The Cheney-Rumsfeld Cabal Deception

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's focus on the fallout of nuclear "spin."

This article is part of SourceWatch's coverage of Dick Cheney, Vice President during the George W. Bush administration:
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"[A]lmost all government intelligence on whether Iraq pursued or possessed weapons of mass destruction has proved faulty," according to declassified material released by Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan), the Washington Post's Walter Pincus wrote November 6, 2005. "In addition to the allegation of training terrorists loyal to Osama bin Laden, there were government claims that then-Iraq President Saddam Hussein had stocks of chemical and biological weapons, that he had reconstituted his nuclear weapons programs, and that unmanned airborne vehicles posed a threat, Levin said."

"Levin noted in a prepared statement that, beginning in September 2002," President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, "then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, then-CIA Director George J. Tenet, and then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell used the alleged chemical and biological training by Baghdad as valid intelligence in speeches and public appearances to gather support for the Iraq war," Pincus wrote.

"'The newly declassified information provides additional dramatic evidence that the administration's prewar statements regarding links between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda represents an incredible deception,' Levin said."


The "Cabal"

The Cheney-Rumsfeld Cabal, led by Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, hijacked U.S. foreign policy by circumventing or ignoring formal decision-making channels, according to Lawrence Wilkerson, Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, Jim Lobe reported for the Inter Press Service, October 20, 2005.

Wilkerson has also charged that, as national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice was part of the problem by not ensuring that the policy-making process was open to all relevant participants," Lobe wrote.

Wilkerson "revealed the inner struggles of the Bush administration" in his October 19, 2005, speech before the New America Foundation, Sidney Blumenthal, wrote in Salon October 27, 2005. "A 'Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal' ran U.S. foreign policy for a president 'not versed in international relations and not too much interested.' Wilkerson defined the Bush doctrine as 'cowboyism.' Condoleezza Rice as national security advisor was 'extremely weak' and more interested in 'her intimacy with the president' than in acting as an honest broker. Cleaning up after Bush's tarnishing of America's image in the world was an impossible task. 'It's hard to sell shit,' said Wilkerson."

9/11: Cheney Took Charge

"When the World Trade Center towers were hit in New York, it was Cheney who told a shaken President Bush to flee," James Carroll reported in the November 7, 2005, Boston Globe.

"The 9/11 Commission found that, from the White House situation room, Cheney warned the president that a 'specific threat' had targeted Air Force One, prompting Bush to spend the day hiding in the bunker at Offut Air Force Base in Nebraska. There was no specific threat. In Bush's absence, Cheney, implying an authorizing telephone call from the president, took command of the nation's response to the crisis. There was no authorizing telephone call. The 9/11 Commission declined to make an issue of Cheney's usurpation of powers, but the record shows it," Carroll wrote.

War in Iraq: Charting the Cabal's Deception Pathway

Tom Paine.Common Sense has posted a chart showing "Dick and Don's Cabal" -- "A map of the major figures involved in Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld's 2002-2003 campaign to invade Iraq."

Summary: "The outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame was but one element of a much larger conspiracy. From 2002-3, Rumsfeld and Cheney coordinated a network--inside and outside of government--to plan the invasion of Iraq. The network operated in secret because the case made to Congress and the U.N. was false. The cabal then forced its agenda on the career military, intelligence, and diplomatic staff, resulting in numerous removals and resignations. This map shows the linkages between Plame and the four primary cells of the cabal: the headquarters, centered in the Vice President's office; the communications shop at the White House; the intelligence and war planning shop called the Office of Special Plans; and the informal coordination network housed at the American Enterprise Institute."

People, Organizations and Events Useful to the Cabal

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