Secrecy News ArticlesExcerpts of key news articles on secrecy
Brussels bureaucrats [are determined] to spread GM crops throughout Europe, against the will of most of its people. In a little-noticed move last week, the European Commission defied most of the governments to which it is supposed to answer to give the green light to growing a [genetically] modified potato across the continent. It was the first time a GM crop had been authorised for cultivation in 13 years. But, now the long moratorium has been broken, similar approvals for others are expected rapidly to follow. The decision has its origins in a couple of secret, top-level meetings called by Jose Manuel Barroso, the Commission's strongly pro-GM president. He invited the prime ministers of each of the 27 EU member states to send a personal representative along to discuss how to "speed up" the spread of the technology and "deal with" public opposition. About three times as many Europeans oppose genetic modification as support it. As a result, GM crops cover only about 0.12 per cent of Europe's agricultural land – and the continent accounts for just 0.08 per cent of the area growing them worldwide. And they have been losing ground. In the past two years, both France and Germany banned the Monsanto maize, joining Austria, Hungary, Greece and Luxembourg.
Note: Though Europeans are very aware of the threat of genetically modified foods and have worked hard to prohibit them, the media in the US have managed to stifle almost any reporting on the topic. Most Americans have no idea that they are regularly eating GM foods known to have serious health risks.
[Here's a story] from Ellsberg's book Secrets. The setting is a meeting with Henry Kissinger in late 1968. In 1968 Ellsberg was a highly respected analyst ... who had worked for both the Pentagon and Rand, and Kissinger was just entering the government. Ellsberg told him, "Henry, there's something I would like to tell you. You've dealt a great deal with top secret information. But you're about to receive a whole slew of special clearances, maybe fifteen or twenty of them, that are higher than top secret. First, you'll be exhilarated by some of this new information. But second, ... you will feel like a fool for having studied, written, talked about these subjects, criticized and analyzed decisions made by presidents for years without having known of the existence of all this information. In particular, you'll feel foolish for having literally rubbed shoulders for over a decade with some officials and consultants who did have access to all this ... and you'll be stunned that they kept that secret from you so well. You will feel like a fool. Then, after you've ... become used to using what amounts to whole libraries of hidden information, ... you will forget there ever was a time when you didn't have it. You'll be aware only of the fact that you have it now and most others don't ... and that all those other people are fools. [In] a matter of two or three years — you'll eventually become aware of the limitations of this information. It's often inaccurate, and it can lead you astray. But that takes a while to learn. In the meantime ... you will deal with a person who doesn't have those clearances only from the point of view of what you want him to believe and what impression you want him to go away with. You'll have to lie carefully to him about what you know. In effect, you will have to manipulate him.
Note: Don't miss the entire fascinating, highly revealing article at the link above. To see this quote from Ellsberg's book on Google books, click here. For more on government secrets, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
U.S. securities regulators [at the Securities and Exchange Commission] originally treated the New York Federal Reserve's bid to keep secret many of the details of the American International Group bailout like a request to protect matters of national security. The SEC ... agreed to limit the number of SEC employees who would review the document to just two and keep the document locked in a safe while the SEC considered AIG's confidentiality request. The SEC had also agreed that if it determined the document should not be made public, it would be stored "in a special area where national security related files are kept." Emails ... that have become public in recent weeks reveal that some at the New York Fed had gone to great lengths to keep the terms of the bailout private and the SEC may have played a role in contributing to some of the secrecy surrounding the AIG rescue package. "The New York Fed was orchestrating what can only be characterized as an extreme effort to ensure that details of the counterparty deal stayed secret," Rep. Darrell Issa ... said. "More and more it looks as if they would've kept the details of the deal secret indefinitely, it they could have."
Note: So now bank transactions are being considered a matter of "national security." What next? It's becoming ever more apparent that "national security" is used as a catch-all phrase for information that those in power don't want us to know about their secret dealings which benefit themselves at the expense of most of the rest of us.
Deception [is reliant] on the close control of information, running agents (and double-agents) and creating stories that adversaries will readily believe. In an era of ubiquitous information access, anonymous leaks and public demands for transparency, deception operations are extraordinarily difficult. Nevertheless, successful strategic deception has in the past provided the United States with significant advantages that translated into operational and tactical success. Successful deception also minimizes U.S. vulnerabilities, while simultaneously setting conditions to surprise adversaries. Thus, strategic deception capabilities and plans must perforce be highly classified. Deception cannot succeed in wartime without developing theory and doctrine in peacetime. In order to mitigate or impart surprise, the United States should develop more robust interagency deception planning and action prior to the need for military operations. To be effective, a permanent standing office with strong professional intelligence and operational expertise needs to be established.
