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Pierce writes: "There's no more valuable resource for an informed citizenry than the folks doing god's work at the National Security Archive at the George Washington University."

Dick Cheney. (photo: Brent Lewis/Getty Images)
Dick Cheney. (photo: Brent Lewis/Getty Images)

Here's a Nice Little Dick Cheney Story to Ruin Your Day

By Charles Pierce, Esquire

01 March 16


He would have been right at home in any authoritarian regime.​

here's no more valuable resource for an informed citizenry than the folks doing god's work at the National Security Archive at the George Washington University. Their most recent revelations concern the Rockefeller Commission, which was formed by the Ford Administration as a reaction to the New York Times stories in 1975 that broke the news of the CIA's misdeeds, up to and including covert assassinations. It seems that kindly old Gerry and his minions did all they could to ratfck the commission's report. And, lo and behold, you'll never guess who was leading the fcking of the rats.

The Gerald Ford White House significantly altered the final report of the supposedly independent 1975 Rockefeller Commission investigating CIA domestic activities, over the objections of senior Commission staff, according to internal White House and Commission documents posted today by the National Security Archive at The George Washington University ( The changes included removal of an entire 86-page section on CIA assassination plots and numerous edits to the report by then-deputy White House Chief of Staff Richard Cheney. Today's posting includes the entire suppressed section on assassination attempts, Cheney's handwritten marginal notes, staff memos warning of the fallout of deleting the controversial section, and White House strategies for presenting the edited report to the public. The documents show that the leadership of the presidentially-appointed commission deliberately curtailed the investigation and ceded its independence to White House political operatives.

Richard Cheney cares less about American democracy than he cares who he shoots in the face. And this has been true since he first crawled out of the primordial authoritarian soup. He would have been the perfect Hauptfuhrer, the ideal Politburo conniver. He'd have risen high in the Stasi, and Pinochet would have had him over for Scotch and electrodes at least twice a week. And the great irony of this latest expose is that we can at least partly thank Oliver Stone for it.

This evidence has been lying ignored in government vaults for decades. Much of the work of securing release of the records was done by the John F. Kennedy Assassinations Records Board in the 1990s, and the documents were located at the National Archives and Records Administration at College Park, Maryland; or at the Gerald R. Ford Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Additional mandatory declassification review requests filed by Archive fellow John Prados returned identical versions of documents, indicating the CIA is not willing to permit the public to see any more of the assassinations story than we show here. The documents in this set have yet to be incorporated into standard accounts of the events of this period.

And, to the surprise of practically nobody, these documents show that a lot of the internal wrangling within the Rockefeller Commission traced its roots all the way back to Dallas in 1963.

There had already been revelations of illegal domestic activities by the CIA. These led to the creation of a presidential panel under Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller, and committees of inquiry in both houses of the United States Congress. Ford's January 1975 admission of CIA involvement posed a dilemma for the administration. Vice President Rockefeller attempted to head off inclusion of the subject, restricting consideration of assassinations to the question of what role Cuba might have had in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. That proved unacceptable to some members of his own commission, among them then-Governor of California Ronald Reagan. When the Rockefeller Commission took a vote on whether to include charges of CIA assassination plots in its inquiry, the group overrode its own chairman. Rockefeller's key opponent in the fight over investigating assassinations was the panel's staff director, David W. Belin. A lawyer for the Warren Commission, empanelled to look into the Kennedy assassination in 1963-1964, Belin had been handpicked by Ford for the Rockefeller group. Ford, one of the Warren commissioners, was confident of Belin's loyalty, but this time the lawyer fought hard to investigate deeply.

When even a Warren Commission lawyer smells a bag job, you can be pretty sure that there's burlap over something important.

