Cheney Travels Far, Far Away While Libby Jury Deliberates

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cheney twn.jpg
Vice President Cheney sure is active on the international travel circuit all of a sudden.
First, there was a trip to Japan — allegedly to thank Japan for its support of America’s war on terror — though he did all he could to avoid actually meeting Japan’s Minister of Defense because of Defense Minister Kyuma’s candid comments that the war was wrong-headed.
Now, Cheney has made a surprise trip to Pakistan. I’m sure that Cheney’s presence in Islamabad is a huge help bolstering President Musharraf and helping shore up support for the Pakistani government and its president against growing influence of the Taliban and al Qaeda in the mountainous regions of Pakistan. Not.
And what is happening at home while Cheney is traveling?
The jury in the Scooter Libby trial continues to deliberate.
Connection? Of course.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

22 comments on “Cheney Travels Far, Far Away While Libby Jury Deliberates

  1. CCTV monitors says:

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  2. ANSON JERFERSON says:

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  3. NeilS says:

    Do you suppose anyone asked him whether he thinks that Libby will turn on him?

    Reply

  4. Den Valdron says:

    Y’know, its a sign of how badly Cheney was frightened by the Libby thing that he chose to go and put himself in harms way in Afghanistan. For that matter, Pakistan wasn’t all that secure. What’s next on the Cheney world tour? Darfur, the Congo?
    All the more remarkable when you consider that this is a guy noted for personal cowardice.

    Reply

  5. liz says:

    It’s past time for Dick to go in my opinion. He is a trouble maker from the get go….. picking himself to run with Bush was hint number one. The man has the exact opposite opinion on EVERYTHING than everyone else in the world. I liked what Ford said about him…. but I think he is repugnant. He does not represent America. He represents himself only. The outer fringes of the internet suggest he may actually be running from an arrest…. I doubt that. When and if my government ever actually decides to enforce real laws on the books, Cheney may really want to hide then though………

    Reply

  6. Freedom says:

    BTW, out of curiosity, does anybody know what made Dick Cheney change his mind about Iran, from being its defender once to its agressor today?
    http://tinyurl.com/2gfkro

    Reply

  7. Pissed Off American says:

    “If you go back and see what Vice President Cheney has said for the last three or four years concerning Iraq, his batting average is abysmally low. He hasn’t been right on hardly anything.” – Jimmy Carter

    Reply

  8. Pissed Off American says:

    (Updated) The White House website is getting scrubbed
    by smintheus
    Sun Feb 25, 2007 at 12:39:00 PM PST
    On March 16, 2003 Dick Cheney went on Meet the Press. His absurd claims in that interview have since become politically embarrassing to the White House. For example, he declared…
    “I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.”
    You won’t any longer find a link to this transcript on the White House website—nor, indeed, are there links to most of Cheney’s interviews from before 2006. Don’t believe me? Just do a search for that infamous sentence at http://www.whitehouse.gov.
    The WH website evidently has been busy scrubbing links to interviews and perhaps other public appearances by top officials. The operation has proceeded somewhat unevenly, though aggressively. Pretty clearly the WH wants to make it much harder to research the administration’s past pronouncements, especially unscripted ones, and especially those pertaining to Iraq.
    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/2/25/153120/172

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  9. urbino says:

    Dick Cheney is, ironically, the ultimate triumph of style over substance. He’s living proof that if you speak cooly, quietly and slowly enough, you can say anything and people will take it seriously. Intellectually, the man is an empty suit. There’s no There, there. But he sure *sounds* serious. Listening to him talk is like being in the principal’s office.
    What’s most troubling is that he seems to see himself as the national principal. He sees the rest of us just that patronizingly, and his own power over us (for our own good, naturally) as just that extraordinary. In his mind, it seems, he’s not first among equals; he’s the most empowered grownup among children.
    And that’s profoundly anti-democratic.

    Reply

  10. Pissed Off American says:

    Rich…..
    Gulf countries: No air space for Israel
    CAIRO, Egypt, Feb. 26 (UPI) — The Arab League said three Arab Gulf countries have denied Israel use of their air space to strike Iran.
    Arab League Secretary-General Amr Mousa told reporters in Cairo the foreign ministers of Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates said there is no agreement allowing Israeli jets to use their air space to reach Iran.
    His remarks came a day after Israel’s Haaretz daily said Israel has received a green light from these three oil-rich states to pass through their air space to launch air strikes against Iran’s Bushehr nuclear facility near the Arab Gulf region.
    continues at…….
    http://tinyurl.com/3alx6x

    Reply

  11. Dennis says:

    “Connection…of course.”
    Meaning then, that Cheney is running from possible bad press if Libby is convicted – Cheney is out of town, the press will not be able to ask his “opinion”? Or, that if the courts suddenly want to talk to Cheney, he will have time for a game plan before “Meet the Press”?
    You don’t have to be a blind conservative not to see it, just an ignorant one to deny it.

