Saturday, May 16, 2009

Ray McGovern on Torture, Warren Rudman, & Dick Cheney

Warren B. Rudman was involved in the defense of Papa Bush in concert with Darth Cheney on the Iran Contra affair in the 1980's, and we now see him resurrected to defend Cheney on the torture issue. Rudman is now 78 years of age, but has the necessary ties with the Corporate Government to make him a faithful allay to Bu$hco.

Rudman retired, as co-chair, from Raytheon on May 8, 2006.

In the months leading up to 911

The U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century (USCNS/21)

AKA: the Hart-Rudman Commission or Hart-Rudman Task Force on Homeland Security, was chartered by Secretary of Defense William Cohen in 1998 to provide a comprehensive review of US national security requirements in the 21st century. USCNS/21 was tasked "to analyze the emerging international security environment; to develop a US national security strategy appropriate to that environment; and to assess the various security institutions for their current relevance to the effective and efficient implementation of that strategy, and to recommend adjustments as necessary".

Released on 31 January 2001, USCNS/21 is the most exhaustive review of US national security strategy since the National Security Act of 1947. USCNS/21 was released in three distinct phases. The first phase, New World Coming: American Security in the 21st Century, anticipates the emerging international security environment within the first quarter of the 21st century and examines how the US fits into that environment. The second phase, Seeking a National Strategy: A Concert for Preserving Security and Promoting Freedom, proposes a new US national security strategy based on the anticipated threats and conditions outlined in the first phase report. The third phase, Roadmap for National Security: Imperative for Change, recommends changes to the US government's structure, legislation, and policy to reflect a new national security strategy based on the anticipated 21st century international security environment.

Ray McGovern on Torture

Torture? Rudman to the Rescue

By Ray McGovern
May 6, 2009

The announcement in mid-March that CIA Director Leon Panetta had picked former Sen. Warren Rudman to act as CIA “liaison” with the Senate Intelligence Committee during its “review” of interrogation and detention practices has drawn virtually no criticism from the Fawning Corporate Media (FCM).

Yet, it is a dead give-away as to how congressional leaders plan to go through the motions for a year or so, and then let everyone off the hook.

Why let everyone off the hook? Because congressional leaders, Republican and Democratic alike, were informed of the Bush/Cheney administration plans for torture — perhaps not chapter and verse, but enough to be complicit in their silence. Both parties have amply soiled the dirty linen that could be hung out.

So here’s the plan. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, looking toward reelection in 2010, calculates that the last thing he needs is a bonafide investigation that would make him vulnerable to Cheneyesque charges of being weak in the “war” on terrorism. These days, if you take a hard line against torture, you can be made to appear soft on terrorism.

Worse still, other prominent Democrats like Sen. Jay Rockefeller and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were given intelligence briefings on interrogation, warrantless eavesdropping, and God knows what else. And they let Bush and Cheney run right over them with nary a whimper.

Surely, the Washington power structure concurs that what is needed is the kind of “thorough investigation” which President Richard Nixon loudly called for, with tongue in check, on Watergate.

So, Senate team managers Reid and Rockefeller have gone to their bench for an ace utility infielder — quintessential practitioner of “thorough” investigations, Warren Rudman. They are eager to bring Rudman on as liaison with the Senate Intelligence Committee led by Dianne Feinstein with Rockefeller sitting at her right hand, so to speak.

The FCM, whether from indolence or timidity, have completely missed the boat on Rudman, calling him a “respected” veteran of investigations of national security issues. Does no one do due diligence — or simple homework — anymore?

Are the FCM journalists so determined to make it easy for Attorney General Eric Holder to shirk his duty to see that the law is faithfully enforced, by giving him the out of saying, “Well, let’s first see what the Senate Intelligence Committee comes up with.”

It’s been seven weeks since word got out that Rudman is back in service; yet hardly a word about Rudman’s reputation as designated fixer par excellence. Rudman has been wildly successful in covering up past national security crimes.

It is troubling that it should have to fall to the likes of us – far from the comfortable environs of the FCM – to point this out.
‘Respected Politician’

The FCM has been quite busy applying the sobriquet “respected politician” to Rudman, though in his case it is truly an oxymoron.

In the 1980s, Rudman earned his spurs by working hand in glove with then-Rep. Dick Cheney to limit the scope of the Iran-Contra investigation. Rudman was essentially the good cop to Cheney’s bad.

Rudman was one of three “moderate” Republican senators who collaborated with “moderate” Democratic co-chairman Lee Hamilton in soft-peddling the roles of President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H.W. Bush in authorizing and overseeing the Iran-Contra law violations.

While Hamilton and Rudman laid most of the blame on Oliver North and other low-level “men of zeal,” Cheney led the rear-guard Republican defense, insisting that the Reagan administration had committed no crimes and instead blaming Democrats in Congress for daring to pass laws interfering with the President’s powers.

In the end, Hamilton got what he wanted, a veneer of “bipartisanship” with the signatures of Rudman and two other GOP senators (William Cohen and Paul Trible); Rudman got a watered-down “majority report”; and Cheney went ahead with his in-your-face “minority report” that he later proclaimed had laid the foundation for George W. Bush’s views on expansive presidential powers.

In the end, none of the White House folks or other senior officials who played fast and loose with the law during the Iran-Contra affair were held to account.

A noxious precedent was set. This kind of experience, one might say, has a way of emboldening lawbreakers to try again — and again.



  1. Rudman was one of three “moderate” Republican senators who collaborated with “moderate” Democratic co-chairman Lee Hamilton in soft-peddling the roles of President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H.W. Bush in authorizing and overseeing the Iran-Contra law violations...And there you go right there Geez, the shite-sucking slimballs cut their "torture" teeth during St. Ronnie's "Iran-Contra" death-squad training camps that "didn't" exist.

    Although the death-squads used outright brutal methods, I'm sure more "subtle" methods were learned during that time.

    In a way, I hope Highwayman's vision of Christian retribution ends up being true; if I gotta be punished for not believing Jesus is a god, at least I'd get a front row seat to see these arseholes decide whether waterboarding is, or is not "torture!" LOL!

  2. You wont be alone dad, I don't even believe that Jesus thinks he is a God. It would be a pleasure to see those nwo arseholes get their just rewards. There is a special kind of torture for those kinds of evildoers...G: