Dick Cheney’s security clearance

Dick Cheney has been asking the Obama administration to release certain pages of certain classified documents, in order to “prove” that torture works. Here’s a question: How does a 68 year old man remember specific pages of specific documents when he left his job over three months ago and, presumably, presumably lost his access to those documents at the time he left the White House? Did Cheney take copies of classified documents with him? Is someone leaking Cheney information about classified documents? Did Cheney takes notes on classified documents, which would themselves be classified?

Consider the amount of paperwork the vice president of the United States sees on a daily basis. Then consider that Cheney held the job for 8 years. We’re to believe that he can remember specific pages of specific documents well enough to request in writing that those specific pages and documents be declassified? I smell a leak.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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44 Responses to “Dick Cheney’s security clearance”

  1. truebluecoondog says:

    After being at the center of the asses of evil, I can’t picture Uncle Dick retiring to just sit around watching the Price is Right and playing with his grandkids. He’s IN it. Waist deep. Probably has guys driving around in vans with surveylance equipment wired back to him so he can hear all the conversations going on around DC.

  2. truebluecoondog says:

    Burt,

    I hear ya! That whole setup stank like old fish and the first steps were taken in 1971 or before. It was all too perfect not to have been orchestrated.

    Just because you have a conspiracy theory, doesn’t mean there isn’t a conspiracy.

  3. Guest says:

    Why isn’t this man off in the woods, going on drinking binges, and shooting more friends in the face? Retire already you pathetic, crappy old goat!!!

  4. Burt5267 says:

    Dick Cheney, the Deputy Leader. As I’ve watched the last 9 years, I’ve always believed someone in the Bush administration spent some time studying German history of the 30s.

    1. Rudolph Hess, Deputy Leader, first uses the term “homeland” in a speech (1932). When overseas did you ever say that you couldn’t wait to get home to the fatherlan—-oops, homeland?

    2. German legal authorities provide guidelines on types of punishment in interrogations (1933). Who can forget the famous saying, We have ways of making you talk.” Ahh, memories.

    3. The need to control the news (propaganda) is recognized and
    the Information Ministry is established (1933). Can you say Fox News and the TV show ’24’ which appeared suddenly right after 9-11?
    4. Attack on Poland is described as “shock and awe” with great
    pride (1939). U.S. over all!!

    Guess the Bush administration forgot to research what happened on October 16, 1946.

  5. RobertSanDimas says:

    Hey, John, careful what you say about 68 year old men remembering things. :) As Curly said, “I resemble that remark!”

  6. JamesR says:

    LOL

  7. Burt5267 says:

    As best I recall, elected officials don’t have security clearances (Yes, including Congress). Guess being vetted by the FBI suffices. But, for Cheney to have classified documents (or copies) outside of secure facilities is a no no. Arrest him, send his ass to GITMO for we can forget about him forever.

  8. Butch1 says:

    We hadn’t heard of “Joe the Plumber” yet but he would have fit in for being a fake at something. Perhaps, the other Joe, (the fake democrat Lieberman) could play the Indian role. That leaves their stand in’s when they get tired, Lindsey Graham, and that “toe tappin’ fool, Larry Craig. ;-)

    Just the thought of it . . .
    I think I’m going to be sick . . .

  9. Butch1 says:

    Time for a reality check for this cretin.

  10. whatever666666 says:

    WAYNE MADSEN REPORT

    The editor was arrested by the Alexandria, Virginia police on March 17, 2009, while trying to protect a confidential source relative to the Stanford Financial Group scam. Legal bills have been and will be incurred. In response to numerous questions, a Legal Defense Fund has been established.

    If you would like to donate to the editor’s Legal Defense Fund, an account has been established via PayPal.

    NOTE: A continuance has been granted in the editor’s court case originally scheduled for March 25, It is now scheduled for May 20.
    http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/

  11. whatever666666 says:

    One result of Abu Zubaydah’s torture was that the F.B.I.’s assistant director for counterterrorism, Pasquale D’Amuro, persuaded Director Robert Mueller that the bureau should play no part in future C.I.A. interrogations that used extreme techniques forbidden by the F.B.I. The Justice Department’s Glenn Fine indicated in a statement before the U.S. Senate that the main reason was that the agency’s techniques would “not be effective in obtaining accurate information.”
    http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/2008/12/torture200812

  12. HelenRainier says:

    Can’t really think of a logical reason for him to retain his security clearance. There are two principles that determine what a person is allowed access to:

    1. the appropriate level of clearance; and
    2. the need to know.

    As a former VP he should not have a need to know about what is current real-time intelligence. He is no longer in a position of authority or responsibility.

