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Why Cheney Really Is That Bad

Posted on Aug 21, 2007
AP Photo / Mark Humphrey

By Scott Ritter

Karl Rove, interchangeably known as “Boy Genius” or “Turd Blossom,” has left the White House.  The press conference announcing his decision to resign has been given front-page treatment by most major media outlets, but the fact of the matter is the buzz surrounding Rove’s departure is much ado about nothing, especially in terms of coming to grips with the remaining 16 months of the worst presidency in the history of the United States.

Rove is a domestic political marauder, the personification of a conservative movement which lacks a moral compass and has a complete disregard for facts.  The master of exploiting mainstream America’s predilection for news-as-entertainment, under which the likes of Rupert Murdoch can manufacture headlines out of thin air, Rove helped turn “fair and balanced” into a national joke which everyone laughs at but few actually comprehend.  Rove served as the maestro of a political-smear orchestra composed of such intellectually challenged muckrakers as Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, manipulating the NASCAR/professional wrestling crowd’s addiction to seedy gossip in an effort to maintain the all-important 51 percent majority needed to win elections.

Perhaps if the Democratic Party had possessed a semblance of organization and cohesion (not to mention a post-Clinton message that could be sold to a majority of America), then Rove would be but a footnote in history, known simply as the man who helped the worst governor in the history of Texas get elected.  Even the self-destructive campaign run by Al Gore in 2000, in which he distanced himself from a sitting president who, despite all of his faults, would have defeated Bush in a landslide if the Constitution permitted a third term, was enough to deny Rove his beloved 51 percent—it was Gore, not Bush, who won the majority of votes in that contest.  It took a Republican governor of Florida, backed by a compliant Supreme Court, to put George W. Bush into the White House, not any genius on the part of Rove.

“Bush’s Brain” may claim that it was his careful manipulation of fiction over fact that carried the 2004 election, in which the term “Swift-boating” became synonymous with political character assassination, but it was the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and the war in Iraq which sank the Democratic Party and its candidate for president, John Kerry.  It is very difficult to unseat a president in a time of war, especially when so many Democrats voted in favor of the concept, first by buying into every post-9/11 policy put forward by the Bush administration (find me one Democrat who actually read the Patriot Act in its entirety before it was voted into law) and second by rubber-stamping the lies that led to Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in March 2003.  Remember, it was Kerry’s inarticulate defense of his decision to vote in favor of granting war powers to the president that sank his election hopes, not his Vietnam War record.

Certainly, Karl Rove played a significant behind-the-scenes role in supporting Bush’s war policies.  The perjury trial of “Scooter” Libby forced the collective of deaf, dumb and blind pseudo-journalists who populate what is known as the mainstream media in America to recognize how pathetically duplicitous and petty the Bush administration could get when it came to defending the policies propping up the so-called Global War on Terror and the awful tragedy of Iraq.  Rove’s fingerprints were all over the decision by Vice President Dick Cheney to leak CIA officer Valerie Plame’s name to the media in an effort to thwart the truth-telling of her husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson.

But that is about as deep as Rove’s involvement in the two issues that will define the presidency of George W. Bush gets.  While Rove might be the “genius” behind the kind of winner-takes-all dirty politics that won the Republicans a majority in Texas (and brought down the likes of Tom “The Hammer” DeLay), he was way out of his depth when it came to the reality of national security policy.  Unlike unsubstantiated rumors of wrongdoing which can stain a political opponent’s record for the brief moment needed to gain political advantage, regardless of what the actual truth is, the never-ending flow of dead American service members from a war based on a foundation of lies cannot be overlooked indefinitely, even by the most subservient of media outlets.

Try as Rove and his political operatives might, one cannot forever suppress the images of flag-draped caskets, row upon row of white grave markers sprouting up in cemeteries across America, or the thousands of wounded veterans left to rot in hospitals, forgotten by an administration that, with few exceptions, never knew war and used the military as an electioneering prop.  Eventually, those patriotic Americans who were fooled into believing there was actually some coherent planning behind the global conflict Bush had dispatched their youths to fight and die in were bound to get wise.  Rove never had the depth needed to navigate such serious waters.

Being the Brain of the most vapid, intellectually shallow president ever creates an apt epitaph for Rove’s tenure at the White House.  The Bush administration has never won accolades for its substance.  Its best frontman, Colin Powell, self-destructed in front of the U.N. Security Council in February 2003.  Powell’s nemesis, Donald Rumsfeld, followed suit shortly thereafter, unable to coherently explain where Saddam Hussein had hidden all those WMD we went to war for, and ultimately telling the average foot soldier to pound sand when it came to the lack of adequate equipment needed to fight and survive in occupied Iraq.  Bush’s singular appeal has been the impression of steadfastness in the eye of the storm, even if the storm is for the most part self-created.  For this we must look not to “Bush’s Brain,” but instead peer deep into the dark recesses of the White House, where we can glimpse the awful “soul” of the president—Dick Cheney.

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By The Yorkshireman, August 28, 2007 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is encouraging to hear so many Americans expressing their feelings / beliefs in this way. Although the UK & European citizens have been more sceptical and anti-war in recent years there is a curious lack of ‘activism’. This is,in the main, due to the complete disconnection between the populace and their governments. In addition we have seen, in the UK at least, the growth of an ‘incurious’ media (including the much vaunted BBC!). Ritter’s article and the anger evident in so many US citizens mirrors my own with regard to Tony Blair’s unfettered, second term ego-trip with his ‘pal’ GWB! I can only concur with the many posters who now advocate radical and imaginative forms of protest; ideally peaceful but if need be…..! Nothing less will pull us away from the catastrophe awaiting the so-called ‘liberal democracies’, especially the US and UK. There is too much at stake to let the MIC and the neo-cons just pass the baton to the neo-liberals in 2008. The imminent arrival of Peak Oil and the required re-alignment of the ‘industrialised world’ to be ready for the post-industrial world in 30-50 years time demands that humans work together to prolong the earth’s resources not seek to destroy whole sections of humanity in order to grab the oil (and water)and ‘maintain economic growth’ (for the few!). Best wishes to all real ‘democrats’ out there trying to do the right thing.