Among the abuses that led directly to President Ford creating the Rockefeller Commission were charges the CIA had compiled dossiers on American citizens and infiltrated political groups that opposed the U.S. war in Vietnam. In this instance the Rockefeller panelists entered a blanket finding that the files and lists of citizen dissenters were "improper." The White House edit changed this conclusion, indicating that the "standards applied" had resulted in materials "not needed for legitimate intelligence or security purposes," and that this merely applied to "many" records gathered about the antiwar movement (see unnumbered page revising p. 41 in the report). White House editors eliminated a Commission recommendation (number 17 in the original text) that applicants for agency positions and foreign nationals acting on behalf of the CIA be informed more clearly that they could be subjects of U.S. security investigations.

Bernie Sanders, remember, is a kooky extremist because, at the exact time Cheney was developing his authoritarian chops and becoming the most loathsome government apparatchik since A. Mitchell Palmer, Sanders said that it might be good idea to reduce the CIA to smithereens. Crazy talk. your social media marketing partner


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+192 # MsAnnaNOLA 2016-03-01 15:06
So can we once and for all ban him from having anything whatsoever to do with our government.

While we are at it, if he covered up these crimes because it was indeed he who had committed them, I am pretty sure there is no statute of limitations whatsoever on murder. Murder being another cute little word for assassination.

No one is supposed to be above the law in our society.
+64 # Krackonis 2016-03-02 03:26
Yes... Arrest him and send him to the Hague for his Warcrime trial... Anything less is an insult to the people whom he helped murder.
+4 # James38 2016-03-04 19:01
Anna does not go far enough. "Ban him from having anything whatsoever to do with our government" is 'too little, too late'.

Krackonis is closer to the mark, but saying "Anything less is an insult to the people whom he helped murder" also does not go far enough.

The insult includes the destruction of the reputation of the United States internationally , and the diminishing (to the vanishing point in many cases) of moral awareness and responsible citizenship on the part of most US citizens. We have been fed a diet of denial to season our egotistical fantasy of "exceptionalism ". We can not be properly proud of our country when our country tells the rest of the world how to run a democracy, and how they must punish their war criminals, when we have a flock of the worst war criminals in recent history walking around free, smirking and posturing as if they are just honorable ex-Presidents, Vice Presidents, and Professors at Stanford.

The three worst of the bunch are, of course, George W Bush, Richard Cheney, and Condoleezza Rice, but the list goes on to include several other members of that failed administration.

To redress our gross global failures, and to encourage our citizens to never allow such abuses to be done in our name again; to regain pride in ourselves and our country, and to remove some of the stain of hypocrisy, treachery, and murderous global mayhem that causes many to look at us with scorn and distrust, we must quit the denial.

+4 # James38 2016-03-04 19:26

We need to arrest George W Bush, Dick Cheney, and Condi Rice, and put them on trial for war crimes. There isn't a snowball's chance in hell that they wouldn't be convicted, and many people globally already know that; but I fear that they have mostly given up hope that the US will ever be honest enough to admit the gross errors, and that makes them deeply distrust and fear us.

Many US Citizens have never understood how grievously obvious this is in other countries, and are walking around in a false bubble of justification and misplaced pride in our government. This helps no one, because living in a fantasy world has that dangerous effect of making the same lethal errors possible again.

Of course the elements of madness in the CIA etc depend on that, and encourage the ignorance that bolsters their ability to manipulate our society and national wealth with their dangerous machinations. Cheney is that madness personified. He is totally consumed by a weird distorted combination of desire for money and power, and the ruthlessness he and the others exhibit is the basis for their crimes.

I fear that the US may not outgrow this addiction to false pride and denial unless those of us who see the truth are willing to explain all this to our fellow citizens - and explain it clearly and completely.

The result would be a tremendous positive change in national awareness, pride, and responsible world leadership. It would also save many lives.
+6 # curmudgeon 2016-03-02 13:46
Maybe Trump will appoint him to a cabinet post....or Supreme Court.
+1 # sycamore77 2016-03-03 02:00
Don't they have national immunity for their crimes when in office and they are committed under the convenient guise/feigning of National Security.
+2 # James38 2016-03-04 19:29
They don't have any internationally legal meaningful immunity. Not any more than any other National leader who leads his country into war crimes. That is what Nuremburg was all about.

