Col. Wilkerson: ‘Sith Lord Dick Cheney’ ‘Is Just Crazy’

September 11, 2009

(ChattahBox)—The Public Record has a must-read interview with Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, by Andy Worthington author of “The Guantánamo Files.” Col. Wilkerson provides first-hand insight into the power grabs and paranoia of then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and former Vice President Dick Cheney’s war cabinet, which “infected” the military and led to the illegal torture of prisoners, little or no vetting of prisoners and a complete disregard for the law and Geneva Conventions.

And Col. Wilkerson has come to truly believe that Dick Cheney is not only evil, but also bat crazy and king of a group of “kooks.” And he advises the “feckless” Democratic leaders in Congress and the Obama administration to treat him as such, despite the media worship of Cheney.

During the Bush/Cheney administration’s War on Terror a dangerous and evil empire led by the “Sith Lord” Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, operated within the walls of the White House poisoning everything it touched, while many officials either looked the other way, were unaware of the unprecedented power grab taking place right under their nose or lacked the moral fortitude to stop it.

“It is extraordinary with regard to the Office of the Vice President. I mean, it’s hard to go back and find anybody ever in that position who gathered to himself as much power as Dick Cheney did,” said Wilkerson.

Col. Wilkerson attributed the “CIA-ization” of the military that led to abuse and torture of prisoners to Rumsfeld’s distrust, institutional jealousy of the CIA and a naked grab for power.

“And they were also detaining people, because I believe that Rumsfeld’s first goal there was — he didn’t trust the CIA, he didn’t trust their interrogation, he didn’t trust what they were doing — so he wanted his own activity, he wanted his own action,” explained Wilkerson.

“And so Rumsfeld wanted his people doing the same thing, and Jim Haynes, his lawyer in the Defense Department, was perfectly willing to go over to David Addington, and [John] Yoo and [Jay] Bybee and the rest, and craft his own legal views for justifying what the Defense Department then struck out to do,” said Wilkerson.

Wilkerson spoke of many military personnel and NCO’s who refused to go along with the Rumsfeld/Cheney interrogation policies and abusive treatment of prisoners. He also confirmed that out of the hundreds of detainees held at Guantanamo, perhaps only a couple of dozen were terrorists with serious intelligence value.

Col. Wilkerson added some new insight into the unprecedented power held by the Cheney cabinet, especially Scooter Libby and David Addington. He described Cheney’s legal counsel Addington as a strange man who was referred to as “weird David.”

“That is to say, Addington was very influential, maybe to the point of maximally influential with that idiot Gonzales, and everything that flowed from Gonzales, both when he was Bush’s Counsel and when he was Attorney General, and was also influential through his connection with Libby, and Libby’s ability to coordinate the interagency group that essentially worked for the Vice President — not for the President but for the Vice President. Addington was both the Zawahiri and the bin Laden, Wilkerson told Worthington.

Wilkerson described the interagency group of Cheney, Addington and Cheney as a perfect team of lawbreakers to operate a separate shadow government, at times, right under President Bush’s nose.

“Andy Worthington: Yes, well he was just in the right place to push everything where it shouldn’t have gone after 9/11, wasn’t he?

Lawrence Wilkerson: He was perfectly placed. He and Libby both. They were perfectly placed.”

In the interview, Wilkerson lamented the media’s fascination with Cheney and the airtime and respect that’s accorded to a madman who lost his humanity.

“I wouldn’t have said that a couple of years ago, but now I’ve come to the conclusion that the man truly is — whether he was that way when I knew him before, when he was Secretary of Defense, I don’t know, that’s not at issue with me any more — the man now is just crazy,” said Wilkerson.

Col. Wilkerson is impressed with President Obama’s display of “ankle” to date with his enlightened foreign policy in matters of Iran, North Korea and Cuba. But cautions the administration from succumbing to Republican scare tactics when making national security decisions.

“They don’t believe they can show another square centimeter of ankle on national security, because the Republicans will eat their lunch, and every time I’m told this I die laughing,” said Wilkerson.

“I say, your guys are captured by the Sith Lord, Dick Cheney, you’re captured by Rush Limbaugh, whose real radio audience is about 2.2 million, and whose employer, Clear Channel, lost $3.7 billion in the second quarter of this year. I said, when are you gonna wake up? These are kooks. And Cheney is the kook leader. But [Nancy] Pelosi and [Harry] Reid are such feckless leaders they haven’t got any spine. We have no leadership in the legislative branch on either side of the aisle, Wilkerson explained.

There is much more to the extensive must-read interview with Col. Wilkerson, which expanded on the revelations and points made in a March Washington Note article.

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson served in the U.S. military for 31 years and was Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell from August 2002 until January 2005. He left the State Department after Powell resigned and now serves as the chairman of the New America Foundation’s US-Cuba 21st Century Policy Initiative.


2 Responses to “Col. Wilkerson: ‘Sith Lord Dick Cheney’ ‘Is Just Crazy’”

  1. Col. Wilkerson: ‘Sith Lord Dick Cheney’ ‘Is Just Crazy’ on September 12th, 2009 5:07 pm

    […] and led to the illegal torture of prisoners, little or no vetting of prisoners and a complete dis click for more var _wh = ((document.location.protocol==’https:’) ? “” : […]

  2. An Interview With Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (Part Two) | Andy Worthington on September 12th, 2009 7:20 pm

    […] The interview was also picked up on by Scott Horton at Harper’s, by The Raw Story, and by Chattahbox, and for a couple of interesting follow-up articles on Firedoglake, see the following on Empty […]

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