Rachel Maddow and Lawrence Wilkerson on Cheney’s Fear-Mongering

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MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow invited former State Department Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson on to her show last night to discuss his recent blog post on The Washington Note titled “Some Truths About Guantanamo Bay“.
Thanks to Rachel Maddow for highlighting this issue both about the abhorrent behavior of Cheney and his team with regard to Guantanamo detainees but also for pointing a spotlight at Cheney’s continuing fear-mongering. And congrats to Lawrence Wilkerson for the reception that his piece has received.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

59 comments on “Rachel Maddow and Lawrence Wilkerson on Cheney’s Fear-Mongering

  1. silver slipper says:

    I posted the quotes by Democrat leaders to attempt to exonerate Bush from the charge of lying. I don’t understand how people can say he lied, when President Clinton, 5 years before President Bush became president, said Hussein was a threat. It was an intelligence failure,not a lie, that caused us to believe WMD were in Iraq when there weren’t. It wasn’t just the US intelligence failure either. Other countries supported the idea that Hussein had WMD. There were 20+ UN resolutions against Iraq regarding it’s WMD. Did anyone posting here know, at the time, that there were not WMDs? If you did, then I guess I don’t do a good enough job questioning the news that I hear!
    I learned just recently how inaccurate the news is. There was a tragic event in my neighborhood, and it was just amazing how wrong the news reports were! The local TV news stations finally got it close to accurate about four or so days later. Our local newspaper never got it right. Every article I read from the newspaper was so inaccurate and seemed to be based on one person in the neighborhood! I wonder how many “first hand” reports we get from Iraq, Afghanistan, or Washington D.C. that are as inaccurate as the news I heard/read regarding an event that I myself witnessed! It was really unbelievable!

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  2. ... says:

    silver slipper quotes… “Then the reports were of his continued resistance/denial of UN inspections.” aside from this being a regular lie that was also at the top of the us news stream regularly, do you personally ever wonder why some countries are always being inspected, and other ones never are who are known to have nuclear weapons????
    “I always remember it being reported that Hussein had chemical/biological weapons!” as poa points out, the usa was a happy accomplice under rumsfield and crew….
    “Then Bush decided the USA could not continue to allow Iraq to prohibit UN inspectors from having full access to Iraq….” iraq complied with the UN inspectors, something your media was unable to communicate very well… the mainstream media was too busy being bushs accomplice in it all.. bush was determined to trash the UN in front of the american public when he didn’t get what he wanted from it… it is hard to imagine a more corrupt expression of power from a usa leader then what bush and cheney expressed, but even worse was a media that wasn’t much different then pravda…
    it’s always shocking to read how easily many people are duped into believing lies, even after the passage of time when more knowledge comes out on these same topics… this seems to be a function of the us mainstream media as well – avoid at all costs any dose of reality to the american public, but make sure to keep giving them the latest update on how cheney views the present situation….
    question the media and what your leaders say more… without developing some sort of critical faculty one will continue to be easily manipulated which is just what the present mainstream usa media seems intent on doing for the usa….

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  3. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Since the Desert Storm war, all I remember hearing about Iraq was the cruelty of Hussein and his willingness to use chemical weapons against his own people”
    You mean the chemical weapons that Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld made sure Saddam was able to procur from us?
    “Then Bush decided the USA could not continue to allow Iraq to prohibit UN inspectors from having full access to Iraq”
    Convenient that you don’t remember Saddam inviting the inspecters back in, and even offering to allow CIA members to travel with the inspection teams.
    Your “historical record” is skewed and spun. And it is always humorous seeing the list of democrats that supported the war held forth as some sort of exoneration of these two murderous assholes, Bush and Cheney. Are you really so partisanly perverse that you feel you need to twist history to defend the right, when it is really the whole body politik that deserves condemnation for this clusterfuck?

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  4. silver slipper says:

    Oops…. that web site is http://www.thevrwc.org/speakOut.html .

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  5. silver slipper says:

    I’ve been very impressed since I’ve visited TWN of how much everyone who posts here seems to read and be knowledgeable of history and current events. However, I’m amazed at how all of the posts regarding Bush and Cheney’s evil actions and lies don’t include the full historical context of Iraq. How I remember history is: 1. Bush Sr. was critized for not protecting the Iraqi people after Desert Storm. The USA attacked from mostly the air and then came back home. I understood that the Iraqis thought the USA would at that time help them overthrow Hussein, and began an uprising at that time. However, there was no help from the USA and many Iraqis were killed by Hussein. IS ANYONE UPSET ABOUT THOSE CIVILIAN DEATHS? 2. Since the Desert Storm war, all I remember hearing about Iraq was the cruelty of Hussein and his willingness to use chemical weapons against his own people. 3. Then the reports were of his continued resistance/denial of UN inspections. I always remember it being reported that Hussein had chemical/biological weapons! 4. Then 9/11. 5. Then Bush decided the USA could not continue to allow Iraq to prohibit UN inspectors from having full access to Iraq…. then, eventually the Iraq war. To also jog everyone’s memory, here are some high level democrat officials’ statements about Iraq – these quotes are found at http://www.thevrwc.org/sepakOut.html .
    One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line.
    Bill Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998
    If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program.
    Bill Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998
    Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face.
    Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998
    He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983.
    Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998
    Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.
    Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998
    Hussein has … chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies.
    Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999
    There is no doubt that … Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies.
    Letter to President Bush, Signed by:
    Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL,) and others, Dec, 5, 2001
    We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.
    Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002
    Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.
    Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

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  6. Tosk59 says:

    Kathleen G, re the Security Council stuff, I remember **at the time** Colin Powell on TV being 100% sure of the facts. He said that prior to the SC presentation he was so determined to make sure that everything that was presented was 100% genuine that he spent several days checking the exactitude of all the allegations himself.
    *NOW* the story is that he was given bad info by others and fooled, implying he was a passive conduit. Yeah, he admits to the worst mistake of his career, but won’t say much more. This keeps him good with the Republicans (the “good soldier”), meanwhile Wilkerson giving him cover, keeping him good with the Democrats!!
    If he had spent as much effort trying to do something about this when he was in the administration (as he does keeping his name “clean”) we might be a lot better off.

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  7. Tosk59 says:

    >>>>>>
    Yes Wilkerson came out against torture, etc. Two problems with his conversion on the road to Damascus: a) It only happened once he was out of the administration. b) Much more perniciously, he has been providing cover to Colin Powell, telling one and all how Powell out of the loop and unaware of the torture going on. Powell has kept quiet during this, letting folks take Wilkerson’s words at face value… However, AFTER Wilkerson had been doing this for quite a while it came out that the subject of how to treat detainees was discussed in depth at the principals meeting while Powell was still there… detailed to the extent of discussing specific techniques and combinations of techniques!! So, Wilkerson either doesn’t know the truth or is complicit in the lies.
    When the truth about the pribcipals meeting discussion came out it was taken as confirmation of the depravity of Rumsfeld, Rice, Cheney, etc. How exactly Powell squirmed out of this is something that amazes me. I’ve never seen or heard that anyone one has ever called him out on it and specifically asked him to explain. Diane Sawyer did once asked re him this apparent contradiction… Colin Powell said that he didn’t have “sufficient memory recall” about the meetings; that he had participated in “… many meetings on how to deal with detainees…”; and, “… I’m not aware of anything that we discussed in any of those meetings that was not considered legal…” Sawyer let this go. Powell should be nailed to the wall on this (along with the others). However, he innoculated himself against Democrat by saying good things about Obama during the campaign, so now he gets a free pass.

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  8. Clay Thorp says:

    Steve,
    When will we see more high-profile conservatives come out about these things? I want to shy away from saying that I think heads should roll concerning our profligate move into Iraq, but the notion is becoming more and more acceptable to me every time Cheney spits his venom on national TV. What reason (other than ideology) does he have for continuing this kinda stuff? This really blows my mind.
    Thanks,
    Clay

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  9. ... says:

    thanks kathleen..
    L.J. QUIGLEY – i and many others here at twn agree…

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  10. L.J. QUIGLEY says:

    The entire Bush admin should be investigated, indicted, tried and put in prison.

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  11. Kathleen G says:

    Cheney feeling heat?
    http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Cheney_feels_heat_in_calls_for_0320.html
    While the rest of the mainstream press has largely reacted to former Vice President Dick Cheney’s harsh critique of the Obama administration in last Sunday’s interview on CNN as business as usual for the man, several observers have a different theory – that Cheney is nervous about calls for investigations into the Bush adminstration and is going on the offensive.
    Bobby Ghosh writes for Time, “Several observers think Cheney may be starting to feel the heat from Democrats’ efforts to investigate the Bush Administration’s counterterrorism policies – policies Cheney advocated, and for which his proteges allegedly provided the legal basis. But if he was trying to deflect attention from Bush-era policies, Cheney’s aggression will likely have the opposite effect.”

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  12. Marnie Tunay says:

    reply to Kathleen re “Cheney is a psychopath.” Yes, I said that or words to that effect, when I said that he is “profoundly evil.”
    And Lawrence Wilkerson is a hypocrite. Cheney has no conscience to speak of. Lawrence Wilkerson has a conscience but ignored it until listening to it became politically expedient.
    Yes, Cheney’s soul resides in hell. But what about the soul of the man who ignored for years his own understanding that great wrongs were being done to those men in Guantanamo – just so that he and his family wouldn’t be the ones to pay the price of speaking up? He has wronged his own soul and he will pay for that. All of the sweet nothings being murmured into his ears now about what a great guy he is for coming forward aren’t going to drown out the screams and curses across the years from Gitmo – when he dies, he will hear them for sure, and there won’t be any material goodies then to drown them out.

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  13. Kathleen G says:

    … Thanks for that link.
    Listened to these racist and violent statements directed towards Mahmoud Abas and other Palestinians.
    Folks should listen to this
    http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/2009/03/nadia-matar-recording.html#comments
    A taperecording of Nadia Matar’s call for the assassination of Mahmoud Abbas
    A number of people have asked if I have a recording for the report that Israeli colonist Nadia Matar called for the killing of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas last night during a lecture at the Safra Synagogue on E. 63rd Street in New York. Here’s an audio, including about 10 minutes of the 1-1/2 hour lecture. At the beginning, a guy in the crowd (somewhat inaudibly) asks Matar, What do you do with a million Palestinians? Matar gives a rambling and hair-raising answer, most of which is here, including the statement that Israel should have kicked out all the Arabs in ’48 or ’67 and grabbed the Temple Mount, too. At 2:30 or so she starts in about Neville Chamberlain and Hitler and Churchill, which brings her, at 3:15 or so, to Abbas.
    Notice the rousing applause for Matar’s call for his murder, which I failed to register when I posted late last night.

