The "Cloud" over Dick Cheney Just Got Darker!

“It is an extraordinary subversion of the [U.S.] Constitution to send people to die…on the basis of a lie.”

— Elizabeth Holtzman [1]

There is a story told about a criminal defense lawyer, a colorful kind of character at the Maryland Bar, who has since gone on to his final reward. Supposedly, he comforted his guilty-as-hell client as the trial date approached by repeatedly telling him: “Don’t Worry! Everything will be all right!” Well, on the day of the trial, the trial judge assigned to the case wasn’t who the defense lawyer expected. In fact, he was a nightmare–“a Hanging Judge!” It was at this point, that the defense counsel leaned over to his client and whispered: “Start worrying!” Well, this is exactly where V. P. Dick Cheney is today. The reason: Impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives are picking up momentum. The American people are demanding action as the quagmire of Iraq deepens. Millions of them believe that Cheney lied the country into the Iraqi War and should be impeached. [2] Some gutsy members of the U.S. Congress are responding to that call. This is why H Res 333, “Cheney’s Nightmare,” was introduced by Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), on April 24, 2007. On top of all that, there is the darkening cloud over Cheney’s head–Lewis “Scooter” Libby!

On June 14, 2007, the trial judge in Libby’s federal criminal case, the Hon. Reggie B. Walton, ordered him to jail immediately to serve out his 2 1/2-year sentence. Libby, showing no remorse, was convicted on perjury, lying and obstruction of justice charges. His attorney filed a motion with the appellate court to stay the lower court’s ruling, pending his appeal of the case. “Scooter” was Cheney’s Chief of Staff: He ran his office. Libby got caught trying to smear former Ambassador Joe Wilson, a critic of the Iraqi War. Wilson had written, in the summer of 2003, that there was no evidence to suggest that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein had attempted to secure any uranium from Niger. Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, worked for the CIA as a covert agent. Libby, a Neocon, leaked her name to the press and then lied about it to the FBI and to the Grand Jury. The schemers put out a story that Wilson’s trip to Africa was a “junket” arranged by his wife. Was Libby acting on Cheney’s behalf? The Special Prosecutor thinks he was and he has said so publicly.

On Feb. 20, 2007, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the Special Prosecutor, told the jury, in his closing argument, in Libby’s case: “There is a cloud over V.P. Cheney…Libby stole the truth…Don’t you think…the American people are entitled to straight answers…It was ‘they’ who decided to tell reporters [Joe] Wilson’s wife was working for the CIA…To them, she [Valerie Plame] wasn’t a person, she was argument. What is this case about? Is it about something bigger?” Dan Froomkin, who covered the case for the Washington Post, put it this way after hearing Fitzgerald’s remarks: “It was pretty clear who ‘they’ was: Libby and his boss, Cheney.” [3] The evidence in the case showed that Cheney was the initiator of the plot and Libby was his gofer. The jury felt that Libby was “a fall guy.” It was Cheney who wrote the “talking points” to get Wilson. He made notes on a newspaper article falsely suggesting that Wilson’s wife had sent him on a “junket” to Nigeria. The smear merchant of Wilson/Plame was Cheney! At law, Libby acting in concert with his string puller, Cheney, to lie under oath and to obstruct justice has a name. It is called: A CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY!

There are some people on Capitol Hill, who think Libby might flip. He was, indeed, protecting Cheney, not that he needed much encouragement, since he was at the center of the White House cabal that was “fixing” the intelligence to get us into the Iraqi War. The NYT labeled him: “a principal architect of the war.” In fact, it was Libby who helped to push Colin Powell into making that flop of a speech at the UN on Feb. 5, 2003. And, if no presidential pardon comes Libby’s way, will he rat Cheney out? Who knows? Libby also had strong ties to another prime architect of the Iraqi War–Paul Wolfowitz, who was just dumped as CEO of the World Bank. Donald Rumsfeld, another Neocon, just got his walking papers at Defense. It’s hasn’t been a good summer for the Neocons. Libby was also one of the attorneys for fugitive billionaire financier, Marc Rich, a reported Mossad asset. [4] Libby helped to manipulate a presidential pardon for him from “Bubba Bill” Clinton, who made $10 million last year giving speeches! What a surprise! Meanwhile, who is going to help Libby get his pardon? Cheney? Rich? Hillary?

