A 'Perfect Storm' Is Rising to Oust Dick Cheney
by Michele Steinberg
This article appears in the February 2, 2007 issue of
Executive Intelligence Review
With the combination of the most somber and serious Congressional hearings since Watergate, and the opening of the trial of Vice President Dick Cheney's former Chief of Staff and National Security Advisor, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, for perjury and obstruction of justice, there is a "window of opportunity" for impeachment of the Vice President-and Cheney is jumping right through it.
On Jan. 24, one day after Cheney was exposed by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, as directing the campaign to discredit a credible, eyewitness critic, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, by exposing the identity of his wife, Valerie Plame Wilson, who worked as a covert agent of the CIA, Cheney went on national television to announce that the White House will ignore any resolution from Congress that criticizes the escalation of force in Iraq.
In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, when asked about the Senate resolution against the "surge," which had just been passed by the Foreign Relations Committee, Cheney boasted, "That won't stop us . . . we are moving forward . . . the President has made his decision."
In short, Cheney's own foul mouth, in bragging that the White House will ignore the Senate resolution against Bush's surge, just hours after the Senate committee passed the bipartisan Biden-Hagel-Levin measure, creates the "perfect storm" that could finally sweep Cheney out of the White House.
The exposure of Cheney's role in the Scooter Libby case, and his outrageous dismissal of the constitutional role of the Congress, affords the Bush family-which enlisted Cheney to craft George W. Bush's Presidential run in 2000-an opportunity now to take action to get him out.
This is not a matter of partisan, or revenge politics, but a matter of the national interest. Around the world, as a second carrier group move towards the Persian Gulf, and White House threats against Iran are repeated on a daily basis, it is recognized that the only certain path to stopping the planned attack on Iran is the impeachment of Dick Cheney, who today, just as in the case of the Iraq War, is running the "team" and the policy for "regime change" in Iran.
Now Is the Time
Pundits-especially those favorable to Cheney's chickenhawk policies-have said that impeachment is unlikely because the Vice President is a "constitutionally elected official" who can only be removed under charges of criminality, or by voluntarily resigning. But, with the opening statement by Special Counsel Fitzgerald in the Libby trial, on Jan. 23, in which he alleged that Cheney issued a hand-written memo to Libby on discrediting Wilson, the situation changed. Not only did Fitzgerald disclose the existence of the memo, but he charged that Libby had "wiped out" that incriminating piece of evidence.
However, reportedly through the combination of computer memory recovery methods, and the testimony of witnesses who also knew about Cheney's memo, Fitzgerald was able to introduce the matter in his opening remarks.
Now, to all those who say "impeachment is off the table," one must ask-what would the trial of Richard Nixon's aides Haldeman, Ehrlichman, et al., have looked like, if a hand-written note from Nixon, directing them to break into the offices of Democratic National Committee in the Watergate Hotel, had been disclosed?
Washington insiders report that the Bush family may be the critical factor in getting rid of Cheney, a scenario which is being mooted in the media.
On Jan. 25, Keith Olbermann, the host of the popular "Countdown" show on MSNBC, did a five-minute spot called, "Should Cheney Go?" He pointed to longtime Bush family operative, James Baker III, as the person who tried-and failed-to save G.W. Bush from the Cheney disaster.
Olbermann opened his show saying, "Piece by piece testimony at the Scooter Libby trial is dismantling the already tattered reputation of the nation's Vice President, portraying him as consumed with retaliating against a serious credible critic of his attempts to sell the war. . . ."
Later in the program, Olbermann said, "Another friend of this show, Craig Crawford, reported today that Jim Baker not only led the Iraq Study Group, he was also leading a kind of a private attempt to wrench the President away from Mr. Cheney's influence and ideology, and ultimately failed in that, judging from what the President is trying to do in Iraq now, in light of the Baker Commission. . . ."
The phrase being increasingly heard in the halls of Congress and around Washington is, "the time is now." It is being used in the appeals from Republicans to the Bush family to save the Party and the Bush legacy-by getting Cheney out. And, it has been heard in open Congressional hearings, such as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote of Jan. 24 on the Biden-Hagel-Levin resolution that condemned Bush's "surge" in Iraq. Senators said "now is the time" that Congress must take decisive action, such as capping the number of troops in Iraq, or cutting off the funds for the war, using the "power of the purse."
Impeach Cheney Now
According to a well-informed Washington intelligence source, the major question after day one of the Libby trial was, "Why was the Vice President not indicted along with Libby?" Fitzgerald apparently did not want to influence the outcome of the 2006 election by issuing an indictment before the vote-but, there is no obstacle now. And, a massive outpouring from the voters could actually bring it about.
In three days of trial, evidence has been introduced that it was Cheney who was obsessed with discrediting Wilson, and it was Cheney who personally directed the anti-Wilson campaign, which included the "outing" of Plame (who was, ironically, trying to track down weapons of mass destruction in Iran!).
Even Voice of America, a news service wholly owned by the U.S. government, pointed to Cheney. On Jan. 26, an unusual article, signed only as "By VOA News," said the following:
"A former spokeswoman to Vice President Dick Cheney says she informed Cheney and his former chief-of-staff, Lewis `Scooter' Libby, about the identity of a CIA operative married to a Bush administration critic.
"[Cathie] Martin testified that she informed Cheney and Libby of Plame's identity after learning it from a CIA official. She also said Cheney personally directed efforts to discredit Wilson's allegations."
Coming on the heels of Fitzgerald's disclosure of the Cheney memo, written during a trip to Norfolk, Virginia, which included Cathie Martin, Cheney, and Libby, there is growing pressure to prosecute Cheney.
Allen L Roland is a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his weblog and website allenroland.com He also guest hosts a monthly national radio show TRUTHTALK on Conscious talk radio www.conscioustalk.net
Allen Roland’s weblog: [link]
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