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  14. Kathleen G says:

    Marie Tunay…Cheney is a psychopath…shows all the signs. Does not demonstrate an ounce of conscience or guilt for the Iraqi and American blood he is drowning in. Psychopath

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  15. Marnie Tunay says:

    reply re: “You should be applauding Wilkerson as a hero and as a man of serious conscience.”
    No. A man of serious conscience wouldn’t have waited to speak up until it wasn’t going to cost him anything. Wilkerson is worse than Cheney. Yes, Cheney believes in evil things, but the point is, he truly believes he did the right things. I’ve seen the ABC interviews with Cheney. There is no question in my mind that Cheney sincerely believed he was doing the right thing for America. Yes, Cheney is evil, profoundly so; but, like it or not, he falls in the category of those of whom Jesus said “Father forgive them for they understand not what they are doing.”
    But Wilkerson knew it was all wrong. He understood it was evil. And he kept silent – not because “it was classified” – but to save his own hide. Who is Wilkerson but a two-faced hypocrite to the prophet who died on a cross for telling the truth?
    He is only speaking up now because he can see the political forces gathering against the likes of Cheney and Rumsfield, and he hopes to escape their fate of social ignominy.

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  16. JamesL says:

    I think it is fair and proper to ask whether Cheney is mentally balanced at this point. Saving his skin is clearly a far higher concern than the well being of soldiers, civilians, slaves, fathers, mothers, children, health (other than his own), education, law, tradition, art, music, indeed entire countries including the US. “Paranoid” is just too feeble for Cheney. Sociopathic–a pathogen to society–is more accurate.

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  17. rich says:

    Steve;
    “You should be applauding Wilkerson as a hero and as a man of serious conscience.”
    Whole-heartedly agree.
    Though I’ve nitpicked a bit, the bottom line is Wilkerson came through faster than anyone. And it’s important to respect the fact that everyone has to make their own decisions as to timing.
    Wilkerson’s outspokenness is important, as it really opened up the public debate in a way that can’t be ignored. The multiplicity of strong voices from each political viewpoint is essential. Difference of opinion strengthens the Republican Party.
    And like Hagel and Carl Ford, we need Wilkerson — especially now that we have an opportunity to right the ship of state — and other public voices to push back Dick Cheney’s propaganda line.
    We can’t have everything in real-time, it was important that he speak up when he did, and many of us are grateful for that.
    So despite my preference that the American public be brought in on the discussion as this was occuring, and despite my belief that the secrecy and delay did damage the country, it’s a good and great thing that Wilkerson spoke out and continues to speak out. Democrats need to recognize (in real-time and publicly) that Republican share vast common ground on all the points that ostensibly define us. But we’ll never get there unless folks on both sides speak up and engage constructively. And Steve at TWN has been a key venue for opening up the internal DC discussion to more cross-fertilization.

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  18. questions says:

    Is Cheney evil or just insanely paranoid? I think the paranoia reading seems to come out in Mayer and Gellman. People who haven’t come to terms with their own death ought not to be political leaders. Cheney seems to be totally unable to deal with his own death while utterly fascinated with it at the same time. Doesn’t Conrad call this feeling the “fascination with the abomination”?

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  19. JohnH says:

    Bernanke said “monitoring,” not controlling, setting limits, or assuring reasonableness. Maybe Bernanke only wants to monitor their compensation as input for setting his own…

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  20. ... says:

    speaking of turning things upside down…. in the news “Bernanke: Exec Compensation Must Be Monitored”
    just like the federal reserve was monitoring AIG!!!!!!!!!! geez, who can believe people like bernanke anymore???? bankers have become much the same as typical politicians in speaking out of both sides of their mouth saying all sorts of untrustworthy things…

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  21. ... says:

    kotzabasis -no comment on the link i left for you…i am not surprised…
    dan kervick – thanks for the gov’t link with obama’s words… it is a nice change from what bush did and didn’t do previously…
    easy e 12:36pm.. well that is it exactly… israel and the usa are always making threats to iran and the usa under obama now has the audacity to suggest tension will end if ‘iran’ ends the threats!!! there has to be a special place for folks who try to turn reality upside down!

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  22. Geary Beeman says:

    rachel and lawrence are jealous fools and cowards.

