“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cheney hid a Secret from Congress. God Bless Dick Cheney

The first Chaney (Lon) Phantom.

The Democrats and their ladies in waiting, MSM, are doing their best to change the subject about the worsening economy and falling support for OB-One. They are dragging out the the always scary, always evil Phanton of the Opera Absurda, Dick Cheney.

I have a hunch I know what this is about, probably the dismissing of some rather unpleasant enemies.

Just a couple of thoughts. In defense of liberty and freedom, tough men must make tough decisions. Some in the US Congress, illiterate of the laws that they past, are not to be trusted with keeping state secrets. The system does not allow the minority of the truly loathsome to be separated from the otherwise sane and loyal members. Too bad that cannot be changed, but it can't.

In a way this is similar to the Honduras situation. There are some times when you have to do the wrong thing to do the right thing. Brave and noble men do and are prepared to pay the price for doing so.


Cheney 'ordered CIA to hide plan'

Former US Vice-President Dick Cheney gave direct orders to the CIA to conceal an intelligence programme from Congress, US media reports say.The existence of the programme, set up after 9/11, was hidden for eight years and even now its nature is not known.

CIA director Leon Panetta is said to have abandoned the project when he learnt of it last month.
He has now told a House committee that Mr Cheney was behind the secrecy, the unnamed US sources say.
There has been no comment from Mr Cheney.

War of words

The claims come amid an increasingly bitter row between the CIA and Congress over whether key information was withheld about other aspects of the agency's operations. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has claimed that the CIA misled her about interrogation methods including waterboarding, while other senior Democrats have quoted Mr Panetta as admitting that his agency regularly misled Congress before he took office.

Panetta is said to have closed the programme when he discovered it

Details of the newly-revealed secret programme have still not been divulged, but sources say it did not relate to the CIA's rendition programme, interrogation methods or a controversial domestic surveillance project.
Officials quoted by the New York Times say the programme was launched by anti-terror operatives at the CIA soon after the 2001 attacks, and involved planning and training but never became fully operational.
Another unnamed official told AP it was an embryonic intelligence-gathering effort, aimed at yielding intelligence that would be used to conduct a covert operations abroad.

Sources have told a number of US media outlets Mr Cheney personally instructed the CIA to withhold information about the programme from Congress. Mr Panetta - who took over directorship of the CIA under President Obama's administration - is said to have learnt about the programme only on 23 June. The next day he called an emergency meeting with congressional intelligence committees to tell them about its existence and to say that it was being cancelled, the reports say.

Veto threat

The allegations come as the Democrats in Congress are trying push through new rules that would increase the number of members of Congress who are told about covert operations.The White House is threatening to veto the bill, fearing that operational secrecy could be compromised. The CIA has not commented on the reports of Mr Cheney's role.

"It's not agency practice to discuss what may or may not have been said in a classified briefing," said spokesman Paul Gimigliano.

"When a CIA unit brought this matter to Director Panetta's attention, it was with the recommendation that it be shared appropriately with Congress. That was also his view, and he took swift, decisive action to put it into effect."

A CIA spokesman insisted earlier this week that "it is not the policy or practice of the CIA to mislead Congress."


  1. Great minds ....

    Hope Mr Cheney gets to go to Court to defend himself from these charges.

    That they are not left to dangle in the breeze, like a Pablo Solari wind chime.

  2. Indicted for with holding information from the oversight committees.

    That's for what.

    YES, the Congress IS ENTITLED to every piece of information the Executive holds, as to the PROGRAMS that the Executive is pursuing.

    That is what 'oversight' means.

  3. People who ride a high horse have a long way to fall.

  4. To order perjury by a governmental employee is criminal, in the United States, especially as it pertains to the checks and balances that are essential to maintaining freedonm and liberty in those United States.

    If it is not, well amigos, it damn well should be.
    Or Mr Holdren can just hide his sterilization program, by never refering it to Congress.
    He, like the CIA and Mr Cheney can...

