Cheney’s Sabotage of Counter-Terrorism

Just a day after the Brits finally prosecuted some (but not all) of the terrorists who were plotting to blow up planes with liquid explosive, a prosecutor in the case explains how the Americans almost blew the case.

Fearful for the safety of American lives, the US authorities had been getting edgy, seeking reassurance that this was not going to slip through our hands. We moved from having congenial conversations to eyeball-to-eyeball confrontations.

We thought we had managed to persuade them to hold back so we could develop new opportunities and get more evidence to present to the courts. But I was never convinced that they were content with that position. In the end, I strongly suspect that they lost their nerve and had a hand in triggering the arrest in Pakistan.

The arrest hampered our evidence-gathering and placed us in Britain under intolerable pressure.

Now, I’ve been following these accusations since August 2006, shortly after the arrests (which was, it should be said, shortly after Lamont’s primary victory over Joe Lieberman demonstrated how the Iraq War was hurting Bush and the Republicans). But the best explanation of what happened came a year ago from Ron Suskind

NPR: I want to talk just a little about this fascinating episode you describe in the summer of 2006, when President Bush is very anxious about some intelligence briefings that he is getting from the British. What are they telling him?

SUSKIND: In late July of 2006, the British are moving forward on a mission they’ve been–an investigation they’ve been at for a year at that point, where they’ve got a group of "plotters," so-called, in the London area that they’ve been tracking…Bush gets this briefing at the end of July of 2006, and he’s very agitated. When Blair comes at the end of the month, they talk about it and he says, "Look, I want this thing, this trap snapped shut immediately." Blair’s like, "Well, look, be patient here. What we do in Britain"–Blair describes, and this is something well known to Bush–"is we try to be more patient so they move a bit forward. These guys are not going to breathe without us knowing it. We’ve got them all mapped out so that we can get actual hard evidence, and then prosecute them in public courts of law and get real prosecutions and long prison terms"…

Well, Bush doesn’t get the answer he wants, which is "snap the trap shut." And the reason he wants that is because he’s getting all sorts of pressure from Republicans in Congress that his ratings are down. These are the worst ratings for a sitting president at this point in his second term, and they’re just wild-eyed about the coming midterm elections. Well, Bush expresses his dissatisfaction to Cheney as to the Blair meeting, and Cheney moves forward.

NPR: So you got the British saying, "Let’s carefully build our case. Let’s get more intelligence." Bush wants an arrest and a political win. What does he do?

SUSKIND: Absolutely. What happens is that then, oh, a few days later, the CIA operations chief–which is really a senior guy. He’s up there in the one, two, three spots at CIA, guy named Jose Rodriguez ends up slipping quietly into Islamabad, Pakistan, and he meets secretly with the ISI, which is the Pakistani intelligence service. And suddenly a guy in Pakistan named Rashid Rauf, who’s kind of the contact of the British plotters in Pakistan, gets arrested. This, of course, as anyone could expect, triggers a reaction in London, a lot of scurrying. And the Brits have to run through the night wild-eyed and basically round up 25 or 30 people. It’s quite a frenzy. The British are livid about this. They talk to the Americans. The Americans kind of shrug, "Who knows? You know, ISI picked up Rashid Rauf."

DAVIES: So the British did not even get a heads-up from the United States that this arrest was going to happen?

SUSKIND: Did not get a heads-up. In fact, the whole point was to mislead the British…The British did not know about it, frankly, until I reported it in the book… my emphasis]

Rodriguez, of course, is one of the people involved in destroying the torture tapes, as well as overseeing the earliest torture, including that of Abu Zubaydah. I would imagine this little episode is one of many reasons why Cheney would like to keep Rodriguez quiet and happy.

In any case, note that the Brits got harsher sentences for just three of the eight people tried in this conviction. Who knows what the guy who got off scot free will do, now that Cheney has given him a second opportunity to pursue terrorism?