Note: The above excerpts can be found on pages 77 and 78. For a powerful two-page summary of a top general's description of how the American public is deceived into supporting war, click here.
Palestinian security agents who have been detaining and allegedly torturing supporters of the Islamist organisation Hamas in the West Bank have been working closely with the CIA, the Guardian has learned. Less than a year after Barack Obama signed an executive order that prohibited torture and provided for the lawful interrogation of detainees in US custody, evidence is emerging the CIA is co-operating with security agents whose continuing use of torture has been widely documented by human rights groups. The relationship between the CIA and the two Palestinian agencies involved – Preventive Security Organisation (PSO) and General Intelligence Service (GI) – is said by some western diplomats and other officials in the region to be so close that the American agency appears to be supervising the Palestinians' work. One senior western official said: "The [Central Intelligence] Agency consider them as their property, those two Palestinian services." A diplomatic source added that US influence over the agencies was so great they could be considered "an advanced arm of the war on terror". Among the human rights organisations that have documented or complained about the mistreatment of detainees held by the PA in the West Bank are Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, al-Haq and the Israeli watchdog B'Tselem.
Note: For many accounts from major media sources of the horrific abuses committed by military, intelligence and security forces in the wars of occupation in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan, click here.
Drugs money worth billions of dollars kept the financial system afloat at the height of the global crisis, the United Nations' drugs and crime tsar has told the Observer. Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, said he has seen evidence that the proceeds of organised crime were "the only liquid investment capital" available to some banks on the brink of collapse last year. He said that a majority of the $352bn (Ł216bn) of drugs profits was absorbed into the economic system as a result. This will raise questions about crime's influence on the economic system at times of crisis. It will also prompt further examination of the banking sector as world leaders, including Barack Obama and Gordon Brown, call for new International Monetary Fund regulations. Speaking from his office in Vienna, Costa said evidence that illegal money was being absorbed into the financial system was first drawn to his attention by intelligence agencies and prosecutors around 18 months ago. "In many instances, the money from drugs was the only liquid investment capital. In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system's main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor," he said. Some of the evidence put before his office indicated that gang money was used to save some banks from collapse when lending seized up, he said. "Inter-bank loans were funded by money that originated from the drugs trade and other illegal activities... There were signs that some banks were rescued that way."
Note: For many revealing reports from major media sources on the hidden realities behind the global financial crisis, click here.
The controversy surrounding Adolf Hitler's skull fragments is a little embarrassing for the Russian secret services. In 2000 they presented a skull fragment and a piece of jawbone that they claimed were the remains of the Nazi leader. It was an attempt to quash outlandish rumors that he had escaped alive at the end of World War II. But in October US researchers presented the results of DNA tests on the skull and said it definitely didn't belong to the dictator because it was from a female. Scientists had already harbored doubts about the authenticity of the piece of bone because it was thinner than a male's usually is. "The bone seemed very thin -- male bone tends to be more robust. It corresponds to a woman between the ages of 20 and 40," said Nick Bellantoni of the University of Connecticut. The position of the exit wound at the back of the skull also made scientists suspicious because eyewitnesses said Hitler had committed suicide by firing into his right temple. Bellantoni said he was allowed to work on the skull for an hour. When he flew home from Moscow he had two samples in his luggage: a sample from the skull fragment and one sample of blood from the sofa on which Hitler is said to have shot himself. Bellantoni was able to compare the bloodstains on the blood-stained fabric with photos the Soviets took after they seized Hitler's bunker in Berlin. The stains had matched those in the photos. The research showed that the sofa blood DNA did not match the skull DNA. The sofa blood was male and the skull belonged to a woman, claimed Bellantoni.
Note: For more on the mysteries surrounding the end of Hitler's life, click here.
