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The Cheney-Rumsfeld Cabal Deception
|This article is part of SourceWatch's coverage of Dick Cheney, Vice President during the George W. Bush administration:|
"[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 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
"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."
- "The Bush Administration's Public Statements on Iraq: Iraq on the Record," United States House of Representatives, Committee on Government Reform - Minority Staff, Special Investigations Division, March 16, 2004. Prepared for Rep. Henry A. Waxman.
Charts & Info
- "Bush Foreign Policy Team," Right Web, undated.
- Dan Froomkin, "White House Gets a Pass," Washington Post, March 31, 2005.
- Walter Pincus, "Intelligence Panel's Findings Criticized. Experts Call Suggestions Uninformed," Washington Post, March 31, 2005.
- Dafna Linzer and Barton Gellman, "Doubts on Weapons Were Dismissed," Washington Post, April 1, 2005. Read the full report.
- Dafna Linzer, "Panel: U.S. Ignored Work of U.N. Arms Inspectors," Washington Post, April 3, 2005.
- Thomas Blanton and Peter Kornbluh, "Prisoner Abuse: Patterns from the Past. Cheney Warned in 1992," CounterPunch, May 11, 2004. (emphasis added)
- Barry Schweid, "Bolton Criticized by Former Intel Official," Associated Press (Free Republic), May 6, 2005.
- Walter Pincus, "Prewar Findings Worried Analysts," Washington Post, May 22, 2005.
- Raymond McGovern, "Bolton Confirmation Would Shatter Intelligence Analysts' Morale," Antiwar, May 26, 2005.
- Walter Pincus, "Analysts Behind Iraq Intelligence Were Rewarded," Washington Post, May 28, 2005.
- Bradley Graham, "Senator May Block Successor to Defense Policy Chief Feith," Washington Post, June 23, 2005.
- Dan Froomkin, "What Did the President Know?" Washington Post, July 25, 2005.
- Tom Engelhardt, "The Media's Roving Eye," Tom Dispatch, July 27, 2005.
- Jonathan Schell, "The Bomb and Karl Rove," Tom Dispatch, July 27, 2005.
- Jim Lobe, "Dating Cheney's Nuclear Drumbeat. Framing the Plame Case," Tom Dispatch, August 1, 2005. Scroll down for article.
- Transcript: "Dead Wrong," CNN, August 21, 2005.
- "Former aide: Powell WMD speech 'lowest point in my life'," CNN, August 23, 2005.
- "Powell calls pre-Iraq U.N. speech a 'blot' on his record," Associated Press (USA Today), September 8, 2005.
- Jim VandeHei and Walter Pincus, "Cheney's Office Is A Focus in Leak Case. Sources Cite Role Of Feud With CIA," Washington Post, October 18, 2005.
- "Weighing the Uniqueness of the Bush Administration's National Security Decision-Making Process: Boon or Danger to American Democracy?" with Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, USA (Ret.), Former Chief of Staff, 2002-2005. Moderated by Steven Clemons, Director, New America Foundation, American Strategy Program, and Publisher, www.thewashingtonnote.com, October 19, 2005. Transcript and Video links.
- Thomas Omestad, "Ex-State official blasts 'Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal'," US News & World Report Online, October 19, 2005.
- Edward Alden, "Cheney cabal hijacked US foreign policy," Financial Times, October 20, 2005.
- Dana Milbank, "Colonel Finally Saw Whites of Their Eyes," Washington Post, October 20, 2005.
- Jim Lobe, "Powell Aide Blasts Rice, Cheney-Rumsfeld 'Cabal'," Inter Press Service (Common Dreams), October 20, 2005.
- Jim Lobe, "US policy and the 'Oval Office cabal'," Asia Times, October 21, 2005.
- Steven C. Clemons, "Brent Scowcroft Lets it Rip (Like Larry Wilkerson) in Monday's New Yorker," The Washington Note, October 21, 2005.
- Steven C. Clemons, "Secretive Cabal Running U.S. Foreign Policy is Undermining America's Democracy," TPM Cafe, October 21, 2005.