43 replies
  1. perris says:

    and the bush administration destroys our chances for making some real headway dismantling an important terrorist association and he throws american security to the lions so that he can get a bump in the polls

    cheney and bush are enemies of the state, this is sick sick stuff

    man I wish you could get on olberman to talk about this

  2. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Another post, hit wayyyyyy out over left field, over the stadium walls, clear out over the railroad tracks…

    What a post.

  3. Gitcheegumee says:

    This may have been posted already elsewhere, but the timing is interesting,relative to enemies of the state :

    Bush White House Sought to Shield Those Running Secret CIA Prisons

    From 2003 to 2006, the Bush administration quietly tried to relax the draft language of a treaty meant to bar and punish “enforced disappearances” so that those overseeing the CIA’s secret prison system would not be criminally prosecuted under its provisions, according to former officials and hundreds of pages of documents recently declassified by the State Department.

    The aim of the global treaty, long supported by the United States, was to end official kidnappings, detentions and killings like those that plagued Latin America in the 1970s and 1980s, and that allegedly still occurin Russia, China, Iran, Colombia, Sri Lanka and elsewhere. But the documents suggest that initial U.S. support for the negotiations collided head-on with the then-undisclosed goal of seizing suspected terrorists anywhere in the world for questioning by CIA interrogators or indefinite detention by the U.S. military at foreign sites.
    Instead of embracing a far-reaching ban on arrests, detentions and abductions of people without disclosing their fate or whereabouts or ensuring “the protection of the law,” the United States pressed in 2004 for a more limited prohibition on intentionally placing detainees outside legal protections for “a prolonged period of time.” At the time, the CIA was secretly holding about a dozen prisoners.

    Foreign governments criticized the U.S.-preferred wording, calling it vague and saying that proving intent would be hard and should not be necessary.Read more:…../20…

  4. cinnamonape says:

    It’s even more fascinating when we find out what happened to Rashid Rauf, the guy they picked up in Pakistan. Rauf, a British subject, was born in England to Pakistani immigrants, and raised in Birmingham where his father was a baker. Rauf’s brother, Tayib Rauf, was one of those arrested in Britain in the airline plot, although later released without charge. Rashid Rauf was married to a relative of Maulana Masood Azhar, head/ founder of the militant Jaish-e-Mohammed movement.

    Although the Pakistani Interior Minister, Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, claimed that “he is an al Qaeda operative with linkages in Afghanistan” and a ringleader of the plot , the anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi found no evidence that he had been involved in terrorist activities, and charges were reduced to forgery and possession of explosives. He reportedly escaped from prison in 2007.

    The US claims Rauf was killed by a U.S. drone attack on the in Pakistan border on November 22, 2008. Rauf’s family deny this and assert he is alive in North Waziristan. Other associates claim Rauf never escaped from prison and was killed in jail.

  5. posaune says:

    Marcy, do you ever sleep?

    One knock-out post after another!
    And the marker’s only at $117,150.

    Wait till we get up over $150! And we’ll do it! Come on, folks!
    I’m in for another $100.

  6. skdadl says:

    This was a retrial (don’t ask me, and there was another jury somewhere there in the middle that got disappeared). What strikes me about the reports I’ve read today is that they’re missing a lot of the detail we heard first time around — like, most of the accused didn’t have passports yet. And we heard a lot more then about how difficult it would be to assemble one of those bombs in an airplane washroom.

    I accept that there was some sort of conspiracy underway, given the suicide videos especially, but I remain sceptical about how serious it was and for sure how imminent.

    Suskind’s report, though, I have no trouble believing. Cheney suckering the Brits for purely political reasons, whether there actually was a serious threat or not, and probably enjoying it as he did it — that I believe. Blair gullible — that I also believe.

    • Mary says:

      And Cheney’s approach, which meant they had to either go grab the guys or take a risk, meant that they were later going to have to argue very hard on the validity and crediblity of the threat to justify the quickie detentions, even if there were a lot of credibility gaps. This is another way we get hurt overall, bc people are forced to keep massaging information to make their borderline actions seem more reasonable than they were.

