Iraq’s huge oil reserves at a time they believed oil was running out. They engineered the Iraq War, as blatant and illegal an aggression as Hitler’s invasion of Poland in 1939.

Britain’s smarmy Tony Blair tagged along with the war boosters in hopes that the UK could pick up the crumbs from the invasion and reassert its former economic and political power in the Arab world. Blair had long been a favorite of British neoconservatives. The silver-tongued Blair became point man for the war in preference to the tongue-twisted, stumbling George Bush. But the real warlord was VP Dick Cheney.

There was no ‘flawed intelligence.’ There were intelligence agencies bullied into reporting a fake narrative to suit their political masters. And a lot of fake reports concocted by our Mideast allies like Israel and Kuwait.

After the even mild Chilcot report, Blair’s reputation is in tatters, as it should be. How such an intelligent, worldly man could have allowed himself to be led around by the doltish, swaggering Bush is hard to fathom. Europe’s leaders and Canada refused to join the Anglo-American aggression. France, which warned Bush of the disaster he would inflict, was slandered and smeared by US Republicans as ‘cheese-eating surrender monkeys.’

In the event, the real monkeys were the Bush and Blair governments. Saddam Hussain, a former US ally, was deposed and lynched. Iraq, the most advanced Arab nation, was almost totally destroyed. Up to one million Iraqis may have been killed, though the Chilcot report claimed only a risible 150,000. As Saddam had predicted, the Bush-Blair invasion opened the gates of hell, and out came al-Qaida and then ISIS.

To continue reading: Whitewash Won’t Cover Blair’s Guilt