Jesse Ventura is back for another stab at TV stardom, this time hosting a program that digs into conspiracy theories, including alternate views of what was behind the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the purpose of a sprawling research center in remote Alaska. The former Minnesota governor, professional wrestler and Navy SEAL stars in "Conspiracy Theory With Jesse Ventura," ... on truTV. The cable network, part of Turner Broadcasting System Inc., has ordered seven episodes of the hourlong weekly series. Marc Juris, executive vide president and general manager of truTV, said Ventura is passionate about the show and brings "knowledge from the inside" of government. "He's not doing this as an act or a gimmick. It's true to his heart. He's really looking for the answers," Juris told the AP. The premiere episode deals with the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, or HAARP, a 35-acre compound of 180 antennas near Gakona, Alaska, that is used to study the Earth's ionosphere. Ventura and those he interviews question whether the government is using the site to manipulate the weather or to bombard people with mind-controlling radio waves. Future "Conspiracy Theory" shows explore alleged cover-ups surrounding the Sept. 11 attacks and whether there are real "Manchurian Candidate" assassins who are programmed to kill, said Juris.
Note: Ventura was also a Navy Seal, where he personally was involved in top secret activities and learned how what is presented to the public is very different from the deeper realities. Don't miss the highly educational episode on the vitally important topic of HAARP by clicking here. And watch the excellent episode on 9/11 by clicking here. You'll be surprised by the new angles presented.
What really happens behind the padlocked doors of this windowless building, [the home] of Skull and Bones, Yale's oldest secret society? Its members include some of America's most powerful and privileged elite all sworn to secrecy. [CAMPBELL] BROWN: Alexandra Robbins broke through the wall of silence to write Secrets of the Tomb based on clandestine interviews with dozens of bonesmen. Only 15 [Yale students] get picked each year. The society includes at least three U.S. presidents, Supreme Court justices, and too many senators and CEOs to name. In 2004, Bush versus Kerry was the first all-bonesmen presidential election. ALEXANDRA ROBBINS: Skull and Bones' only purpose is to get its members into positions of prominence around the world so that they can elevate other members to similar positions. One of the first activities they participate in is called connubial bliss, where ... each member must spend an evening standing in front of the other 14 bonesmen and recount his or her entire sexual and romantic history. BROWN: According to one ... story, Prescott Bush, George W. Bush's grandfather, was part of a group that broke into the Oklahoma burial place of the Apache chief Geronimo and made off with his skull. Geronimo's grave was disturbed back in 1918, there are photos of skulls inside the "Skull and Bones" tomb. They have their own private retreat. Deer Island off the coast of New York. And a world of ready investors and political contacts in the highest echelons of American society. What has kept the secret society alive for all these years? Good old fashioned networking for the super elite.
Note: To watch the CNN video clip on this Yale secret society, click here. For lots more powerful information on Skull and Bones and other secret societies reported in major media articles, click here.
Police are gathering the personal details of thousands of activists who attend political meetings and protests, and storing their data on a network of nationwide intelligence databases. The hidden apparatus has been constructed to monitor "domestic extremists". Detailed information about the political activities of campaigners is being stored on a number of overlapping IT systems, even if they have not committed a crime. Senior officers say domestic extremism, a term coined by police that has no legal basis, can include activists suspected of minor public order offences such as peaceful direct action and civil disobedience. Three national police units responsible for combating domestic extremism are run by the "terrorism and allied matters" committee of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo). In total, it receives Ł9m in public funding, from police forces and the Home Office, and employs a staff of 100. The main unit, the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU), runs a central database which lists thousands of so-called domestic extremists. It filters intelligence supplied by police forces across England and Wales, which routinely deploy surveillance teams at protests, rallies and public meetings. Vehicles associated with protesters are being tracked via a nationwide system of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras. Police surveillance units, known as Forward Intelligence Teams (FIT) and Evidence Gatherers, record footage and take photographs of campaigners as they enter and leave openly advertised public meetings. Surveillance officers are provided with "spotter cards" used to identify the faces of target individuals who police believe are at risk of becoming involved in domestic extremism. Targets include high-profile activists regularly seen taking part in protests.
Note: This important article should be read in its entirety. For further revelations of the magnitude of this surveillance and "rebranding protest as extremism " program, click here.