    Just Do It!

  5. Here is the oversight standard.

    Can Czar Holdren start a program and not inform Congress?

  6. This whole story sounds like nothing more than the ongoing feud between the CIA and Nancy Pelosi.
    For months now, Pelosi has accused the CIA of lying about what she was told in briefings. For months, Panetta has said "No, the Agency isn't lying." Now, Panetta, a Democrat apparachik if there ever was one, does a 180 and once again the name of of lucifer, aka Dick Cheney is invoked. So, then on the flimsiest of charges, the pitchfork crowd storms the town center calling for the indictment of Dick Cheney.

    FEA and the high horses they rode in on.

  7. Oh my goodness, this is horrible:
    Details of the newly-revealed secret programme have still not been divulged, but sources say it did not relate to the CIA's rendition programme, interrogation methods or a controversial domestic surveillance project.

  8. All Mr Holdren needs to 'just do it', Mr Biden's secret approval of Holdren's classifed program.

    Can I get a show of hands?

  9. The program itself is still secret and may well should be, secret from the public.

    But not from the overseers

    No matter what it pertained to.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. The Congressional Republicans that were in charge, in 2001, not to be trusted with the truth?

  12. Tell me this isn't political warfare:

    AP source: Holder considering torture probe

    WASHINGTON – Contrary to White House wishes, Attorney General Eric Holder may push forward with a criminal investigation into the Bush administration's harsh interrogation practices used on suspected terrorists.

    Holder is considering whether to appoint a prosecutor and will make a final decision within the next few weeks, a Justice Department official told The Associated Press. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on a pending matter.

    Contrary to Obama's wishes? I don't think so. This looks like an organized campaign, Alinsky style, to drive the final nails in the Republican coffin.

    The beauty of these anonymous source weekend news stories is that they don't really need to prove anything or go anywhere. As you can tell from the Holder story, it's not even news.

  13. Go to Deuce's BBC link and look at the "See Also" links on the right:

    CIA 'often lied to congressmen'
    09 Jul 09 | Americas
    CIA rejects Pelosi torture blame
    15 May 09 | Americas
    Washington diary: Cheney's party
    13 May 09 | World News America
    Obama takes aim at Bush-era security
    21 May 09 | Americas
    Pelosi says CIA lied on 'torture'
    14 May 09 | Americas
    Fresh torture claims against CIA
    16 Jun 09 | Americas

  14. Could it be that this actually isn't about the CIA or Cheney but rather political games between Pelosi and the White House?
    The allegations come as the Democrats in Congress are trying push through new rules that would increase the number of members of Congress who are told about covert operations.The White House is threatening to veto the bill, fearing that operational secrecy could be compromised.

  15. It is political warfare, it is also much more than that, but it is based upon decisions of dubious legality, made by Team43.

    Always was one of risks that they ran, by embracing the Nixon Doctrine:
    "If the President does it, it's not illegal".

    The actions of Team43 also sets a precedent of behaviour for Mr Obama.

    Czar Holdren is sure of the national security threats that confronts US. From people on the ground to CO2 in the air he sees the challenge and has a solution.

    All he needs to do, to proceed, is get Joe Biden's signature?

  16. No amount of deflection will resolve Obama's albatross, namely that his administration's economic policies are strangling the American economy.

    "High taxes, coupled with intrusive regulation of business, and greenery taken to silly extremes"

    The Obama administration turning America into California

    Where are the jobs?

    Deflect that.

  17. It's a checks and balance issue, whit.

    Not another "Get Cheney"

    Despite the 'related' articles.

    It's the offices and branches of power, not the personalities. That is what is at stake, not the people, all of whom are expendable. The issue is about where the Federal power really resides.

    Can the Executive dismiss the existance of Congressional authority and responsibility out of hand.

  18. If the trial of Dick Cheney were to set a limit on Executive power and privilege, it would have been worth his five deferments, he making a final sacrifice of his freedom for his nation.