"national immunity" is just another name for denial, and the US is big and powerful enough to shove its crimes in the faces of other countries like a schoolyard bully, saying "whaddya gonna do about it?"

Not the way to develop friends and a good reputation, but if you want to be feared and despised, that is how you do it.

Letting that lying smirking war-criminal moron GW Bush walk around free, paying him big fees for speaking engagements, is about the most repulsive, vile, insult we could throw in the faces of other countries. Let him go to some other countrys and try to stay out of prison. That might be quite a show. I don't think even he is stupid enough to try that. His "national immunity" turns to wet tissue paper at the border.
+123 # ER444 2016-03-01 15:10
Good old Bernie
+142 # RMDC 2016-03-01 17:02
Will Cheney ever just fucking die and leave the world alone. We know he won't be prosecuted and executed. All we've got his his heart. Why won't it just give up like Scalia's. It is horrible to think that Scalia did the decent thing before Dick Cheney.
+7 # economagic 2016-03-01 22:02
The National Enquirer today has PROOF! that Scaly was murdered! Of course, I'm pretty sure I could "prove" a lot of interesting things if I had the readership of the Enquirer. That rag has never been successfully sued, meaning that it has better lawyers than any of the hapless celebrities who foolishly choose to sue them.
+5 # Krackonis 2016-03-02 03:28
You know I used to laugh at them... Then I read miles mathis' "Hidden Kings" and I was, not only entertained, but I found the story very plausible...

But that would mean the National Enquirer was right all these years... Which... blows my mind :P
+1 # sycamore77 2016-03-03 02:02
economagic: I'd be more inclined to think he'd be sipping cocktails at the Vatican.
+29 # Citizen7 2016-03-02 08:39
"We know he won't be prosecuted and executed." If he isn't prosecuted, the reason he won't be prosecuted will be because so many people who are aware of his crimes tell themselves "we know he won't be prosecuted," and so they do nothing. First step is to get the discussion of ALL his crimes out in the open and very public instead of continually turning away from facing them, next step is to demand prosecution. Trouble is, we've all become complict now by allowing Obama to "look forward, not backward" and continue in many policies that originated under Bush/Cheney.
+2 # sycamore77 2016-03-03 02:11
I don't think you can go after them at the National level when the crimes were committed during war times and they held an office. They have immunity conveniently protected under the guise/feigning of National Security.
+1 # James38 2016-03-04 19:58
We could "go after them at the National level" any time we develop the guts and the determination to do the right thing. I was shocked and dismayed when Obama abdicated the responsibility to prosecute those criminals, who were responsible for so many needless deaths and injuries of US troops, let alone the hundreds of thousands of "foreigners". But we don't have to try them here. We could just turn them over to the Hague.

(I wonder if something involved with this blindness may explain Obama's support for the TPP.)

They don't have any internationally legal meaningful immunity. Not any more than any other National leader who leads his country into war crimes. That is what Nuremburg was all about.

"national immunity" is just another name for denial, and the US is big and powerful enough to shove its crimes in the faces of other countries like a schoolyard bully, saying "whaddya gonna do about it?"

Not the way to develop friends and a good reputation, but if you want to be feared and despised, that is how you do it.

Letting that lying smirking war-criminal moron GW Bush walk around free, paying him big fees for speaking engagements, is about the most repulsive, vile, insult we could throw in the faces of other countries. Let him go to some other countries and try to stay out of prison. That might be quite a show. I don't think even he is stupid enough to try that. His "national immunity" turns to wet tissue paper at the border.
+18 # HowardMH 2016-03-02 13:20
His heart did give out, he now has someone else's heart. Now if that is not depressing I don't know what is.
+172 # Dumbledorf 2016-03-01 18:19
Unquestionably one of the most amoral, wicked, evil men to ever disgrace our country.