      I think the Brits should get Cheney to come visit and while he’s there, they should forget to give him a heads up that an international arrest warrant is being issued or that they are going to honor it. Not that it will ever happen, but it may make some bloke in the UK smile, thinking about it.

    • njr83 says:

      about the reports I’ve read today is that they’re missing a lot of the detail we heard first time around — like

      wasn’t this where a computer full of contact information fell into one intelligence community’s hands and not the community who already had hints and clues and could make hay from that info???
      ie: we or the Paks got it and didn’t know how to or couldn’t profit from the info after the Brits’ surveillance was disrupted???

      • skdadl says:

        I think the computer was another case — EW will know. The Brits stumbled on this one because one of the main conspirators was also in contact with one of the July 7 bombers, and turned up in a phone/address book that investigators were working their way through, I believe — either that or a bug.

  7. Hmmm says:

    Not exactly OT, but a Meta-point: Lots of emerging stories about stupid/evil misdeeds of the Bushies & Dickies over the past few days. Reminds me of SKIMPYPENGUIN’s comments yesterday.

    Can’t wait for the affair-stories phase. Buying brainbleach futures.

  8. LabDancer says:

    Looks like another illustration of that most elemental frailty of the authoritarian mind: projection.

    Bunch a bee-ess! We all proved don’t know how many times ask Cheney how we’re so much more serious & smarter than that trousersnake-obsessed lil lord flaunt-it-roy & his robot sidekick, & even WE ALL was out-Foxed by them tricky terrists, with their diabolical switcheroo strategy of takin just enough jet-flight lessons to learn steerin an altitude control an shit but not on how to land — & gettin the CIA to lay that ol “Bin Laden Fixin’ To Hit Us Here in the ol’ Homestead” dodge. So folks is supphose to bul-leave the Blairsie jus figgered us to stand there all drop-jawed holdin our peckers in our pockets while the Brits give all them evil doers a golden invite for the second wave? Thats jus not logacull. He coulda gone with jus like we done an keep his’n safe an not scare livin hell outa us an our’n. See fool me once, ain gonna make a fool outa me moren that one time.

  9. orionATL says:

    ew writes:

    “…Who knows what the guy who got off scot free will do, now that Cheney has given him a second opportunity to pursue terrorism?…”

    and then there are those poor bastards at gitmo who cannot (”cannot”, mind you) be given a trial

    and also

    cannot be put in our “pure and sacred american prisons” with all our pure and sacred major drug dealers, murderers, auto theft gang leaders, serial rapists, and financial con artists

    because those foreign terrorist bastards (assuming that their brains still function normally after years of torture) might take advantage of our pure and sacred american prisoners to stage a second terrorist attack?

    on whom?

    why, on their cut-throat american brethren in federal prisons – or their emotion-hardened guards.

    remember, american federal prisoners “care” about terrorism, in fact, many of them experience it day-by-day.

    they might be rather sensitive

    to the presence of muslims prisoners who don’t speak their language

    but might, nonetheless, lead them astray.

    american politics in the early years of the 21st century:

    “what do i have to do to gain power?”

    “o.k., i’ll do it.”


    “what do i have to do to retain power?”

    “o.k., i do it.”

  10. Loo Hoo. says:

    My daughter and I just happened to be caught up in all of this. I’d made plans for the “vacation of our lives” starting in November ‘05. We ended at Heathrow on August 12, 2006. Worked out perfectly aside from the confiscation (trashing) of EVERYTHING except tickets, money, and passports and other ID.

    I’d purchased the coolest of all possible frontpacks in Florence, and had to throw it out, along with everything in it. My daughter bought sunglasses and was able to trick the 5 (count ‘em) security stops by wearing them on her head and losing the case.

    The British security folks were really flustered. They felt horrible throwing everyone’s goodies away, but they had no choice.

    Thanks again, Dick, for making the world less safe.

  11. Loo Hoo. says:

    Woops. Forgot to say that we raced from the ticket gal to the terminal, but we got to ride first class!

    The only problem was that we stayed in Boston for two days without my daughter’s luggage…

    • skdadl says:

      Sickening story, isn’t it? To me, a story like that should remind people that torture is always wrong, even of the guilty. But I guess we’ve lost that argument already with too many folks, which really depresses me.

