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Commentary :: DNC
Cheney: He Can Run, But He Can't Hide
05 Apr 2004
Longtime GOP consultant Richard Whalen identified former Senator Dole (R-KS) as one among the leading Midwest Republicans who have quietly thrown their support to Kerry.
Executive Intelligence Review, April 9, 2004

"Dick Cheney is a political disaster awaiting recognition. In the book, I set forth a relatively long list of inchoate scandals, not to mention problems worse than scandals. They all involve Cheney in varying degrees. Bush can't dump Cheney, for it is Cheney, not Rove, who is Bush's backroom brain. He is actually a co-president. Bush doesn't enjoy studying and devising policy. Cheney does. While Cheney has tutored Bush for almost four years, and Bush is better prepared today than when he entered the job, Cheney is quietly guiding the administration. Cheney knows how to play Bush so that Cheney is absolutely no threat to him, makes him feel he is president, but Bush can't function without a script, or without Cheney. Bush is head of state; Cheney is head of government.

"If, say the Securities and Exchange Commission's current investigation of Halliburton's accounting also discovers that Cheney engaged in insider trading when he left Halliburton (which the facts suggest is highly likely), and this matter erupts before the Republican convention, then Cheney might be forced to step aside. Cheney always has his bad-health excuse anytime he wants to take it -- because it is a fact. He has a certain immunity as vice president, but if he were to be dropped from the ticket (or he and Bush lose), I believe Cheney would have serious problems which he would no longer be able to deflect. Thus, he will stay and fight like hell to win.

"I quote Cheney from his time in the Ford White House when he said, 'Principle is okay up to a certain point, but principle doesn't do any good if you lose.' I think this statement sums up Cheney's thinking nicely....

"Because of their secrecy, it takes a lot of work to connect the dots. I've not connected them all, but enough of them to know that the only agenda they had during the first term was to get a second term -- which meant secretly taking care of their major contributors. Should they get a second term, we know their secret agenda, for they have quietly stated it: They intend to make sure the Republicans control the federal government (all three branches) indefinitely, if possible. In short, the Bush-Cheney agenda is about perpetuating Republican rule by taking particularly good care of major contributors who share their view of the world."

The words of a Democratic Party opposition researcher? James Carville? John Kerry? Hardly. These are the words of John Dean, the former Richard Nixon White House lawyer and longtime Republican activist, from a March 31, 2004 interview with Salon magazine. Dean has just come out with a book, Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush, which highlights the role of Cheney as the co-President and driving ideological figure behind the Administration's crimes against the general welfare of the United States. As Dean reminded Salon, "No one died because of the abuses of power known as Watergate. Too many have died (and more in the future may) because of the abuses of power by this presidency. That's why their abuses are worse than Watergate."

Rising Anger and Frustration

Other Senate Republicans are also becoming more blunt in their criticisms of the Bush-Cheney Administration. One former Senate GOP aide told EIR that a large number of senior Republican staffers are in open revolt, and will throw their support behind the Democratic Presidential nominee. A top aide to a prominent East Coast Republican Senator revealed that there is widespread anger among Republican Senators, over the constant pressure from the Administration to stymie any hearings that might reveal damaging information about the Administration's pre-Iraq War machinations. "We've been told to concentrate on the budget," and prevent any damaging information from coming out before November's elections, the staffer revealed.

The same staffer asked, rhetorically, why Rumsfeld was still Secretary of Defense, and why Cheney is still on the 2004 re-election ticket. "The actual level of frustration and anger is much more intense than appears on the surface," he confirmed.

In the March 15 issue of his authoritative newsletter The Big Picture, longtime Republican Party consultant and activist Richard Whalen identified former Sen. Robert Dole (R-Kans.), the 1996 Republican Party Presidential nominee, as one among the leading Midwest Republicans who have quietly thrown their support to Kerry. "His razor-edge wit and fiery temper sometimes flash in debate, but mostly this son of the middle border speaks his mind with direct simplicity and common sense. His endorsement of Kerry will be widely influential among dismayed moderate Republicans and Independents," Whalen observed.

Word of the simmering revolt, particularly against Cheney, is also circulating in Europe. A senior British defense specialist told EIR on March 25 that there is growing momentum in Republican Party circles for Cheney to be dumped as Vice President.

"What is the reason for Cheney's staying on?" the source asked angrily. "He's done only damage for the past 18 months. He's the chief architect of this mess in Iraq, he is at the center of all the Halliburton scandals. He is, demonstrably, a failure, and he has become a major liability, and that appraisal is increasingly shared by Republican Party stalwarts. The hard-nosed power brokers in the Party, I'm certain, think he is a liability, and that it's time to 'move on,' with someone else as Bush's running-mate. What you might call 'selfish Republicans' are thinking this way, and think he is damaging the Party."

According to the British source, "If Cheney goes, that would be the needed signal, that the influence of Perle, Wolfowitz, and the rest of that crowd, is waning. Cheney is the symbol for them, and so he has to be dealt with. And Cheney has a very sensible and graceful escape route, he has just to make a serious announcement that, for health reasons, he has to leave office."
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