  19. The checks and balances only work when everyone plays by the Rules, whether in Honduras or the United States.

    I tend to side with the Legislature, in both cases of Executive over reach.

  20. The economy is in sick shape, with no sign of recovery that I can see.

    I've said that, many times.

  21. The responsibility for that reality is trans-administrative.

  22. Cheney could simply be collateral damage in a fight between the current Executive and Legislative branches. So far, evidence for indicting anyone is no better than hearsay or in the case of Pelosi, "He said, she said."

  23. PMI Home Prices Could Be Lower in 2011

    Fifteen areas in the country have a 99 percent probability of lower prices in 2011 including:
    Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Riverside, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, Sacramento, San Diego, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Providence and Detroit.

  24. That's good news, Doug. Painful as it may be for some, the market is correcting itself.

  25. Is it time for jail yet for Cheney?There is a related post at

    Holder to mimic Obama's Bannana Republic Buddies.
    Appoint Blago and Rezko as special prosecutors.

  27. smoke...smoke...smoke...

    There will be no trial(s)...That's a road without end...

  28. Allen wins a prize!

    Tell him what he won, barkeep.

    Barkeep: Allen, you've won a lifetime supply of Sunday morning talk shows!

  29. (We've got a very small budget at the Bar.)

  30. Our glorious host wrote:

    "There are some times when you have to to the wrong thing to do the right thing."

    Got a prize for that trish? Situational ethics at its finest!

  31. "I have a hunch I know what this is about, probably the dismissing of some rather unpleasant enemies."

    Would this be like Sy Hersh's "executive assassination" outfit? Speaking last March at some university or other, Hersh spoke about an out-of-pocket, where-in-the-hell-on-the-line-and-block-chart organization that reported only to the OVP and whose mission is to pop those who, he would lead you to believe, don't come under federal statute.

    The organization?



    Some SFB ran with that recently, linking it up to the program-that-never was out of Langley.

    And I'll be damned if two Cheney-ites didn't shrewdly grab the opportunity to further a theme, knowing full well that when it comes to oversight, the utility of the Agency lies precisely in its unique 'possession' by the Executive.

    Years ago someone asked, "Do you have death squads?"

    "Define 'death squad.'"

    Yeeeeaaah, buddy.

    Everyone wants to capitalize politically, from this end or that.

    Which is the round-about way of saying: I've got ten bucks, dear host, that says you're wrong.

  32. trish,

    I am truly touched by your generosity! But since I spend, inadvertently, about one hour per month "seeing" television in passing, may I have the barmaid instead; her opinion is probably about as well founded as the TV suits.


    This morning it occurred to me that there are people who never tire of expressing an unconsidered opinion on any topic. How can someone publish thousands of posts without ever once using a question mark?

  33. Execution by, hmm let me think, is there an upper limit on the caliber, say for instance:

    "Suspected US missiles today struck a training base allegedly operated by the Pakistani Taliban leader, Baitullah Mehsud, and a militant hideout, killing 15 people and wounding 27 others, two intelligence officials said.

    The two attacks by drone aircraft took place in South Waziristan, a Mehsud stronghold close to the Afghan border, the officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media."

    Assassination is determined by the type of weapon? I don't think so.


    dear Ash, all ethics are tweaked by evolving situations. They evolve depending on situations. Morality can both have static underpinnings and flexibility. Changes in morality and the application to that change, call it "the ethics", differ from generation to generation.

    Obama just visited a fort where black Africans who were captured by other black Africans were warehoused and sold to the highest bidders. Black Africans discovered that they could get a better price from white Europeans than from other black buyers. Free trade being what it is worked its economic magic. That was the morality of the time.

    It is inconvenient for African Americans to look at that truth because if levels the ethical ground.

    Survival is the lubricant of evolving ethics.