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By Tony Wicher, August 27, 2007 at 11:33 pm Link to this comment

Re #96580 by ocjim on 8/23 at 2:38 pm

Thanks for a cogent argument. It is hard to deny the logic of it. It does look like there is no way Senate Republicans will vote to convict. I wish I could say otherwise.

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By disgustedandamused, August 27, 2007 at 11:25 pm Link to this comment

One group pushing for Cheney’s impeachment has an interesting rationale:
“Once impeachment has begun, it will be easier for loyal and patriotic military officers to refuse illegal orders coming from the Cheney faction. “

from below:

To the American people, and to peace loving individuals everywhere:

Massive evidence has come to our attention which shows that the backers, controllers, and allies of Vice President Dick Cheney are determined to orchestrate and manufacture a new 9/11 terror incident, and/or a new Gulf of Tonkin war provocation over the coming weeks and months. Such events would be used by the Bush administration as a pretext for launching an aggressive war against Iran, quite possibly with nuclear weapons, and for imposing a regime of martial law here in the United States. We call on the House of Representatives to proceed immediately to the impeachment of Cheney, as an urgent measure for avoiding a wider and more catastrophic war. Once impeachment has begun, it will be easier for loyal and patriotic military officers to refuse illegal orders coming from the Cheney faction. We solemnly warn the people of the world that any terrorist attack with weapons of mass destruction taking place inside the United States or elsewhere in the immediate future must be considered the prima facie responsibility of the Cheney faction. We urge responsible political leaders everywhere to begin at once to inoculate the public opinion of their countries against such a threatened false flag terror operation.

(Signed) A Group of US Opposition Political Leaders Gathered in Protest at the Bush Compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, August 24-25, 2007











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By Tony Wicher, August 27, 2007 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment

#97131 by Nicholas on 8/27 at 12:49 pm
(Unregistered commenter)

“I think we need to start digging for dirt on Cheney. What about his draft dodging days? What about all his crooked Haliburton deals? There is dirt out there lets find it and expose the evil doer!”


That’s what the Democrats are supposed to be doing - Pat Leahy, etc. Let’s hope they do a good job and get all the way to the bottom of it.

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By Nicholas, August 27, 2007 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think we need to start digging for dirt on Cheney. What about his draft dodging days? What about all his crooked Haliburton deals? There is dirt out there lets find it and expose the evil doer!

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By HipHopHustler82, August 27, 2007 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

I just read about this on Global Grind’s myspace blog ( and its disgusting how much Bush and Cheney have done to our country, and how much of it is irreversible.  I’m glad I read this thought and that Cheney is being exposed.

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By Roman Sylo, August 27, 2007 at 5:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Enough talk from all you Americans.  There seems to be a distinct lack of rage between you all , a case of eyes wide shut! What your country needs is an uprising, the type that liberated Poland and Philippines.  Let it not be forgotten that those who hold high positions of power in office are no more than public SERVANTS.  Never has there been a better time in history to stand and fight for your truth - It is up to you.  So gather yourselves in numbers, collect your shovels and pitchforks, and take back the power that is truly yours.

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By Outraged, August 26, 2007 at 12:12 am Link to this comment

RE: #96537 by Kem Patrick on 8/23 at 8:58 am
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey, thank for “caring”.  Sorry, looks like they’ll have to have an actual “excuse”.  No such luck though.  Have a good one.  Enjoy, live every day as though it’s your last… know how it goes.  What goes around comes around.  Go figure.

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By Tony Wicher, August 25, 2007 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

Re #96653 by bigjimbo on 8/24 at 1:03 am

“It is not sufficient merely to remove the gangrene of the bush administration from the body politic via the 2008 elections, the congress must also punish the evil doers with lengthy prison terms or as a minimum, hound them to the end of their miserable lives. I want bush/cheney/rove to truly feel our pain, not symbolically, but via administration approved rendition methods I post this as someone who actually voted for bush in 2000 and my penance is having a son on his second tour in Iraq. “


My sentiments exactly. I can’t think of a hell bad enough to do these guys justice.

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By martin weiss, August 25, 2007 at 1:22 am Link to this comment

It was Rumsfeld and Cheney who sold Saddam poison gas, the only weapons of mass destruction Saddam ever had.
Cheney and Halliburton also sold Iran nuclear technology.
Perhaps they were setting them up for future war?

This admn. has strengthened our enemies and weakened our friendships. They have violated treaties. They have violated the Geneva Conventions. They have violated US law: Title 18, the War Crimes Act.
If current US law were enforced, they could be sent to Egypt for “enhanced interrogation techniques”. After all, it’s “not torture”.

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By wilbur V, August 24, 2007 at 5:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fat, lazy, ignorant americans don’t read, don’t want to add to the worries that consume their lives trying to make ends meet in this “robust” economy.
It’s so much easier to melt into your recliner, turn on the idiot box and be told what to think.
To say “I don’t follow politics” is a lame copout.
Wake up lemmings! Hold your resentatives feet to the flames. Now more than ever is this crucial.

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By GB, August 24, 2007 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If we’re waiting for the mainstream media to legitimize Dennis Kucinich and his calls to save the Constitution its not going to happen.
They sold the war and their parent companies profit from it.
I will vote only for leaders who beleive in Democracy.
Its time to end the ME generation and hyper corruption before there’s nothing left to fight for.

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By Joel, August 24, 2007 at 11:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Along with the Bush/Chaney gang being impeached ,Congress’s feet must also be held to the fire. How could they have passed the Dragonian Patriot Act without reading it . Every foul deed
committed by the Bush Regime ,congress failed to speak up loud enough ,if at all. It seems to me that they were too concerned about they careers instead of seeing to it that Bush follow the Constitution .
All these guys are lawyers and are suppose to know the law . The question becomes ” Why did they continue to shy away from their appointed duties .”
This fictitious war on terror is an Illuminati sceam to get people to become active participants in their own demise . So many holes have been shown to be found in the Offical Government verision of the 911 story its sad . It also has been shown that there were no Weapons of Mass Distrustion in Iraq . I know that I’ll catch some flack for this statement but , all the soldiers who were killed in Iraq died invain because of the lies they choose to believe . Truth has never been popular, but following the way of the crowd is what many people are willing to do when they choose not to weight things and check them out for themselves. Will America change , or will she continue in the same path she has been on for far too long .

