Cheney's USA: It's Called FASCISM
A new leaked document reveals that Dick Cheney's US Energy Policy was authored by officials from Exxon Mobil Corp., Conoco (before its merger with Phillips), Shell Oil Co. and BP America Inc.
In a joint hearing last week of the Senate Energy and Commerce committees, the chief executives of Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips said their firms did not participate in the 2001 task force. The president of Shell Oil said his company did not participate "to my knowledge," and the chief of BP America Inc. said he did not know...See the WaPo story here.
The executives were not under oath when they testified, so they are not vulnerable to charges of perjury; committee Democrats had protested the decision by Commerce Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) not to swear in the executives. But a person can be fined or imprisoned for up to five years for making "any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation" to Congress.
On the same day, a Center for Public Integrity investigation has discovered that Cheney and his staff have been declaring themselves exempt from the travel disclosure laws followed by the rest of the White House:
The vice president's office appears to have stuck taxpayers with millions of dollars in travel costs and has avoided disclosing its expenses and destinations.With most Americans disapproving of how he does his job, it's little wonder that protesters are heckling Cheney whenever he goes out in public. Even Hillary "Will This Help My Bid?" Clinton is whacking him. No wonder he tends to stay in his bunker:
The private sector routinely covers the travel expenses associated with government officials' appearances – of which Cheney himself has made more than 275 since 2001 – at think tanks, trade organizations and universities around the world. When the private sector picks up the tab, however, federal law requires that officials report where they went, how much it cost, and who paid.
Yet since 2001, Cheney's office – unlike Vice President Al Gore before him – has claimed that it is not bound by the travel disclosure rules the rest of the White House complies with, the Center found. Letters from the vice president's counsel assert that the office is not "an agency" of the executive branch, but adds as "a matter of comity" that none of the staff has accepted travel payments from a non-federal source.
Cheney has been avoiding the limelight, spending a considerable amount of time at a newly obtained weekend retreat in Maryland.So now, instead of coming clean on his own involvement in the burgeoning scandals that are now engulfing the Bush administration, instead of issuing a blanket waiver for anyone wishing to discuss his involvement in the PlameGate crisis, Cheney is staying on the attack:
US Vice President Richard Cheney heightened the White House campaign against Democrats calling their accusations that the administration misled the country into the Iraq war 'reprehensible' and 'pernicious'...More bile from Cheney here:
Cheney said Washington was witnessing what he called 'a wild departure' from the tradition of truth and good faith in conducting national debate.
'And the suggestion that's been made by some US senators that the president of the United States or any member of this administration purposely misled the American people on pre-war intelligence is one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city,' he told the Frontiers of Freedom Institute, a conservative think-tank.
What we're hearing now is some politicians contradicting their own statements and making a play for political advantage in the middle of a war... The saddest part is that our people in uniform have been subjected to these cynical and pernicious falsehoods day in and day out.What Cheney and the Bush team do not seem to realize, or more likely are deliberately ignoring, is that this is not really a Democrats versus GOP issue. This is the PEOPLE of the USA - and the world - demanding answers. Most of the Democrats, in fact, have only been unwillingly drawn into the mix after it became clear that the public debate was moving ahead without them.
UPDATE: I was about to suggest that Karl Rove is also a prime candidate for Woodward's source, then I read Josh Marshall's late-night post from NYT:
A senior administration official said that neither President Bush himself, nor his chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr., nor his counselor, Dan Bartlett, was Mr. Woodward's source. So did spokesmen for former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, former C.I.A. Director George J. Tenet and his deputy John E. McLaughlin.For my money, that's it: it was Cheney!
A lawyer for Karl Rove, the deputy White House chief of staff who has acknowledged conversations with reporters about the case and remains under investigation, said Mr. Rove was not Mr. Woodward's source.
Vice President Cheney did not join the parade of denials. A spokeswoman said he would have no comment on an ongoing investigation. Several other officials could not be reached for comment.