US Politics

More from Wilkerson; When Will the Media Hold Cheney Accountable?


Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson is back in the news, arguing that directives to continue torture in Iraq and Afghanistan can be traced directly to Dick Cheney’s office.

Wilkerson’s arguments are almost impossible to believe:

  • Cheney’s office ran an “alternate national security staff” that spied on and undermined the president’s formal National Security Council.
  • he believed that Cheney’s staff prevented Bush from seeing a National Security Council memo arguing strongly that the United States needed many more troops for the March 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq.
  • “The secretary of defense under cover of the vice president’s office,” Wilkerson said, “regardless of the president having put out this memo” – “they began to authorize procedures within the armed forces that led to what we’ve seen.”
    He said the directives contradicted a 2002 order by President George W. Bush for the U.S. military to abide by the Geneva conventions against torture.
  • Wilkerson, a former aide to Colin Powell, seems to be making the argument that Cheney and Rumsfeld are conducting the war and its operations almost on their own–with little input from State or even the President. It fits the pattern of this Administration–the CEO President just seems to have been content to let Cheney/Rumsfeld conduct the torture branch.

    And then, in a move that almost defies belief, Cheney went to the Senate to push for an exemption on torture by the CIA, as Dan noted earlier. When the the Executive branch of the US federal government has to argue for an exemption that permits torture, what principals do we as a nation have left? What possible position to lead the world towards a better stand on human rights? Bush and his torturing pals are moving this country towards being a pariah state–one with no respect at home or abroad.

    If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.


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    Don Pogreba

    Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
    His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
    In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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