“Hubris”, the true story of the lies Dick (Darth) Cheney brought to the table. The distortions and mistruths he championed costing 190,000 dead, 7000 American soldiers and other combatants, almost three trillion dollars we know of and 50,000 wounded.  

The truth is out now and the coverup exposed.  He should have been charged with Treason for lying to Congress, the American people, the President and the world. 

Filled with news-making revelations that made it a New York Times bestseller, Hubris takes us behind the scenes at the White House, CIA, Pentagon, State Department, and Congress to show how George W. Bush came to invade Iraq - and how his administration struggled with the devastating fallout.  

Hubris  connects the dots between Bush's expletive-laden outbursts at Saddam Hussein, the bitter battles between the CIA and the White House, the fights within the intelligence community over Saddam's supposed weapons of mass destruction, the outing of an undercover CIA officer, and the Bush administration's misleading sales campaign for war. Written by veteran reporters… 

Michael Isikoff  and David Corn, this is an inside look at how a president took the nation to war using faulty and fraudulent intelligence. It's a dramatic page-turner and an intriguing account of conspiracy, backstabbing, bureaucratic ineptitude, journalistic malfeasance, and arrogance. Available at Amazon.


False gods, read Exodus, your time will come.  Who are these spinners and what are their qualifications? It will surprise you to know many of them have no political experience, nor military served time, no college or higher learning, but consider themselves experts in the fields.  

They all start in Radio.  Why Radio? Simple you can hide. You may start in talk radio where no one sees your face so you can wear your uniform and not be seen, recognized or assaulted. That must be "where the expression talk is cheap came from".  Makes sense to me. If you said some of the things they said to someones face, they would in some cases be lying horizontal on the ground. 

In TV, we start with an introduction to media, not necessarily journalism.  Pretty faces and lots of prompters make anyone into a faux journalist.  The real journalists have one commodity these folks don't have…integrity.

Radio attracts a lot of folks who are dissidents  they too hide when they express themselves and frankly violence sells on talk radio as the only other stations on AM are fundamentalist religionists who are even more boring…. read on, it was this combination of radio and TV that sold the war to the American people and most of it was never verified.

When Cheney became eligible for the draft, during the Vietnam War, he applied for and received five draft deferments. In 1989, The Washington Post writer George C. Wilson interviewed Cheney as the next Secretary of Defense; when asked about his deferments, Cheney reportedly said, “I had other priorities in the '60s than military service”.  

Cheney testified during his confirmation hearings in 1989 that he received deferments to finish a college career that lasted six years rather than four, owing to sub-par academic performance and the need to work to pay for his education. Initially, he was not called up because the Selective Service System was only taking older men. 

When he became eligible for the draft, he applied for four deferments in sequence. He applied for his fifth exemption on January 19, 1966, when his wife was about 10 weeks pregnant. He was granted 3-A status, the "hardship" exemption, which excluded men with children or dependent parents. In January 1967, Cheney turned 26 and was no longer eligible for the draft.

Note:  Though I respect the office of the Vice-President this man should have been arrested for treason, murder, lying to Congress and the people of the United States. 


“US doesn't prosecute its war criminals. It honors them” — Glenn Greenwald.   The truth in Greenwald’s quote, and the sentiment, is felt around the world as former Vice President Dick Cheney was honored Thursday.  

A white bust was created that now sits at the US Capitol, bought and paid for by the American people.  The event brought out Cheney’s poignantly true “partner in crime,” former President George W. Bush.  

Someone had commented it should be covered with a dirtied diaper.

Sarah Lazare at Common Dreams remarks: The ceremony was the first public appearance of Cheney and Bush together since Jon Meacham's biography of George H.W. Bush was released in November.  

George Bush 41 is quoted criticizing Cheney for being “hard-line,” “ Iron-ass,” and "knuckling under to the real hard-charging guys who want to fight about everything, use force to get our way in the Middle East."

George Bush 43 made light of the comments about the former vice president, who has recently used his considerable media platform to rail against the nuclear deal between world powers and Iran, declare he is unapologetic about the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and call for military escalation towards ISIS.

Lazare reports that when Bush told his father about the Cheney ceremony, Bush said “send my best regards to old iron-ass.”  How about “old torturer” or “old murderer” or “old war criminal?” 

Dick Cheney is responsible for the deaths of over 7,200 US troops—and reportedly hundreds of thousands innocent civilians.  All of my spirituality leaves me when I think of Dick Cheney. The world damage he created, and the lives he destroyed is beyond forgiveness, much less worthy of an honor.   Shame on US for allowing this man to walk free.  