The secret overseas "black sites" where the CIA conducted the interrogations are empty now, if not already dismantled. They were never examined by a congressional committee, nor inspected by the international Red Cross. The black sites not only imprisoned men but reduced them to a near helpless state. The aim, as outlined in one document, was to teach every detainee "to perceive and value his personal welfare, comfort and immediate needs more than the information he is protecting." The prisoners' arrival -- almost always in diapers -- was engineered to achieve that end. After being shaved, stripped and photographed nude, detainees were examined by CIA medical and psychological personnel. Then came a preliminary interrogation that would determine the prisoners' fate. Only those considered extremely cooperative would avoid a trio of techniques designed to produce a "baseline, dependent" state: the deprivation of clothes, solid food and sleep. Follow-up sessions would start with the prisoner standing with his back against a wall and a towel or collar to prevent whiplash wrapped around his neck. He could be thrown against the wall just once "to make a point, or 20 to 30 times consecutively." Prisoners so abhorred the repeated slamming that they would remain in so-called stress positions, such as painful kneeling postures, for hours to avoid a return to the wall, according to one Dec. 30, 2004, memo that amounts to a CIA blueprint for breaking a detainee's will. Earlier this year, the Obama administration released a series of Justice Department memos laying out legal rationales for the array of coercive interrogation methods the CIA employed.
Note: For further revelations from major media sources on the illegal methods used by the US government in its wars around the world, click here.
PAUL SOLMAN, NewsHour economics correspondent: As the Federal Reserve moved rapidly and radically last year to prevent what it feared was an economic meltdown, it bailed out some institutions, but not others, forced mergers, [and] created hundreds of billions of dollars. The net result: increased suspicion of the Fed itself. That's nothing new. The 1913 act of Congress that established America's central bank was ... a compromise between government ... and private banking interests, which owned the 12 regional Fed branches. [All along,] some Americans have been suspicious of the Fed for operating above politics, too close to bankers, and behind closed doors. Simply Google "Federal Reserve." You encounter everything from skepticism to fear of conspiracy. NARRATOR: With the power to regulate the money supply is also the power to bring entire economies and societies to its knees. DONALD KOHN, Federal Reserve vice chairman: We bring information to bear from the private sector, from foreign governments and foreign central banks that they tell us in confidence about what's going on in their businesses. WILLIAM GREIDER, author, "Secrets of the Temple": You could say, "We have to have our meetings in secret because things will be said that are national security secrets, but we'll vet the transcript and release it four weeks later." Why not do that? SOLMAN: A House bill ... would give the Government Accountability Office the right to audit the Fed's interest rate decisions. Chairman Bernanke opposes it as compromising the Fed's independence.
Note: If you look at the top of any U.S. currency, you will see the words "Federal Reserve Note." U.S. dollars are issued and controlled by the Federal Reserve, which is privately owned, though subject to minimal federal oversight. To see just how much control the Federal Reserve has over the issuance of U.S. currency, see their webpage at this link. For lots more on hidden manipulations of the Federal Reserve, click here.
Photographs of alleged prisoner abuse which Barack Obama is attempting to censor include images of apparent rape and sexual abuse, it has emerged. At least one picture shows an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male detainee. Further photographs are said to depict sexual assaults on prisoners with objects including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube. Another apparently shows a female prisoner having her clothing forcibly removed to expose her breasts. Detail of the content emerged from Major General Antonio Taguba, the former army officer who conducted an inquiry into the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq. Allegations of rape and abuse were included in his 2004 report but the fact there were photographs was never revealed. He has now confirmed their existence in an interview with the Daily Telegraph. The graphic nature of some of the images may explain the US President’s attempts to block the release of an estimated 2,000 photographs from prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan despite an earlier promise to allow them to be published. Maj Gen Taguba, who retired in January 2007, said he supported the President’s decision, adding: “These pictures show torture, abuse, rape and every indecency. “I am not sure what purpose their release would serve other than a legal one and the consequence would be to imperil our troops, the only protectors of our foreign policy, when we most need them. “The mere description of these pictures is horrendous enough, take my word for it.”
Charlie Black, senior adviser to John McCain, caused a fluff by saying that a terrorist attack on U.S. soil would be a "big advantage" to his candidate. No one mentioned that eight years ago, the Project for a New American Century called for "a new Pearl Harbor" that could move the American people to accept the neoconservative vision of militarized global domination. Then 9/11 happened, lifting George W. Bush from the shadows of a disputed election to the heights of a "war presidency." Bush has taken on unprecedented powers since the events of 9/11. On that day, the president issued his "Declaration of Emergency by Reason of Certain Terrorist Attacks" under the authority of the National Emergencies Act. This declaration, which can be rescinded by joint resolution of Congress, has instead been extended six times. In 2007, the declaration was quietly strengthened with the issuance of National Security Presidential Directive 51, which gave the president the authority to do whatever he deems necessary in a vaguely defined "catastrophic emergency," including everything from canceling elections to suspending the Constitution to launching a nuclear attack. Not a single congressional hearing was held on this directive. Will Congress act decisively to remove the president's emergency powers, challenge the directive and defend the Constitution?