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By David, August 24, 2007 at 8:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


Open your eyes.  Ritter was smeared by the administration for speaking out against their lies in the run-up to the Iraq war.  At the same time, incidentally, as the Valerie Plame incident.

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By bigjimbo, August 24, 2007 at 2:03 am Link to this comment

It is not sufficient merely to remove the gangrene of the bush administration from the body politic via the 2008 elections, the congress must also punish the evil doers with lengthy prison terms or as a minimum, hound them to the end of their miserable lives. I want bush/cheney/rove to truly feel our pain, not symbolically, but via administration approved rendition methods I post this as someone who actually voted for bush in 2000 and my penance is having a son on his second tour in Iraq.

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By Todd, August 23, 2007 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This guy, Ritter, is a pedophile.  Why is he even being given air on this site??

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By Davian, August 23, 2007 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment

Until impeachment proceedings are initiated we cannot pretend to know what votes shall be cast. This argument is akin to leaving the bridge when a collision course has been determined because the ship may not turn quickly enough.

Until the full gravity and weight of the high crimes committed in the Executive Branch are assembled in the light of day, no one can pretend to know what may develop. After all, how far can prevarication of historical facts be sustained as the sinking ship of state lurches into the abyss?

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By S. Leonard Scheff, August 23, 2007 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment

Why hasn’t anyone connected Cheney’s name with fascist?
Merriam Webster defines facist as a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

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By ocjim, August 23, 2007 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment

We are for impeachment but Meyerson in American Prospect gives good reasons it can’t happen. Among them is:

First, there’s no way that there will be sufficient votes to remove Bush and Cheney from office. Conviction requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate. In other words, even if Joe Lieberman were to join the Senate’s 50 Democrats in finding Bush and Cheney guilty, an additional 16 Republican senators would also have to join them.

It would be easier to find 16 Republican votes for collective farms. For one thing, Republicans already know what all of us know. They know about the wiretapping, the renditions, the torture; they know about the vice president’s pathological secrecy that has done so much to subvert the constitutional balance of powers. Some (including most of their presidential candidates) are on record supporting these policies; none have been moved to suggest these policies may be grounds for impeachment.

Nor are the political circumstances of this impeachment remotely analogous to those that produced the bipartisan consensus to remove Richard Nixon from the White House. Republicans finally supported impeachment then because they knew that Nixon would be succeeded by one of their own—Republican Gerald Ford. But removing Bush and Cheney would make Pelosi (literally, the San Francisco Democrat) president—a change that would result in a massive shift in every policy that Republicans care about. Our army in Iraq would come home. Health insurance for children would become law. Gays and lesbians—well, God knows what would happen with gays and lesbians. The Justice Department would be handed over to the Democrats; every department would be handed over to the Democrats. The power to appoint a Supreme Court justice, should one of the current justices abruptly keel over, would belong to Pelosi.

In short, there is no way imaginable that Republicans would vote to remove Cheney and Bush. Not only would their removal hand the government over to the Democrats, it would also undercut the presidential campaign of their 2008 nominee. How could he run against the very policies that Republican senators effectively allowed by making Pelosi president?

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By Davian, August 23, 2007 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment

Triz: This has nothing to do with cowardice. This may be strategy but it is losing strategy when the Dems fail to recognize this is an endgame scenario.

It is a dangerous presumption to think we will even have an election in ‘08.

We have one last hope, and that is the Dems read the Constitution and fulfill their oaths of office, and begin impeachment proceedings. Otherwise, they are complicit in these last throes of the American experiment.

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By Peter RV, August 23, 2007 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ref# by Steve in LA
There is indeed a strange feeling of a conspiracy of silence when it comes to discussing Dennis Kucinich’s proposal to impeach Cheney. Everybody is apparently against this abominable character but hardly anybody seems willing to give credit to Kucinich for his move to do something about it.
    I can’t find explanation for it other than Americans continuing to have sickly hangups about looks of the candidates. Intelligence and honesty coming far behind, if at all.

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By cloudripper, August 23, 2007 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

It’s not easy to impeach a horcrux.

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By Triz, August 23, 2007 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It seems to me the Democrats aren’t being cowardly but are being quite strategic. They know this administration is wildly unpopular (along with a failing Republican party). They seem to be hedging their bets that some Democrat is bound to prevail in the 08 election. If that is the case, then all the un-constitutional executive branch gains that have made by this administration fall into their hands.

None of the Democratic party candidates (with the exceptions of Kucinich and Gravel) seem to be shy about being in charge of a very powerful executive branch. They way they talk, it seems they would love to have that same power. Their beef is just that it was used ineptly by the current administration.

And God knows best.

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By Davian, August 23, 2007 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

Curious why the Dems have no spine? Understand their leadership’s investment in the status quo, their propensity to adapt to the “new rules” sans the Bill of Rights, and a general predilection for Machiavellian ethics. The answer can be summed-up most succintly in three letters: DLC

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By Nick Cooper, August 23, 2007 at 11:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I gree with the article, but Ritter is kinda clueless too race-bait politics.

Rove grew up in the Nixon White House (check out his cameo in ‘72 where he learned that Southern Dixie-crats who had been disillusioned by Johnson’s civil rights could easily be converted to a new racist campaign called the “war on crime” (codeword for race).

The electoral scandals have race written all over them, as does the firing of federal prosecutors who were a threat to the new systems of voter disenfranchisement.  A result of using these tactics is that we have the most racist country in decades, ready to give up anything, even its own comfort, in order to punish immigrants.

