Monday, September 05, 2011

War Criminal Dick Cheney Gets A "Free Pass" from President Obama and US Media

In America we have the rule of law–only the law is not applied to banksters and members of the executive branch but, as Greenwald says, is only applied to “ordinary citizens and other nations’ (unfriendly) rulers.”

A country this utterly corrupt is certainly no “light unto the world.”
Quote by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

and   Torture in Chief  Dick Cheney being interviewed by Jamie Gangel:

JAMIE GANGEL: People call it torture. You think it should still be a tool?


JAMIE GANGEL: Secret prisons?


JAMIE GANGEL: Wiretapping?

DICK CHENEY: Well, with the right approval.

JAMIE GANGEL: You say it is one of the things you are proudest of, and you would do it again in a heartbeat.

DICK CHENEY: It was controversial at the time. It was the right thing to do.

It's always an amusing thing to watch these bitter, dirty old men attempt to cleanup their putrid little corners in the Hall of Infamy. Robert McNamara tried it fourteen years ago and it didn't work out too well for him. Cheney will fare no better. What he is attempting it the equivalent of putting a smiley face on a decomposing pig:

"Well lookie thar, Martha! Ain't that purdy!"
Quoted from article by By Tom Degan at "Cheney's New Book (Grab a Barf Bag): Does He Really Think He Can Pull A Fast One on History? " August 31, 2011

Dick Cheney is once again hailed by Fox News and American Mainstreanm Media as a Hero- even so called liberals refuse to call the acts committed by Dick Cheney crimes.
Their rationale in part is -so he tortured and murdered a few people so what the Muslims killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11 so America we are told had every right to exact whatever revenge it could even against innocent civilians.

These so called progressives and liberals are dismissive it appears of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who died because of the Cheney/Bush administrations unnecessary war against Iraq which can be characterized under International Law as being a " War of Aggression ".
The mainstream media also over the last decade refuse to acknowledge that in fact thousands of so called detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan were tortured by US personnel.

Even President Obama still refuses to call such acts crimes and merely continues with the same draconian illegal and immoral policies from illegal surveillance to harrassing and intimidating Muslim Americans to the use of torture , assassinations, renditions, indefinite incarceration and veiled threats to countries that dare to seek reform without first getting America's approval and blessing ie Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Yemen, while in Libya the US used the Arab Spring and widespread calls for peaceful reform throughout the region to back a violent murderous revolution by armed rebels with links to the Taliban, Al Qaeda and other extremist groups in order take down America's enemy Qaddaffi and to secure the flow of Libyan oil and as giving America a military strategic advantage in the region .

Now Obama and his Hawkish Democrats and their Republican counterparts  can possibly now begin in earnest their  plans to take down Iran or a few other countries which have appeared on the Neoconservatives " Enemies List " .  Its just the old Dominoes theory put into practice not by the Soviet' " Evil  Empire " but rather  by the so called "Enlightened Champion of Freedom America ".

But if President Obama was so concerned about the rights of citizens in their calls for reforms why didn't he support those who rose up in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Iraq etc.

Instead President Obama , Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and VP Joe Biden up til the last moment defended their "friend " Mubarak in Egypt for instance meanwhile abandoning the peaceful protesters in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to the murderous brutal crackdown on protesters in both countries even though a few phone calls from Obama could have stopped the carnage . In fact Biden, Hillary Clinton and Obama publicly reached out to the leaders of both countries and promised their full cooperation and non-interference. It seems in these cases as in others the US appears to pick and choose which dictator to support and which ones to abandon.

Qaddafi on the other hand was never one of America's "friends " and so the US supported the movement in Libya for reform but unlike other Arab countries the movement in Libya was not peaceful but led by a group of armed rebels.

NATO and the US unleashed a firestorm on Libya to oust its ruler meanwhile not lifting a finger to aid the protesters in Bahrain and gave Saudi Arabia the Green Light to brutally crackdown on the people of Bahrain for daring to question the legitimacy of the Royal family in Bahrain.

Instead the US government promulgated the Saudi propaganda which had no basis in reality that the uprisings in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia were masterminded by the Iranian government and secondly that the situation was actually a matter of sectarian violence on the part of Shi'a Muslim extremists which is far from the truth. But Obama sold it and the US and Western Media bought into the propaganda and so paid little attention to the uprising in Bahrain or Saudi Arabia. See for instance the recent book by Robin Wright on the Arab Spring and uprisings entitled Rock The Casbah : Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World pub. 2011.

As Robin Wright also points out about America's hypocrisy and duplicity that these reform movements had been going on for a few years and the Bush and Obama Regimes ignored them and instead spent energy, time and resources propping up their friendly dictators and their anti-democratic torture states.