  12. TheOrA says:

    h/t to Spencer Ackerman and The Daily Dish

    Jane Mayer observes that Hannah Arendt called it. The rule of Nobody.…..rendt.html

    “Attorney General Eric Holder is stuck trying to investigate an entire bureaucracy. Those on the top can claim to have clean hands, while those on the bottom can claim they were following ostensibly legal orders. What’s left, Arendt suggests, is an all-powerful government that is beyond accountability.”

  13. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The author of the backgrounder published by the Times in London, Andy Hayman, was Assistant Commissioner Specialist Operations in the Metropolitan Police in 2006. He was a senior member of the Met, a top cop, not a member of the legal staff of the Crown Prosecution Service. (The only officers above him in rank would be the commissioner and deputy commissioner. The fictional Chief Inspector Morse would have been five ranks below him, the local constable eight ranks.)

    The Bush “trap snapping” interfered with his year-long investigation shortly before it was ready. By intentionally not telling the Brits the US nearly ruined their investigation. The arrest in Pakistan might have disrupted the plotters planned, but it could have as easily triggered explosive inventive responses, which could have killed a lot of people.

    Shrub would have blamed the “slow” Brits, of course, for his fuck up. As it is, we are all lucky Bush’s screw up did not result in more deaths or failed prosecutions. Not that Shrub knew anything about or had any respect for the law he took an oath to properly enforce.

    This is one more cost imposed on the world by the George Bush administration. If I were Obama, I’d mend some fences with his own DoJ as well as the Brits. He is supposed to know quite a bit about the law and his obligation to enforce it without fear or favor. It would also be smart and effective policy and politics.

    • skdadl says:

      The fictional Chief Inspector Morse would have been five ranks below him, the local constable eight ranks.)

      I’d type some code for you if I knew how. Or I could just hum a few bars of Barrington Pheloung’s theme music.

      How far down in the ranks is Adam Dalgliesh?

  14. BlueSun says:

    This is just part of a sickening pattern. We all know how Cheney and his minions exposed clandestine CIA operative Valerie Plame just to smear her husband for revealing their dishonest use of the discredited Niger yellowcake story. Not only did the CIA lose a top agent involved in hunting down WMDs in the Middle East, but her entire foreign network was compromised and lost to us. In addition, by exposing her, the Bushies also exposed the shell company that she and a number of other CIA NOC (Non Official Cover) agents were using, exposing them as CIA agents as well.

    This is the same crew who leaked a story of al-Qaeda surveillance of NYC to reverse a drop in Bush’s poll numbers before the second election. The surveillance information was over 4 years old at the time, and when some reporters questioned Bush’s motives, the Cheney Gang leaked the name of the only highly-placed mole the US and UK had managed to turn in al-Qaeda’s senior council, sacrificing an irreplaceable intelligence asset for a temporary domestic bump in Bush’s job approval rating.

    And, then there was the time that Cheney, Rumsfeld and General Myers briefed the Saudi ambassador, Prince Bandar about the invasion, letting him study the Top Secret NOFORN (no foreigners are allowed to see it) invasion plan, a violation of U.S. security laws and a potential act of treason. Bandar asked for a copy of the plan, and Cheney and Company told him he couldn’t have one, but gave him permission to study it and make as many notes as he wanted. He did so, and immediately afterward, went out, bought a similar map, and marked it up with the details (including covert assignments) of the U.S. invasion plan. Bandar sent this back to Saudi Arabia, where it was apparently leaked to the Russians. They in turn, supplied the detailed plan to Saddam Hussein, and it was discovered in Iraq after the U.S. invaded. It should be noted that, when Bandar expressed doubt about whether they were totally committed to the invasion, Cheney and Rumsfeld arranged a meeting between him and Bush for the next day. Bush reassured him that they were good to go.

    A day later, Bush finally informed his Secretary of State, Colin Powell, that an invasion plan had been drawn up. By that time, both the Saudis and, presumably, the Russians already knew about it.