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  23. Kathleen G says:

    Steve still wondering if you can set up a visit from Charles Freeman to your site. Not sure but I don’t think RAchel Maddow, Olberman or Matthews touched the Freeman withdrawal or his comments about why he withdrew.
    Not sure whether Diane Rehm had the Chutzpah to have him on (will check)
    Latest article on his withdrawal
    http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22249.htm
    The Israel Lobby Gets Its Man—And Tips Its Hand.
    By Philip Weiss
    March 19, 2009 “The American Conservative” — -Charles Freeman Jr.’s withdrawal of his acceptance of a high-level intelligence position in the Obama administration was a national-security drama more riveting than an episode of “24.” The moral was clear: even a president who owes his job to a progressive movement in American politics could not support a longtime public servant who had made the mistake of criticizing Israel. Fierce advocates of the Jewish state, notably Sens. Chuck Schumer and Joe Lieberman and Reps. Eric Cantor and Steve Israel, played important roles in Freeman’s exit, while present and former officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee flitted in and out of the wings.
    The message to all office-seekers is obvious. “They want to kill the chicken to scare the monkeys. They want other people to be intimidated,” Freeman told The American Conservative just before he withdrew his name to be chairman of the National Intelligence Council. He went on, “If the administration does not stick with me, then it’s destroying the argument that the Israel lobby is only a mythic entity and does not control the public space. … It will show the world that it is not able to exercise independent thinking on these issues.”
    If there was encouraging news in the administration’s collapse, there it was. When Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair announced Freeman’s withdrawal late on the afternoon of March 10, the matter was on center stage, in plain sight of what Freeman calls “the American political class.”

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  24. ManagedChaos says:

    Since Cheney no longer gets intelligence briefings upon which to base his allegations that Obama’s choices have made us less safe, what are we to make of it? Yes, Cheney lives by the 1% doctrine and is prone to fear mongering which stimulates the base of the Republican party and he is obviously paranoid.
    But I don’t think it is hyperbolic to see these comments by Cheney as terroristic threats. What he is doing is the very definition of terrorism. These comments by Cheney are intended to create fear or terror, are perpetrated for a political and ideological goal(not to mention financial goal), and deliberately target non-combatants. Cheney needs to be arrested not only for making terrorist threats against this country but also for endangering the national security of this nation with his grossly negligent and incompetent policies of torture, preemptive war, outing of CIA operatives, illegal wiretapping, bogus intelligence, assassination squads, etc.

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  25. easy e says:

    President vows to end tensions if Iran stops making threats.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29785710/
    Say what!?!? Seems to me that persistent threats are initiated by Israel & U.S.

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  26. Kathleen G says:

    ….just listened to your link. Damn Racism gone wild. I attended a conference several years ago at Ohio State University on the I/P conflict. There were rabid racist protesting outside of the conference. A crazy ass Rabbi from Columbus was outside protesting the conference. He had a megaphone and was screaming “murderers murderers” at the people who were walking into the conference. He was obnoxious out of control and unwilling to dialogue. When I approached him and invited him into the conference and started to discuss specifics about the conflict. He picked up his megaphone and started screaming “murderer, murderer”. I turned and realized that T.V. cameras were on us. I had the where with all to respond “I believe we are witnessing some of the behavior and pressure that the Palestinians find themselves dealing with everyday”
    After the conference which was wonderful and informative I talked with some radical Jewish students who supported marching Palestinians out of their legal territories. Full of anger and hatred they were
    http://www.osu.edu/news/newsitem564
    There are terrorist and radicals on both sides of this conflict

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  27. easy e says:

    How is it that whether it’s Cheney’s fear-mongering or the latest OBL scare by the MSM, nobody has ever challenged the credibility of the mysterious group, SITE?
    Your audience should dig further into Rita Katz and SITE:
    Our Government and the MSM media continue to “rely” on this sole “source” for inflicting this fictitious fear-mongering bull-pucky & horseshit upon the public. It’s amazing how this group continues to escape scrutiny.
    Until the sheeple/people wake-up and rise-up, the neocon PNAC agenda will prevail with the tools of SITE, as well as MEMRI at their disposal.

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  28. easy e says:

    TWN: INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW
    How is it that whether it’s Cheney’s fear-mongering or the latest OBL scare by the MSM http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29769864/ , nobody has ever challenged the credibility of the mysterious group, SITE?
    Your audience should dig further into Rita Katz and SITE: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=SITE_Institute
    Our Government and the MSM media continue to “rely” on this sole “source” for inflicting this fictitious fear-mongering bull-pucky & horseshit upon the public. It’s amazing how this group continues to escape scrutiny.
    Until the sheeple/people wake-up and rise-up, the neocon PNAC agenda will prevail with the tools of SITE, as well as MEMRI http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=MEMRI at their disposal.

    Reply

  29. Dag Andersson says:

    Watching Cheney I am reminded of Hermann Göring during the Nürenberg trials :
    “Why, of course, the people don’t want war,” Goering shrugged. “Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.”
    “There is one difference,” I pointed out. “In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.”
    “Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

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  30. easy e says:

    TWN: INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW
    How is it that whether it’s Cheney’s fear-mongering or the latest OBL scare by the MSM http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29769864/ , nobody has ever challenged the credibility of the mysterious group, SITE?
    Your audience should dig further into Rita Katz and SITE: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=SITE_Institute
    Our Government and the MSM media continue to “rely” on this sole “source” for inflicting this fictitious fear-mongering bull-pucky & horseshit upon the public, as well as perpetuating islamophobia.
    It’s amazing how this group continues to escape scrutiny.
    Until the sheeple/people wake-up and rise-up, the neocon PNAC agenda will prevail with the tools of SITE, as well as MEMRI http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=MEMRI at their disposal.

