Monday, 6 April 2009

Hersh: Cheney ‘Left A Stay Behind’ In Obama’s Government, Can ‘Still Control Policy Up To A Point’

In an interview on NPR's Fresh Air yesterday, host Terry Gross asked investigative journalist Seymour Hersh if, as he continues to investigate the Bush administration, "more people" were "coming forward" to talk to him now that "the president and vice president are no longer in power." Hersh replied that though "a lot of people that had told me in the last year of Bush, 'call me next, next February,' not many people had talked to him. He implied that they were still scared of Cheney.

"Are you saying that you think Vice President Cheney is still having a chilling effect on people who might otherwise be coming forward," asked Gross. "I'll make it worse," answered Hersh, adding that he believes Cheney "put people back" in government to "stay behind" in order to "tell him what's going on" and perhaps even "do sabotage":

HERSH: I'll make it worse. I think he's put people left. He's put people back. They call it a stay behind. It's sort of an intelligence term of art. When you leave a country and, you know, you've driven out the, you know, you've lost the war. You leave people behind. It's a stay behind that you can continue to contacts with, to do sabotage, whatever you want to do. Cheney's left a stay behind. He's got people in a lot of agencies that still tell him what's going on. Particularly in defense, obviously. Also in the NSA, there's still people that talk to him. He still knows what's going on. Can he still control policy up to a point? Probably up to a point, a minor point. But he's still there. He's still a presence.

It's not just Cheney. Obama's team, and high levels of the bureaucracy, are not exactly filled with trustworthy defenders of the Constitution who would see justice done even though "the heavens may fall".

Cases in point: The evidence to convict Cheney and Bush for War crimes is obvious, yet President Obama and Attorney General Holder have done nothing. The economic advisers appointed by Obama include the guys that helped to deregulate the banking industry. consequently, anyone willing to offer independent (ie "controversial") testimony going against the established status quo are not going to get much support.

The government is stacked with pro-elite types who will do little to rock the boat by allowing any sort of real investigation to occur. Hersh is right that Cheney's guys are still lurking but there is more to the overall situation than that.

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, April 6th, 2009.]

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