    These guys should consider themselves lucky that the public was too apathetic and powerless to rise up, storm the White House, and hang them all in the Rose Garden like a bunch of obscene Christmas tree decorations.

    • MartyDidier says:

      Great Post….
      But there is something else that you should know about that will help you understand why this insanity is happening. I was in a family for more than 26 years who are directly involved in many of the insane craziness that is being surfaced today.

      The fact is we are in a White House Coup run by many of the same groups who were in the 1933 Coup called “The Business Plot” of 1933. There are many differences however this Coup has been in the planning stages for decades. Since knowing previous faliures they want to succeed this time. The 1933 Coup failed when an attempt was made to enlist someone from the Military for help, but this person blew the whistle and down came the Coup. One of the main problems back then was the investigations didn’t clean out all who were involved and some of the real problems just got their hands slapped. They know this and it was talked often within the family I was in!

      However this White House Coup isn’t limited to just the White House, its actual focus is a World Wide Coup often called NWO (New World Order). Plus Bush’s Administration isn’t the only Administration involved, this goes way back and involves many other Presidential Administrations. Again, how I know this is because I spent more than 26 years in a family who are directly involved.

      Anyone who is starting to connect the dots will likely see so many dots to connect that it will be mind boggling. There are many people involved as will be explained as more of this is cleaned up. I say cleaned up because from what I know, the news shows that something major is happening in a positive way. The real culprits in this Coup are the big Banks who have been behind many problems for eons and along with them are so many Corporations that I can’t count that high.

      I’m confident that we’ll reach a point where something huge is going to happen that will surprise all of us for the good.

      Marty Didier
      Northbrook, IL

    • al75 says:

      This is just part of a sickening pattern. We all know how Cheney and his minions exposed clandestine CIA operative Valerie Plame just to smear her husband for revealing their dishonest use of the discredited Niger yellowcake story.

      This is exactly right: Cheney’s goal was not to “keep us safe”; but rather to seize control of the intelligence apparatus. CIA professionals whose fact-based work conflicted with Cheney’s militaristic agenda were enemies, and were targetted and eliminated accodingly — and Porter Goss and Dusty Foggo et. al. moved in to make the CIA just one more house organ for the repub part; just like Goodling and Gonzalez were doing at DOJ.

      The more I reflect on it, this seems to be near the heart of the torture program: the real issue wasn’t the effectiveness (or lack of it) of torture as an intelligence-gathering technique. No – don’t you think it’s fairer to say that complicity in torture represented the loyalty-test for “loyal Bushies” in the CIA

      That’s the same reason the Bushies forced arabists and experts out of the Iraq war planning group: they didn’t want facts, they wanted loyalty. Loyalty to persue their schemes.

      The one little problem, of course, is that Cheney et. al. were so out of touch with reality that so many their schemes have collapsed.

      But make no mistake – this has nothing to do with national security or catching terrorists. These are the guys who were hob-nobbing with “Bandar Bush” within days of 9/11, and have fought tooth and nail to hide Saudi complicity in the attack.

  15. alan1tx says:

    This guy is a prosecutor?

    “We thought we had managed to persuade… …But I was never convinced… …I strongly suspect…

    Sounds like he’s doing a lot of guessing.

  16. libbyliberal says:

    agggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh. It was all a narcissistic power game to these amoral monstrous freaks. Colossal hubris. We need a bigger word than hubris. The art of global destruction. And they are still worship-fully interviewed. Greenwald said Chris Wallace acted like a teenage girl interviewing the Jonas Brothers with Cheney. Authoritarian enthralled right, AND THEY STILL ARE!!! Talk of him for Pres in 2012? Whoa. The Bush cabal should be in prison.

    It keeps coming at us. We knew he was bad. But more evil tales keep coming at us.

  17. puppethead says:

    How is it these idiots got convicted of an impossible crime, anyway? This plan was even less plausible than sticking matches in your shoes. It’s rather chilling, the UK doesn’t look very much like an open society to me.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Oh, I’d give these plotters more credibility than the odd match in a training shoe.