    Reply

  31. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I see it as a necessary component to make Obama credible and not just theoretical in his criticism of the past”
    Holding on to a shred of hope that this President is going to respect the law and his oath of office is foolish. He has already signaled his intent to ignore the crimes of the Bush Administration, and in fact, his Justice Department is actively condoning those crimes through non-prosecution as well as court room support.
    Don’t forget, there are also known perjurers walking free, such as Rice and Gonzales, who are apparently above the law with Holder’s blessing.
    There will be no accountability. Obama is “looking forward” to using his office to hold himself above the law. In fact, by refusing to respect his oath of office, he already is.
    And, uh, I guess Dodd’s blatant lies on CNN are yesterday’s news, eh? Business as fuckin’ usual. The man stands before us and lies his ass off, and there are no repercussions, no cost for deceit. Welcome to the United States of America; the Founding Father’s worst nightmare.

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  32. Kathleen G says:

    I truly believe Wilkerson feels some quilt and responsibility for the part he played in the run up to the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq. I have come to this conclusion after listening to interviews on NOW, and in the documentary NO END IN SIGHT.
    If Wilkerson ever comes here to read comments (you never know) I would like to ask him whether he does feel any guilt, sadness, grief in regard to the needless loss of life in Iraq, the 5 million refugees , the needless death of 4500 Americans and the tens of thousands left injured by the war based on a complete pack of lies?
    Does he feel quilt?
    I sure do. And I did every thing in my power as a citizen to stop that war from ever starting. Including being arrested, calling, petitions to Reps yada yada yada (those Catholic nuns and my parents sure did a good job in the have a conscience territory)
    Colonel Wilkerson do you feel guilt, shame, remorse about this needless war?.
    We know Cheney does not.

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  33. DonS says:

    The deception goes on. Cheney feels free to promote the fearmongering and setting up Obama to take the hit, which he will anyway, for any hiccup in foreign affairs that directly impact the US. And Obama make a tentative outreach to Iran, though how much is mere cosmetics it’s always hard to tell. But it is an opehning.
    So if the ‘high road’ that Obama seems to be promoting works, Obama looks smart. And Cheney becomes just and irrelevant, sneering, martyr to the right. If not, and things unravel even more [than Afganistan, Pakistan, etc.], we’re looking at a one term President.
    Still, I’m with those who want accountability for Cheney/Bush crimes, and as much as possible. I see it as a necessary component to make Obama credible and not just theoretical in his criticism of the past. How are we possibly to take Obama’s promise of a new day seriously without addressing the crimes from which the bad old days must be distinguished. The public is not so ‘enlightened’ as the forgive and forget message Obama is promoting — a future based on amnesia. Especially if the economic volcano Obama is still trying to finesse erupts, this could turn out worse than bad.
    Seeing Cheney is a stark reminder. We’re not just talking about a bad performance. He orchestraded evil as a mission. Read Jane Mayer, it chilling.

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  34. kotzabasis says:

    Obama’s no ‘fear campaign’ toward Iran will ‘sire’ the greatest ‘fear’ among thinking Americans issuing from the realization that they have elected a political dilettante as commander-in-chief in these most dangerous of times.

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  35. David says:

    Wilkerson is a failed aid to a failed Secretary of State. He accuses Limbaugh and Cheney of inciting the kind of hatred that spawns assassins like Sirhan Sirhan, Lee Harvey Oswald the Unibomber and others. All of these assassins were LEFTIST LOONS! If Wilkerson and Rachel Maddow who tried to make a story of this were any more “brain dead” their bodies would collapse to the ground like wet dish cloths.

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  36. Marnie Tunay says:

    Lawrence Wilkerson’s comments on Thursday to the AP* that:
    “We need to put [two dozen of] those people [in GITMO] in a high-security prison like the one in Colorado, forget them and throw away the key. We can’t try them because we tortured them and didn’t keep an evidence trail.”
    show he is cut from the same cloth as his former masters. They just don’t get it, that, for civilized people, locking up and forgetting people without giving them the benefit of trial or due process – just because ‘we’ tortured them and forgot to keep the evidence – that’s just not an option for civilized people.
    Rot in hell, Lawrence Wilkerson. You don’t fool me with your crocodile tears of remorse for your failures to take action while you were in position to help men you now say are innocent.
    And when you meet your Maker, you won’t be bunking as far from Dick Cheney as you want to think you will be.
    *report of Wilkerson’s telephone interview with the AP: http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2009/03/19/2568303-ex-bush-admin-official-many-at-gitmo-are-innocent

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  37. ... says:

    poa, kathleen and dan – check out the link i left.. it is shocking..

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  38. Kathleen G says:

    POA we do not need to try to convince each other. Agree to disagree on this one. Although one thing that Wilkerson, and the rest of us are on the same page about is let’s hold CHENEY ACCOUNTABLE. It was out of the Office of Special Plans and the Office of Net Assessment that the lies(intelligence) that was fed to Powell came out of. If Wilkerson can help hold Cheney accountable for war crimes all the more power to him
    ot Have you seen this article?
    http://informationclearinghouse.info
    /article22230.htm
    I don’t know about you POA but my time on these sites calling into radio programs, emailing, etc is all about the belief that our nation will witness accountability. This is the very least that our Reps and the rest of us can do for those who have needlessly lost their lives in a war based on a fucking pack of lies. The very least we can do is push hard for accountability

    Reply

  39. Dan Kervick says:

    Obama chooses the opposite of fear:
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/Nowruz/

    Reply

  40. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “POA would you rather Wilkerson not come out and give us more ammunition to hold these thugs accountable?”
    Well, as a number of my posts have stated, Wilkerson deserves some absolution and respect. So of course I think some information is better than no information.
    But you don’t seriously expect to see anyone held accountable, do you, Kathleen? Obama has already told us, or at least implied strongly, that he has no intention of honoring his oath of office. And judging by the actions his Justice Department has taken these last few weeks, it appears that he is not only going to refuse to seek accountability, but instead he is actually going to protect these treasonous pieces of shit like Rumsfeld. In addition, it appears renditions may well continue, and if renditions continue, so too will torture.
    Kathleen, there is not going to be anyone held accountable. Accept it. I have.
    We have two sets of laws, one for us, and none for them.