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By Rich Finley, August 23, 2007 at 10:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How stupid and blind can we be? There should have been uproar the moment it was learned that Cheney was associated with Haliburton, our biggest war contractor.

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By Kem Patrick, August 23, 2007 at 9:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dang it,___ we’re gonna miss you Outraged.

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By Steve in LA, August 23, 2007 at 9:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t understand why even people who seem to passionately agree with every tough stance he’s willing to take, still act like Dennis Kucinich doesn’t exist. If impeaching Cheney is important enough to writeabout, how about supporting the man in congress who’s calling for it, instead of ignoring him.  Honesty and courage only work in politics if people rally around it.

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By Verne Arnold, August 23, 2007 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

WTF…I guess we can’t post here any more without censorship.  Fuck this site.

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By weather, August 23, 2007 at 5:34 am Link to this comment

Cheney your parents must be proud?
You, some Israeli’s, Silverstein&Co;. and a NORAD enabled gesture typed out the Table of Contents and Chapter 1 of the bestseller ‘9/11:a thousand uses for boxcutters’.

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By Outraged, August 23, 2007 at 2:12 am Link to this comment

As odd as it sounds, I had a noise complaint today about 30 minutes ago. Strange, but I just commented about Proctor and Gamble yesterday about P & G having facist ties, which they do!  So folks, I’m counting on you, if I suddenly “disappear” start looking.  Since truthdig knows who I am, you have my permission, if you don’t hear from me, please, investigate.  You see, the long arm of the law was here and quite realistically, things have gotten “strange”.  I was almost ARRESTED for noise!  Wow, buck it up folks, here it comes.  Apparently, DON’T F**K with Proctor and Gamble, especially if you live NEAR their HEADQUARTERS.  WHOOPS!

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By DeadEye, August 23, 2007 at 1:44 am Link to this comment

Russ Feingold D. WI. in addition to voting no on the Patriot Act, also introduced a measure to censure this administration. There are Dems doing their jobs. Not very many, but if you look hard enough…
Some may argue that a censure will accomplish nothing. I say at least it will hold his fellow legislators’ feet to the fire who talk but don’t walk.

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By Kem Patrick, August 23, 2007 at 12:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Nitro, on 8/21 at 8:38 pm “I’m sure history will show, the Bush/Cheney administration will be the complete downfall of the United States”.

Indeed Nitro, I’m certain you are correct. That will be especially true if Cheney has his way and we attack Iran, with or without the use of nuclear weapons. Going into Mesopotamia was the beginning of the end of the Roman Empire, it took a lot longer for that empire to fall, but this is the jet and nuclear age.

Rove is gone, but Cheney has enough brains to fill in and Cheney has always been the final word for Bush. That friction of course is likely why Rove quit.  I’m sure Rove and the VP had a serious disagreement about Iran and Rove wanted no part of it. Just by the body language of Bush and Rove the day Rove gave his farewell address to the press, it was obvious that Bush was not happy with the sudden and unexpected departure of his longtme best friend.

As soon as Rove departed to spend time with his ‘family’, the war drums for an assault of some type on Iran began to beat. Fox news is now hawking it up big time. As others here have stated, Cheney does not care about Americans, he has no soul, he sold it long ago for fame and money. Bush will listen to him, for GWB is actually horribly ignorant of so many thngs. He’s sly, but he isn’t stupid.  He’s childish, egotistical, narrow minded and has a cruel and selfish streak,___ always has. His mommy and dad know that and they likely now wish they’d kept him in baseball, or just put him in the barn and allowed him to snort cocaine for the rest of his life.

Those critical comments aren’t being facetious, it’s how it is. GWB is our president, which only proves that almost anyone can make it to that office if enough money and influential backing is put out to get them there. Anyway, that’s my 2 cents, just another blogger with some strong opinions, based upon what I can see with my own eyes and what I can garner from excellent articles, written by informed people like Mr. Scott Ritter.

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By hollywood, August 22, 2007 at 11:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree that Cheney is the devil incarnate, but you are fighting the last war.  Cheney’s not running.  Yes, Dems can run “against” his policies, but impeaching him now is not going to defeat Romney, Thompson, Guiliani, et al.  Dems need to agressively oppose the war by cutting the purse strings NOW, flaming the Repugs who won’t, and carrying the standard on the field.  Lying back and trying to safely position themselves ain’t gonna work.  Yes, Bush is unpopular.  Yes, Cheney sucks.  They are NOT running.  Get it?

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By 1drees, August 22, 2007 at 11:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

YO LEFTY, why dont you spare us your “ministry of prpaganda” crap and go volunteer for something worthwhile, if you want to see cheney as something try imagining him with a yamaluka. coz he’s actually doing ZIONISTIC TASKS for the TERRORIST state called ISRAEL. STOP ATTRIBUTING THE US EVIL TO MUSLIMS OR ARABS AND BE TRUTHFUL ENOUGH TO SAY “YES! THIS IS HOW THE ZIONISTS WORK AND GENOCIDES IS WHAT THEY DO”. now be a good boy and go volunteer for war in IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN OR ISRAEL. stop yapping and try putting yourself where you put your mouth.

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By Sceloporus, August 22, 2007 at 11:06 pm Link to this comment

Per “Try as Rove and his political operatives might, one cannot forever suppress the images of flag-draped caskets, row upon row of white grave markers sprouting up in cemeteries across America, or the thousands of wounded veterans left to rot in hospitals ....”

  I disagree here. Those rows of flag-draped caskets need to be photographed and those photos and videos need to appear in news magazines and on the nightly TV news. It’s just not happening. A few months back the DOD banned all journalist photographs of wounded soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. No one made a peep.  And certainly the stenographers working for our newspapers had very little to say.

What’s become of American Journalism?

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By TAO Walker, August 22, 2007 at 10:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Meantime, the civilized peoples continue slaphappily aiding and abetting the plutoligarch owners and operators of this global apparatus being used in the rape, ruin, and attempted murder of the living world who gave birth to and continues to feed them all.  Nit-picking the numbers and beating-up on the effigies of feckless front-men like Dick Cheney is the organic functional equivalent of “fantasy football.” 