- Steven C. Clemons, "Chris Nelson on the Cheney-Rumsfeld Cabal with Comments on Lawrence Wilkerson, Richard Armitage, and Colin Powell," The Washington Note, October 21, 2005.
- Brian Knowlton, "Ex-Powell aide assails Bush's foreign policy," International Herald Tribune, October 21, 2005. Also posted by New York Times.
- Timothy Noah, "Bush Abandonment Watch, Part 2. A former State Department bigwig unload," Slate, October 21, 2005.
- Paul Richter, "Official Says U.S. Rushed to War in Iraq. A top diplomat accuses the administration of sending the country to war too soon and poorly prepared because of 'clear political pressure," Los Angeles Times, October 22, 2005.
- "Cabal of Crazies," PastPeak, October 22, 2005.
- Richard Holbrooke, "The System Worked," Washington Post, October 23, 2005.
- pessimist, "Ratlines Over the Side," The Left Coaster, October 23, 2005.
- "End of the Week Political Notes," Just Above Sunset, October 23, 2005. Contains numerous excerpts from Wilkerson's October 19th speech.
- Fred Kaplan, "Now They Tell Us. Why didn't Bush's foreign-policy critics speak out a year ago?" Slate, October 24, 2005.
- Bob Herbert, "How Scary Is This?" New York Times (TruthOut), October 24, 2005.
- Michael Tomasky, "Well, Colin?" The American Prospect, October 24, 2005: "Don’t good things come in threes? Wilkerson, Scowcroft ... A certain someone should be next, if he wants to salvage what’s left of his reputation."
- Jim Lobe, "Frustrated Scowcroft Assails Neo-Cons, Cheney," Inter Press Service, October 24, 2005.
- Lawrence B. Wilkerson, "The White House cabal," Los Angeles Times, October 25, 2005. Also posted on TruthOut.org website.
- Editorial: "The colonel's critique," Boston Globe, October 26, 2005.
- Maureen Dowd, "Dick at the Heart of Darkness," New York Times (fbihop), October 26, 2005.
- Steven C. Clemons, "Realists lambaste neo-cons," The Australian, October 27, 2005.
- Murray Waas, "Cheney, Libby Blocked Papers to Senate Intelligence Panel," National Journal (TruthOut), October 27, 2005.
- Opinion: "Capable Leaders, Openness Missing," Myrtle Beach Online/The Sun News, October 27, 2005.
- Sidney Blumenthal, "Shipwrecked. Bush has so thoroughly destroyed the Republican establishment that no one, not even his dad, can rescue him now," Salon, October 27, 2005. Subscription or preview required.
- Jim Lobe, "A Formidable Hawk Goes Down," Inter Press Service, October 28, 2005.
- Elizabeth de la Vega, "The White House Criminal Conspiracy," Nation, November 14, 2005 (issue); posted on Tom Dispatch, October 29, 2005. Scroll down for article.
- Lawrence B. Wilkerson, "A secret cabal ruled in Bush's first term. This shadowy process was guided by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld," San Francisco Chronicle, October 30, 2005.
- Frank Rich, "One Step Closer to the Big Enchilada," New York Times, October 30, 2005.
- Robert Collier, "Seeds of Leak Scandal Sown in Italian Intelligence Agency," San Francisco Chronicle (Common Dreams), October 30, 2005.
- John Barry, Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball, "Prelude to a Leak. Gang fight: How Cheney and his tight-knit team launched the Iraq war, chased their critics—and set the stage for a special prosecutor's dramatic probe," Newsweek (also posted on TruthOut website), October 31, 2005 (issue).
- Jim Lobe, "Cheney Circles the Wagons," Inter Press Service, November 1, 2005.
- Tim Naftali, "Superiority Complex. Why is the vice president deciding how the U.S. treats foreign detainees?" Slate, November 2, 2005.
- Dan Froomkin, "Another Thunderbolt from Wilkerson," Washington Post, November 4, 2005.
- John Hooper, "Italy 'warned Saddam intelligence was bogus'," Guardian Unlimited (UK), November 4, 2005.