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  41. ... says:

    f.c.wad and bob norris… there is nothing conservative about the terrorist monster cheney.. someone should feed him to the alligator in the other photo here at twn… he has brought nothing but hardship and suffering to iraqi’s and americans to name a few…. he needs to be sent to jail…
    i would imagine it would be hard to speak out in public against cheney at the time he was implementing fascism in america with the help of the retard bush for president… their is not one shred of ‘conservative’ about any of these ex leaders… they are much worse then anything one could say about a liberal… how else does one explain the way they spent the usa into the ditch??? that ain’t conservative… that is freaking liberal to the extreme… it is shocking how out of touch some folks are in the usa, but i assume it has to do with settling with talk radio for ‘news’… i think wilkerson would have been a fairly strong assertive dude to speak out in the atmosphere he was in at the time, so i applaud him.. more people like him needed to put their ass on the line, instead of towing the fascist line that was the bush admin, thanks largely to cheney…

    Reply

  42. Kathleen G says:

    I agree to some degree (Wilkerson has blood on his hands, but he has enough of a conscience to know it and feel remorse) While that does not bring back lives, acknowledging those very serious mistakes is far better than not… many of us that called, emailed, marched etc before the invasion were basing our dissent on what we were hearing from Scott Ritter, El Baradei in early March of 2003 etc. when the majority of American people turned on the news in the evening they were bombarded with Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz (by the way where is that thug), Rice etc stuffing the lies about WMD’s down their throats. Scott Ritter was not on their screens with his questions about the validity of the intelligence
    I am not unable to imagine myself in the position that Powell/Wilkerson etc found themselves in…..being handed intelligence that they were being told was one hundred percent spot on…WTF you and I are not in that position never have never will be.
    I know Wilkerson feels a great deal of quilt and remorse about his part in this fiasco and the death and destruction. I give this man some credit for providing us with more ammunition to nail Cheney with.
    POA have you listened to any of the Wilkerson interviews on Democracy Now or the NOw program…more to this story than meets the eye

    Reply

  43. ... says:

    kotzabasis – check this out on real fanatics/terrorists… you won’t read about it in any of the mainstream press, as they wouldn’t touch it with a 10′ pole… get back to me after you read it as i would like to read your comments on it…
    http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/2009/03/nadia-matar-recording.html#comments

    Reply

  44. Kathleen G says:

    I agree to some degree (Wilkerson has blood on his hands, but he has enough of a conscience to know it and feel remorse) While that does not bring back lives, acknowledging those very serious mistakes is far better than not… many of us that called, emailed, marched etc before the invasion were basing our dissent on what we were hearing from Scott Ritter, El Baradei in early March of 2003 etc. when the majority of American people turned on the news in the evening they were bombarded with Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz (by the way where is that thug), Rice etc stuffing the lies about WMD’s down their throats. Scott Ritter was not on their screens with his questions about the validity of the intelligence
    I am not unable to imagine myself in the position that Powell/Wilkerson etc found themselves in…..being handed intelligence that they were being told was one hundred percent spot on…WTF you and I are not in that position never have never will be.
    I know Wilkerson feels a great deal of quilt and remorse about his part in this fiasco and the death and destruction. I give this man some credit for providing us with more ammunition to nail Cheney with.
    POA have you listened to any of the Wilkerson interviews on Democracy Now or the NOw program…more to this story than meets the eye.
    POA would you rather Wilkerson not come out and give us more ammunition to hold these thugs accountable?

    Reply

  45. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Oh come on, Kathleen. There were a few million American lay people that weren’t conned by the bullshit, yet Wilkerson and Powell were? That flies in the face of common sense.
    Actually, considering the back stories, such as Edmonds and Plame, I suspect Wilkerson’s “revelations” are somewhat tepid and shallow compared to the gravity of what was really happening on a number of fronts.
    Its like admitting that you know your superiors farted in public when in fact you know they shot and killed a policeman.