The Justice Department concluded in October 2001 that military operations combating terrorism inside the United States are not limited by Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, in one of several secret memos containing new and controversial assertions of presidential power. The memo, sent on Oct. 23, 2001, to the Defense Department and the White House by the Office of Legal Counsel, focused on the rules governing any deployment of U.S. forces inside the country "in the event of further large-scale terrorist activities." Administration officials declined to detail what domestic military operations were being contemplated at the time. The memo has not been formally withdrawn. The Fourth Amendment assertion is one of several far-reaching legal arguments revealed by the disclosure Tuesday of a 2003 Justice Department memo that authorized harsh military interrogations. In its footnotes, asides and central text, that 81-page memo asserted nearly unlimited presidential powers during a time of war. The document disclosed, for example, that the administration's top lawyers had declared that the president has unfettered power to seize oceangoing ships as commander in chief; that Congress has no ability to pass legislation governing the interrogations of enemy combatants; and that federal laws prohibiting assault and other crimes did not apply to military interrogators. One section discussed to what extent the president might be allowed to legally maim a prisoner, such as through the use of a "scalding, corrosive, or caustic substance." A footnote argued that Fifth Amendment guarantees of due-process rights "do not address actions the Executive takes in conducting a military campaign against the Nation's enemies."
Note: For further disturbing reports on threats to civil liberties, click here.
Most Americans have never heard of Sibel Edmonds, and if the U.S. government has its way, they never will. The former FBI translator turned whistle-blower tells a chilling story of corruption at Washington's highest levels – sale of nuclear secrets, shielding of terrorist suspects, illegal arms transfers, narcotics trafficking, money laundering, espionage. Ms. Edmonds' account is full of dates, places and names. And if she is to be believed, a treasonous plot to embed moles in American military and nuclear installations and pass sensitive intelligence to Israeli, Pakistani and Turkish sources was facilitated by figures in the upper echelons of the State and Defense Departments. Her charges could be easily confirmed or dismissed if classified government documents were made available to investigators. But Congress has refused to act, and the Justice Department has shrouded Ms. Edmonds' case in the state-secrets privilege, a rarely used measure so sweeping that it precludes even a closed hearing attended only by officials with top-secret security clearances. Ms. Edmonds' revelations have attracted corroboration in the form of anonymous letters apparently written by FBI employees. There have been frequent reports of FBI field agents being frustrated by the premature closure of cases dealing with foreign spying, particularly when those cases involve Israel, and the State Department has frequently intervened to shut down investigations based on "sensitive foreign diplomatic relations." Curiously, the state-secrets gag order binding Ms. Edmonds, while put in place by DOJ in 2002, was not requested by the FBI but by the State Department and Pentagon – which employed individuals she identified as being involved in criminal activities. If her allegations are frivolous, that order would scarcely seem necessary.
More than five years ago, Congress and President Bush created the 9/11 commission. Soon after its creation, the president’s chief of staff directed all executive branch agencies to cooperate with the commission. The commission’s mandate was sweeping and it explicitly included the intelligence agencies. But the recent revelations that the C.I.A. destroyed videotaped interrogations of Qaeda operatives leads us to conclude that the agency failed to respond to our lawful requests for information about the 9/11 plot. Those who knew about those videotapes — and did not tell us about them — obstructed our investigation. No one in the administration ever told the commission of the existence of videotapes of detainee interrogations. We did ask, repeatedly, for the kind of information that would have been contained in such videotapes. Beginning in June 2003, we requested all reports of intelligence information ... that had been gleaned from the interrogations of 118 named individuals, including both Abu Zubaydah and Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri, two senior Qaeda operatives, portions of whose interrogations were apparently recorded and then destroyed. The C.I.A. gave us many reports summarizing information gained in the interrogations. But the reports raised almost as many questions as they answered. So, in October 2003, we sent another wave of questions to the C.I.A.’s general counsel. The general counsel responded in writing with non-specific replies. The agency did not disclose that any interrogations had ever been recorded or that it had held any further relevant information, in any form. Government officials decided not to inform a lawfully constituted body, created by Congress and the president, to investigate one the greatest tragedies to confront this country. We call that obstruction.
Note: The authors of this op-ed, Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton, served as chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the 9/11 Commission.
When the Justice Department publicly declared torture “abhorrent” in a legal opinion in December 2004, the Bush administration appeared to have abandoned its assertion of nearly unlimited presidential authority to order brutal interrogations. But soon after Alberto R. Gonzales’s arrival as attorney general in February 2005, the Justice Department issued another opinion, this one in secret. It was a very different document; according to officials briefed on it, [it was] an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency. The new opinion ... for the first time provided explicit authorization to barrage terror suspects with a combination of painful physical and psychological tactics, including head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures. Later that year, as Congress moved toward outlawing “cruel, inhuman and degrading” treatment, the Justice Department issued another secret opinion. The Justice Department document declared that none of the C.I.A. interrogation methods violated that standard. The classified opinions, never previously disclosed, are a hidden legacy of President Bush’s second term and Mr. Gonzales’s tenure at the Justice Department. Congress and the Supreme Court have intervened repeatedly in the last two years to impose limits on interrogations, and the administration has responded as a policy matter by dropping the most extreme techniques. But the 2005 Justice Department opinions remain in effect, and their legal conclusions have been confirmed by several more recent memorandums, officials said. They show how the White House has succeeded in preserving the broadest possible legal latitude for harsh tactics.
Easily lost, on page 425, in the mass of the CIA's notorious "Family Jewels" files is a short paragraph outlining "potentially embarrassing Agency activities". "Experiments in influencing human behaviour through the administration of mind- or personality-altering drugs to unwitting subjects." Of all the heinous acts committed by the CIA in the name of national security, these experiments, done on the agency's behalf by prominent psychiatrists on innocent victims - including children as young as four - may be the darkest. "We have no answer to the moral issue," former director Richard Helms infamously said when asked about the nature of the projects. The release of the Family Jewels documents revealed the CIA handsomely funded these real-life Dr Strangeloves and engaged pharmaceutical companies to help its experiments. The agency appealed to Big Pharma to pass on any drugs that could not be marketed because of "unfavourable side effects" to be tested on mice and monkeys. Any drugs that passed muster would then be used ... on volunteer US soldiers. The Family Jewels files do not provide further detail into the numerous mind-control programs, such as MKULTRA, covertly propped up by the agency. In 1953, MKULTRA was given 6 per cent of the total CIA budget without any oversight. The nature of the experiments, gathered from government documents and testimony in numerous lawsuits brought against the CIA, is shocking, from testing LSD on children to implanting electrodes in victims' brains to deliberately poisoning people with uranium. "The CIA bought my services from my grandfather in 1952 starting at the tender age of four," wrote Carol Rutz of her experiences.
Note: The entire body of the CIA's "Family Jewels" documents have been posted online by the National Security Archives, and can be read by clicking here. And for a 10-page summary of Carol Rutz's riveting book on her experiences as a government-created Manchurian candidate, click here.
Part One: 'A Different Understanding With the President': In less than an hour ... Cheney's proposal had become a military order from the commander in chief. Foreign terrorism suspects held by the United States were stripped of access to any court -- civilian or military, domestic or foreign. They could be confined indefinitely without charges and would be tried, if at all, in closed "military commissions." "What the hell just happened?" Secretary of State Colin L. Powell demanded ... when CNN announced the order that evening, Nov. 13, 2001. National security adviser Condoleezza Rice, incensed, sent an aide to find out. Even witnesses to the Oval Office signing said they did not know the vice president had played any part. "Angler," as the Secret Service code-named him, has approached the levers of power obliquely, skirting orderly lines of debate he once enforced as chief of staff to President Gerald R. Ford. He has battled a bureaucracy he saw as hostile, using intimate knowledge of its terrain. He has empowered aides to fight above their rank, taking on roles reserved in other times for a White House counsel or national security adviser. And he has found a ready patron in George W. Bush for edge-of-the-envelope views on executive supremacy that previous presidents did not assert. Over the past six years, Cheney has shaped his times as no vice president has before. [The] relationship [between Bush and Cheney] is opaque, a vital unknown in assessing Cheney's impact on events. Officials who see them together often, not all of them admirers of the vice president, detect a strong sense of mutual confidence that Cheney is serving Bush's aims.
Note: This is an important, in-depth investigation of the Cheney vice-presidency. It is highly revealing and well worth reading it its entirety.
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