  34. "stiuational ethics"...Hmm

    I am reminded of a former girlfriend who never tired of relating to anyone listing that she was an "animal lover", who could never have a longterm relationship with a hunter. Ever impolitic, I reminded her of this as she ordered mini-burgers at Ruby Tuesday.

    It's tough to be darned decision after another...The question becomes: What is murder?

    For instance, if I could get into Iran and execute the killer of Neda, would that be murder?

  35. When Israel hunts down those that wish to do her harm and assassinates them, is that more or less ethical than waiting to be attacked and then retaliating in kind?

    When terrorists kill civilians, is there a code of ethics that prevents one from killing them first? If Cheney broke a law while trying to protect American lives, then what is the ethical value of a law that requires Americans to die before certain actions are taken?

    Whit is correct. This is an excuse to push a political agenda. It is a dangerous move.

  36. Some SFB ran with that recently, linking it up to the program-that-never was out of Langley.

    Acronym Finder tells me:

    SFB = Smoke Fat Blunts

    Just as I thought.

  37. SFB = Scooter's Farewell Bash


    Gettin' confused down here at the end of the bar.

  38. That scenario does not apply, duece, to the current story, if accuratly told.

    The 'Program' being undweway for over seven years, the rush of expediency was gone.

    You're right, allen, folks that never ask questions are not looking for the truth, but tend to be promoting a viewpoint.

    They tend not to read what others write, either.

    While the inquisitive mind is always asking questions and taking the thoughts and explanations of others into consideration.

  39. The Players Creed:

    Don't do the Crime, if you Can't do the Time.

  40. Marines' Creed:

    Everyone gets his turn in the barrel.

  41. Rufus' Creed:

    Everbody falls in the Shit, Someday.

  42. Couple of key grafs from the NYT

    ***But the language of the statute, the amended National Security Act of 1947, leaves some leeway for judgment, saying such briefings should be done “to the extent consistent with due regard for the protection from unauthorized disclosure of classified information relating to sensitive intelligence sources and methods or other exceptionally sensitive matters.”


    They have said the program was started by the counterterrorism center at the C.I.A. shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but never became fully operational, involving planning and some training that took place off and on from 2001 until this year.***

    Had it become operational without Congress' knowledge, there would be a problem, but I don't see anything here but another wild Cheney hunt.

  43. deuce,

    I certainly wouldn't try to argue morality as being fixed and unchanging but your statement "There are some times when you have to to the wrong thing to do the right thing." is nonsensical. Either what you do is right or wrong and the situation can help determine that. I don't accept, though, that what a republican president or vice president does is right while if a democrat prez or vice does the same thing it is then wrong. That seems to be the thrust behind many of your complaints.

    Bush presided over the warrantless wiretapping of US citizens and you praise him. If Obama were to do something remotely similar you'd condemn him. We can sift through many of your past posts to establish this trend but why bother with the effort?

    In short, you can argue that the executive has (or, more accurately, should have) a right to operate with no oversight, no congressional reporting obligations. This imperial presidency, though, will apply to whatever President holds the office, Democrat or Republican.

    As an aside, what's with this justification "to save American lives"? Are American lives somehow different than others? Americans are better, thus giving more ethical weight to any action to save them?

  44. Heck, everything in the US is political is it not? Even judges have to get elected.

  45. "As an aside, what's with this justification "to save American lives"? Are American lives somehow different than others? Americans are better, thus giving more ethical weight to any action to save them?"


    The CiC had better answer "Yes".

  46. Deemocracy is Hard.

  47. Re: "save American lives"

    Yes, ethically, the government of the United States must view American lives as worth more than those of others. Otherwise, the government of the United States would cease being the government of the citizens of the United States.

    While sad but true, occasionally the government of the United States forgets that, say in the strange case of the Egyptian, Yasser Arafat.

  48. For those who missed my last LA Real Estate Horror Story above, it was Wayne Gretsky selling at the top of the market in 2007 to Lenny Dykstra for 17.5 (million) with B of A and WaMu providing near 100% financing.

