Royko were here today, he would convulse with laughter at
the evil silliness of it all."
IF ROYKO WERE
Posted April 6, 2004 thepeoplesvoice.org
I often wonder what Chicago's late,
great Mike Royko thinks about "Boss" Dick Cheney literally
snickering up his sleeve at the direction he's managed to steer the 9-11 Commission to effectively cover up what he and others in the
administration knew before 9-11.
I suspect the acerbic renegade columnist would
be quick to point out that the Commission is working pretty
hard on its own to make Cheney's job easier. He'd probably
tell us the Commission's "bipartisan" members are
arguably the only group of people in this country -- maybe even the
world -- who don't know exactly what this entire bunch knew -- and
when they knew it.
You play Cheney's game, you play by
Cheney's rules and with Cheney's stacked deck. That's the
deal -- take it or leave it. Nobody gets a break here.
The Cheney White House has gone from angrily resisting an
independent investigation, to sabotaging it via curtailing
funds and imposing unrealistic cut-off dates and, finally, to
blatant manipulation. Distractions, such as public
outrage over selecting Henry Kissinger to be in charge of
anything even remotely honorable, gave Cheney the cover he needed,
for example, to install as Commission executive director Philip
Zelikow, a Condoleezza Rice buddy and former member of the 2000
Cheney/Bush transition team.
Zelikow may not be privy to what led up
to Bin Laden's 9-11 attack on the United States, but he has no
illusions about what prompted Bush's 3-20 attack on Iraq.
In a Sep 10, 2002 speech at the University of Virginia, http://www.atimes.com/atimes.Front_Page/FC31Aa01.html
Zelikow maintained that the war, in which 613 U.S. and
105 coalition troops have been killed http://lunaville.org/warcasualties/Summary.aspx
and far too many more wounded and maimed, was motivated by the U.S.
government's desire to defend Israel.
"Why would Iraq attack America or
use nucler weapons against us?" Zelikow asked. "I'll
tell you what I think the real threat is and actually has been since
1990 -- it's the threat against Israel." Zelikow went on
to say that such a threat "dare not speak its name,"
because it was not a "popular sell" with the
Can't argue with that. If there's
one thing Boss Cheney knows, it's how to make money in the war market...
Thus, Zelikow is both an able
9-11 Commission puppet and puppeteer. He decides the
parameters of the investigation into what was done to protect America
before 9-11, to include which questions witnesses are asked,
and whether subpoenas will be issued. None have been. None
But not even Zelikow sealed the deal for
Cheney. Still not satisfied, Cheney went to great lengths to
install former New Jersey governor Thomas Kean as Commission
chairman. Kean, director and shareholder of Amerada Hess,
is directly involved in an oil venture with Saudi Arabia's Delta
Oil, which is in part controlled by Khalid bin Mafhouz, Osama Bin
Just another amazing coincidence which,
Kean assures us, will have no effect on his performance in striving
mightily to discover any part the Saudis might have played in this
nation's most horrific tragedy.
However, Cheney's never been one to take
chances. With the 9-11 widows out there stomping around,
demanding the truth, there was only one thing to do. Appease them.
Offer up Condi. Putting a squirming Condaleezza
Rice out there to publicly untangle the snarl of lies she
has told to any media outlet that would schedule her for the
past year is just one part of Cheney's grand scheme to close
the books on this pesky little matter.
Matter of fact, throwing Rice to the
wolves is no big deal -- anybody who's paid even marginal attention to
Cheney's modus operandi over the years has seen that one coming
for a long time. Although Rice has been richly rewarded for
years by both Bush father and son for carrying their water so
well, when the FOC (friends of Condi) recently began touting her
as the logical choice for vice president, http://www.bushrice04.org/
her bucket very quickly got a hole in it. Suddenly, it's water,
It's only fair to point out that
many of Rice's wounds are self-inflicted. Lying,
then spinning the lies, then lying about spinning the lies can
get tedious -- even confusing -- and can cause someone to suffer
irreparable memory loss when someone is under oath.
