Wednesday, October 06, 2004

This is Hard Work (Part III), But My Buddy Dick Will Help Me Out…

The biggest lie of the night, among many from Mr. Cheney: “I have not suggested there's a connection between Iraq and 9/11.”

Excuse me?

Cheney got let off easier than he should have been. John Nichols of The Nation asks a series of some more pointed questions, including:

Why were maps of Iraqi oil fields and pipelines included in the documents reviewed by the administration's energy task force, the National Energy Policy Development Group, which you headed during the first months of 2001? Did discussions about regime change in Iraq figure in the deliberations of the energy task force?

Considering the fact that your predictions about the ease of the Iraq invasion and occupation turned out to be so dramatically off the mark, and the fact that you were in charge of the White House task force on terrorism that failed, despite repeated and explicit warnings, to anticipate the terrorist threats on the World Trade Center, what is it about your analytical skills that should lead Americans to believe your claims that America will be more vulnerable to attack if John Kerry and John Edwards are elected?

No corporation has been more closely associated with the invasion of Iraq than Halliburton. The company, which you served as CEO before joining the administration, moved from No.19 on the U.S. Army's list of top contractors before the Iraq war began to No. 1 in 2003. Last year, alone, the company pocketed $4.2 billion in U.S. taxpayer dollars. You said when asked about Halliburton during a September 2003 appearance on "Meet the Press" that you had "severed all my ties with the company, gotten rid of all my financial interest." Yet, you continue to hold unexercised options for 233,000 shares of Halliburton stock, and since becoming vice president you have on an annual basis collected deferred compensation payments ranging from $162,392 to $205,298 from Halliburton. A recent review by the Congressional Research Service describes deferred salary and stock options of the sort that you hold as "among those benefits described by the Office of Government Ethics as 'retained ties' or 'linkages' to one's former employer." In the interest of ending the debate about whether Halliburton has received special treatment from the administration, would you be willing to immediately surrender any claims to those stock options and to future deferred compensation in order to make real your claim that you have "severed all my ties with the company."
Mr. Cheney, you are definitely a smoother talker than your boss. But what is it that you don’t understand? You are not President of the United States, yet you led the failed, unrelenting push to convince Mr. Bush and the world that Saddam Hussein had direct ties to Al Qaeda and that he had massive amounts of WMD, using your own jury-rigged intelligence apparatus.

And you have no clue what ‘conflict of interest' means. You provide the prime example, imitated by many CEOs in corporate America recently, about screwing the public and not caring anything about it. All you had to do was take the proper steps to remove yourself from Halliburton, but you didn’t care, did you, as long as you helped your friends and continued getting your extra quarter of a million a year?

A president needs good advisors, not morally and ethically bankrupt puppet masters who make up stuff and answer straight questions with: “I don’t know where to start…”

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link