When well-intentioned observers like Scott Ritter here begin exposing those pulling the strings, instead of just indulging in more booing and hissing at the puppets, they might take one small step toward performing a truly useful service.  The same can be said of Robert Scheer (who, having taken the bait [and switch] of “9/11,” continues trying to play others with it), and everyone else who fiddles while our Mother Earth burns.

If this old Indian made a list of the ten thousand gravest threats to the actual Living Arrangement apart from which two-leggeds are totally non-viable, neither Dick Cheney nor those Walmartian types he jerks-off for would appear anywhere on it.  The domesticated nations have way worse things to worry about than the relative handful of those of their own kind who are the most egregiously compromised. 

This is a stress-to-destruct test, Sisters and Brothers, and all of you on-wheels are the intended-to-be Dummies.  Better get back on your feet, and start walking, before the ground of your very existence gets yanked right out from under you all.


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By Gary Regester, August 22, 2007 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you.  Thank you, finally

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By Zhu Bajie, August 22, 2007 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So what next?  Letter to a congressman as paper a tiger as a repr. to the Chinese Congress? Revolt?  Coup d’etat?  Emigrate?  I’ve more or less emigrated, but I still care, sort of.

Zhu Bajie

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By jbart, August 22, 2007 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

FYI - I’ve read all the comments on this article, before posting my own. I agree that the Demmos have not shown the “courage” required to change the awdul, and scary, direction our country seems to be heading into. I also agree that, the way our political system works, is at the root of their inaction.
RE: Rove…he’s nothing more than a dirty,intentionally deceitful, greatly amoral, political hack that used our stupid/closeminded citizens, who are our country’s “burden” to endure and,\hopefully,educate, to get the Scrub into our highest office.
RE: that rat bastard Cheney…May he and every blood relative of his die extremely painful, and long-lasting time to a final death !! He,and his kind, should not have survived birth and is a prime example for the right to abort. Right to life? Bullshit.  Right to die?  Need to be eliminated? Absolutely !! Just my opinion, of course.

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By Chris Horton, August 22, 2007 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


How can you writea whole page about the evil that is Cheney and the need for the Democrats to stand up to him without mentioning Kucinich’s bill of impeachment, which is just a signature from John Conyers away from going to the House floor?  Let’s put some pressure on and get it moving!

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By mary, August 22, 2007 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment

Great read Mr. Ritter.  I faxed a copy of this column to Sen Webb and will fax to every Rep I can find a fax no., for (they just delete e-mail)!.......

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By John F. Butterfield, August 22, 2007 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

Cheney’s defib is not working. He is still lying.

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By Peter RV, August 22, 2007 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment
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Scott Ritter should know better.
How can one have an ‘articulate’ defense for supporting the War, when one knows it is politically suicidal to do so? Especially when War wasn’t ‘his’. So Kerry chose to go ‘inarticulate’ instead of disclosing his cards. He was not that stupid not to realize his answer was inadequate, and that this question would be asked sometimes along the way.
Kerry was just as pro-War as Bush but he was trying to sell an idea to Americans, that he can manage it better.
Nowadays Hillary Clinton and Co are the candidates for this management post, trying to do the same thing, promising us a cosy final sometimes in the future.
May be we are lucky to have George in command who will fall flat on his stupid face and end this War.
He already has two wars at hands (losing both, without realizing it)and he is preparing a third one.
If he attacks Iran we’ll go much faster to the Doomsday of the American ambition to rule the World.
And that ain’t bad.
‘cause,when you hit the rock-bottom ,the only way is up.

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By Victoria_SD, August 22, 2007 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment
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What is this fettish for kicking the Democrats’ butts over and over? 

I read and hear ad nauseum,  “The Democrats don’t stand up to Bush; they don’t stand for anything,”  blah, blah, blah.  Yes, they voted to authorize the war and that vote was mind-boggling, but GET OVER IT!  A protracted tantrum undermines the important goal of neutralizing the Republicans.  The Dems have responded to the grassroots -to their credit - and are thus redeeming themselves, us, and the concept that is this nation. 

I can’t believe I’m the only C-SPAN nerd posting here.  Has anyone watched
the hearings of Henry Waxman, Patrick Leahy, Joe Biden, Barbara Boxer, and others?  Do you give the Democratic Congress credit for its aggressive oversight? Isn’t this a sign of standing up to Bush - something the spineless, rudderless Republicans have refused to do since 2000? 

I hear Democrats in both houses decrying erosion of civil liberties, torture, Bush Admin. chronic lying, the failure to plan the war, the crime of no-bid contracts, the urgency of global warming, Katrina, etc., etc., etc.  See C-SPAN! Because you surely won’t see any of it in the mainstream media.

Helloooo!  We lack a veto-proof majority.  Other tactics are required. 

I’m a damn Democrat and I know what a Democrat stands for. Gratefully I hear it echoed in Congress over and over.  Yes, indeed, some Congressional Democrats are strong leaders, and some aren’t.  That’s life. 

Nuture the Democrats.  Respect their response to the grassroots; they’re not stupid sheep, and they’re not lambs, either.  Observant Democrat watchers recognize many well-intentioned and very competent representatives in both houses. If you can’t list 150 Democratic stars in Congress, then you’re not paying attention.

Stop transferring your rage with Bush, Cheny, Rove,.....n, to the Democrats.
The laws and the process keep the rate of change much slower than any of us

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By Alan, August 22, 2007 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment
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The Democratic Party leadership consists of career politicians under the sway of career consultants who are essentially free of principles and seek mainly to hold onto their own jobs.  They operate on the theory that messy public fights with hard-line Republican believers are inimical to their own cause.  For years, they have been mauled by Republican pit bulls, and they have learned to be obedient.  Even so, they would rather submit to the opposing party than to progressives within their own party, who would render them irrelevant and even more powerless.

This being the case, it is highly unlikely that such weak-kneed leaders will ever be willing to stick their necks out in support of causes simply because they are right or good.  They seem to be counting on the fact that their status as the lesser of two evils will be sufficient to insure their electoral victory in 2008.  They may be right, but that is little consolation to those who actually care about ending the war and saving the Constitution.