- Elaine Sciolino and Elisabetta Povoledo, "Source of Forged Niger-Iraq Uranium Documents Identified," New York Times, November 4, 2005.
- "Iraq War Questions" with Lawrence B. Wilkerson, PBS Online NewsHour, November 4, 2005.
- "More Fodder for Press: Wilkerson Charges Cheney Responsible for Prisoner Abuse," Editor & Publisher, November 4, 2005.
- "Ex-Official Speaks Out on Prison Abuse," Associated Press (San Francisco Chronicle), November 4, 2005.
- Billmon, "The Cheney Administration," Whiskey Bar, November 4, 2005.
- Louis L. Gould, "A White House that never learned to govern. The troubles Bush faces are result of his ongoing campaigning," Houston Chronicle, November 5, 2005.
- Walter Pincus, "Newly Released Data Undercut Prewar Claims. Source Tying Baghdad, Al Qaeda Doubted," Washington Post, November 6, 2005.
- Daniel Benjamin, "President Cheney. His office really does run national security," Slate, November 7, 2005.
- James Carroll, "Deconstructing Cheney," Boston Globe, November 7, 2005.
- Jackson Diehl, "Reselling the Wars. Are Troop Withdrawals the Price for Further Commitment in Afghanistan and Iraq?" Washington Post, November 7, 2005.
- "How the Nation was Led to war," Crooks and Liars, November 7, 2005: "Chris Matthews and Hardball did a play by play on the run up to the war that includes all the famous quotes by the adminiistration." QT and WMP video links.
- Rob, "20 Words - Another Iraq War Claim Lie," AMERICAblog, November 8, 2005.
- Robert Scheer, "Lying with Intelligence," AlterNet, November 8, 2005: "A declassified document shows yet again how Bush abused facts to sell war."
- Editorial: "President Bush's Walkabout," New York Times, November 8, 2005: "Right now, the vice president is devoting himself to beating back Congressional legislation that would prohibit the torture of prisoners. This is truly a remarkable set of priorities: his former chief aide was indicted, Mr. Cheney's back is against the wall, and he's declared war on the Geneva Conventions."
- John Prados, "Phase II: Loaded For Bear," Tom Paine.Common Sense, November 10, 2005.
- Dana Milbank and Walter Pincus, "Asterisks Dot White House's Iraq Argument," Washington Post, November 12, 2005.
- John Aravosis, "Cheney vows to throw critics' words back at them. Is he crazy or just stupid?" AMERICAblog, November 16, 2005: "51 times Cheney misled the American people about Iraq, and he's the best guy this administraton can come up with to convince the American people that you're a traitor if you accuse them of lying."
- Mark Schmitt, "Ideology of Information," TPM Cafe, November 17, 2005.
- Tom Turnipseed, "Dick Cheney: War Profiteer," Common Dreams, November 17, 2005.
- Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo, November 18, 2005.
- Jerry M. Landay, "Two Wise Men Break Ranks Over Iraq," Providence Journal (Common Dreams), November 18, 2005.
- Jonathan Schell, "The Fall of the One-Party Empire," The Nation, November 22, 2005 (posted); December 12, 2005 (issue).
- Robert Scheer, "Cheney's Trouble with the Truth," The Nation, November 23, 2005.
- Sidney Blumenthal, "The long march of Dick Cheney. For his entire career, he sought untrammeled power. The Bush presidency and 9/11 finally gave it to him -- and he's not about to give it up," Salon, November 24, 2005. Subscription or preview required.
- Murray Waas, "Cheney 'Authorized' Libby to Leak Classified Information," National Journal, February 9, 2006.
- David Ignatius, "An Arrogance of Power," Washington Post, February 15, 2006.
- Dan Froomkin, "A Compelling Story," White House Watch Blog/Washington Post, March 31, 2006.
- Manuel Valenzuela, "The Unearthing: An Awakening Has Arrived. With Truth Comes Awakening," Information Clearing House, May 3, 2007.
- "FDL Book Salon Welcomes Murray Waas and Jeff Lomonaco", Firedoglake, Jun. 26, 2007.