Cheney’s company Halliburton was involved in a kickback scheme that prompted Halliburton to fire two workers and reimburse the Pentagon $6.3 million. Yea, two guys just happened to skip with millions. Sacrificial lambs. additionally, the possible overcharging for food services which Halliburton reimbursed the Defense Department for nearly $30 million. Halliburton has set aside $141 million to pay other possible reimbursements.

A separate DCAA audit which accused KBR of overcharging by $61 million for gasoline delivered to serve the civilian market in Iraq last year. Halliburton has said the charges were proper. Right... like I believe them.  Critics say Halliburton is an example of war profiteering by companies friendly to the Bush administration. Company and administration officials say politics had nothing to do with Halliburton's contracts in Iraq.


Four former finance employees at the Halliburton Company contend that a high-level and systemic accounting fraud occurred at the company from 1998 to 2001, according to a new filing in a class-action lawsuit on behalf of investors who bought the company's shares.

The filing accuses the company of accounting improprieties that go far beyond those outlined by the Securities and Exchange Commission in its civil suit against Halliburton, which the company settled on Tuesday, paying $7.5 million.

The charges in the complaint and in the S.E.C.'s action cover the two years when Vice President Dick Cheney was Halliburton's chief executive. But he was not named as a defendant in the new filing nor in the regulatory proceeding. S.E.C. officials said Mr. Cheney provided testimony and willingly cooperated in their inquiry and his lawyer, Terrence O'Donnell, said Mr. Cheney's conduct as chief executive of Halliburton was ''proper in all respects.'' He added that the S.E.C. ''investigated this matter very, very thoroughly and did not find any responsibility for nondisclosure at the board level or the C.E.O. level.''

According to the new filing, the four former employees, who are not identified in the suit but were managers in financial or accounting positions, say that Kellogg Brown & Root, Halliburton's engineering and construction unit, inflated its financial results by overbilling for services, overstating its accounts receivable due from customers and understating accounts payable owed to vendors. The filing also noted that one former employee in the accounting department said superiors had told her to do ''whatever it took'' to make projects appear profitable and to meet Wall Street estimates for the company's earnings.

The filing also asserts that executives at Halliburton misled investors in the fall of 2001 about asbestos liabilities faced by the company's subsidiary, Harbison-Walker, which it had acquired in the September 1998 purchase of Dresser Industries. Even though the company had lost a major case in a Texas court and was ordered to pay $130 million to plaintiffs, top Halliburton executives told analysts unaware of the verdict that the news regarding its asbestos obligations was ''positive'' and that there had been ''no adverse developments at all'' relating to Harbison-Walker.


Plame affair - CIA leak grand jury investigation and United States v. Libby.  
On October 18, 2005, The Washington Post reported that the vice president's office was central to the investigation of the Valerie Plame CIA leak scandal, for Cheney's former chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was one of the figures under investigation.   Following an indictment, Libby resigned his positions as Cheney's chief of staff and assistant on national security affairs.   On September 8, 2006, Richard Armitage, former Deputy Secretary of State, publicly announced that he was the source of the revelation of Plame's status. Armitage said he was not a part of a conspiracy to reveal Plame's identity and did not know whether one existed.

In February 2006, The National Journal reported that Libby had stated before a grand jury that his superiors, including Cheney, had authorized him to disclose classified information to the press regarding intelligence on Iraq's weapons.  

March 6, 2007, Libby was convicted on four felony counts for obstruction of justice, perjury, and making false statements to federal investigators. In his closing arguments, independent prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said that there was "a cloud over the vice president”, an apparent reference to Cheney's interview with FBI agents investigating the case, which was made public in 2009. 
Cheney lobbied President George W. Bush vigorously and unsuccessfully to grant Libby a full Presidential pardon up to the day of Barack Obama's inauguration, likening Libby to a "soldier on the battlefield".


FAILED ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT  (Better luck next time fellas) 
2007 Bagram Airfield bombing  On February 27, 2007, at about 10 am, a suicide bomber killed 23 people and wounded 20 more outside Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan during a visit by Cheney. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack and declared that Cheney was its intended target. They also claimed that Osama Bin Laden supervised the operation.  

The bomb went off outside the front gate while Cheney was inside the base and half a mile away. He reported hearing the blast, saying "I heard a loud boom...The Secret Service came in and told me there had been an attack on the main gate."  The purpose of Cheney's visit to the region had been to press Pakistan for a united front against the Taliban.  


Cheney has been characterized as the most powerful and influential Vice President in history.   He has been characterized as a “War monger and cold hearted bastard”  yet his  supporters and critics of Cheney regard him as a shrewd and knowledgeable politician who knows the functions and intricacies of the federal government.  Which is a nice way of saying he knows how to beat the system.  