So as Dick Cheney and President Obama are now in sync in their belief that whatever America does by definition it must be right legally and morally.
So we are led to believe that torture is OK if you don't call it torture and instead use a euphemism such as Enhanced Interrogation Techniques.
But it is a crime and downright evil when Saddam or the former KGB or Qaddafi or Osama Bin Laden does it.

Kidnapping civilians off of the streeets of America or foreign countries is ok if one can rationalize it and claim it is necessary in the Global War on Terror and besides if the president or Vice president say it is ok it is by definition legal and moral .

The invasion of a sovereign nation based upon lies and fabrications is not a War Crime if the USA does it.

Targeting individuals for assassination by US personnel in other nations is also ok if the US does it .But not if the Soviet Union or Libya, or Iran or Lebanon or other countries America does not like does it.

In the meantime the US media and most Americans cannot understand why a majority of citizens in the Middle East and the Muslim world distrust America and its government . America as they have seen talks a lot about reform , freedom, human rights, civil rights and democracy while propping up various dictators and brutal authoritarian regimes.

The hypocrisy and double dealing and duplicity of successive American governments and 12 presidents has become legendary and infamous to those who know the history of American foreign relations going back at least to the overthrow of the popular democratically elected leaders of Iran and Gautemala in 1953 by American engineered coups and repeated recently in Honduras . America hates those dictators and other autocratic rulers who are not willing to Kowtow to America's agenda while supporting unconditionally those that do.

And more recently during Obama's watch the US backed another coup d'etat in Honduras ousting the popular democratically elected President Zelaya because he was on the side of the people and not just the rich and powerful. Zelaya was also seen as a threat to US businesses in Honduras.
In 1973 for instance the US engineered a coup in Chile to oust President Allende who was killed during the coup to be replaced by the ruthless brutal dictator Pinochet once again putting the US on the wrong side of history that is on the side of the anti-democratic forces.To put it in context in order to fight Communism during the "Cold War" the US in Chile and other countries propped up ruthless anti-Communist dictators which has led to even more distrust of the US intentions and its long term agenda.

Chris Wallace a shill for the GOP the Neocons and the Tea Party.

" Chris Wallace Echoes Media Research Center, Proves Jon Stewart's Point " by Oliver Willis via Media , Sept. 4,2011

On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace accused NBC of bias when Today cameras showed a demonstrator with a sign demanding Cheney be investigated for torture.

This line of questioning appears to come directly from the conservative Media Research Center.

At the end of the contentious interview, Lauer declared: "Mr. Cheney, thanks for being with us this morning. I appreciate it." However, as the camera panned out of the studio, it zoomed in on a protest sign just outside from Amnesty International that read: "Torture is a Crime: Investigate Cheney."
But the MRC description of what happened isn't accurate. You can see it in MRC's own video.

The NBC camera zooms out of the room with Cheney and Matt Lauer, and when the protestor places the sign in front of the camera, the shot continues to zoom out - the opposite of what MRC asserts. Then again, MRC doesn't have the best track record of accurately describing events.

During his interview with The Daily Show's Jon Stewart in June, Wallace rejected Stewart's assertion that Fox News was a "relentless agenda-driven, 24-hour news opinion propaganda delivery system" and asked him, "where do you come up with this stuff?"

In his critique of NBC Wallace echoes the (shoddy) work of an ideologically conservative organization in order to paint NBC (a competitor) as a tool of the political opposition. In other words, Wallace's actions were fulfilling Fox's role as part of a "relentless agenda-driven, 24-hour news opinion propaganda delivery system" -- thus proving Stewart correct.

"In America The Rule Of Law Is Vacated" By Paul Craig Roberts "Information Clearing House" Sept. 01, 2011

...I have seen studies that show that police actually commit more acts of violence against the public than do criminals, which raises an interesting question: Are police a greater threat to the public than are criminals? On Yahoo I just searched “police brutality” and up came 4,840,000 results.

Meanwhile, the real master criminals, such as Dick Cheney, who, if tried for his actions at Nuremberg, would most definitely have been executed as a war criminal, run free. Cheney is all over TV hawking his memoirs. On August 29, interviewed by Jamie Gangel on NBC’s Dateline, Cheney again proudly admitted that he authorized torture, secret prisons, and illegal wiretapping. These are crimes under US and international laws.

Cheney claims breaking laws against torture is “the right thing to do” if “we had a high-value detainee and that was the only way we can get him to talk.”

Three questions immediately come to mind that no member of the presstitute media ever asks. The first is, why does Cheney think the office of Vice President, President, or Attorney General has the power to “authorize” breaking a law? Our vaunted “rule of law” disappears if federal officials can authorize breaking laws.