    Reply

  12. Pissed Off American says:

    Has anyone noticed that lately the bulk of the civilian death toll in Iraq seems to be Shiite, killed by Sunni bombs and suicide attackers? It sure lends the lie to Bush’s claim the the Iranians are stirring the pot. Even Sadr, who has been somewhat supportive of trying to quell the violence in Bagdad is now questioning whether or not his cooperation is bearing fruit. It seems the Sunni attacks are being viewed by some as being tolerated by the U.S. forces, in an attempt to diminish the power of the Shiite majority. And who can doubt that Bush/Cheney are slimey enough to look the other way as the Sunnis target Shiite leadership, particularly people such as Sadr? I am sure Sadr recognizes this as well, and realizes it would be a simple matter for a false flag assasination of him, staged by the U.S., to be attributed to the “Sunni insurgency”. Smart guy, this Sadr, I’d be hiding out too. Something tells me he is WAAAY smarter than Bush, and not near as evil as Cheney.

    Reply

  13. rich says:

    Report: 3 Gulf states agree to IAF overflights en route to Iran
    By Yoav Stern and Yossi Melman
    “Three Arab states in the Persian Gulf would be willing to allow the Israel Air force to enter their airspace in order to reach Iran in case of an attack on its nuclear facilities, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Siyasa reported on Sunday.
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/830309.html
    “According to the report, a diplomat from one of the gulf states visiting Washington on Saturday said the three states, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, have told the United States that they would not object to Israel using their airspace, despite their fear of an Iranian response.
    “Al-Siyasa further reported that NATO leaders are urging Turkey to open its airspace for an Attack on Iran as well and to also open its airports and borders in case of a ground attack.
    I LOVE this part:
    “According to a British diplomat who spoke to an Al-Siyasa correspondent, Turkey will not repeat the mistake it made in 2003, when it refused to open its airspace to U.S. Air Force overflights en route to attacking Iraq.”

    Reply

  14. Mark says:

    I guess the calculus is that, if he is abroad doing nominally-important things, that people won’t seek him out in the his bat-cave and perhaps wonder why he spent all that time over the past years hiding there? Must be, ’cause this is the most visible he’s been in years.

    Reply

  15. Marky says:

    Perhaps Cheney is negotiating with Al Qaeda to make sure they will support a US attack on Iran.

    Reply

  16. JohnH says:

    Steve–I read Cheney’s trip as an effort to make sure that these members of the Coalition of the Willing were securely on board for Iran. Only the timing has to do with the Libby trial. Of course, we can still hope that the judge can keep the jury deliberating until January 2009.

    Reply

  17. semper fubar says:

    Hmmmm… I guess it’s a good sign for our democracy to imagine that he might be concerned about the outcome of the Libby trial. I suppose that’s a sign of some lingering sanity on his part.

    Reply

  18. Arun says:

    Quoting from an Indian commentary, and extrapolating to the reason for Cheney to visit Pakistan at this time:
    “….the extremist Sunni group Jundullah carried out two terrorist strikes in Zahedan, the principal city of Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan Province close to the Pakistan-Iran border. Fifteen members of Iran’s Revolutionary guard were killed in this terrorist strike. The next day, a bomb exploded near a girls’ school in Zahedan. Following preliminary investigations, the Pakistan Ambassador was summoned to the Iranian Foreign Office, with Tehran protesting that Pakistan’s territory was being used for terrorism against Iran. Barely a week later, the semi-official Tehran Times accused Pakistan of providing “logistical and political support” on its territory, to the Taliban in Afghanistan.
    Significantly, Washington has shown an unusual interest recently in ethnic and sectarian faultlines within Iran, with some think tanks attempting to bring together the Baluch, Kurdish, Azeri and Turkmen minorities in Iran on a common anti-clerical platform. There are, therefore, reasons to believe that, on issues of peace in the Middle East and on Iran, General Musharraf is making a determined attempt to ingratiate himself with the Americans as a steadfast ally leading a ‘moderate Islamic State’. This alone can explain American reluctance to candidly address issues of General Musharraf’s support to the Taliban…”

    Reply

  19. Zathras says:

    The normal procedure in American administrations is for the President to direct subordinates, including the Vice President, to specific foreign destinations for specific purposes.
    One must wonder whether that procedure is followed in the Bush White House. The appearance is that the Vice President decides when and where he has to travel, and the President is then informed.
    Those of us with exceptionally long memories can recall a press flurry around the 1980 Republican Convention, and a proposal for a Reagan-Ford “dream ticket” that would involve the President (Reagan) delegating substantial responsibility to his Vice President (Ford), presumably in the area of national security policy and foreign affairs. Reagan decided then, without much apparent difficulty, that this “co-Presidency” was a foolish idea. We are seeing now graphic evidence of exactly how foolish it was, and is, in the form of the first co-Presidency in American history.