He also liked to stay close to the bone, one sign of Cheney's active policy-making role was an office near the House floor for Cheney in addition to his office in the West Wing, his ceremonial office in the Old Executive Office Building, and his Senate offices (one in the Dirksen Senate Office Building and another off the floor of the Senate).  Nothing got passed him.

Barack Obama could of used Cheney who actively promoted an expansion of the powers of the presidency, saying that the Bush administration’s challenges to the laws which Congress passed after Vietnam and Watergate to contain and oversee the executive branch—the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the Presidential Records Act, the Freedom of Information Act and the War Powers Resolution—are, in Cheney's words, "a restoration, if you will, of the power and authority of the president”.   But when Barack Obama exercises those rights, Cheney is out there plummeting him with his unique kind of bitting rhetoric.


In June 2007, the Washington Post summarized Cheney’s vice presidency in a Pulitzer Prize-winning four-part series, based in part on interviews with former administration officials. The articles characterized Cheney not as a "shadow" president, but as someone who usually has the last words of counsel to the president on policies, which in many cases would reshape the powers of the presidency. 

When former Vice President Dan Quayle suggested to Cheney that the office was largely ceremonial, Cheney reportedly replied, "I have a different understanding with the president." The articles described Cheney as having a secretive approach to the tools of government, indicated by the use of his own security classification and three man-sized safes in his offices plus whips and chains, running water and boards, portable generators and other assorted devices.

The articles described Cheney’s influence on decisions pertaining to detention of suspected terrorists and the legal limits that apply to their questioning, especially what constitutes torture.  Obviously this was a man of medieval institutional  thinking pertaining to questioning and he would rewrite the laws if needed as to their usage.

U.S. Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as Colin Powell's chief of staff when he was both Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the same time Cheney was Secretary of Defense, and then later when Powell was Secretary of State, stated in an in-depth interview that Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld established an alternative program to interrogate post-9/11 detainees because of their mutual distrust of CIA.

The Washington Post articles, principally written by Barton Gellman, further characterized Cheney as having the strongest influence within the administration in shaping budget and tax policy in a manner that assures "conservative orthodoxy." They also highlighted Cheney’s behind-the-scenes influence on the administration’s environmental policy to ease pollution controls for power plants, facilitate the disposal of nuclear waste, open access to federal timber resources, and avoid federal constraints on greenhouse gas emissions, among other issues. The articles characterized his approach to policy formulation as favoring business over the environment.




•CRITIC: The first impression when I saw Vice, I thought it was a complete disaster. At times, I wondered if the director wasn’t planning a comedy…since truth and Cheney are totally indifferent to each other. Or if maybe he was rushing to meet a release date. 

The movie posits that Dick Cheney didn’t believe anything—that he was only interested in power for power’s sake—and while that’s an interesting notion, the near-Trotskyite zealotry of his time in office and his alliance with the neoconservative cause would suggest otherwise. 

During a memorable scene early in Adam McKay’s new film, “Vice,” a biopic about Dick Cheney, the protagonist stands outside the stark government office of Donald Rumsfeld, for whom he has just gone to work. 

They are at the Office of Economic Opportunity, the first in a string of jobs Rumsfeld held in the Nixon and Ford administrations in which he hired Cheney as his top assistant. 

The young Cheney asks his boss what they believe in. Rumsfeld just laughs uproariously, making clear that the answer is nothing — and, as he watches Rumsfeld go back into his office, Cheney laughs heartily along with him. The message: Our antihero is all about acquiring power, by whatever means necessary. The ideas for which power might be used are, well, irrelevant.

It’s a disastrous misreading of the former vice president. By disregarding his views and ideology (and several important historical moments that helped form them), “Vice” suggests that Cheney’s legacy is a soulless quest for power, rather than the advancement of fallacious beliefs that seriously damaged our nation: his unilateral approach to foreign policy, his preference for military force over diplomacy, his considerable overestimation of American strength and his desire to reshape the Middle East.

A change clearly came over this man, but the film is so uninterested in exploring anything resembling an actual person that the transformation doesn’t register.

There are fascinating threads in there—about the theory of the unitary executive, for example, and about the disconnect between politicians and the battlefield in the modern era—but the movie has no focus, so everything just hangs there. The movie hand-holds us through certain events of recent history and yet barely mentions the first Gulf War—which is when much of the country first met Cheney, and the results of which had a direct impact on the ensuing Iraq war.