    Lenny now “has no more than $50,000 of assets and between $10 million and $50 million of liabilities, according to a petition filed Tuesday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Central District of California.

    "Maximum leverage. I find it hard to believe that there is still a sizable contingent of anti-math folks that believe this entire global credit mess was created by subprime borrowers. They think that poor people in the inner city somehow led to $13.87 trillion in household wealth being wiped off the balance sheet. Try telling these people that some $1 trillion in subprime loans does not equal $13.87 trillion in wealth destruction. The reality is much of this is a distraction from their puppet masters on Wall Street and the true crony-banking machine.

    Now moving back to the Westside you can rest assured the likes of WaMu, Countrywide, and IndyMac made plenty of maximum leverage loans that will end horribly in the next 6 to 18 months. Now let me give you a glimpse of the shadow market that is developing in the Westside..."

    Rufus's Creed holds, but some shitholes are deeper than others.

  49. "For instance, if I could get into Iran and execute the killer of Neda, would that be murder?"
    A few weeks ago you mentioned Israeli Operators in Iran that were neutralized by some third party.
    I asked where I could find links about that, but I either didn't follow up on your answer, or you didn't have one.
    So I'm apologetically asking again.

  50. This was some of the Prep Work by the NY Times on Friday:
    U.S. Said to Have Averted Inquiry Into ’01 Afghan Killings
    The mass killing of Taliban prisoners was carried out by the forces of an American-backed warlord during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan.
    Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum

  51. Not to mention the Irbil Five.

  52. It's irritating as hell when you want to post a quote by Karl Marx on means and ends, and can't find it, when you know right where it is, but the dang paperback book split in two long ago, and all I can find is the back part.

    Anyways, it's an ironic quote, to say the least, and Karl says to the point that a just end can't be gotten by an unjust means.

    In his early work somewhere, I think.

  53. For instance, if I could get into Iran and execute the killer of Neda, would that be murder?

    Not to me, but the situation might be seen as even more complex.

    What if this killer actually thought he was doing right, and was religiously justified, under the circumstances?

  54. Some folks just need killin.

  55. heh--some animals just need killin'--

    she was an "animal lover"--

    maybe the kind that supported the reintroduction of the wolves here, resulting in the gruesome deaths of thousands of elk, collapsing the herds.

    We're going to have a wolf hunt this fall, in an effort to save the remaining struggling elk.

    That's one of only two or maybe three things Obummer's done right in my view--taking the wolves off the endangered species list.

  56. In re the Iranians: The Iraqis have the same problem we do, which is the detention of those captured on the battlefield. Different standard of evidence applies when they're rolled into the general judicial system.

    We gave them what we had.

    They had to let them go.

    Just so you know.

  57. Did you know Walter Mondale was still producing CO2, al-Bob?

  58. Doug, my wife has taken up listening to Mish, and on Coast to Coast, too.

    It was Mat first posted Mish.

    He's becoming the C2C house economist. Doesn't mean he's not ok!

    I think things are going to go to further hell.

    Mentioned the other day, 80 mill jobs gone at a town near here. Lumber sales down.

    Did you know Walter Mondale was still producing CO2, al-Bob?

    Hadn't thought about it, but if he is, it's not for long.

  59. 'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone,' it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.'

    'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

    'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master - that's all.'

  60. Well, even tho Mish has a funny name, he's come to the same conclusion as me:

    "And it is that destruction of credit, coupled with the fact that what the Fed is printing is not even being lent that matters, not some Humpty-Dumptyish academic definition that has no real world practical application!

    The trick now is to figure out how long deflation will last, not whether we are in it.

    Humpty Dumpty is of no use, he cannot even see where we are."

  61. If you're going to Home Depot--take a Geiger Counter--

    Some Chinese drywall may be radioactive, reports indicate

    By NIRVI SHAH The Miami Herald
    Friday, July 10, 2009

    Some Chinese-made drywall imported into the United States contained radioactive material, news reports suggest, but state and federal tests so far haven’t detected it.

