United States News Digest
'The Return of Dick Cheney'
Jan. 25 (EIRNS)Former CIA agent Philip Giraldi spoke in an interview on antiwar.com today about "the return of Dick Cheney." Giraldi said that Vice President "Cheney has made a recovery," and that President Bush is again listening to him, as opposed to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Giraldi said he has talked to people in the Defense Department and in the intelligence community who all agree: Cheney has not given up the idea of going to war with Iran. He is looking for "stealth ways" to do it, such as using the Israelis. Cheney, said Giraldi, in a recent speech in Washington, "promoted the idea that the intelligence community has stabbed the President in the back." Giraldi writes in the coming issue of American Conservative magazine that Cheney told his associates, "something has to be done before President Hillary comes in." Cheney also referred to members of U.S. Army's CENTCOM command as "traitors."
Paul Wolfowitz Is Back at the State Department
Jan. 25 (EIRNS)Paul Wolfowitz, who served as Assistant Secretary of Defense from 2001 until 2005, and was one of Dick Cheney's leading running dogs, is officially back at the State Department, after a brief interval at the World Bank. A press release issued yesterday, stated that he will head Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's "International Security Advisory Board." When EIR asked the State Department press officer, "Who appointed Wolfowitz?" the abrupt answer was that Secretary Rice had "signed off on it." When pressed, "How was it done? Who recommended him?" the response was, "Condoleezza Rice signed off on it; that's all you need to know."
According to the State Department website, the panel "provides the Department with independent insight and advice on all aspects of arms control, disarmament, international security, and related aspects of public diplomacy." The panel will meet at the end of the month and is expected to have on its agenda Iran's nuclear program.
In January 2003, Wolfowitz told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, "Disarming Iraq of its chemical and biological weapons and dismantling its nuclear weapons program is a crucial part of winning the war on terror." The U.S. then went to war in Iraq. No such weapons were ever found.
Rice Denounces Cheney Agent Over North Korea Policy
Jan. 23 (EIRNS)Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday blasted Dick Cheney cohort Jay Lefkowitz, the President's human rights envoy to North Korea, for interfering in the Administration's political efforts in Korea. As LaRouche PAC reported Jan. 19 ("Cheney's Boys Try Again To Sabotage Korean Talks"), Lefkowitz spoke last week at the American Enterprise Institute, and pronounced that North Korea will not end its nuclear program nor supposed "proliferation," that the Six Party talks were a failure, and that bilateral regime-change policies should be implemented instead.
Rice today, on her way to talks in Europe, was asked by the press if Russia and China may believe U.S. press coverage that Lefkowitz speaks for the Administration. Rice responded: "Jay Lefkowitz has nothing to do with the Six Party talks, and I would doubt very seriously that they would recognize the nameno, I don't think they're confused.... He's the human rights envoy. That's what he knows. That's what he does. He doesn't work on the Six Party talks. He doesn't know what's going on in the Six Party talks, and he certainly has no say in what American policy will be in the Six Party talks."
Lefkowitz was a co-founder of the New Citizen Project (which spawned the pro-imperial war Project for a New American Century/PNAC) with neocon William Kristol and Straussian Gary Schmitt. Cheney and his assets have intervened repeatedly over the past seven years to disrupt those (including within the Administration) who have tried to solve the Korean crisis. North Korea is, in the neocon perspective, a prime target for preemptive nuclear war.
Cheney Is Focus of Missing White House E-Mails Probe
Jan. 21 (EIRNS)The office of Vice President Dick Cheney became a focus of the missing White House e-mail scandal last week, when Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, released details of a White House briefing given to his staff on Sept. 19, 2007. According to Waxman, the White House provided a chart (which they took back with them at the conclusion of the briefing) detailing 473 days in which various entities of the Executive Office of the President archived no e-mails. Waxman provided the dates of 12 days in which the White House Office archived no e-mails and 16 days in which the Office of the Vice President archived no e-mails.
While Waxman avoided speculation as to what was going on on those particular days, Associated Press noted in a Jan. 19 report, that those days included four in early October 2003, just as the Valerie Plame grand jury investigation was getting under way. "Can it be mere coincidence that some of the missing e-mail correspond to a key period during the Valerie Plame investigation?" asked Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). "Given everything else we know, that is nearly impossible to believe." According to an analysis posted by CREW on its website, the dates of the missing e-mails from Cheney's office also overlap developments in Congressional efforts to gain access to the records of his energy task force.
For Bush, a Picture Is Worth a Thousand Wars
Jan. 20 (EIRNS)To get a glimpse at what really happened during President Bush's recent Middle East foray, in pursuit of a final peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, consider the following report from Palestinian Authority sources; weigh it against the lavish claims of Bush "engagement," and deep dedication to a two-state solution, that have characterized White House "spin" of the President's eight-day tour of Southwest Asia.
Just hours before Bush's scheduled meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, some of the President's advance men approached the Palestinian leader with a requestbordering on a demand, according to an informed account. The President of the United States, the report goes, insisted that, when he and President Abbas held their joint press conference, following their meeting in Ramallah, the portrait of Palestinian Liberation Organization founder and former PA President Yasser Arafat should kindly be removed from the wall, behind the two podiums. It seems that Bush was still so angry at the late Palestinian leader that the mere sight of his portrait would ruin his day.
In an unusual display of spine, according to reports, Abbas refused to remove the Arafat portrait from the press gallery. Eventually, the U.S. President backed down. And, in a final display of Palestinian anger at the Bush insult to their leader, when the two Presidents completed their private talks and moved into the press room to take questions from the media, the two podiums were switched, so that President Abbas was standing beneath his own portrait, and President Bush was forced to stand beneath the portrait of Arafat.
War College Meet: How To Spin Defeat Into Victory
Jan. 20 (EIRNS)The U.S. Army has been confronted with the harsh reality that the best propaganda operations in the world cannot transform real-world defeat into victory. Case in point: At a recent three-day conference at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., a group of 250 military officers from all four service branches, along with a number of invited "experts," gathered to assess how the Pentagon can improve its "new media" operations, to enhance American war-fighting capabilities. According to a press release on the event, which was ambitiously titled "New Media and the WarfighterA Workshop on Managing Information Effects in the Current Operational Environment," the participants took the case of the 33-day war in Lebanon between Israel and Hezbollah in July 2006, to assess information warfare techniques and their impact on military operations.
According to several eyewitnesses, the biggest lesson to come out of the session was that, no matter how good the propaganda, it is impossible to "spin" defeat into victory. Israel suffered a dramatic military setback in the Lebanon war, and all of the attempts to rewrite the history failed miserably, despite the fact that Israel is the undisputed champion of "new media" operations and "information management," and a master of the blogosphere.
The lesson of July 2006 has, apparently, not been learned by the Pentagon spinmeisters. Since June 2007, Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner has been posted in Baghdad, as the White House's chief propagandist, dishing out a steady stream of "evidence" that Iran is the source of all insurgency problems. Unlike his predecessor, Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, who delivered the White House propaganda line, but then assembled the Baghdad press corps "off the record" to give them the real story, Bergner is described as the truest of true believers. He was formerly the military deputy to National Security Council neocon Elliott Abrams, before landing the Baghdad spin post.