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By Robert, August 22, 2007 at 11:33 am Link to this comment


By Ray McGovern


Cheerleading in the Domesticated Media

“Yes, it is happening again.

The lead editorial in yesterday’s Washington Post regurgitates the allegations that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps is “supplying the weapons that are killing a growing number of American soldiers in Iraq;” that it is “waging war against the United States and trying to kill as many American soldiers as possible.” Designating Iran a “specially designated global terrorist” organization, says the Post, “seems to be the least the United States should be doing, giving the soaring number of Iranian-sponsored bomb attacks in Iraq.”

It’s as though Dick Cheney and friends are again writing the Post’s editorials. And not only that: arch neo-con James Woolsey told Lou Dobbs on Aug. 14 that the US may have no choice but to bomb Iran in order to halt its nuclear weapons program. As Woolsey puts it, “I’m afraid within, well, at worst, a few months; at best, a few years; they could have the bomb.”

Woolsey, self-described “anchor of the Presbyterian wing of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs,” has long been out in front plumbing for wars, like Iraq, that he and other neo-cons myopically see as being in Israel’s, as well as America’s, interest. On the evening of 9/11, Woolsey was already raising with Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings the notion that Iraq was a leading candidate for state sponsorship of the attacks. A day later, Woolsey told journalist James Fallows that, no matter who proved responsible for 9/11, the solution had to include removing Saddam Hussein because he was so likely to be involved the next time (sic).

The latest media hype is also rubbish. And Woolsey knows it. And so do reporters for the Washington Post, who are aware of, but have been forbidden to tell, a highly interesting story about waiting for a key National Intelligence Estimate-as if for Godot.”

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By SuaSponte, August 22, 2007 at 11:18 am Link to this comment
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#96351 by Pod on 8/22 at 8:25 am

I can understand your disgust with the Democratic handling of the Reichwinger scheming.  The problem in the Senate is that in order for a bill or an amendment thereof to reach the floor for debate and ultimate vote, the Democrats must garner a minimum 60 votes allowing the procedure; that is, to overcome the looming filibuster.  In most of these efforts, the 60 vote minimum has not been reached.  Soon thereafter, the leaders of the Neofascist Reichwingers come running to the microphones and talk about the Democrats being unable to get anything done.  They, like the Stooges at Fox Newsfixers TV Channel, completely ignore the obstructionist result of the failure to meet the 60 vote minimum.

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By Charles Fox, August 22, 2007 at 10:38 am Link to this comment
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Please stop making this mistake: “If there is any case for impeachment to be made against any member of the Bush administration today, it can be made against a vice president who has shamed our nation, destroyed our moral standing and broken our laws.”

Impeachment is investigation of charges. ONLY. Not removal from office. Don’t use fancy terms when real ones will do. Throw the bum out. Or into jail. Or both.

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By ocjim, August 22, 2007 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

Cheney’s sneer was made to order. For a man who has often encountered his own mortality, one can only wonder what inherited DNA, what life experiences produced such an amoral, compassionless, warped soul. Cheney has no excuse. He is a thinking, intelligent being. And Shrub?

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By felicity, August 22, 2007 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

For those who believe that Mr. Cheney is guiltless, unjustly maligned, basically a peach of a fellow, he does have a record:

On torture, “We have to work the dark side.”

Voting record when a member of the House:  Opposed ban on selling armor-piercing bullets;  opposed US sanctions of South Africa’s apartheid government; voted against resolution calling for release of Mandela from prison;  voted for constitutional amendment banning school busing;  voted to ban Head Start;  voted against ERA amendment;  voted against extending Clean Water Act;  Opposed ban on guns that escape detection by metal detectors.

Also says something about the man who chose him to be his Vice-president.

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By Pod, August 22, 2007 at 9:25 am Link to this comment
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The Democratic party is a dead corpse that refuses to be buried. I refer to it now as the Capitulatic party. There are several members of the party that I greatly admire but I could not vote for if they run as Democrats. The vast majority of this party are either the “wimps” that they are portrayed to be or else they realize that they have a hell of a lot at stake by allowing our government to be run exactly the way it is. Remember what Nader said in 2000. “The Democrats and Republicans are beholden to the same corporate interests”. The hope that came about after the 2006 elections has been taken over by the same despair which existed since Bush was installed as our president. The Democratic party has done absoutely nothing to stop BushCo from carrying out its agenda and shows no signs of doing so in the future.  I certainly agree with Ritter that Cheney is the one that’s running the show and Bush,(the guy that everyone would love to have a beer with) got just enough votes to steal both elections. With the help of his brother Jeb and Ohio election officials how could he lose? Again, where was the Democratic party while this was going on?  It’s a shame at what happened to the party that used to stand up for the middle class and the poor. My father is turning over in his grave.

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By Paolo, August 22, 2007 at 9:19 am Link to this comment

Scott Ritter’s best comment: “The Democrats need to stand for something.”

Historically, the Democratic Party used to be the party of smaller, decentralized government. Unless they come back to those Jeffersonian roots, they will continue to flounder.

Historically, the Republicans have always been the party of big, centralized government, going all the way back to Lincoln. Their claims, over the years, that they are for smaller, decentralized government have been (I know, this is shocking) lies.

Republican administrations started the big push for imperial adventures with the Spanish American war. Since then, American foreign policy (under both Democrats and Republicans) has been one of non-stop foreign intervention.

When Republicans say they are for smaller government, but for a huge military and constant warfare around the world, they are being fantastically inconsistent. After all, war is the biggest, most intrusive “government program” of all.

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By Chuckwagonchuckie, August 22, 2007 at 8:15 am Link to this comment
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Interesting comment. So is Ritter beginning to see the REAL truth. There is not a dmes worth of difference between the objectives of the Democrat and Republican ELITES.
Iraq is about OIL FIELDS. How many Democrats have stock in OIL COMPANIES or getting support from Saudi investors who want the U.S.A. to protect their OIL fields.