If hell exists, a place has to be reserved there just for him.

In the meantime, we're still left with the hell he created here on earth for millions of others and the damages he did to all of us as Americans.
+8 # Cdesignpdx 2016-03-01 23:07
Perhaps citizens have a class-action lawsuit here, but only if we didn't sign an arbitration agreement at birth.

Never mind. we did. It was those damn baby footprints that did us in.
+37 # treerapper 2016-03-02 03:33
We would have to add a few select names to that list - Allen Dulles and Henry Kissinger. All 3 of a similar mindset - they'd shoot their own mother just as easily as eating breakfast.

Pure scum.
+79 # Anonymot 2016-03-01 18:39
It's the new Gestapo in CIA clothing.
+142 # Art947 2016-03-01 19:00
This is another reason why President Obama's legacy will NEVER be as good as it could be! Cheney and the other reprehensible henchman continue to walk free upon the Earth because Mr. Obama gave them a "get out of jail" free card even before they were convicted!

And yet, notice, that the whistleblowers continue to be prosecuted by the DoJ and be sent to prison.

America, what a country!
+26 # Krackonis 2016-03-02 03:29
Well until they leave America. Once they do, they are off to jail. Believe it or not, they are wanted men. An X president, X VP and X Minister of War, Rummy.
+23 # treerapper 2016-03-02 03:36
I think there are many things the President doesn't get to decide, if he knows what's good for him. Kennedy's assassination was a lesson for all those seekers of the throne. Step out of line and you're toast. Obama has played the game well and remained alive to tell the tale.

That would make for an interesting read.
+33 # MidwestTom 2016-03-01 19:03
This plus the missing 28 pages is why Trumps gaining at the polls. People are sick and tired of the DC politicians running amuck in the gold plated lives, that we have to pay for.
+79 # Henry 2016-03-01 19:09
So some of the people are choosing a gold-plated con man instead. Too bad they aren't a little smarter.
-59 # skylinefirepest 2016-03-01 20:31
So Henry, are you saying it would be a little smarter to pull for a woman who thinks it's her turn, who hates the military that protects her sorry ass, who has no use for the security of the country, that is so broke she doesn't have time to count her millions, etc., etc.??
+37 # jcdav 2016-03-01 21:04
bit off subject, eh?
+26 # Skyelav 2016-03-01 21:25
Thank you... You people like the way things are going? Vote HilLIARy. The unemployment rate is off the charts if you count it right, health care is so expensive some people have stopped all discretionary spending and some people can't eat, the national debt has soared, some for good reasons, but mostly for bad ones, military spending is a joke and if you believe Col David Hackworth, the money is going straight down the drain, all kinds of trade agreements suck, our unions are all but extinct, education is all but privatized as is the prison system, Air traffic control, the EPA, the FDA; bees are dying, we are dying from Monsanto's garbage... You want this to CONTINUE???????
+27 # Billy Bob 2016-03-01 21:59
Do you Republicans attack Killary from the far-right because you secretly want her to be elected?

It seems like your right-wing attacks only fuel the notion that she must be a lefty. She's no lefty. In fact, she's a WAR MONGER that Republicans should be totally in love with. Yet, because of completely nonsensical comments like yours about her "hating the military" she actually takes away votes from the ONLY peace candidate running (Sanders) simply because many of her supporters think that, if you're against her, she MUST speak for the left.


When will Republicans finally realize that Killary is best chance they have to get exactly what they want?

Oh yeah! I forgot! You DO know that. And THAT'S why you're attacking her. The best "endorsement" you could give WOULD be to totally lie about her "hating the military".

Don't worry. Your secret's safe.

-15 # Krackonis 2016-03-02 03:32
Hilary is also implicated in several murders, an illegal invasion, the set up and murder of the Ambassador for the purpose of increasing voter sympathy and of course violations of the state secret acts regarding the storage of top secret information.