      Yes, the UK has gone far down the road of invading privacy and imposing legal consequences for crimes not yet committed. The government’s powers to surveille and detain without processing are becoming draconian, as is the ability of a wide variety of bureaucrats – not judges – to impose de facto criminal sanctions for “social crimes”, via controversial ASBO’s, “anti-social behavior orders”.

      The only saving grace is that the English legislate their power to do so. The US pattern of its executive secretly arrogating such powers to itself, then legitimizing them through the friendly MSM and only occasionally Congress is more destructive. As much as Cheney claims to hate the bureaucracy, his style is that of a ruthless runaway Chinese mandarin (top bureaucrat) far more than it is of a politician in a representative democracy.

    • MartyDidier says:

      Good Post and please read my other post above….
      Your comment about the UK NOT being an open society is correct however there is something more chilling than it seemingly being a closed society. The UK is right along with the US involved in Coup attempts. The Governments in the UK and the US are badly corrupt and have been working along with the Finanical groups behind the Coup to shape the societies in preparation for a Coup. There are so many things happening in tring to prepare our Societies for a Take Over that most of us are totally in denial and asleep at the wheel.

      It is less difficult to see the different Coup’s efforts and then adding into a World Wide Coup. Be aware that there are so many poeple involved in this Coup effort and many don’t have a complete idea of what it happening that it will boggle your mind. However the Government leaders know well and we’re seeing many questionable and suspicious situations surface like popcorn now. Eventually some people who have become passionate with what has been happening will see the reality of this Coup attempt. The more who see the Coup attempt the more who will start to work towards ending it. I expect it to grow quickly once the reality of this starts to take hold.

      This is OUR Government and we need to put an end to this Coup Attempt once and for all. Once it’s over Everyone who are involved in this Coup need to be broght to justice. The 1933 Coup attempt let too many escape with only a slap on their hands, I heard all about it while married. This Coup attempt needs to be as Thorough As Possible with bringing Justice back to where it needs to be and restoring our Democracy.

      Marty Didier
      Northbrook, IL

  18. earlofhuntingdon says:

    P.D. James’ fictional policeman, Adam Dalgliesh, held the rank of commander – a rank unique to the Met among British police forces. He was the equivalent of three ranks above DCI Morse, one above the portly Chief Superintendent Strange and two ranks below the real Andy Hayman.

    Yes, Barrington Pheloung’s incorporation of Morse code into the Inspector Morse theme gave the theme song an insistent but addictive dourness, and more poetry than real police work involves. DCI Morse’s cases were crossword puzzles with criminals. Andy Hayman’s were the real thing.

    • libbyliberal says:

      awww, earl. loved the Morse theme song. Also liked Ray Marsden’s Adam Dalgliesh, along with Helen Mirren as Inspector Tennison. But now must track down Hayman’s Strange. Thanks for this new world. Is this book only, or can bbc take me away on screen?

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The BBC, Auntie Beeb, through PBS can certainly provide videos of fictional English detectives ad infinitum, from Jeremy Brett’s definitive Sherlock Holmes to Inspector Lewis and his dour recovery from the loss of his wife and Morse, and having to make do with a woman as Chief Super and a brighter, smarter and more physically capable sergeant than Lewis ever was.

        As for Hayman’s “Strange”, I’m not sure what you mean. If you mean his boss, I don’t know if that was the Met’s top cop, the Commissioner or someone else. What’s interesting is that Hayman is chatting about sensitive prior events in a very public forum, which means his former teammates have no objection to twisting the American lion’s tale after their victory in court. They ought to celebrate a law enforcement victory, despite the odds and despite unexpectedly being tripped up one more time by an American administration that measured brains and restraint using the same thimble.