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By ~B~, August 22, 2007 at 7:48 am Link to this comment

Removal from Office
Criminal Prosecution
Free Prostate Exams (every shower)

This SHOULD be the future for scum like this administration.

Apparently we need to add Pelosi and Reid as members of this administration as they allow it to continue. Any legislator (creator of laws) who disregards the importance of the rule of law for crimes committed by the HIGHEST offices of the nation needs to be removed from office at the very least.


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By Mariam Russell, August 22, 2007 at 7:26 am Link to this comment
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If you understand that the “neocon” plan for permanant takeover of the ruling of the country was only the macho, intellectually challenged, permanantly arrested at 12 or 14 years old, nasty meaness version of a plan hatched long ago for the control of the population of this country and the subjugation of the rest of the world for the agrandizment and enrichment of a very small minority, then what is the surprise?

If you do not understand, then whining about the dems doing exactly what they were purchased to do, and have adequately demonstrated, even to the dimmest bulb, that they will continue to do, whatever their mythical constituencies think, will result in exactly nothing happening.

Of course, Cheney is a junkyard dog. You do not send a Lhasa to do the job he was sent to do while we watched the much in-bred minature poodle do it’s parlor tricks.

What is the answer? There may not be one. We may have left it till too late, or enough of the population has bought into their story that it will have to play itself out, destructive as that will be, both for the population of this country and the rest of the world.

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By gesellschaft, August 22, 2007 at 6:24 am Link to this comment
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The traditional republican party was given full reign and neocon infusion for a reason most people seem to miss.  They were not supposed to succeed fully in destruction of the constitution and forming of a communist style government by the multinationals and world banking.. no.. they were supposed to set the stage for a Democratic win in 2008 with any CFR member at the helm be it Clinton or Barrack or whomever stepping in with all the used and unused unconstitutional powers that have been gained.  With the exception of Ron Paul they stacked the republican primaries with obvious crooks and liars, and use their MSM influence to detract from RP.

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By Marjorie L. Swanson, August 22, 2007 at 4:26 am Link to this comment

Great article as usual Scott. Just one comment, I think one, just one, Senator did read the Patriot Act. That would be Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin who was the only Senator to vote against it. Contrary to popular opinion there are a few Democrats with both brains and guts and Feingold is one of them!

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By eatbees, August 22, 2007 at 4:00 am Link to this comment

Scott Ritter, you are a maestro! There is some wonderful language in this piece. Not because it is fancy, but for its moral clarity.

“The vice president is the single greatest threat to American and international security in the world today.”

“America today is very much engaged in a life-or-death struggle against the forces of evil.  The enemy resides not abroad, however, but at home….”

“The Democrats need to stand for something. Cheney has provided the sort of political ammunition that would enable them to fight, and win, a constitutional battle over the heart of America….”

May we all live to see justice done, and Cheney held accountable for his many crimes. Accountability is an essential step in the restoration of our liberty.

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By c.j. vickers, August 22, 2007 at 4:00 am Link to this comment
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cheney is the ultimate Republican, interested only in power and office and gaining them through a politics of fear, smear and division established by Tricky Dick.

The well-being of our country, the number of American and Iraqui dead and wounded, the wasted wealth, the corrupt mercenary companies such as Halliburton, none of these seem to be of concern to the chicken warrior Dick except as they advance his passion for wealth and power.

Can his treason and the betrayal of trust in government and “elected” officials ever be undone?

Will the American middle continue in a quiescent muddle that tolerates such outrages?

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By Doug, August 22, 2007 at 12:58 am Link to this comment
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A great and accurate commentary. Thank you Scott Ritter. Keep it up. We need people like you to keep telling the great unwashed what reality is and not the continuing spin coming out of the traditional media.  Rupert Murdoch being the greatest arselicker. As an Ozzie, I should know.

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By vet240, August 21, 2007 at 11:54 pm Link to this comment

The politicians in pre-Hitler Germany could have stopped the madness had they not had so much mutually vested interest in power.

The Democrats have had the power to stop bu4h anytime they want, but alas they too have interests in power.

There are only two Democrats who seem to put the people first.

Of the two Kucinich is the only one who has demonstrated his fieldty for years. The other talks well, but like bu$h he’s really unknown.

It’s time to take the power back and put it in the hands of the people.

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By Marshall K, August 21, 2007 at 11:46 pm Link to this comment

It is sad that the so called top tier candidates can only offer a half assed withdrawal from Iraq with forces left there indefinitely.  Bill Richardson says he would withdraw all forces within eight months of reaching office.  If Democratic voters really want us out of this mess, they should choose the candidate who will do this.
A first woman or black president will mean nothing if they have a Bush Lite Iraq policy.

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By martin weiss, August 21, 2007 at 11:13 pm Link to this comment

I, too, feel Cheney is a problem. But he’s just the current head of the snake. Ike warned us about the military-industrial complex. Ike was a Republican. The warning came in his farewell address. Good thing he said it on the way out the door or they would have killed him. For all I know they did.
When Kennedy started to pull troops out of Vietnam, ending a then-$12 billion per month military expenditure in 1963, they killed him. Kennedy wanted to rein in the CIA too—they couldn’t have that. Then his brother and his son died, too. What a coincidence. I bet their skulls rest at Bush’s club at Yale, Skull and Bones. I’ve read they esteem old skulls like Geronimo’s. But I digress.
Getting ahold of Cheney won’t stop the domination of our government by the MIC. Corporations need to be reined in, too. Corporate personhood has never been legislated, merely used as a policy by the Supreme Court. That ridiculous notion is what enables kings to control us. Our huge military budget must be cut down to size. We, the people who own this damned gov’t., need the money. Our Constitution is well able to handle the petty dictators like Cheney that have arisen among us. All we need to do is stick to being a nation of laws, not corporations.