    Reply

  46. Kathleen G says:

    http://www.noendinsightmovie.com/
    In this documentary many (including Wilkerson) what confirm what Scott Ritter, former Cia analyst Ray McGovern, Former President Jimmy Carter, Iaea director El Baradei and many more were saying before the invasion…that the intelligence was questionable.
    After my dear friend Peggy Gish who went to Iraq in the fall of 2002 with the Christian Peace Maker Team. She began to write back to many of us in the states sharing the views of the Iraq people. AFter the invasion (she was there with the CPT team) the CPT team began to interview family members of those being held in Abu Gharib. The CPT team went to the U.S. military in Iraq during the early fall of 2003 with reports about torture. They were basically told to beat it. Seymour Hersh and others began to write about the torture taking place in that prison
    Peggy began to share some of the other thoughts of the Iraqi people that she had the privilige to come to know. Many believed that the fact that the U.S. not only invaded their country based on false intelligence, that they sent in too few troops, protected oil sites while allowing looting of Iraqi national treasures, encouraged torture, disbanded the Iraqi army 5 million Iraqi refugees,etc etc were not mistakes but efforts to cause CHAOS , create instability.
    NO END IN SIGHT confirmed many of the things that Peggy Gish had shared with us back in the states during those years.
    —————————————–
    If you have not seen “No End in Sight” it is well worth the time (Wilkerson is in the documentary)

    Reply

  47. Kathleen G says:

    Wilkerson came out quite some time ago and shared his deep regrets and has stayed consistent in his statements about the false intelligence that Powell was handed before his speech at the UN.
    Wilkerson demonstrates integrity and conscience.
    In the documentary “No End in Sight” Wilkerson re-instilled faith in me that there are people in the military who only want to use our military when they think it is absolutely necessary.
    I have often imagined that as lay people we can only guess and how difficult it would be to come out with your opinions about what you may think is questionable intelligence. Especially when one would assume that those providing that intelligence were professionals with integrity.
    His interview on NOW was also insightful
    http://www.pbs.org/now/politics/wilkerson.html
    DAVID BRANCACCIO: We now know that there was deep skepticism within the intelligence community about some of these pre-war claims than what’s being expressed publicly at the time. Is it reasonable to think that the administration knew about this skepticism?
    LAWRENCE WILKERSON: Six months ago I would have said “no.” Since that time, however, there have been some revelations. Principally about Sheik Al LibI’s testimony and how it was obtained. And how there was a DIA, for example, Defense Intelligence Agency, dissent on that testimony, apparently I’m hearing now, around the time the testimony was actually given.
    And even more to the point than Al LibI, Curve Ball. And the revelations that have come out about Curve Ball. And in particular the German dissent from the integrity of CurveBall’s testimony.
    I can tell you that having been intimately involved in the preparation of Secretary Powell for his five February 2003 presentation at the UN Security Council, neither of those dissents in any fashion or form were registered with me or the Secretary by the DCI, George Tenent, by the DDCI, John McLaughlin, or by any of their many analysts who were in the room with us for those five, six days and nights at the Central Intelligence Agency.
    DAVID BRANCACCIO: And they didn’t give you any inkling that–
    LAWRENCE WILKERSON: Not a bit.
    DAVID BRANCACCIO: — there was this debate about some of this information?
    LAWRENCE WILKERSON: Not a bit. In fact it was presented in the firmest language possible that the mobile biological labs and the sketches we had drawn of them for the Secretary’s presentation were based on the iron clad evidence of multiple sources.
    DAVID BRANCACCIO: Maybe they at the most senior level, like you, just didn’t know?
    LAWRENCE WILKERSON: I have to believe that. Otherwise I have to believe some rather nefarious things about some fairly highly placed people in the intelligence community and perhaps elsewhere.

    Reply

  48. JohnH says:

    Pretty good one, kotzbasis. Keep it up and you could be appearing on Jonathan Stewart!

    Reply

  49. TonyForesta says:

    In case you haven’t noticed kotzabasis, Western civilization is teetering on the brink of collapse (largely due to the abuses, crimes, treasons, deceptions, and wanton profiteering of fascists in the bushgov and cheney in particular). The emerging new world order will be formed by and align with the best interests of Eastern civilization. Capitalism is a dead rotting corpse. Evangelical christians are no different than jihadists. Whatever new economic model arises from the putrid smoke and roiling ashes, – will not be capitalism. Criminals, traitors, and perverts like cheney and his fascist ilk have forever tarnished and permanently undermined the concept and very idea of democracy, the rule of law, and our or any Constitution.

    Reply

  50. A.Citizen says:

    Hmmmm…..
    I am unaware of anyone who is not ‘nipple fed’ to start with these days. But…
    ….who said ReThugs know anything. Anything at all.
    Bwaaaaaaahhhhaaaaaaaaaaahhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhaaaaaaa!
    Idiot.

    Reply

  51. kotzabasis says:

    It will be the ” ‘abhorrent’ behavior of Cheney and his team” that will save Western civilization from the deadly attacks of fanatical Islamists and not the misplaced ‘humanitarian’ ‘kind’ behavior of nipple-fed-intellectuals.

