Cheney’s Comprehensive Strategy to Keep America Safe

Well, thanks to Fox News, the comprehensive strategy "for keeping America safe in the future" that Richard Bruce Cheney – former high-ranking federal government official, former member of the Best Congress Money Can Buy, and now trustee of the American Enterprise Institute – advocated last week at the AEI, to a highly select group of friends and sycophants, is now available to peons.

Recall that back in 1993, at about the time Cheney was ending his tenure as secretary of defense, Kuwaiti-born Ramzi Yousef – a nephew of al-Qaeda’s Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, having originally arrived in the United States on Sept. 1, 1992, without Cheney’s knowledge, seeking "political asylum" – reportedly mailed letters to several newspapers, threatening to bring down the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center unless the United States cut off financial aid to (and diplomatic relations with) Israel and stopped interfering in the internal affairs of various "Middle East countries."

A few weeks later, Yousef parked a rental truck – containing a 1,300-lb. improvised explosive device – in the WTC underground public parking garage, lit the "fuse," and walked away. Experts later concluded that if Yousef had parked his rental truck somewhat closer to the WTC concrete supporting pillars, he might well have brought down the Twin Towers. Yousef reportedly escaped to Pakistan a few hours after the bombing.

Now, fast forward to Aug. 6, 2001. The highly classified daily security brief given to then-president George Bush and then-vice president Cheney was headlined "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." and began as follows:

"Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate bin Laden since 1997 has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the U.S. Bin Laden implied in U.S. television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and ‘bring the fighting to America.'”

A few weeks later, the followers of bin Laden – this time armed with box-cutters – did just that, successfully bringing down the Twin Towers, while Bush read My Pet Goat in a Florida schoolroom and Cheney cowered in a bunker beneath the White House.

Okay, with those reminders, you’re prepared to hear what AEI trustee Cheney had to say.

"To make certain our nation country never again faced such a day of horror, we developed a comprehensive strategy, beginning with far greater homeland security to make the United States a harder target. But since wars cannot be won on the defensive, we moved decisively against the terrorists in their hideouts and sanctuaries, and committed to using every asset to take down their networks. We decided, as well, to confront the regimes that sponsored terrorists, and to go after those who provide sanctuary, funding, and weapons to enemies of the United States. We turned special attention to regimes that had the capacity to build weapons of mass destruction, and might transfer such weapons to terrorists.

"We did all of these things, and with bipartisan support put all these policies in place. It has resulted in serious blows against enemy operations … the take-down of the A.Q. Khan network … and the dismantling of Libya’s nuclear program. It’s required the commitment of many thousands of troops in two theaters of war, with high points and some low points in both Iraq and Afghanistan – and at every turn, the people of our military carried the heaviest burden. Well over seven years into the effort, one thing we know is that the enemy has spent most of this time on the defensive – and every attempt to strike inside the United States has failed."

Failed? Cheney must be referring to the failure – since the implementation of the Bush-Cheney comprehensive strategy – of the thousands of attempts by potential terrorists to board a commercial airliner in this country with a box-cutter or a letter opener or a pair of scissors.

Of course, Bush-Cheney to the contrary, a box-cutter is not a "weapon of mass destruction." In fact, the only true WMD is a nuclear weapon.

So what about Cheney’s claim that his comprehensive strategy inflicted "serious blows" to the "enemy’s" nuke-related "operations"?

Well, in 2002, shortly after having accused Iran, Iraq, and North Korea of being an "axis of evil" and repeatedly accusing them thereafter of developing – right under the watchful eyes of the on-the-ground inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency – nuclear weapons to give to "terrorists," Bush-Cheney announced their "National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction" [.pdf].

From it, Bonkers Bolton, then undersecretary of state, developed the Proliferation Security Initiative, announced shortly after the launch of a war of aggression – in blatant disregard of existing Security Council Resolutions and the UN Charter – against Iraq.

According to Bonkers Bolton, the PSI was necessary because “proliferators and those facilitating the procurement of deadly capabilities are circumventing existing laws, treaties, and controls against WMD proliferation.”

Translation? What A.Q. Khan and his recently “outed” network had been doing may not have been against the law, international or otherwise, but Bonkers was going to put a stop to it, even if it meant our violating the law, international or otherwise.