    Copies of customs reports obtained by The Los Angeles Times show drywall made with a radioactive waste product was shipped to the states in 2006 by at least four Chinese manufacturers and trading firms.

    The substance, called phosphogypsum, has been banned from use in nearly all products made in the United States by the Environmental Protection Agency since 1989.

    The EPA says that phosphogypsum, a fertilizer byproduct, contains uranium and radium.

    Radium decays to form radon, a cancer-causing, radioactive gas. A geoscientist interviewed by The Times said the material can cause corrosion.

    Chinese drywall is being blamed for making newer homes smell like chemicals or sulfur, corroding air-conditioner coils, blackening jewelry and other metals and causing breathing problems, nosebleeds and headaches for residents.

    But the limited number of tests performed on drywall so far don’t show that the product contains any radioactive material.

    EPA tests done earlier this year show the imported material contained sulfur, unlike domestic drywall, and foreign-made gypsum board contained strontium at 10 times the rate of U.S. drywall.

  62. By Gustavo Palencia and Daniel Trotta

    TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - Honduras' interim president held out the possibility of an amnesty for ousted President Manuel Zelaya Sunday after the lifting of a curfew that had been imposed on the country since the June 28 coup.

    Caretaker President Roberto Micheletti, sworn in hours after the armed forces removed Zelaya from power and expelled him to Costa Rica, held firm in a Reuters interview to his position that Zelaya could not return to power under any circumstances.
    Micheletti's interim government is holding talks with Zelaya's representatives through the mediation of Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, but the talks have resulted in little apparent progress, aside from an agreement to keep talking.

    "If he (Zelaya) comes peacefully first to appear before the authorities ... I don't have any problem (with an amnesty for him)," Micheletti told Reuters in an interview at the presidential palace in Tegucigalpa.

    Micheletti said Zelaya could not return to power "under any conditions" because he contravened the constitution by seeking to illegally extend his rule through the lifting of presidential term limits

  63. (CNN) -- President Obama has ordered national security officials to look into allegations that the Bush administration resisted efforts to investigate a CIA-backed Afghan warlord over the killings of hundreds of Taliban prisoners in 2001.
    The inquiry stems from the deaths of at least 1,000 Taliban prisoners who had surrendered to the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance in late 2001.

    The fighters were in the custody of troops led by Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, a prominent Afghan warlord who has served as chief of staff of the country's post-Taliban army.

    Dostum, a former communist union boss and militia leader who fought against the U.S.-backed mujahedeen in the 1980s, is known for switching sides as Afghanistan's political conflict has evolved. When the United States invaded Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, Dostum sided with the Americans and received military and CIA support to battle the Taliban.
    State Department officials recently have tried to derail Dostum's reappointment as military chief of staff to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the newspaper reported, citing several senior officials who suggested the administration "might not be hostile to an inquiry."

    Dostum, a key ally of Karzai, was reportedly living in exile in Turkey until last month, when he was reinstated to his post as defense minister. He had left Afghanistan over allegations that he had kidnapped Akbar Bai, a former ally turned political rival.

    When asked by CNN about whether Obama would support an investigation, the president replied, "I think that, you know, there are responsibilities that all nations have, even in war. And if it appears that our conduct in some way supported violations of laws of war, then I think that, you know, we have to know about that.

  64. By Dean Yates

    SINGAPORE (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has pancreatic cancer and the illness is life-threatening, South Korean broadcaster YTN said on Monday based on information gathered by Chinese and South Korean intelligence sources.

    Kim, 67, is believed to have also suffered a stroke last August. Kim's poor health and apparent moves to anoint his youngest son to succeed him have raised questions about the longevity of the regime in Pyongyang.

    Following are scenarios for how the situation may play out in North Korea over the coming months and years
    Read More