    Reply

  52. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Steve, don’t you think classifying Wilkerson as a “hero” is a bit beyond the pale? I mean seriously, Steve. There are many of us “lay people” that were well aware of many of the crimes Wilkerson describes way before Wilkerson spoke up. And obviously, if some carpenter in Central California had the goods, so too must have Wilkerson, Powell, etc.. Wilkerson’s belated efforts to expose SOME of the truth is certainly laudable to a degree, but are they really the actions of a “hero”? A “hero”, in my opinion, would have resigned his post rather than be part of the machine that designed and implemented these travesties. A “hero” would have been giving media interview after media interview, THEN, not now. A “hero” would have been blowing the whistle to the various human rights organizations that could have demanded investigations, THEN, not now.
    I suspect, rather than a “hero”, Wilkerson is simply a man of conscience, who can no longer remain silent. And, as such, deserves some absolution, and some respect. But it has undone none of the travesties, whereas timely exposure and action may have at least shortened the duration of these crimes against humanity and the rule of law. And, to be honest, I am giving Wilkerson the benefit of the doubt by attributing his disclosures as motivated by conscience. As I stated in another post, he might just be reading the tides, and could be making a totally self-serving effort to come clean before the shit hits the fan. After all, he was, undeniably, a part of the Bush/Cheney machine. It is my personal belief that Powell definitely falls into this latter category.
    However, judging by this promise breaking fraud Obama, Wilkerson has been able to discern that which many of us are coming to realize, that there will be no effort from the Obama Administration to hold anyone accountable. Therefore, my latter theory about Wilkerson’s motivation probably is wrong. He could have simply kept his mouth shut without fear of any future damage to his so-called “legacy”. So, perhaps he really does have an inventory of ethical standards, and that rare Washington commodity; a conscience.
    In regards to Maddow, her failure to cover the Freeman castration ruined it for me. It was an extreme case of cowardice and irresponsibility, and changed my opinion of her 180 degrees. As a consequence, I had made a promise to myself to tune her out, but missed her humor, and her amazing ability to contort her face into an ever changing orgy of expressions. But even that has become over-done, over-hammed, bordering on silly and trite. I’d like to see her tone that aspect of her on-the-air antics down a bit. But even with the humor, and a more grounded and sincere tool kit of silly antics, her failure to cover the Freeman affair is unforgivable. It shows an unhealthy bias that no amount of on-the-air activism can erase. Or worse, it shows who REALLY runs the show, and it ain’t Rachel, and it ain’t progressive.

    Reply

  53. dwg says:

    Messrs Norris and Wade:
    Kinda like Gen. Powell’s getting all hopeful YEARS after he carried the water for the Bush regime? That lying sack of sh*t at the UN – knowingly urged invasion of Iraq in the face of a complete lack of evidence against Iraq.
    Talk about guys that “sat around and did nothing” how “terribly typical of liberals” my ass!

    Reply

  54. TonyForesta says:

    Why did CNN choose to interview azmodeaus, – I mean cheney? Gregg knows that this dispicable creep is bent on destroying Obama and America for that matter. Just as cheney and the bush crime family cabals were involved in the mass murder of 9/11, so they will use their deepstate connects to various unsavories or socalled evildoers to execute the sequel to 9/11.
    Dicks threats are born of insider information, and direct knowledge of a plans and operations that are intended to kill Americans and ultimately destroy America. The bush/cheney regime succeeded in setting the stage for America’s destruction by shredding, dismantling, and reengineering the Constitution and the rule of law, robbing and pillaging poor and middle class Americans to feed the superrich, the driving the US economy and the worlds as a result into ruin by bruting, implementing, and cloaking PONZI schemes and systemic malfeasance, perfidy, and cronyism in the financial system.
    The sooner this satanic beast is removed from this earth, – the better for the other 99.5% of the earths population who are not the predator class.

    Reply

  55. Steve Clemons says:

    Bob Norris and F.C. Wade — you obviously are not readers of
    this blog and have very little awareness of Lawrence Wilkerson’s
    profile and commentary in the past years. His post here and his
    comments on Maddow are not new. He gave a major speech
    that made significant headlines on October 19, 2005 — and has
    since been a very active commentator on the foreign policy
    activities of the Bush administration. He is not a liberal — but
    rather a very frustrated Republican conservative. I appreciate
    your perspective and view — but it would behoove you to do a
    bit more research before issuing uninformed indictments that
    demonstrate more ignorance than serious resolve. You should
    be applauding Wilkerson as a hero and as a man of serious
    conscience.
    I look forward to you learning a bit more.
    best,
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  56. Bob Norris says:

    Funny how all the people who sat around and did nothing like Wilkerson now come out and play the blame game.Hey Wilkerson if you knew you should have opened your mouth.

    Reply

  57. Bob Norris says:

    Funny how all the people who sat around and did nothing like Wilkerson now come out and play the blame game.Hey Wilkerson if you knew you should have opened your mouth.Guess he is a democrat now.Blind to everything until it suits thier purpose and then they are concerned.Rachael M and Keith O should start reporting the news and get off thier stupid Bashing game.Nothing wrong in thier world except Republicans.Good thing they found a company that only prints what they want you to hear and blindside the rest.

    Reply

  58. F.C. Wade says:

    It seems that this gentlemen has been totally unconcerned about these poor unfortunates until now. After all, he has held his tongue for several years and allowed these to suffer needlessly just to save his own job, I suppose. This is terribly typical of liberals such as Wilkerson. They keep their mouth shut or howl like a starving hound under a full moon when they can find self serving benefits by doing so. Liberals are becoming famous for such activity.

    Reply

  59. bangzoom14 says:

    Attention Cheney, Boss Limbaugh, Coulter etc.. please take special note: we’re already onto your playbill FULL of TRICKS. After you guys lost the 2008 election decisively, the only way you think you can elevate yourselves now in the public’s eye before the next election is to constantly tear down the left with all sorts of catch words and phrases filled with HEAVY DOSES of FEAR and HATRED (just like they did in Germany after WW1) so you can “appear to look better”. You guys are just pathetic.

    Reply

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