Cheney seems to be losing his touch. There are signs that NATO, the State Department and the military have had a gutful of Bush and Cheney’s BS.
Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns declared in Paris Jun. 12 that Iran was “transferring arms to the Taliban in Afghanistan”, putting it in the context of a larger alleged Iranian role of funding “extremists” in the Palestinian territories, Lebanon and Iraq. The following day he asserted that there was “irrefutable evidence” of such Iranian arms supply to the Taliban.
The use of the phrase “irrefutable evidence” suggested that the Burns statement was scripted by the office of Vice President Dick Cheney.
But the NATO commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Dan McNeill, pointed to other possible explanations, particularly the link between drug smuggling and weapons smuggling between Iran and Afghanistan.
Gen. McNeill repeated in an interview with U.S. News and World Report last week a previous statement to Reuters that he did not agree with the charge. McNeill minimised the scope of the arms coming from Iran, saying: “What we’ve found so far hasn’t been militarily significant on the battlefield.”
He speculated that the arms could have come from black market dealers, drug traffickers, or al Qaeda backers and could have been sold by low-level Iranian military personnel.
So Cheney’s evidence might be “irrefutable” but apparently the only part that is “irrefutable” is its insignificance.
Meanwhile, despite the public statement by Burns indicting Iran, both the State Department and Defence Department appear to have adopted a more ambiguous position on the issue. In the daily press briefing by State Department on Jun. 13, spokesman Sean McCormack did not claim that Iran has actually changed its policy toward the Taliban, much less support the “irrefutable evidence” language used by Burns.
Speaking of Cheney, apparently, he has decided that his office is no longer part of the Executive Branch of government.
This sort of secrecy on Dick Cheney’s part is to be expected by now. He wants to reside in an undisclosed location and make sure that all of his papers are undisclosed as well. The Presidential order establishes procedures for safeguarding classified national security information, but Cheney didn’t even answer when the National Archives informed him of their role in this process. Get this — Cheney claims his office is not a part of the Executive Branch.
Well, the National Archive wrote a letter to Alberto Gonzales about this violation of the law. It appears Gonzles has snubbed the National Archives as well, and that he’s failed to uphold the law. Again, that’s unsurprising.
We know full well that classified national secuirty information is not safe in his hands. Ask Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame, for God’s sake. Heck, ask Scooter Libby. He’ll forget them for you.
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