Back to the Congressional front. Rep. Kucinich, at a press conference, on Capitol Hill, on June 13, 2007, renewed his call, via H Res 333, for the House of Representatives to impeach Cheney for committing “high crimes and misdemeanors.” He was joined by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), an indefatigable fighter for justice. At that press conference, when the question of the relevance of the Libby case to the impeachment proceeding came up, and, in particular, Mr. Fitzgerald’s comment about a “cloud” over V.P. Cheney, Rep. Kucinich responded this way: “I think that all Americans are ‘concerned’ about the Libby case, in as much as the relationship between his [felonious] actions and what it says about the Vice-President. But, even without the evidence in the Libby case, we have enough on record to go forward with impeachment…The other concern I would express is…whether this administration is ‘lining things up to pardon Libby.'” [5]

When Rep. Kucinich introduced his Articles of Impeachment in the House, he made this cogent charge: “Cheney has purposely manipulated the intelligence process to deceive the citizens and the Congress of the U.S. by fabricating a threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to justify the use of the U.S. forces against the nation of Iraq in a manner damaging to our national security.” (2) In his three Articles of Impeachment, Rep. Kucinich detailed the dates, the times and the places, where Cheney chose to “deceive the citizens” about the alleged threats of Iraqi WMD. He added: “In the last three years, the V.P. has repeatedly threatened Iran.” This is the same Iran which Sen. Joe Lieberman (IND-CT), also a Neocon, recently urged the U.S. to launch a pre-emptive attack against.

Rep. Kucinich also underscored in H Res 333, the lethal consequences of Cheney’s warmongering: namely, U.S. service members killed in Iraq (now at 3,521); the death toll of Iraqis (estimated by the “Lancet Study” at 655,000, as of July, 2006); 4.2 million Iraqis forced from their homes; and the cost of the war to U.S. taxpayers, (now $435.4 billion). There are currently six cosponsors of H Res 333, in the House of Representatives. In addition to Reps. Kucinich and Waters, they are: Lynn Woolsey (D-CA); Barbara Lee (D-CA); Yyette Clark (D-NY); Jan Schakowsky (D-IL); William Lacy Clay (D-M0) and Al Wynn (D-MD).

The charges in the Articles of Impeachment, raised by Rep. Kucinich, if proven, are clearly impeachable offenses under the U.S. Constitution. Keep in mind, that under Article 1, Section 2 (5), of our National Charter, the role of the House in any impeachment inquiry is to “only” act as a Grand Jury. If it finds that there is probable cause, that is reasonable grounds, to believe the truth of the charges against Cheney, in H. Res 333, then it would have a duty under the law to impeach him. The U.S. Senate, then, would sit in judgment on the V.P. and decide his guilt or innocence. See, Art. 1, Sec. 3 [6].

The House Judiciary Committee, headed by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), should let those subpoenas fly. Mr. Fitzgerald, the Special Prosecutor, should be called as a witness. Others connected to Cheney, like Karl Rove in the White House, and officials in U.S. State Department and at the Pentagon, whose names surfaced in the Libby case, also should be summoned before the Committee. It looks like Mr. Fitzgerald isn’t going to open a criminal inquiry into Cheney’s role in the Wilson/Plame matter. Congress then has a solemn duty, a Constitutional responsibility, to get to the bottom of Cheney’s egregious wrongdoing.

Finally, America was lied into the Iraqi War by a Cheney-dominated clique. One of the liars, Libby, made the mistake of lying under oath. Now, he is going to prison. It is time now for Libby’s Svengali, V.P. Dick Cheney, to be brought to the Bar of Justice. Congress do your duty! Uphold the Republic! Remember our dead heroes in Iraq, who died for a lie! Investigate and impeach Cheney!




[3]. “The Cloud over Cheney,” Dan Froomkin, 02/21/17.