    Reply

  20. Easy E says:

    Cheney is a war criminal on the run and Iraq is a catastrophe. All eyes should be on Iran and people of influence should listen to former U.N. Inspector Hans Blix who says U.S., Europe and Security Council are “humiliating” Iran.
    http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/02/26/america/NA-GEN-US-Iran-Nuclear.php

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  21. Easy E says:

    Cheney is a war criminal on the run and Iraq is a catastrophe. All eyes should be on Iran and people of influence should listen to Hans Blix who says U.S., Europe and Security Council are “humiliating” Iran.
    NEW YORK: Former chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix said Monday the United States, Europe and the U.N. Security Council are “humiliating” Iran by demanding that it suspend uranium enrichment before any negotiations and then dictating its rewards.
    He said the package of economic and political incentives put forward in June 2006 by the U.S. and key European countries, which was later endorsed by the council, did not mention the key issue of security guarantees for Iran or adequately address the possibility of U.S. diplomatic recognition if Tehran renounces enrichment.
    “The first incentive, I think, is to sit down with them in a direct talk rather than saying to them ‘you do this, thereafter we will sit down at a table and tell you what you get for it,'” Blix said. “That’s getting away from a humiliating neo-colonial attitude to a more normal (one).”
    “People have their own pride whether you like them or don’t,” he told a media briefing ahead of a daylong conference on “Weapons Threats and International Security” organized by The Century Foundation, a Washington-based research institute on domestic and international challenges.
    By contrast, Blix said the six-party negotiations on North Korea’s nuclear program in Beijing have focused on negotiations and recently addressed the country’s security concerns and issues of the country’s status and diplomatic relations with the United States ? “regrettably far too late.
    In the case of Iran, however, Blix said, the international community has taken a completely different approach to negotiations.
    Initially, the Europeans put a lot of carrots on the table without much American support. Gradually, there was more U.S. backing including support for Iran’s entry into the World Trade Organization, for spare parts for U.S.-made aircraft, and facilitating investment if it gives up enrichment, he said.
    “But we haven’t heard anything about offers concerning guarantees for security in case they will go along with a renunciation of enrichment, nor much regarding recognition,” Blix said.
    “It’s the U.S. that can deliver assurances about security, and the U.S. that can deliver recognition or normalization of relations,” he said.
    Blix criticized the demand first by the Europeans, then the U.S., and now by the Security Council, that first Iran must suspend enrichment and then there will be talks where “they will explain what the Iranians will be given.”
    “This is in a way like telling a child, first you will behave and thereafter you will be given your rewards,” Blix said. “And this, I think, is humiliating. The Iranians have resisted all the time saying, no, we are willing to talk, we are willing to talk about the suspension of enrichment, but we are not for suspension before the talks.”
    “I would be surprised if a poker player would toss away his trump card before he sits down at the table. Who does that?” he asked.
    Blix said he wants Iran to suspend its enrichment program “but this is poor diplomacy ? a poor way to try to achieve it.”
    Blix led the U.N. inspectors who searched for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Prior to that he headed the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency. He now heads the Stockholm-based Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission, which is sponsored by the Swedish government.
    The IAEA reported last week that Iran had ignored Security Council demands to suspend enrichment and instead had expanded its enrichment program. Iran maintains that its program is purely aimed at the development of nuclear energy, but the Europeans and American believe its real goal is to produce nuclear weapons.
    Blix said the economic sanctions which the Security Council imposed are useful.
    “I don’t think military threats are useful,” he said. “They will scare a number of people in Iran, yes. But at the same time, I think they are also very dangerous. A spark could fly, and they are very dangerous.”
    Blix said the West should put itself in Iran’s shoes, facing 140,000 American troops in Iraq, bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan which are major U.S. allies, and the U.S. talking to another Iranian neighbor, Azerbaijan.
    “It’s not absurd that they might feel a little worried about their security and that security guarantees from the U.S. ? in the same manner as in North Korea ? could be useful,” he said.
    http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/02/26/america/NA-GEN-US-Iran-Nuclear.php

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  22. Marky says:

    Steve, what do your sources say about Sy Hersh’s charge that the White House is aiding Al Qaeda in Iraq now—a kind of Iran-Contra redux? This makes perfect sense to me as a replay of the 1980s, when the Reagan administration aided both sides of the Iran-Iraq war.
    Since the White House absolutely does not want a Shiite ruling party in Iraq, no matter what their public protestations otherwise, one would expect them to be helping the Sunnis, which perforce would entail supporting Al Qaeda. You have to remember that Al Qaeda and the Taliban were NOT bogeyman to the GOP in the 1990s. On the contrary, the Taliban were the allies of the conservative republicans, and Al Qaeda was mostly ignored.

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