The second is, what high-value detainees is Cheney talking about? Donald Rumsfeld declared the Guantanamo detainees to be “the most dangerous, best-trained, vicious killers on the face of the earth.” But the vast majority had to be released when it turned out, after years of their lives were spent in a torture prison, that the vast majority of the detainees were hapless innocents who were sold to the stupid Americans by war lords as “terrorists” for bounties. To save face, the US government has held on to a few detainees, but hasn’t enough confidence in their alleged guilt to put them on trial in a court of law.

The third is why does Cheney think that he knows better than the accumulated documented evidence that torture doesn’t produce truthful or useful information. If the person under torture is actually a terrorist, he knows that his tormentors don’t know the answers that they are looking for and so he or she can tell the torturers whatever serves the tortured victim’s purposes. If the person under torture is innocent, he has no idea what the answers are and seeks to discover what his torturer wants to hear so that he can tell him.

As Glenn Greenwald makes clear, Dick Cheney, who presided “over policies that left hundreds of thousands of innocent people dead from wars of aggression, constructed a worldwide torture regime, and spied on Americans without the warrants required by law” is now being feted and enriched thanks to “the protective shield of immunity bestowed upon him by the current administration.”

...In America we have the rule of law–only the law is not applied to banksters and members of the executive branch but, as Greenwald says, is only applied to “ordinary citizens and other nations’ (unfriendly) rulers.”

A country this utterly corrupt is certainly no “light unto the world.”

and the horror continues:

In the war on Terror according to the American military all Arabs, all Iraqis, all Afghans, all Muslims are suspects and that there are no innocents.

And it appears that the US media and public tend to agree since Americans in general are dismissive of claims of innocent civilians being killed and shy away from revelations that these killings and massacres are then the fact covered up by the autorities.

Reporter recounts massacre revealed by WikiLeaks
BY JUSTIN ELLIOTT, Sept. 03,2011

This week, a State Department cable released by WikiLeaks brought renewed attention to a disputed killing of several civilians in the Iraqi town of Ishaqi on March 15, 2006.

The cable contains a copy of a letter of inquiry by a U.N. investigator outlining allegations that U.S. forces had handcuffed and then "executed" 10 people in the home of Faiz Harrat Al-Majma'ee. The soldiers then called in an airstrike that destroyed the house, it alleges.

The U.S. military has maintained that nothing improper happened, but to this day has refused to comment in detail about the case.

Beyond the primary question about what happened that day and whether it was an unjustified massacre or a case of collateral damage, the incident has political ramifications. As the AP reported Friday, Iraqi politicians said this week the incident could have an impact on any agreement to allow U.S. forces to stay in the country beyond Dec. 31.

As the AP noted, "Whether U.S. forces in Iraq will continue to have legal immunity from prosecution if they stay is one of the major stumbling blocks in the ongoing negotiations, as Washington will not allow the military to remain without it."

A Pentagon spokesman said this week, "We've already investigated these allegations, and there is no new information."

America's use of renditions in its war on terror has been a Public Relations nightmare yet the Obama administration the Mainstream Media defend such a policy as within America's legal right as a sovereign nation.

PR or Public Relations is key to understanding the mindset of President Obama. He is not concerned with whether or not the former administration committed War Crimes or Crimes Against Humanity but rather that these things became public due to traitorous whistleblowers like Bradley Manning and others .

This then helps to explain President Obama feel good tour of the Middle East and his major speech given in Cairo to appease the Arab and Muslim world to convince them these were mistakes of the past and will not be repeated . He further added that Americans after all is said and done are still the "Good Guys" on the side of freedom, justice and democracy. So he saw his role as shoring up America's (in his view ) good name. But this as we quickly discovered was just a lot of empty rhetoric as he claimed America would once again take into account the needs of the average citizen in these countries.

Once he did his "Good Will Tour " he returned to America and once again reverted to ignore the people of these various countries as he like the twelve presidents who preceded him began once again to pursue America's agenda and to defend and expand the American Empire at any cost even over the dead and mangled bodies of those who dared to resist America's will.

And yet Americans are baffled that many people in the Middle East , in the Arab states and the Muslim Nations and elsewhere distrust America. But America's track record going back over the last 60 years has been one of America's myopic pursuit of its own agenda and that of its corporations.

Americans in general seem unaware of how the rest of the world views America. Since at least 1953 America has pursued its own agenda around the Globe whether in the Middle East, in Latin America and Asia with little regard for the wishes or desires of the peoples of these regions.
In 1953 the US notoriously overthrew the popular democratically governments of Iran and Guatemala replacing the governments with American friendly dictators . This type of covert and overt activity has continued under the last 12 US presidents. From Indochina, Vietnam, Cambodia to Chile , Honduras and so on America has tried to force these nations and people to kowtow to America , its military and its ruthless greedy corporations as they propped up one nasty brutal anti-democratic dictator and authoritarian regimes.