  19. alinaustex says:

    What is interesting is that less and less of the moderate GOP are having anything to do with the Cheney clan . Down here in Texas -its being talked about openly now how the Veep scuttled the eight years of success that ’should have been Dubya’s ” .Might there be a chance that Big Dick gets thrown under the bus to appease /atone for qwb 43 ’s crimes ?
    as a sidebar Tom DeLay also is getting no love from the moderate GOP’ers either -hence his spin on “Dancing with the Stars “-supposedly its the only paid gig the Hammer has had for awhile –
    of course moderate republicaan is an oxymoron-a pox on the entire party -may their intercine squabbles escalate daily….

  20. Mymy says:

    I’ve often wondered if Bush Cheney were inept in going after terrorists–look how few they convicted. As former oil men were they merely inept, or were they more interested in controlling the information those arrested might offer–are there subsidiary issues the oil companies do not want revealed, not necessarily about terrorism, but other possibly incendiary matters?

    • Badwater says:

      Cheney’s probably interesting to consider in that light. Bush’s lack of action is really tied to his family’s long and beneficial connections to the bin Laden family. Plus, Bush is just really lazy.

  21. PaulaT says:

    You must be mistaken. Cheney and Bush are the ones who kept us safe from the terrorists. I see it all the time on my tv machine, so it must be true.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      That’s only because they define out of their liability list 9/11 itself. If I recall correctly, that happened nearly a year into their watch.

      Terrorism as a technique knows no geographical bounds, hence Bush’s claims that the war on a violent technique was global. It’s not enough for them to say few other terrorist incidents happened here, if they shot up in frequency and lethality elsewhere. If those induced political, economic and social consequences here, they achieved at least some of their aims.

      Bush and Cheney’s claim to have kept us safe or safer is highly questionable. Their greatest achievement was in buying the ref, the MSM, and defining down “success” to mean whatever it is they did or failed to do. Pity about those uncooperative bloggers though; they just won’t get with the program.

  22. Styve says:

    Glad EW is on this today! I commented on her thread yesterday about Cheney subterfuge, and how it reminded me of the thwarting of an investigation of AQ Kahn, but I haven’t followed the thread (may be this thread, but I was deleted??).

    Here is what I was thinking had trademark Cheney’s elements to it…am I way off?…..d-in-2001/

    Khan Job: Bush Spiked Probe of Pakistan’s Dr. Strangelove,
    Greg Palast for the BBC, reported in 2001

    On November 7, 2001, BBC Television’s Newsnight and the Guardian of London reported that the Bush administration thwarted investigations of Dr. A.Q. Khan, known as the “father” of Pakistan’s atomic bomb. This week, Khan confessed to selling atomic secrets to Libya, North Korea, and Iran.

    The Bush Administration has expressed shock at disclosures that Pakistan, our ally in the war on terror, has been running a nuclear secrets bazaar. In fact, according to the British news teams’ sources within US intelligence agencies, shortly after President Bush’s inauguration, his National Security Agency (NSA) effectively stymied the probe of Khan Research Laboratories, the Pakistani agency in charge of the bomb project. CIA and other agents told BBC they could not investigate the spread of ‘Islamic Bombs’ through Pakistan because funding appeared to originate in Saudi Arabia.
    The “Back-Off” Directive and the Islamic Bomb

    … A top-level CIA operative who spoke with us [at BBC Television] on condition of strictest anonymity said that, after Bush took office, “There was a major policy shift” at the National Security Agency. Investigators were ordered to “back off ” from any inquiries into Saudi Arabian financing of terror networks, especially if they touched on Saudi royals and their retainers. That put the Bin Ladens, a family worth a reported $12 billion and a virtual arm of the Saudi royal household, off limits for investigation. Osama was the exception; he remained a wanted man, but agents could not look too closely at how he filled his piggy bank. The key rule of any investigation, “follow the money,” was now violated, and investigations-at least before September 11-began to die.


  23. serge says:

    Swingin’ Dick Cheney, smartest man alive, single-handedly saving the world while fucking it up the ass, unable to tie his own shoelaces, faster than a speeding bullet (as long as it’s in the gun in the little compartment in his golf cart), capable of any and all justifications of the evil he’s stood for these past decades, master of hypocrisy…master of war.

    And, like the bard said, “I’ll stand over your grave ’til I’m sure you are dead.”

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