Wednesday, March 12

Tricky Dick: Cheney May Still Dodge Questioning on 2000 Elections, 2001 Energy Panel, 9/11, Afgahnistan & Iraq Wars, 2004 Election Fraud...

In 2006, Milkhouse Mouse cited an October news story from the Denver-area newspaper Rocky Mountain News about Golden, Colorado resident Stephen Howards' lawsuit against U.S. Secret Service agents on a security detail with Vice President Dick Cheney that charged false arrest and infringement of his First Amendment free speech rights .

With his 7-year-old son in tow, Howards was, according to his federal suit, in Beaver Creek, Colorado on 16 June
walking his 7-year-old son to a piano practice, when he saw Cheney surrounded by a group of people in an outdoor mall area, shaking hands and posing for pictures with several people.

Howards and his son walked to about two-to-three feet from where Cheney was standing, and said to the vice president, "I think your policies in Iraq are reprehensible," or words to that effect, then walked on.

Ten minutes later...he and his son were walking back through the same area, when they were approached by Secret Service agent Virgil D. "Gus" Reichle Jr., who asked Howards if he had "assaulted" the vice president. Howards denied doing so, but was nonetheless placed in handcuffs and taken to the Eagle County Jail [where he was held three hours].
On Tuesday (10 March), after Secret Service "agents provided conflicting accounts under oath of what happened during the incident," Denver U.S. Magistrate Judge Craig Shaffer not only failed to dismiss Howards' suit but
suggested that Cheney could be deposed in a written format with questions posed by a court reporter for no more than two hours.

Shaffer said he can mandate the terms of the deposition to address concerns from U.S. Justice Department attorney James Gilligan that Steven Howards is pursuing Cheney because of his celebrity status. Shaffer said he would issue a written ruling later.

After the hearing Howards' attorney Daivd Lane had a slightly different spin of the incident, telling reporters his client

approached Cheney and told him, "I think your policies in Iraq are disgusting." Howards said he may have lightly touched Cheney's arm. A Secret Service agent called it more of a jab.

[Lane also ] said that the judge's potential solution was better than no deposition, but not by much [and he]... would appeal the ruling.

Lane complained that Cheney's responses would be "scripted" by lawyers and that Lane would not be able to ask follow-up questions.

Appropriately labeled the Bush administration's "ground zero of corruption," Dick Cheney (and his legal team) to date have been masterful in foiling all legal attempts to be questioned by an oppositional attorney.

For example, when he and George Bush testified before the 9/11 Commission 29 April 2004, the protocol contingent for their appearance assured they testified together, "in private," in front of handpicked committee members without benefit of an oath that precluded note-taking and audio recording.

I'm no lawyer, but should Judge Shaffer favorably rule on Lane's appeal and Cheney doesn't get to have his answers "scripted" by his attorneys, how about this for a list of ice-breakers should Tricky Dickey feign amnesia any time during questioning?

It could go something like this: Mr. Vice President,

1. Were you aware Supreme Court Justice Antonio Scalia, who voted in your favor in the high court's 5-4 Bush v. Gore December 2000 ruling, has sons--Eugene and John-- working in two law firms linked to your 2000 campaign, and one of those firms-- Greenberg Traurig, which personally represents former Florida Governor and First Brother Jeb Bush and hired Scalia's son John on Elecrtion Day 2000--is still owed $314,000 by Bush's Florida Recount Committee?

1b. Do you know if that remaining debt can be linked to the Secret Service's altered-- and later sealed--White House visitor log of now-imprisoned Greenberg Traurig superlobbyist Jack Abramoff, whose 500 visits, according to the firm's own records, were billed to clients?

2. Why was Iraqi oil resources "on the table" during your Energy Policy meetings convened early in 2001, meetings that were illegally closed to the public with input from energy industries illegally drafting their own regulatory ticket?

3. Why were you personally in charge of at least five war game simulations--some of which you rescheduled to add to the confused mix that was the US air defense response that day-- from your command post in the White House subterranean bunker on Tuesday morning, 9/11/2001?

4. Did you sign off on any think tank plans developed as early as 1997 (and later) advocating U.S. global military supremacy that included the invasion of Afghanistan, Iraq and the Middle East?

4b. Where were you during the documented July 2002 meeting in Washington, D.C.--"the equivalent of an NSC [National Security Council] meeting, with the President, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condi Rice, George Tenet, and Tommy Franks all there"--nine months before the US-led invasion of Iraq in which ranking British officials were told intelligence would be "fixed" to justify invading the country?

5. Tell us what you know of your close friend Karl Rove's 2004 reelection campaign plan that had GOP researcher director Timothy Griffin, later dubiously appointed as U.S. Assistant Attorney in eastern Arkansas, illegally "cage" votes nationally of predominately Democrat-voting African-Americans in 2004.

Take your time, Mr. Vice President; hell won't have time to freeze over if you miss the chance we are offering you this lifetime to swing in the wind from a tree on the White House lawn.

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