But to those who are concerned about the human Rights not just of Americans but also non-Americans renditions are seen as a human rights violation and as violations of International Law and agreements.

But many Americans refuse to accept this since they believe that such international agreements such as The Geneva Conventions or the Special Convention on War Crimes and the rulings of the Nuremberg Trials regarding the massive bombing of civilian homes towns cities, infrastructure including water and sewage treatment plants and Power Grids and roads and highways hospitals, Mosques and churches.

They also see nothing amiss in violating agreements dealing with enemy combatants and POWs. They seem to believe that such laws and rules do not apply to the US government and its various agencies. The US they assert can make or break laws as its own discretion and the rest of the world can basically take a hike.

We have seen this most recently with Dick Cheney once again defending the actions of the former Bush/Cheney administration.

According to International Law the US' invasion and occupation of Iraq was unjustified and therefore is considered a War of Aggression in the same way as Saddam 's invasion of Iran in 1979? . Saddam was basically involved in a proxy war against Iran on behalf of the United States.

Of course these issues might have been resolved if President Obama had done a thorough investigation using all the legal instruments necessary in order to pursue and even if necessary prosecute the guilty parties ie Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Don Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, Condi Rice et al.

A War Crime is not based upon the number of people who die as a result of the crime -it is a crime if only one person or a million are killed unjustifiably-though this concept is almost impossible for the US government, its military, its politicians and its media to comprehend.

But the illegal invasion and Occupation of Iraq has led to the deaths of 500,000 to a million Iraqis plus over 2 million refugees and the destruction of most of the country's infrastructur. And it should be noted the US government did little to aid the Iraqi refugees even though given the circumstances the US had a responsibility to help these refugees.

Before the invasion through
the draconian sanctions on Iraq for over ten years at least another
500,000 Iraqi civilians died unnecessarily.
Though Madame Albright infamously said that it was worth it .

And as mentioned the war between Iran and Iraq was a proxy war on behalf of the US in order to get its revenge for ousting of the US backed dictator the Shah of Iran and the taking of American hostages by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini . During that war for which the US was directly involved behind the scenes as it were over a million Iraqis and Iranians were killed.

Extraordinary rendition lawsuit also window into low point for American experiment
A fight between subcontractors leads to the publication of details of the CIA's secret kidnapping program by Alex Pareene at, Sept. 2, 2011

A lawsuit between two aviation companies concerning a couple hundred thousand dollars in unpaid expenses has inadvertently led to the publicizing of a great deal of information about the CIA's extraordinary rendition program. (The program involved the illegal transport of thousands of terrorism suspects to secret CIA prisons in foreign nations and then to countries where suspects could be tortured. It is basically "kidnapping" followed by "torture" but the CIA did it so no one went to jail for it.)

The records from this lawsuit between two sub-contractors involved in the renditions will eventually be taught in an undergrad history course titled "America: Where It All Went Wrong." Detainees were transported by the same companies that fly billionaires on private jets to their resort vacations. (The CIA doesn't have an air force, so they relied on massive government contractor DynCorp, which... just rented some private planes.)

We learn that the CIA provided the flights with letters from a fictional State Department official (the State Department was almost certainly not involved in the rendition program) providing diplomatic cover.

We learn that one the planes used to transport a suspect (Abu Omar, captured in Italy and tortured in Egypt) was owned by the co-owner of the Boston Red Sox. The plane sported a Red Sox logo on the tail. I mean a Yankees plane might've been more poetically apt but either way it seems like such a pat symbol of America's behavior in the wretched first decade of the 21st century that I'd roll my eyes at it if it turned up in a piece of fiction. An executive's private plane, sporting the logo of a rich baseball team and carrying an Imam captured overseas by the CIA, touches down in Egypt, a nation led by an American-backed strongman, where the Imam is to be tortured. What preachy liberal hack dreamed up that one? (The executive also owns part of Liverpool FC, because we can't forget Great Britain's help in all this.)

Then the hedge funds took an interest in privatized torture:

DynCorp was purchased in 2003 by Computer Sciences Corp., another leading federal contractor, in a $940 million merger. Computer Sciences Corp. then took on a supervising role in the rendition flights through 2006, according to invoices and emails in the court files. CSC sold three DynCorp units in 2005 to Veritas Capital Fund, a private equity firm, for $850 million, but retained ownership of other parts of the old company. Veritas in turn sold the restructured DynCorp — now known as DynCorp International — for about $1 billion in 2010 to Cerebrus Capital Management, another private equity fund.

So at least a couple rich people got even richer off of our national shame. There's an upside to everything.

and so it goes,

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