  13. JamesR says:

    Related: An interesting article regarding what’s good for the gander isn’t good enough for the retired gander:
    CIA Warns Ex-Agents over Talking to Media by Demetri Sevastopulo April 27, 2006
    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0427-08.htm

  14. JamesR says:

    …I wonder who the Indian, construction worker and cop were?

  15. JamesR says:

    I think Cheney’s just talking out of his ass knowing that what he said cannot be disproved quickly, and that somewhere, in some memo, there’s something related to what he said. He thinks he is so clever. And he can say it doesn’t have to do with his desire to not have his latest book redacted, like he had Valerie Plame’s, but seriously does anyone believe what he says at face value? Ever? On either side of the proverbial aisle??

    Either way – what he said is in itself a security violation, a violation of at least the spirit of the oath he took to keep what is secret secret. Talking about a secret is NOT DONE. It is revealing part of it. Or revealing a lie about it, or something, but either way since it came from someone who supposedly knew all those classified things, someone who is still trying to garner power for knowing them, whether he actually does or not, he is publishing intelligence counter or no. He is TOTALLY ABUSING the public trust given him in the privilege of a security clearance in the first place.

    Any lesser figure would be facing or be really really close to some real trouble for this. Cheney is a COWARD for using his public position to destructively snipe – so that he can use any punishment he deserves for it as evidence that he’s being politically persecuted.

    The only thing more wormlike than his behavior is that of the ‘press’ not pointing this out, as early and often as necessary.

  16. LawMichigander says:

    Good question. Unless GWB or GHWB is feeding him info illegally. I believe both have spots on the National Security Council. As Miss McCain said already, shut up Karl Rove and Rush and Cheney.

  17. vickif says:

    Depending on the length of torture and the method, I don’t think there is a person on this earth that can withstand torture for any length of time. If someone cracks that person will say anything that the torturer wants to hear. Therefore Cheney can say that torture works. What a mean spirited bunch these repugs are.

  18. barkleyg says:

    How’s about Liz Cheney acting like she knows what’s in these documents? How would she have clearance to know what is in them?

    Sumthing is ROTTON in the state of DICKMARK!

  19. AdmNaismith says:

    Right- I’m sure there is something in there he thinks is useful. Hell, even the KSM information turned out to be a) useless and b) a huge smokescreen on the part of the Administration and that was all the proof we needed to show torture worked.

  20. MacDaffy says:

    Now we know why Dick needed those man-sized safes: There are men in there!

  21. AdmNaismith says:

    ‘I can not believe he went over the administration’s head and asked the Pentagon or CIA himself…’

    Please- Cheney’s just that arrogant. The guy Cheney shot apologized to Cheney. That tells you everything you need to know.

  22. vkobaya says:

    No, the documents do not exist because there never were any “real” incidents where they prevented actually terrorist attacks on this nation by torturing Arab and Muslim prisoners. They would have us believe that there were such plans, such as the pathetic story of the attack on the Sears Tower, or the one where they stopped the terrorists from bombing the LA Library Tower or that torture prevented Padilla from carrying out his dirty bomb scenario. It was all bullshit and that was all they could ever come up with. Yet they tortured thousands and thousands of Arabs and Muslims including citizens of this nation. The real reason for torture was not to obtain information but to abuse those this gang of bigots hated. Don’t forget while Cheney is trying to justify torture, Bush says we never tortured anybody. And then, just to be on the safe side, Cheney also claims we never executed Japanese soldiers after WWII for waterboarding American prisoners.

    Let’s not forget too how torture and waterboarding prevented the 9/11 attacks or saved 1500 people in New Orleans.

  23. rexkc says:

    Since Cheney is so interested in making sure the whole story is told (ROFLMAO) all of the documents relating to the torture program should be released. I have a feeling that Cheney is cherry-picking the info he wants to see released (unbelievable, I know) and that what is currently released is is just the tip of the iceberg.

  24. Indigo says:

    Smart people keep their mouths shut after they leave office. And we all thought Bush was the stupid one. Maybe not.

  25. atakins says:

    “Dick Cheney has been asking the Obama administration to release certain pages of certain classified documents, in order to “prove” that torture works.”

    Isn’t that the overriding problem, right there? Who gives a crap that torture works (sometimes!). IT’S STILL TORTURE.

    Yeah, the leak/CYA document thing is dangerous/annoying, but one overriding fact needs to stay at the forefront: Bush & Cheney allowed the torture of human beings.

  26. 22state says:

    I’m assuming that as the outgoing Vice President he retains his security clearance for a time – even though he’s not being actively briefed on new information.

    Also, it appears that these documents were created by for and with the purpose of “proving” VP Cheney’s thesis that torture worked and therefore is OK. So it isn’t so weird that he would remember the document, location and citation.