Especially In public. Rice will pull through her highly
publicized appearance before the Committee this week damaged to be sure,
and useless, but thanks to Zelikow and Kean, she will emerge intact.
But the "deal" Cheney made with
Commission members for an interview, where he and Bush appear
together -- not under oath, in private, with no official record and only
one note-taker in attendance who probably had to promise not to
remember anything he hears, and if he does, he will cut off his own
head and bury it in the backyard -- sets a new low in lack of
cooperation for this bunch. And that's quite a feat.
Of course, there's always the outside
chance Cheney just told the flat-out (haw-haw snicker gasp snort) truth. "Look,
guys," Cheney could have said, "we're up to our asses in
alligators here. You know how dysfunctional the Bushes are --
especially this one. I have to be in there with him. Can't
afford for him to have a public meltdown..."
Cheney probably had to go no further than
to remind them of Bush's zany performance last week when a reporter
asked him, "Mr. President, do you have a plan to deal with
the high gasoline prices?"
Bush leaned over the podium as he
is prone to do when he wants to appear not only honest, but
earnestly honest, and -- for some bewildering reason, referring to
himself in the third person -- responded, "The President of
the United States has gotta 'jawbone' OPEC members and make 'em understand they
can't cut back on oil production."
With reporters staring at him
numbly, Bush went on to boast with a wink and a big grin,
"I was an oil man once -- not a big oil man, I was a little oil man
but that's still an oil man so I know a little bit about the
So, it's easy to see how the Commission could
be convinced that questioning Bush one-on-one might result in a
real nasty Texas truth gusher. Like Cheney
probably told them, splattering the public with the oily truth
"at this time in our history" probably isn't the most
prudent thing to do. You know, for national security and
stuff like that.
But wait -- there's more! The real
coup was Cheney demanding -- and getting --a written promise from
the Commission that it will relinquish all rightshttp://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/documents/gonzalezletter_033004.pdf
to ask further questions from ANY member of the administration, to
include advisers and unelected warmongering neocon perps who
are skulking mischieviously along the shadowy periphery of
democracy. Members even relinquished the right to contact
those who previously testified in order to clarify remarks
they may have made.
In a groveling March 30 statement,http://www.9-11commission.gov/press/pr_2004-03-30.pdfthe
Commission -- crawling eagerly on its belly like a bitch dog begging
for attention -- profusely thanked both Bush and Cheney for
agreeing to meet in just one joint private session, and promised not to
allow the gracious presence of Dr. Rice to set a precedent. And,
in spite of the daily stonewalling and efforts to discredit and derail
the Commission's mandate, for no discernable reason at all, they
collectively praised Bush for his "consistent policy of strong
Is this Commission independent or what?
Having Jelikow and Kean covering your
backside is kinda like putting the tag team of neocon
operatives Antonin Scalia and James Baker in charge of yet another
presidential election. There will be no pointy-finger hanging
chads, no blame-game butterflies -- and no surprises when the mostly
redacted Commission report is vetted by the White House and finally
approved by Cheney for release in July.
Trying to understand the convoluted, behind-the-scenes
machinations of Commission officials -- to make sense of their
feverish rhetoric -- I can sympathize with Royko, who fumed in
frustration when he came face-to-face with the Internet...
"[It's]... like driving a car
down a narrow road in a snow storm, a car in which the windshield wipers
and headlights don't work. All of the signs along the highway are
backwards and upside down and of no help at all. Finally,"
Royko said, "when you see someone along the side of the road and
stop for directions, they can only speak to you stuttering in
If Royko were here today,he would
convulse with laughter at the evil silliness of it all. He would shake
his head disapprovingly at us, glower ominously at Cheney, and
then roar indignantly, "Aww, C'mon Boss -- Gimme a
Royko would leave us no alternative but
to converge on Cheney and demand the truth.
If Royko were here -- I suspect that we
would get it...
Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma freelance
writer and a former US Army Public Information Officer. She
will accept praise and atta-boys at email@example.com.
Complaints and death threats should be directed to BR-549.