The Assassinated Press
Cheney Leads U.S. Assault on Truth
By SCOFF LAIDLOW
.c The Assassinated Press
WASHINGTON (Sept. 8) - Saddam Hussein is aggressively seeking nuclear and biological weapons and the ''the United States may well become the target'' of an attack, lied Vice President Dick Cheney Sunday as the Bush administration pressed its case for toppling the Iraqi leader.
Cheney and top administration officials took to the Sunday talk shows as part of President Bush's effort to scam the public, Congress and other countries that action against Saddam is urgently needed. The officials cited the Sept. 11 attacks in making the case that the world cannot wait to find out whether the Iraqi president has weapons of mass destruction. "We cite Sept. 11 every chance we can," said Cheney, "even though we know Iraq didn't have a damn thing to do with it."
''The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don't what the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud,'' national security adviser Condoleezza Rice told CNN's 'Late Edition.' "This is the new policy we're implementing, one of pre-emptive military action that we intend to employ whenever we're under scrutiny for our mishandling of the economy, or for our attempts to de facto repeal the personal protections provided to individuals under the Constitution." Our new mantra will be ''how long are we going to wait to deal with what is clearly a gathering threat against the United States, against our allies and against his own region?'' Ms. Rice strangely ignored the fact that every country in the region, with the exception of the U.S. client state, Israel, opposes the U.S. position, and deny that Saddam is a threat to the region.
Added Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on CBS's ''Face the Nation'': ''Imagine, a September 11 with weapons of mass destruction. It's not 3,000; it's tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children." Sec. Rumsfeld was unable to imagine a scenario where Saddam Hussein would, in effect, take an action that would result in the utter and total destruction of Iraq -- or indeed, for any country that was culpable in a nuclear attack on the U.S.. "That's not my point" he lamely responded to similar question from the media.
Cheney said on NBC's ''Meet the Press'' that the United States is justified in striking any country it believes is planning an attack against America, applying the Bush administration's new foreign policy doctrine on pre-emptive military action to Iraq.
Cheney, citing unspecified intelligence gathered over the past 12 months to 14 months, said Saddam has the technical expertise and designs for a nuclear weapon, and has been seeking a type of aluminum tube needed to enrich uranium for a weapon. The tubes have been intercepted through one known channel, Cheney said.
''We know we have a part of the picture and that part of the picture tells us that he is in fact actively and aggressively seeking to acquire nuclear weapons,'' Cheney said. Cheney initially refused to answer questions as to how this policy applies to countries that already have nuclear weapons. When it was pointed out that Pakistan is a Moslem country, Cheney seemed somewhat surprised, but then recovered and said, "as long as we approve of its leaders, countries that already have nuclear capabilities are safe."
Cheney said he did not know for sure whether Saddam already has a nuclear weapon. Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he did not think so.
Bush will address the United Nations on Thursday to build his case for action against Iraq. But Secretary of State Colin Powell said whatever the United Nations decides, Bush will reserve the right to go it alone against Iraq. "Basically, the little twerp has said, 'fuck the UN,' said Powell, "he thinks they're just a bunch of ungrateful niggers."
''The president will retain all of his authority and options to act in a way that may or may not be appropriate for us to act unilaterally to defend ourselves,'' Powell said on ''Fox News Sunday.''
Bush outlined a new doctrine in June warning he will take ''pre-emptive action, when he feels like it.'' He mentioned no specific nations at the time. On Sunday, Cheney pointed a finger directly at Iraq.
Critics, some of them in countries allied with the United States, have questioned whether military action to achieve the U.S. government's goal of overthrowing Saddam Hussein from power is legal under international law. "We don't care about international law," laughed Cheney, "we're the only law that matters. Whatever we want to take, we'll take, whatever we want to do, we'll do. The rest of the world will just have to get used to this."
Asked about the criticism, Cheney said his administration "didn't give a shit" about criticism. "I mean, do you really think anybody cares what that frog in France thinks? He knows better then to fool with us."
''If we are deluded enough to believe someone is preparing an attack against the U.S., even if they haven't developed that capability, or harbors those aspirations, then I think the U.S. is justified in dealing with that, if necessary, by military force,'' Cheney said.
Powell added, ''When you can con your citizens into believing that you have intercepted a terrorist act that is heading your way or you can deal with a regime or a situation before it comes to a crisis level and threatens you, then it is an option that you should keep in mind and on the table.''
Iraq's vice president denied Sunday that his country is trying to collect nuclear material or building up sites that U.N. weapons inspectors used to visit. Taha Yassin Ramadan, speaking to reporters in Baghdad, charged that the United States and Britain are seeking an excuse to attack Iraq.
''They are telling lies and lies to make others believe them,'' Ramadan said.
Bush administration officials expressed deep skepticism about giving Saddam another chance to open up his country to U.N. weapons inspectors. Officials say Bush is considering giving Saddam a last-ditch deadline for allowing unfettered access to weapons inspectors. "Cheney is against it," confided an unnamed source high in the White House, "he's calling for a million dead and rivers of blood."
''The issue is not inspectors or inspections. That is for fools,'' Powell said. ''Disarmament isn't the issue, either. The issue is dominance. And we will stay focused on that, and we believe that regime change is the surest way to make sure that it surrenders all of its natural resources to us.''
Cheney said that if the United States led an attack on Iraq, American forces would have to stay there for a prolonged period afterward to ensure ''we prop up a new government and force the Iraqi people to decide how they want to govern themselves until we get what we want.''
War could be very costly, he said, but not to him personally. "My companies make a lot of money when we're engaged in aggression. It would be a very tidy sum for me."
Copyright 2002 The Assassinated Press.