Now, Libya signed the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in 1969, ratified it in 1975, and subjected its few NPT-proscribed materials and activities to an IAEA Safeguards Agreement in 1980.

Since then, virtually all attempts by Libya to exercise its "inalienable right" under the NPT to the fullest possible use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes had been thwarted – in violation of the NPT – by the United States.

In the immediate aftermath of the launch of the Bush-Cheney war of aggression against Iraq – whose purpose was allegedly to put an end to Saddam Hussein’s nuclear weapons program, which the IAEA repeatedly reported, even on the eve of the invasion, was nonexistent – both Iran and Libya announced their intentions to sign an Additional Protocol to their Safeguards Agreements.

The Additional Protocol [.pdf] is a legal agreement, voluntarily entered into, enabling IAEA inspectors to provide "assurance" to other NPT-signatories not only that those activities required to be "declared" by the NPT – involving the chemical or physical transformation of certain "nuclear materials" – are "peaceful," but also that all other activities (including research and development) related to the "nuclear fuel cycle" are for peaceful purposes, too.

Months after Libya announced these intentions, in October 2003, Bolton and his pirates "intercepted" a ship destined for Libya carrying – perfectly legally – "components" for gas-centrifuges, apparently secondhand first-generation Pakistani designs, none of which the Libyans had ever even assembled, much less got working.

Now, under Libya’s existing IAEA Safeguards Agreement, none of this activity was required to be reported to the IAEA. In fact, it would not have been until shortly before the Libyans were ready to introduce uranium-hexafluoride – an NPT-proscribed material – into an operating cascade of that Pakistani junk.

So whatever Libyan President Gadhafi’s intentions may have been, he had not, in fact, violated the NPT, nor was he even in noncompliance with Libya’s Safeguards Agreement. All he appears to have done is buy a bunch of Pakistani junk.

You’re probably wondering what happened to all that Pakistani junk, much of it still in shipping crates. Well, despite IAEA protests, in flagrant violation of the NPT, Bolton and his pirates confiscated it and shipped it back to Oak Ridge.

Okay, so much for Bush-Cheney’s "dismantling" of Libya’s IAEA Safeguarded nuclear program.

Now, what about the "takedown of the A.Q. Khan network"?

Well, Pakistan had never signed the NPT, but it had developed its own uranium-enrichment technology and had subsequently asked to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Composed of 44 nuclear-supplier states – including China, Russia, and the United States – NSG members voluntarily agree to coordinate their export controls governing transfers of civilian nuclear material and nuclear-related equipment and technology to non-nuclear-weapon states.

But until the Bush-Cheney-Rice deal with India last year, to be eligible for importing certain items from an NSG member, an importing state – irrespective of whether it is a NPT signatory or not – must have in place a comprehensive IAEA safeguards agreement covering all nuclear activities and facilities.

So what were the Pakistanis – denied NSG membership – to do?

Well, establish their own clandestine – but not necessarily illegal – suppliers/users group.

When Pakistan held its first international arms bazaar in 2000, there was even available at the booth of Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) a second-generation uranium-enrichment gas-centrifuge brochure, as well as an associated 10-page catalog of specialty vacuum pumps, gauges, high-voltage switches, power supplies, and other equipment.

According to KRL representatives, all the listed items were available for sale and had been approved for export by the Pakistani government.

Nevertheless, not long after the PSI seizure of the Khan junk shipment to Libya, as a result of extreme pressure put on Gen. Musharraf by Bush-Cheney, A.Q. Khan was placed under house arrest and made a “confession” on Pakistani TV.

Contrary to what you’ve heard, over and over, from the neo-crazy sycophantic media, Khan did not confess to supplying Iran, Libya, and North Korea with anything, much less “weapons technology.”

Nevertheless, according to Cheney, President Obama must continue to vigorously implement the Bush-Cheney-Bolton so-far incredibly successful comprehensive strategy. Otherwise, terrorists may once again attempt to bring down those WTC Twin Towers.

Author: Gordon Prather

Physicist James Gordon Prather has served as a policy implementing official for national security-related technical matters in the Federal Energy Agency, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Department of Energy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department of the Army. Dr. Prather also served as legislative assistant for national security affairs to U.S. Sen. Henry Bellmon, R-Okla. -- ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and member of the Senate Energy Committee and Appropriations Committee. Dr. Prather had earlier worked as a nuclear weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico.