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Cheney’s speech at Sydney’s Shangri-la Hotel
by finn Thursday, Feb 22 2007, 10:45am
international / peace/war / news report

The American Vice-President, Dick Cheney, today delivered his only address to the ‘public’ at the plush Shangri-la Hotel. He will later meet with servile Defence Minister, Brendan Nelson, opposition leader Kevin Rudd and other minor government officials at Victoria Barracks, Paddington. The symbolism of Cheney’s visit in the last days of neo-conservative rule is not lost on Australians; the absence of Prime Minister, John Howard, from the venue was the most notable aspect of the event!

Dick Cheney -- unpopular in Oz
Dick Cheney -- unpopular in Oz

The highlight of Cheney’s speech was the effect it had on historians, political analysts and social commentators. Reactions ranged from jaw-dropping amazement, grins, sarcastic smiles, and feigned walkouts. These reactions all indicated surprise at hearing a very familiar tune – the tired old anti-communist discourse of the cold war was delivered today almost verbatim. Transposing the word ‘terrorist’ for ‘communist’ was the only change made to this weary old tune. Cheney confirmed today that he is a product of his times (cold war) and is bereft of vision and solutions for today’s challenging world. It is most regrettable for international neo-conservatism that the entire civilised world is extremely familiar with the transparent propaganda of days gone by!

Crucial to neo-conservatism is the requirement of a GLOBAL enemy. Universal enemies are required to justify perpetual war/conflict and facilitate military neo-colonial expansionism and the exploitation/plunder of weaker nations. Neo-conservatives faced with an American industrial-military economy geared for a cold-war world were unable to adapt to the challenges of a world without a universal enemy after the abrupt end of the cold war. In order to serve the vested interests of the techno-industrial-military complex and sustain the status quo (war economy) neo-conservatives were obliged to create a universal enemy and arrange an attack in order to obtain the sweeping executive powers that war would provide – the rest as they say is history!

The world is extremely familiar with Cheney’s attempts to create a universal enemy; the Saddam-Bin Laden ‘link’ was one of the more memorable woeful attempts. In his desperation to create a new bogeyman, Cheney exposed the fact that he is a war monger, pathological liar and psychopath, however, these facts seem to have escaped the attention of the mass media!

Predictably, Cheney’s speech was dedicated to the continued demonisation of Islam; few wish to acknowledge the fact that disparate Muslim extremist groups numbering less than the American Mafia have absolutely no hope of ‘dominating the world’! Also, it is widely known that criminals who ply their nefarious trade under the banner of Islam are regarded with contempt by the vast majority of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims.

Try as they might, Cheney and his fellow conservatives will never convince the world that 1.6 billion people are on the offensive. The REALITY for Cheney and his neo-conservatives is there is no universal bogeyman.

The civilian casualty rate remains the most accurate indicator of terrorist activity; to date the numbers indicate that the USA and its allies are the world’s most dangerous terrorist threats. The few thousand killed by disparate criminal groups pales against the hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths attributable to the illegal invasion of Iraq by the USA – this fact also seems to have been overlooked by the mass media.

Cheney did mention China and indirectly reminded the audience that war with that nation is inevitable. We cite the following reasons as ample evidence:

America’s failure to harness the masses to the neo-con cause; failure in every respect in Iraq; the increasing dominance of China in the world’s economy and its increasing military strength; increasing loss of confidence in the basic tenets of U.S. capitalist philosophy; global warming, pollution and a host of other reasons not least of which is the incapability of the USA to meet the challenges of a new world cooperatively and peacefully.

We therefore call on all the world’s nuclear powers to form a military alliance to prevent the USA from wreaking further havoc on the world. America is obviously in the hands of madmen who are clearly unable to defer to peaceful solutions or relinquish power. Their tactics and their ‘final solution’ are predictable, as the imminent nuclear attack on Iran will demonstrate!

We also call on our comrades in the Australian services to make ready for an all-out strike on Pine Gap and other critical installations in the event the USA attempts to plunge the world into a nuclear holocaust – the presence of Australian military personnel in these installations in therefore imperative.

The madmen must be stopped!



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Transcript of Cheney's speech in Sydney
by rialator Friday, Feb 23 2007, 9:07am

The link to the Whitehouse contains the full transcript of speech delivered at the Shangri-la Hotel.

US 'Iran attack plans' revealed
by BBC News via rialator - BBC Friday, Feb 23 2007, 9:50am

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

US contingency plans for air strikes on Iran extend beyond nuclear sites and include most of the country's military infrastructure, the BBC has learned.

It is understood that any such attack - if ordered - would target Iranian air bases, naval bases, missile facilities and command-and-control centres.

The US insists it is not planning to attack, and is trying to persuade Tehran to stop uranium enrichment.

The UN has urged Iran to stop the programme or face economic sanctions.

But diplomatic sources have told the BBC that as a fallback plan, senior officials at Central Command in Florida have already selected their target sets inside Iran.

That list includes Iran's uranium enrichment plant at Natanz. Facilities at Isfahan, Arak and Bushehr are also on the target list, the sources say.

Two triggers

BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner says the trigger for such an attack reportedly includes any confirmation that Iran was developing a nuclear weapon - which it denies.

Alternatively, our correspondent adds, a high-casualty attack on US forces in neighbouring Iraq could also trigger a bombing campaign if it were traced directly back to Tehran.

Long range B2 stealth bombers would drop so-called "bunker-busting" bombs in an effort to penetrate the Natanz site, which is buried some 25m (27 yards) underground.

The BBC's Tehran correspondent Frances Harrison says the news that there are now two possible triggers for an attack is a concern to Iranians.

Authorities insist there is no cause for alarm but ordinary people are now becoming a little worried, she says.


Earlier this month US officers in Iraq said they had evidence Iran was providing weapons to Iraqi Shia militias. However the most senior US military officer later cast doubt on this, saying that they only had proof that weapons "made in Iran" were being used in Iraq.

Gen Peter Pace, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said he did not know that the Iranian government "clearly knows or is complicit" in this.

At the time, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the accusations were "excuses to prolong the stay" of US forces in Iraq.

Middle East analysts have recently voiced their fears of catastrophic consequences for any such US attack on Iran.

Britain's previous ambassador to Tehran, Sir Richard Dalton, told the BBC it would backfire badly by probably encouraging the Iranian government to develop a nuclear weapon in the long term.

Last year Iran resumed uranium enrichment - a process that can make fuel for power stations or, if greatly enriched, material for a nuclear bomb.

Tehran insists its programme is for civil use only, but Western countries suspect Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons.

The UN Security Council has called on Iran to suspend its enrichment of uranium by 21 February.

If it does not, and if the International Atomic Energy Agency confirms this, the resolution says that further economic sanctions will be considered.


by freshner Friday, Feb 23 2007, 10:45am

Cheney is as welcome as a fart in an elevator. Everyone including the conservatives are happy to see the back of him.

Cheney's Role Dominates Closing Arguments at Libby Trial
by Jason Leopold via rialator - truthout Sunday, Feb 25 2007, 9:05pm

Friday 23 February 2007

It was the defense attorney representing I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby who first told jurors during closing arguments in the perjury and obstruction-of-justice trial Tuesday that the government believes Vice President Dick Cheney told Libby to leak the identity of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson to a New York Times reporter in July 2003 to undermine the credibility of her husband, a critic of the Iraq War.

Additional information about what the prosecution believes Cheney's role in the leak may have been surfaced in closing arguments this week. The jury enters its fourth full day of deliberations Monday to decide whether Libby is guilty or innocent of five felonies. Libby's attorney, Theodore Wells, told jurors that Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and his deputy have been attempting to build a case of conspiracy against the vice president and Libby and that the prosecution believes Libby may have lied to federal investigators and a grand jury to protect Cheney.

At issue is whether a set of talking points Cheney dictated in July 2003, that the vice president's former chief of staff was instructed to discuss with the media, included information about Plame. The discussions with the media were supposed to be centered around Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, and the fact that he accused the White House of misrepresenting intelligence related to Iraq's attempts to acquire uranium from Niger, according to testimony by Cathie Martin, Cheney's former communications director.

