Even news reports that Dick Cheney has ordered STRATCOM to draw up plans for an air assault on Iran with nuclear weapons and that he is likely to run for president in 2008 have not been enough to prompt journalists to focus their attention on Dick Cheney.  --  UFPPC's Henry Adams writes:  "Is it too much to say that there is a conspiracy of silence surrounding the Bush administration's éminence grise?"


By Henry Adams

** There is ample evidence that Dick Cheney is the Svengali of the Bush administration, and now he's given orders to STRATCOM to prepare nuclear strikes. When will the media take an interest? **

United for Peace of Pierce County (WA)
August 23, 2005

A few weeks ago it was reported that Vice President Dick Cheney had ordered plans drawn up for the use of nuclear weapons against Iran.

The response of the Washington press corps?

Nada. Zilch. Not a word.

Not that this is cause for surprise. It's just one more example of what amounts to a conspiracy of silence surrounding the vice president of the United States.

With respect to the assertion about STRATCOM and Iran, made by Philip Giraldi, a former CIA counterterrorism officer, in the Aug. 1 American Conservative and now widely circulated in the blogosphere (and by Al Jazeera[1]), we are told that Cheney has "tasked the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States. The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons."

We're not aware that anyone has posed this question: Where does the vice president of the United States obtain the authority to give these or any orders to military officers? Under Article II, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution, "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States," but the vice president has no power and no authority to order any military officer to do anything.

In "West Wing," when the VP gets out of control, Josh Lyman calls him in and gives him a dressing-down. Not in the Bush White House, where the president getting a talking-to by Scooter Libby is easier to imagine.

Bob Woodward's account of planning for the Iraq war includes this passage: "Powell thought that Cheney had the fever. The vice president and Wolfowitz kept looking for the connection between Saddam and 9/11. It was a separate little government that was out there -- Wolfowitz, Libby, Feith and Feith's 'Gestapo office,' as Powell privately called it" (Plan of Attack [Simon and Schuster, 2004], p. 292).

Later we read: "Powell noted silently that things didn't really get decided until the president had met with Cheney alone" (ibid., p. 392).

Bush and Cheney have a one-on-one off-the-record weekly lunch. When Bush testified to the 9/11 Commission, Cheney had to be at his side. Cheney ran the government on the morning of September 11, 2001. Speculation that Cheney is in the grip of some paranoid personality disorder is widespread. But our journalists -- or the editors who task them -- look the other way. And there has been scarcely any investigation by the media into the Bush-Cheney relationship, either.

Lots of papers have columns on the White House, but only Cheney's home-state Casper Star Tribune runs a column called "Cheney Watch." Its tone is indicated by the fact that its most recent column (Aug. 19) treated jocularly -- "Bad Veep!" -- news that "the veepster" had broken the law in interviewing John Roberts for a Supreme Court nomination while Roberts was presiding over a challenge to the constitutionality if the administration's military tribunals.[2]

Bob Woodward's recent statement that it was "very likely" that Cheney would run for president in 2008 received almost no press.

There have been no major books about Dick Cheney, despite the fact that "Cheney can be said to incarnate all aspects of the modern American military-industrial-congressional complex, having served as Congressman from Wyoming (1979-1989), Secretary of Defense (1989-1993 -- though he has never served in the armed forces), and Chairman and CEO of Halliburton Co., a Dallas company specializing in oilfield work and industrial and marine engineering (1993-2000), with prior experience in the executive branch, becoming White House chief of staff for President Gerald Ford when his mentor Donald Rumsfeld left that post to become secretary of defense in 1975" (Mark K. Jensen, "The Origins of the National Security State in the 1920s," Prism 16 (Spring 2003), p. 16 n.70).

Is it too much to say that there is a conspiracy of silence surrounding the Bush administration's éminence grise?



Conspiracy Theories


Al Jazeera
August 17, 2005


The U.S. Vice President has instructed the Air Force to start putting plans for an air strike on Iran's nuclear sites using the excuse of the next “terrorist attack.” according to CIA counterterrorism officer Philip Giraldi, now a partner in Cannistraro Associates.

"In Washington it is hardly a secret that the same people in and around the administration who brought you Iraq are preparing to do the same for Iran. The Pentagon, acting under instructions from Vice President Dick Cheney's office, has tasked the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States. The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program development sites. Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option. As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States. Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing -- that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack – but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing any objections."

So Philip Giraldi is raising concerns that Mr. Cheney and the neocons, the same men who used 9/11 as their excuse to attack Iraq, are pushing for another war against Iran, using the excuse of another “terrorist” attack.

Why would Iran attack the U.S. when they have been doing everything possible to avoid a war that would absolutely devastate their country?

But the U.S. government is following the same script as with Iraq: "This Axis of Evil member has ties to 'terrorism' and a nuclear weapons program, the U.N. won't act, so we have to attack them from the air, if not invade them to plant the flag of “liberty and democracy."

Again, there’s a convergence of interests between those who have a long-term energy strategy and those whose primary objective is protecting Israel.

Giraldi confirmed information about Air Force Intelligence currently in Qatar picking targets. He said that the Special Forces were also already in Iran hunting for "suspected sites."

Last April, former Marine and U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter wrote an article saying that Air Force officers had told him that they were working on plans for war against Iran, that are supposed to be ready by June of this year.

Ritter also stated that the invasion will come from U.S. bases in Azerbaijan, and that the U.S. is already flying drones in Iranian airspace. He writes:

"Americans, and indeed much of the rest of the world, continue to be lulled into a false sense of complacency by the fact that overt conventional military operations have not yet commenced between the United States and Iran.

"As such, many hold out the false hope that an extension of the current insanity in Iraq can be postponed or prevented in the case of Iran. But this is a fool's dream."

Invading Iran through Iraq would be impossible, as Iraq’s Shiites would finally be unleashed against U.S. forces, who would then have to fight from both front and rear. Also a general Shiite uprising in Iraq would be a likely result of bombing Iran.

If the U.S. attacked the Bushehr reactor, not only would radioactive particles blast into the air and fall back down to earth and cause great harm to the environment, but numerous Russians would also be killed.

How is the U.S. going to react if the Russians in retaliation bombed a reactor full of Americans in, say, India?



Casper Star-Tribune
August 19, 2005


The veep wound up a busy week Thursday, braving high humidity and temperatures nearing 100 degrees in a flying noontime visit to the national convention of the Military Order of the Purple Heart in Springfield, Mo.

During his 20-minute speech on the war in Iraq, Vice President Dick Cheney told 400 members of the organization, "Once again, we're seeing the power of freedom to change the course of the world." He compared American efforts in Iraq to the heroism of George Washington's army.

Windshield protest: Just before Cheney's address, the Democratic National Committee accused the Bush administration of failing to adequately fund veterans benefits. No organized protests were spotted near the Springfield hotel, but fliers left on cars in the parking lot read, "Halliburton funded, veterans not funded."

Bad veep! Legal ethicists say the White House broke the law when Cheney and others interviewed John Roberts Jr. last spring for the Supreme Court while Roberts presided over a challenge to the president's military tribunals.

No free lunch: Veep Watch reveals the details of what dedicated Cheney fans get for their money during stumping stops in Idaho and Montana:

* Ice cream, cake and bottled water in a sweltering airplane hangar -- 60 bucks.

* Chocolate cake and a salad topped with chicken -- $125.

* Photo ops with the veepster -- $1,000 per click.

* Money raised for war chest: Unknown.

-- From wire reports