Call me crazy, but who in their right mind would vote for someone who may actually go to jail before she is even elected.
0 # Uppity Woman 2016-03-05 02:52
Donald Trump is the only candidate who is currently under indictment for a crime. Therefore he gets my vote for "Most likely to end up in jail before the election."

However, if they can manage to put Hillary in jail too, I'd be thrilled!
+13 # kalpal 2016-03-02 06:36
Ignorance compounded by baseless hatred seems to explain who and what you are, skylinefirepest .
+6 # Lgfoot 2016-03-02 11:22
For a women who hates the military HRC sure is quick to want to use it every chance she gets. The R is for regime change.
+2 # sycamore77 2016-03-03 02:17
Hillary and Trump are two peas in a pod.
About the only difference is their "delivery" and she's not as beautiful as
Trump likes.
-19 # Skyelav 2016-03-01 21:22
The returns aren't in on trump. He speaks to the left of his entire "party".. remember he was a leftie from NYC. He blabs and blabs to get votes..I don't think he is a con at all.
+7 # economagic 2016-03-01 21:57
Waitaminit: Trump is a LEFTIST, even among edge-of-the-ear th Republicans? The very first leftist billionaire? Even George Soros, who is something of a classical liberal, doesn't get that pass.
+21 # kalpal 2016-03-02 06:38
Trump is now and always was a snake-oil salesman. He says what he thinks the chumps want to hear just before he takes their investment funds and absconds with them.
-2 # sycamore77 2016-03-03 02:24
Yes he was a lefty. And he's a brillant manipulator. He's doing a great job chaotically getting Hillary into the White House by default. Between his constant bloviating and endorsement by Duke(KKK) and now today Ichan (Jewish billionaire) the fix is in.
It will split off the anti-semitics who idolized him and those votes will go to
another Republican candidate or write in's who won't be able to beat Clinton.
+30 # jsluka 2016-03-01 19:21
But supporting Trump as a way of acting against this is a bit of the old 'cutting off your nose to spite your face.'
+74 # PABLO DIABLO 2016-03-01 19:14
No more heart transplants. Send Dick Cheney a wooden stake.
+35 # Archie1954 2016-03-01 20:12
I don't have to read this article to know what a monster Cheney is. It is almost dinner time so I will save this and read it when I decide to go on a diet, then I can read it every evening before dinner and thereby ruin my appetite!
+34 # angelfish 2016-03-01 20:20
Trump is NO better and, probably a LOT worse! Hillary is a glorified ReTHUGlican who can not and will NOT beat Trump if he's their nominee! So sad that she won't suck it up, bite the bullet and let someone who CAN, DO! WHEN will America wake up to the fact that Business as usual Politicians are ALWAYS chosen over ANYONE who can SERVE this country well and competently. Dwight D. Eisenhower was the LAST RePubilican who did his BEST for ALL Americans. Reagan and Bush II were the WORST of the worst. President Obama has done a formidable job righting some of the disgraceful Wrongs of the ReTHUGlicans but even he has fallen short. GIVE Bernie a chance to prove to Americans that ALL Politicians are not Evil, Self-Serving Sycophants and Toadies. If we ALL just GO and VOTE, we CAN beat them. If we sit home, they win. We CAN'T let that happen EVER again in our lifetime!
0 # sycamore77 2016-03-03 02:29
I read that of course he's ahead in the Republican party but is way behind Clinton.
Personally, one is just as bad as the other. Remember Trump used to be a liberal and Warren Buffet said 8 months ago, "Oh,
Hillary's going to win".
0 # angelfish 2016-03-04 18:02
Quoting sycamore77:
I read that of course he's ahead in the Republican party but is way behind Clinton.
Personally, one is just as bad as the other. Remember Trump used to be a liberal and Warren Buffet said 8 months ago, "Oh,
Hillary's going to win".

DON'T bet on it!
+35 # jbell94521 2016-03-01 20:34
To see just a bit more about how far back this rat fckery really goes, read "The Devil's Chessboard" by David Talbot. That is a real eye-opener. And it shows how this country got to be in such terrible shape. Perhaps that offers a glimmer of how to fix it.
+29 # JSRaleigh 2016-03-01 20:45
The CIA couldn't get everything they wanted written INTO the Warren Commission Report, but Ford was their stooge on the Commission & made sure the final report didn't include anything the CIA wanted kept out.

The CIA didn't get their casus belli for their war with Cuba, but neither does the report include any of the links between Oswald and the CIA, Cuban Exiles or the mob.
+5 # walthe310 2016-03-01 20:46
+30 # m... 2016-03-01 21:01
Cheney is a DICK...
+7 # Skyelav 2016-03-01 21:27
On this matter I am speechless.
+5 # economagic 2016-03-01 21:58
Yew mus' be one o' them young whippersnappers !
+10 # RMDC 2016-03-02 06:24
"the ideal Politburo conniver. He'd have risen high in the Stasi,"

Statements like this only reveal the poverty of language following the cold war. All Pierce can do to say something bad about Cheney is take what is close to hand -- old cold war anti-communist propaganda. This is how propaganda works. it makes the US regimes close to hand so everyone -- even critical thinkers -- will use them because they know they are the "lingua franca." We need to stop using the American fascist propaganda as our lingua franca.

Of course there were abused and corruption in the police of the Soviet Union and East Germany. This is true of all naions. But the Politburo and the Stasi were a hell of a lot better than the American CIA or FBI or ATF or SS and all the rest. if you want to say Cheney would have fit in well with the worst fascist regimes in history, then just say he rose to the positions he held in the US government for 35 years -- right close to the president. Cheney was THE key person in what Peter Dale Scott calls The Deep State. Cheney was key in the development of the Continuity of Government which suspended the constitution and put his small clique in charge of the entire nation. There's nothing anywhere in the world that compares to this.
+2 # BluePill 2016-03-02 21:24
Powerful observation. Thanks.
0 # James38 2016-03-04 22:02
RMDC, you make some good points, but equating Russia with the US and claiming that Russia was in any way better is absurd.

I was a vigorous protester of the HUAC and the Vietnam War in the late 1950's on through the 60's and to the present. I was targeted and investigated as a Communist Agitator (which I was not) by the FBI. I was for a while imprisoned and threatened with various punishments, but I managed to convince them to let me go. It was quite scary.

But - BUT - in Russia I would have disappeared, been shot, tortured, who knows what. Many of my friends and lots of people I never met personally had the guts to do things that were actually dangerous because we all knew the government was badly out of control. But it never got as bad as it was in Russia or Germany under Nazi control.

So make your good points, but keep some perspective. Bernie is another one who wouldn't have survived in Russia, but he is still here, setting an example of fearlessness for us all to emulate.

Pierce is not revealing "poverty of language", he is making some valid points and providing some good information.
+31 # kalpal 2016-03-02 06:40
Dick Cheney makes Nixon look like a nice harmless benevolent laid back misunderstood man.

Dick has been viciously evil ever since he flunked out of Yale at the end of the first term.
+2 # curmudgeon 2016-03-02 13:44
I wonder what cabinet post he will fill in the upcoming Trump presidency?
+11 # Pickwicky 2016-03-02 14:34
Cabinet Post--Secretary of Torture----and he'll be sooooo good at it.
+3 # elkingo 2016-03-03 15:13
Where the fuck do we get these murderous guys who make Machiavelli look like Howdy Doody?
I'll tell you where: from the capitalist sensibility. However, it is impossible to be the head of state (or near it) without committing massive numbers of homicides. That is an indictment of the nation-state at all, not merely Bush's hoodlums.

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