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Cheney’s Memoirs and the Threat of History Rewritten

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Now comes the former American Vice President Richard “Dick” Cheney, bringing with him a book of memoirs designed, perhaps, to shed light on his role in the much-maligned George Walker Bush administration. Some, having examined the volume, say that Cheney appears intent on distancing himself from the former President.

Cheney’s ties to Bush predate their administration; he is a former CEO of Halliburton Industries, previously known as Dresser Industries, which was founded by the presidential father and grandfather, Prescott Bush. Halliburton is the corporation selected to rebuild Iraq, following those early days of bombing and devastating artillery fire. Halliburton received, and to my knowledge continues to receive, $2.00 for every meal consumed by an American service person. The meals had been served by the Timimmi Company at a price of $3.00 for each meal. The contract then was reassigned to Halliburton, which raised the price to $5 a meal, subcontracted the contract back to Timimmi, and kept the 40% difference.

Halliburton also would have profited enormously had G.W. Bush succeeded in transferring control of the world’s ports to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. The United Arab Emirates is a terrorist-friendly nation, and the transfer was attempted by Bush in the dark of night, while the American Congress was on break.

In an article by Barton Gellman pertaining to the Cheney memoirs and published in the Washington Post, John P Hannah, Cheney's second-term national security adviser is quoted as having said that “…the former vice president is driven, now as before, by the nightmare of a hostile state acquiring nuclear weapons and passing them to terrorists."

Hannah also states that during the administration of George Walker Bush, "Bush halted the waterboarding of accused terrorists, closed secret CIA prisons, … and reached out diplomatically to Iran and North Korea, which Cheney believed to be ripe for "regime change."

Far be it from me to bring up the godless specter of history being rewritten with impunity, even as we watch, but can any of us actually accept that Bush “halted the waterboarding of accused terrorists?” It was in fact the Bush administration that chose to imprison these uncharged men indefinitely, some of them only guilty of resisting the invading forces which were killing them by the hundreds of thousands, ostensibly in an effort to democratize the backward people of the world. And with the limitless imprisonment came the waterboarding, the enforced unendurable postures and positions, the threats to wives and children that characterized the confinement of supposed terrorists during the Bush administration.

As to the matter of "reaching out diplomatically to Iran and North Korea," the American public is well aware of the G.W.Bush rule of thumb. "we do not negotiate with terrorists!”  Bush felt that negotiating with the terrorists would increase their stature in the world, make them appear more authoritative. Some observers may have seen Bush as insecure, unsure of himself. It may be difficult to be a President's son.

I hope that the words of Security Adviser Hannah aren’t an indication of what we may expect from the Cheney memoirs. I look forward to reading them. Readers not wanting to wait for the Cheney publication may take refuge in some of Amazon's  political books. I might make several recommendations, none timelier than the Sam Tanenhaus book, The Death of Conservatism.

About John Lake

John Lake the tireless crusader of the liberal blog stymies us with his political and breaking news views. In addition he makes continuing contributions to the wide world of empirical science. And finally, his strange takes on life in the pursuit of humor are a treat and a delight.
  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Interesting discussion fodder here (light the blue touch paper and retire…), but where’s the discussion of Cheney’s memoirs? I was led to believe this article would be about how Cheney was trying to rewrite history, not his erstwhile national security advisor.

  • John Lake

    Dr. Dreadful,
    I do look forward to reading Cheney’s memoirs. Perhaps I am overzealous in my persuit of the former VP.
    In fact my critizism was of advisor Hannah, but I felt that he was providing some preview as to what the memoirs may contain.

  • Doug Hunter

    Do you have a source for the meals overcharging claim? Something smells fishy there.

  • Robert D. Flores

    I will limit my comments to only one part of one paragraph of your article.
    First, you ask, “But can any of us actually accept that Bush ‘halted the waterboarding of accused terrorists?’” The answer is yes. In 2006, after receiving approval from the White House, General Michael Hayden, then Director of the CIA, removed waterboarding from the list of approved interrogation techniques. FYI, only three al Qaeda prisoners were waterboarded by the CIA.
    Second, in reference to the above mentioned prisoners and others like them you state, “Some of them only guilty of resisting the invading forces which were killing them by the hundreds of thousands…” What credible source do you get your figures from? According to IraqBodyCount.org, the documented civilian deaths starting from the invasion in 2003 to July 2009 (latest figures) are from anywhere between 93,006 to 101,500.
    Many people have pointed out that even those figures are misleading because many of those deaths were committed by the insurgent forces themselves and not the coalition forces. Therefore, the actual number killed by coalition forces is much lower.
    However, the point is that the number of deaths is not “hundreds of thousands.”

    Your type of article is an example of why big media is failing across the country. You and big media have lowered yourselves into the trap of sensationalizing the news like a third rate tabloid. In addition, your bias is showing. The lack of balance, lack of fact checking, and the clear cut bias in your and their reporting/writings show how facts are being distorted to fit into pre-conceived notions and are presented as actual facts. By writing like this you do yourself a disservice, because you ruin your credibility. Don’t fall into that trap sir.