Wilson had traveled to Niger in February 2002 to investigate claims that Iraq was trying to acquire uranium to build an atomic bomb. He reported back to the CIA that the allegations were baseless. But, the claims were cited as fact in President Bush's January 2003 State of the Union address. Wilson spent months criticizing the White House's use of the Niger claims in background interviews with reporters before publishing an opinion column in the New York Times on July 6, 2003, saying he was the special envoy who was sent to Niger to check out the intelligence. He asserted that the administration knowingly misled the public and Congress into war. Wilson's criticisms set off a chain of events that eventually led to the exposing of his wife's identity.

During the trial, Martin testified that she was present when Cheney dictated talking points about Wilson, but Wells said in his closing arguments that there was a clear implication by the prosecution that Martin may not have been privy to some of the private conversations that took place between Cheney and Libby regarding Plame.

"Now, I think the government, through its questions, really tried to put a cloud over Vice President Cheney," Libby's attorney Theodore Wells told jurors Tuesday, according to a transcript of the closing arguments obtained by Truthout. "During their questioning of Martin, the prosecutors questioned Ms. Martin: 'Well, you weren't with Mr. Libby and the vice president all the time. Some things could have happened when you weren't there.' And the clear suggestion by the questions were, well, maybe there was some kind of skullduggery, some kind of scheme between Libby and the vice president going on in private, but that's unfair."

Rebutting the defense's assertion that Cheney was not behind the leak, Fitzgerald told jurors, "You know what? [Wells] said something here that we're trying to put a cloud on the vice president. We'll talk straight. There is a cloud over the vice president. He sent Libby off to [meet with former New York Times reporter] Judith Miller at the St. Regis Hotel. At that meeting, the two hour meeting, the defendant talked about the wife [Plame]. We didn't put that cloud there. That cloud remains because the defendant obstructed justice and lied about what happened."

Fitzgerald's impassioned presentation to the jury Tuesday suggests that he strongly believes Cheney instructed Libby to leak Plame's identity to Miller in July 2003. "If you think that the vice president and the defendant 'Scooter' Libby weren't talking about [Plame] during the week where the vice president writes that [Plame] sent [Wilson] on a junket, in [Wilson's] July 6 column, the vice president moves the number one talking point, 'not clear who authorized [Wilson's Niger trip], if you think that's a coincidence, well, that makes no sense," Fitzgerald told jurors.

Prior to Fitzgerald's rebuttal, Wells had told jurors that Libby's meeting with Miller came at the behest of President Bush, for the sole purpose of providing her with information from the highly classified National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq's nuclear ambitions. The leak of the NIE to Miller was aimed at beating back Wilson's criticism of the administration's use of prewar intelligence - not to disclose Plame's identity.

"The reason he took two hours to have lunch with Ms. Miller is that Mr. Libby understood that the vice president of the United States had directed him to go meet with Ms. Miller and that the president, President Bush, was behind it too," Wells said. "Not to say anything about Valerie [Plame] Wilson, but to discuss with Judith Miller, of the New York Times, information that President Bush had privately, lawfully declassified concerning the National Intelligence Estimate.... Now this is basically a secret mission that three people in the world know, President Bush, Vice President Cheney and 'Scooter' Libby. Because he goes and does what he is asked to do by the president and the vice president and meets with [Miller] for two hours."

But Fitzgerald fired back, telling jurors there may have been a discussion between Cheney and Libby shortly before the Miller meeting in which Cheney and Libby discussed whether to disclose Plame's identity to Miller. Furthermore, Fitzgerald told the jury that Cheney rewrote the talking points on July 8, 2003, the day Libby met with Miller, during a meeting he had with Libby and Martin, and that the number one issue for the vice president became who was responsible for sending Wilson on his trip to Niger.

"The vice president picked Judith Miller for a reason," Fitzgerald told the jury. "They went to the St. Regis Hotel for two hours for a reason. The best way to get a story out is to leak an exclusive. That's one of the times [July 8, 2003], the defendant shared the employment of Wilson's wife [Plame] with the CIA with Judith Miller. There was a focus of who sent Wilson [to Niger]. There was an obsession of Wilson. They felt the wife was responsible."

"The first time in his government career Mr. Libby ever heard anyone talk about declassifying something privately for the president to the vice president, and then given to Miller," Fitzgerald added. "Whatever is going on between the vice president and the defendant, that cloud was there. That's not something that we put there. That cloud is something we just can't pretend isn't there."

© truthout 2007

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