•  CRITIC:  I’ve now seen Vice three times. I do think there’s a less discombobulated, more engaging version of the movie in there, somewhere, and it occasionally peeks through. Yes, yes, Dick Cheney does Bale’s soft, monotone growl thing a lot—but he does more, too! 

We sat through eight years of the guy as vice president, watching him on TV, and he’s clearly got more emotional and vocal range than the sketch-comedy imitation Vice presents us with. That’s a choice. A poor choice. Obviously, some are down with it, since it looks like Bale is headed for an Oscar nomination. But I was flabbergasted. Oh well.


Despite garnering six nominations for this year’s Golden Globes, McKay’s kitschy approach to the politically charged film has polarized reviewers, prompting a mix of scathing critiques and celebratory praise for the director’s distinct film style.

•  ED:  Depends on what you are looking for. Is it truth about Cheney, truth is a liar, a conniver, a con man and a warmonger and thousands of people are dead.   If you are a movie critic, what critics look for in the acting and screen skills, they can agree on, is actor Christian Bale’s performance as the film’s central political character. 

 •  CRITIC: In his review for Variety, Owen Gleiberman praised Bale’s descent into political madness, calling the performance a “virtuoso” impersonation of a politician “who has no problem stomping on the Constitution.”  ( And anything else that got in his way)

“Bale, thanks to a stupendous job of prosthetic enhancement, he channels everything about Cheney that, in the Bush era, made him such a recessive and, in his way, magnetic figure of clandestine destruction.” ( He was a prick, simple version) 

“The Dick Cheney of ‘Vice’ looks and talks and operates just like the Cheney we’re familiar with, but in terms of his underlying spirit he might as well be a kabuki figure. The audience, in trying to suss out his motivation, let alone (gulp!) his inner life, is forced to fall back on abstractions like ‘greed’ and ‘power’ and ‘a flagrant contempt for democracy,’ the sort of labels that add up to a liberal-left indictment but do little to explain, on a level of personal psychology, the crucial issue of how American right-wing patriotism got hijacked into something so corrupt.”

“Adam McKay’s ‘Vice’ is a seething condemnation of the damage done by the idea that certain folks (well-dressed white dudes of a certain class status) are offered a presumption of competence and expertise. 

Yet the movie, which itself is a cinematic mediocrity that is being hailed as a potential Oscar contender partially due to its subject matter and the established pedigree of its white male filmmaker. 

The contradiction doesn’t just validate the idea that movies about white dudes are automatically considered to be of greater critical value than acclaimed movies about white women and/or minorities.

 “There’s much to admire about ‘Vice,’ from performances to its sprawling timeline, and yet it often seems trapped between the intentions of a broad liberal parody and more sincere attempts to understand Cheney’s essence, frequently indulging in kooky extremes before backing away with apologetic gravitas. 

 “‘Vice’ is a jumble of asides and visual gimmicks and pointed digressions, much in the same way that ‘The Big Short’ was. That buckshot tactic worked well enough on something as diffuse and hard to gather as the complexities of Wall Street. 

TRUTH:  But when applied to what could be called a biopic — a study of one person — all that antic reeling obfuscates more than it illuminates. There’s a title card at the beginning of the film saying that, though Cheney kept his life and deeds very hidden and private.  “‘Vice’ has been told with all the caustic wit and self-righteousness that we’ve come to expect from McKay, and if you’re on his side, you’ll probably marvel at his clever storytelling, the impressive performances of his huge ensemble cast, and the way he makes learning, for lack of a better word, ‘fun.’ But if you’re not on ‘Vice’’s wavelength this may not be the film to sway you.”

CRITIC:  “It’s all pretty awful. And yet somehow, McKay doesn’t make it seem awful enough.  “It will break no news and spoil nobody’s fun to note that McKay is not a fan of his protagonist. His argument is essentially that much of what critics of the current president fear most — the erosion of democratic norms; the manufacture of ‘alternative facts;’ the rise of an authoritarian executive branch — already came to pass when George W. Bush was in office. 

But ‘Vice’ offers more than Yuletide rage-bait for liberal moviegoers, who already have plenty to be mad about. Revulsion and admiration lie as close together as the red and white stripes on the American flag, and if this is in some respects a real-life monster movie, it’s one that takes a lively and at times surprisingly sympathetic interest in its chosen demon.”

More troubling is how he tries to connect too many dots back to Cheney’s ideas and initiatives — like blaming Cheney for inadvertently creating the Islamic State. ‘Vice’ wants to paint Cheney as the evil mastermind of 40 years of Republican megalomania and not merely the most savvy player within it, but McKay’s intel is as selective as that of the man he’s depicting.”


06-07-2019 aljacobsladder.com