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By madeline boyle, August 21, 2007 at 11:05 pm Link to this comment
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Is there anyone who can tell us truth like Scott Ritter? Congress pays little attention to our logical fears as we see our Constitution shredded - soon it will be nothing but little pieces of paper and then, ashes. There is one thing we can do, and must do - join the September 15 March in DC! I’m joining up with my three 70-some-yr-old siblings. There needs to be millions of us to make a difference. These kinds of gatherings are the only thing that worked for Civil Rights and to end the Vietnam slaughter. It is clear no one is going to save our country now but us. The Democrats in office are not too worried at present. Why should they be? They are set for life with pensions and healthcare (and who know what else?)- all the lobbying jobs they could ever want.They are set for life even if we are able to throw them out in ‘08. WE must do it. Even if you can come only for a few hours to swell the numbers, that can cause incalculable good. Make the effort. The energy of the marchers you walk with will encourage and empower you. There is no one now speaking for us. Just us. Americans.

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By GB, August 21, 2007 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment
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I keep seeing quotes from Democratic congressmen that impeachment would distract from getting Republicans engaged in ending the Iraq war and working on better health care. WHAT!! Republicans will never end the Iraq war and will never offer any solution on helping millions of Americans with no health care any viable plan. Bush will veto any weak bill that can even get out of Congress to his desk.
Its time the Democrats start listening to Kucinich’s call for HR333 to impeach Cheney first and start exposing their phony reasons to operate in secret. They have to take a lead and stop worrying about what corrupt Republicans and Fox News will say. With every action the Bush Administration takes it seems they are intentionally trying to destroy our country.

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By eric swan, August 21, 2007 at 10:43 pm Link to this comment
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OIL, our lifes blood. 20 trillion dollars worth.  Don’t you all get it? (aside). well, I’m not to good at this but Cheney has invested his millions in financial instruments that protect him from dollar devaluation and inflation.  HE is not concerned about our fate, He does not care about USA.

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By 1drees, August 21, 2007 at 10:42 pm Link to this comment
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YOU think this bunch of clowns is BAD? well it might be good to look into the Declassifed reports of CIA to see what your other presidents have done. Korea, vietnam etc all wars were based on LIES. this is not the first generation of LIARS from USA that the World is suffering. AND neither is this the last one, JUST WAIT till the next set of clowns come in and you will see HOW NICE A NATION AMERICA IS AND HAS BEEN IN THE PAST 40 OR SO YEARS. Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, and many more names should ring a bell with all sensible Americans, if there is any such thing as HONESTY in USA.
One only needs to wake up and read the USA Declassified reports to see that in the LAND called North America there is a severe shortage of truth from the govenement since a mighty longtime.

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By Don Stivers, August 21, 2007 at 10:03 pm Link to this comment

The Democratic Congress is George Bush’s and Dick Cheney’s poodle.  Bush and Cheney have Congress on a leash and Congress does as they (President and Vice-president)want them to do.

It is a sorry state.

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By Robert Settgast, August 21, 2007 at 9:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Historical lessons, current events, and rational interpretation of intellegence have normally precluded egotism & theocracy for major decisions in our republic.  Unfortunately, this is not the case now. 

The current administration is manipulated by the ego, the energy cartel, & the radical religious right wing to an extent never before experienced in our history.  The invasion of Iraq, the current suggestion to invade Iran, & the dreadful war on our environment are only some examples. 

Unless Americans begin reacting to logic rather than rhetoric, and take back our government from this illegally placed administration now, the rights that we have enjoyed for two centuries may evaporate—and we can blame ourselves for this

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By Nitro, August 21, 2007 at 9:38 pm Link to this comment

I’m sure history will show that the Bushit/Cheney administration will be the complete downfall of the United States.

With Congress, House Judiciary Committee, nor the American People able to anything about the current tyrants-fascists in office, What’s left?

2nd Revolution? I know, no one wants to think about a violent over throw of our government, or a violent REMOVAL of above said criminals and I can’t use the “A” word in cyber-space anymore….

Too bad. I was reading in a little “Constitution History Book” where leading up to the Declaration of Independence, there were 28 charges brought against the King. Right now, the King Bushit administration has committed 23 of the same 28 charges, yet… see they are still in office.

With the affirmative Democratic Congress now evidently dropping the Impeachment Ball, the House Judiciary Committee evidently playing w/their balls, and the American Sheeple wondering which balls anyone is playing with anymore, this outcome will be a curious one.

I bet if someone gave Dick Head Cheney a gun and enough bullets, he would eventually shoot his self. Theres and idea…

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By JC, August 21, 2007 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Funny…I had this same conversation on the train home from work.  I fully agree with all that is in this article.

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By kevin99999, August 21, 2007 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Right on mark. Thank you Mr. Ritter for expressing the dread so many of us feel for this nation. You are exactly right. While the Republic party is party of scam artists, the Democratic party lacks leadership and does not stand for any thing. My fear is that current administration, getting no opposition from the congress, has already succeeded in laying the legal and institutional framework for fascist police state, and it continuing to further develop this framework brick by brick.

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By Jack Stevenson, August 21, 2007 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I find it difficult to find fault with our elected officials so long as “we the people” have the capability to democratically correct the problems.  We can replace the members of the United States Congress.  We can demand that the United States Congress act as an independent branch of government.  Probably any one of us, as President, would be tempted to use all the authority we could muster to address problems that seem important to us, unless restrained, and the missing restraints, today, are public indignation and an effective U.S. Congress.

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By anonoman, August 21, 2007 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

But, someone has to unite the world under one religion!
And a few thousand more years of war is all it will take.

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By mot, August 21, 2007 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Control of government by corporations is called Fascism. Cheney is a fascist. Get it?

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By Scott, August 21, 2007 at 7:31 pm Link to this comment

10$ says the Democrats win the next election but 20$ says they do nothing to turn back the new powers now vested in the White House.

The political pendulum no longer swings between the right and left poles, it now swings along the authoritarian and libertarian axis of the Political Compass.

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By Rich, August 21, 2007 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


The Democrats need to impeach plead your case with them.

If it was up to the public i.e. the court of law to decide, he would be charged with treason.

We all know what the penalty for treason is: Death!

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