  27. CanuckStuckInMuck says:

    He’s said to have a near photographic memory.

  28. condew says:

    If you had a document created specifically for future CYA use, of course you would have the exact reference.

  29. Butch1 says:

    Ironically, JeffeyLube pretended he served his country and had never been in any branch of the service.

    Or
    Someone in the White House hired this prostitute, I mean escort to play some “fantasy” games. ;-)
    A fake cowboy and a fake marine, both republicans. The horror . . .

  30. Butch1 says:

    I guess he didn’t remember he had a shredding machine and didn’t have to burn the papers in the waste basket. ;-)

  31. fwmfl says:

    I believe the docs are in his possession and the FOI request states such – what he is requesting is to have those specific pages (cherry-picking) declassified. He has refused to hand over his VP files, has he not?

  32. Butch1 says:

    If they do exist, Cheney needs to be let known that he is not in power anymore and does not get to make decisions upon whether a document can be declassified or not. He needs to become a private citizen and quit bothering the present administration with his trivial bantering.

  33. Butch1 says:

    Either that, or he made copies of everything and is using it for reference but can not admit that he has them because they are classified and he doesn’t hold any power anymore to have a clearance.

    I can not believe he went over the administration’s head and asked the Pentagon or CIA himself, like he still has the power, to release certain documents. That is an huge slap in the face to do that and ignore the administration going around them. He needs to be slapped down and put in his proper place as a private citizen and not a political figure still holding the reins of power. If he is writing a book, you can be assured that he has either notes of his documents or copies. He truly thinks he is above the law. We shall see . . .

  34. Styve says:

    Also, remember that Jeff Gannon/Guckert was seen numerous times in military fatigues…get this…in the White House! Bush is a sick fuck!

  35. Styve says:

    The fire could also have been to destroy the live streaming torture feed that Mike Connell established both in the WH and Cheney’s lawyer’s office.

    Per Wayne Madsen’s 12/08 investigative reporting…

    WMR previously reported that Connell had contracts for web site development for the CIA and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. We have now learned that Connell and Averbeck may have been behind the installation of live streaming black boxes in the White House and the Eisenhower Old Executive Office Building used to stream live video of torture sessions in Guantanamo, Cuba and Abu Ghraib to the Old Executive Office Building office of Vice President Dick Cheney’s Chief Counsel David Addington and into the White House, itself.

    Media reports of torture sessions being taped may have been planted by the White House to deter investigators away from looking at live streaming capabilities in the offices of Cheney and President Bush.

    The fire that broke out in an “electrical closet” in the Old Executive Office Building on December 19, 2007, near Cheney’s ceremonial office likely contained the live streaming boxes used to stream torture sessions from Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, according to our sources who added that SmartTech and Airnet have been in the live streaming video business since 2002.

  36. Adrian says:

    Remember there was that *fire* in his office.

  37. Naja pallida says:

    Or… it could simply be (and is more likely) that he’s making things up again and the documents don’t actually exist, and since they don’t exist, the current administration can never ‘declassify’ them, so he can go on forever claiming they exist and crying that Obama is making us less safe because he won’t declassify them. No win situation. If they do exist, they give Cheney a point to hammer, if they don’t, he manufactured a point to hammer. Will give Fox “news” material for weeks.

  38. boloboffin says:

    Yep, that’s my bet here.

  39. TheOtherWA says:

    Since presidential documents are turned over to the National Archives when someone leaves office, wouldn’t there be an inventory of them? Like, topics, dates and number of pages?

    I don’t know how else they could keep track of all of them.

  40. threadmonitor says:

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  41. knowing that torture is wrong, it doesn’t surprise me that he would remember the exact documents that, in his mind, prove his point

  42. Paul50 says:

    Dick Cheney has a lot of experience in Washington. Some of that experience was gained during administrations that were marked with legal troubles, most notable was the Nixon Administration. I am sure he learned from seeing others being dragged into court because they did not protect their own backside.

    Just as the torture memos were contrived to allow the obviously illegal practice of torture to have some cover, I think Cheney got some contrived memos to use in his defense. The dates on the memos he requested were during periods when the curtain was being pulled back on the torture the Bush Administration allowed.

    These memos are Cheney’s Kevlar vest, it is unlikely he would forget those memos or the particular pages he needs. After all those memos were kept in a folder close at hand in Cheney’s own office.

  43. chadman says:

    a leak? this man is/was clearly possessed with this issue. Last time I checked though he was supposed to have been the VP

  44. RepubAnon says:

    These are likely some CYA (Cover Your A**) memos that Mr. Cheney ordered drafted just in case he ever needed them. You can bet he memorized their names and dates before leaving office.

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