Archive for the ‘Cheneyburton’ Category

Private War

Monday, August 27th, 2007

There’s been some attention in the blogosphere this weekend to an AP article detailing government punishment of whistleblowers –we’re talking military confinement and “aggressive” interrogation techniques, not lost jobs. It’s a must-read, but I’d suggest starting with some more background first, in particular “The Great Iraq Swindle”, which details the corruption and profiteering that has gone on from day one in Iraq.

If you’ve read Imperial Life in the Emerald City, or even the excerpts that were published elsewhere, you already know part of the story, but the articles referenced above pick up where it left off. Private contractors have made a fortune off the backs of the American people and to the detriment of our military, and they walk away with no accountability for the millions they’ve stolen or the lives they’ve destroyed.  Meanwhile those who try to bring public attention to the corruption find themselves in the line of fire.

Go read, but I don’t recommend eating first.  This will make you ill.

The Darksider

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

Tom pointed me to Hendrik Hertzberg’s brilliantly written takedown of the man Dear Husband likes to call the Dark Vice Lord.  Enjoy — or at least appreciate the fine prose.  I’m not sure the word “enjoy” is ever appropriate in association with Dick Cheney, unless it’s referring to his impending impeachment.

Never Mind

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Melissa McEwan has whiplash over the White House’s latest flip-flop re: Dick Cheney’s role in government.  Dick wanted to argue that his dual role as president of the Senate somehow exempts him from executive branch oversight — because he isn’t part of the executive branch.  Now White House officials are claiming that he’s exempt from executive branch oversight because he has executive privilege.

And, in an amazingly arrogant and illogical statement, White House spokesman Tony Fratto says, “It’s not appropriate for a subordinate office like that to investigate or require reporting from the enforcer of the executive order.”  Yeah, it’s just totally wrong for the public — Cheney’s collective employer — to expect his office to adhere to the same standards it demands of others.  Others including the National Security Council, which for some reason has had no problem complying with requests from the National Archives Information and Security Oversight Office.

It seems to me Mr. Secrecy would be all about guaranteeing that classified information is appropriately safeguarded, but it appears he thinks it’s more important to deliver a big ol’ “go fuck yourself” to anyone who dares to question him.

Not to worry, though.  The dispute has been referred to that bastion of legal excellence and objectivity, Alberto Gonzales.  Problem solved.  Aaaaaaarrrrrgh!

(Note: Melissa and her pals at Shakesville have been dealing with a Denial of Service attack for the past week.  While Shakesville is moving to a more secure server, the Shakers are posting at the old Shakespeare’s Sister site.  Head over and give them some love.  Sorry, trolls — you can’t keep good bloggers down.)

A Little Light Reading

Monday, June 25th, 2007

I’m on the run today, dealing with a malfunctioning air conditioner and the expected arrival of 14YOD’s replacement cell phone. Yep, right now I’m sitting in a hot house waiting for her new phone because she managed to lose the old one (one month old, that is) on a trip to Six Flags. If it doesn’t arrive before I’m overcome by the heat, I’ll have to go pick it up at the shipper’s office. “But Mommy, it’s not my fault! It fell out of my pocket on the Superman ride.” 14YOD, meanwhile, is sleeping the day away in an AIR-CONDITIONED hotel room.

What is wrong with this picture?

Anyway, while I’m taking care of details, you can enjoy (using the word loosely) the first two parts of a four-part Washington Post profile on Dick Cheney. The Post promises lots of details from current and former associates. Perhaps one of them will explain how Cheney has the chutzpah to claim that the VP isn’t part of the executive branch.

Say What?

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

Dick Cheney has decided that the Vice President’s office is not part of the executive branch, thus allowing him to flout a presidential order governing protection of classified information.  Not only that, he apparently thinks he has the authority to abolish the office that is tasked with providing oversight.  Goodness, I didn’t realize the US had become an absolute monarchy.

Bill Leonard, head of the government’s Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), told [Rep. Henry] Waxman’s staff that Cheney’s office has refused to provide his staff with details regarding classified documents or submit to a routine inspection as required by presidential order, according to Waxman.

In pointed letters released today by Waxman, ISOO’s Leonard twice questioned Cheney’s office on its assertion it was exempt from the rules. He received no reply, but the vice president later tried to get rid of Leonard’s office entirely, according to Waxman.

Oddly enough, Cheney didn’t realize that he wasn’t part of the executive branch until 2003; up to that point, he had complied willingly  with the order, which requires executive offices to supply statistics on the number of documents classified and declassified.  Whatever could have brought him to this revelation?  John Aravosis at Americablog notes the “coincidence” that 2003 is also the year that Scooter Libby leaked Valerie Plame’s identity.

(more…)

Halliburton Moving To Dubai

Monday, March 12th, 2007

Houston spiritual leaders to perform ritual cleaning once CEO is gone. Just kidding. Halliburton is opening a new corporate headquarters in the United Arab Emirates, although it won’t be changing its domestic incorporation.

All the financial implications aren’t clear, but it sounds like a nice way to avoid paying taxes on the huge profits Halliburton has earned off the backs of American taxpayers.

Halliburton, which was led by Vice President Dick Cheney from 1995 to 2000, is currently in the process of spinning off KBR, its military contracting unit, to focus on its business of drilling wells and maintaining fields for oil companies. The company did not say what implications the Dubai development might have for its military contracts. Lea Anne McBride, a spokeswoman for Mr. Cheney, referred questions about the company’s plans to Halliburton.

The Dubai announcement, which Halliburton made at a regional energy conference in Bahrain, comes at a time when the company is being investigated by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission over allegations of improper dealings in Iraq, Kuwait and Nigeria. Halliburton has also agreed to pay billions of dollars in settlements in asbestos litigation.

Halliburton would not elaborate on Sunday on what the shift of its top executive might mean for some of the issues it faces. The move seemed to raise questions about whether Halliburton might gain tax advantages or other benefits.

…Despite its recent problems, Halliburton posted record revenue, net income and margins last year.

Those Halliburton guys — what patriots! They obviously love America way more than the evil libruls who stick it out here in the US.