David Addington, Dick Cheney, and Desperate Deeds in the Dark

My husband hates politics, but when I have a nightmare, he listens kindly to my ranting. Here’s my bad dream: President Bush suddenly dies of some inscrutable injury secretly inflicted by the next President Dick Cheney, who appoints a worthless investigative commission, goes scot-free, and uses his brief presidency to orchestrate the succession of his fave cohort-in-conspiracies-against-the-Constitution, David S. Addington.

The few times I have inflicted my politics upon my husband, he’s listened with resigned patience. But this time he gently suggested that I might consider dreaming about something more likely to happen than Vice-President Cheney overthrowing the government. I told him that of course I hoped he was right. “But in my dream, it wasn’t a violent overthrow, you know, some kind of revolution…. All Cheney had to do was stage a mysterious assassination, and bingo, he was the government.”

“That’s what I mean by highly unlikely. Can’t you find something else to fret about…?”


But I’m still worrying. Will I wake up tomorrow morning to hear the unthinkable, as I did when the Kennedys and King were assassinated, as I did when the twin towers went down? Will I wake up to the death of another American president? Not that I’m that crazy about President Bush, but I want him to be better informed, not dead.


Is it legal to dream that our nation’s VP might be a traitor, a murderer? Is it treasonous? Libelous?  I do hope it’s OK to wonder, because I do….


It was Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post who got me started on all this, by reminding me (in his column) of the three little words that kept him (and me) from calling for President Bush’s impeachment: PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY.


Right after I read Mr. Robinson’s column, I happened to flip over to the New York Times Book Review, to read the following question from the diary of murdered Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya: “Were we seeing a crisis in Russian parliamentary democracy in the Putin era? No, we were witnessing its death.” (My emphasis)


Quite suddenly, I quit denying the very real possibility that America’s brief and beautiful moment in the sun as a sincere attempt at a truly representative government could actually come to a shuddering halt, right here, right now, during our era, undermined by a Cheney/Addington presidency following the inexplicable death of George W. Bush….


Because Richard Cheney and David Addington, lifelong public servants, family men, talented hard workers, and clever strategists, are also feeling a bit cornered and desperate these days because their secretive machinations have finally irretrievably tangled them in their own web…..


Because no one would benefit more from an assassination than Cheney and Addington….


Because no one has done more to undermine the Constitution than Cheney and Addington, however pure their intentions in amassing great power to “save America” (their way)….


Because no one has so much to answer for, or so many wolves at their door, than Cheney and Addington….


I doubt not that Cheney and Addington are deeply unsatisfied with their measly vast powers. I’m confident that they feel increasingly marginalized by their own party, and threatened by mounting opposition from Congress, the State Department, the CIA, not a few top military brass, and even by President Bush, who recently reversed several of Cheney’s war-on-terrorism policies, who apparently is drawing back from Cheney’s influence, and who may even now be feeling the first tingles of fear in Cheney’s presence….


Am I crazy even to wonder whether Cheney and Addington would actually consider using their old military or CIA contacts to quietly engineer an insider-job presidential assassination? Apparently, neither of these men has had a single qualm about wasting hundreds of thousands of lives in the Middle East to further their purposes; what difference would one more life make, when you've spent your whole life pursuing executive power and only one man stands in your way? I admit I haven't had any real experience with power politics…but I've read Shakespeare….


Cheney has deflected negative attention in the past by creating diversions. If Congress calls Cheney’s bluff regarding non-compliance with the NARA executive order (and just why is it that Bush hasn’t stepped forward to interfere with this, hmmmm…?) or if the Justice Department crowds Cheney with BAE slush fund allegations, a presidential assassination might prove as effective and timely a diversion as a war with Iran (Cheney's other all-purpose fall-back diversion.)


Here’s a great comment recently posted by “razzi” in response to an internet article about Cheney:


“Let's have no game-playing with a man this dangerous who's just a heartbeat away from the presidency. Hearings on his abuse of authority and war crimes need to begin immediately and need to persist for the remainder of his term so that in the event Bush is incapacitated, the case for instant impeachment will already have been built. The evidence needed for an eventual war crimes trial after his term is over also needs to be built. This is a…man who needs to be investigated, prosecuted, and punished for what he is doing to the republic.”


After my dream, I googled “David Addington” to find a quantity of expensive, high-end investigative reporting (see especially Chitra Ragavan's 5/21/06 article in U.S. News & World Report) about how directly Cheney and Addington have been involved on every unconstitutional effort the Bush administration has pushed forward in its drive to amass executive power


I still hope that I’m delusional and conspiracy-theory-crazed, that my nightmare about all this assassination skullduggery is the sheerest nonsense and that I need to be taken off to the funny farm.  I have my fingers crossed that Bush and Cheney and Addington will soon be politely deposed by Fred Thompson, or defanged to mere bumbler and bungler status by our blessed checks and balances, which will keep them from further running amuck and taking our beloved-if-benighted country down with them.


I’m writing, in fact, primarily in hopes that so many other people will begin openly discussing the idea of an assassination-plot-possibility, that anything of the kind will hastily and blessedly be abandoned.


Then, at least, if and when Cheney or Addington or Bush are brought low for doing desperate dark deeds, it will not be after another assassination, or after the death of American democracy.





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Shall We Quibble Over Competing Ideologies? Or Choose Love Over Fear?

President Bush stumbles over the nuances of that thorny word “ideology,” just as he struggles to understand the concept of “democracy.” Together with Humpty Dumpty, he wishes words could mean just what he chooses them to mean, neither more nor less….


Unfortunately, the word “ideology,” a “bad” word he once thought applicable only to evil, foreigner-type “isms” such as Communism, terrorism, extremism, Islamism, and facism, turns out to be nothing more than: “an organized collection of ideas…a comprehensive vision…a way of looking at things” (Wikipedia)— a definition far friendlier than Mr. Bush first envisioned, equally applicable to the many isms he rather approves of, such as Americanism, free market capitalism, Methodism, and certainly the organized collections of ideas constituting “democracy” or “freedom.”


Since all political thinking seems to fall under various ideologies, it would seem unwise to let ourselves become so caught up within our own peculiar favorite ideological flavor/s that we withdraw our support for human life anywhere in the world in the name of that ideology—whether it be democracy, freedom, liberty, utopianism, capitalism, nationalism, Islamism, fundamentalism, Zionism, Protestantism, patriotism, conservatism, liberalism…. After all, that's how all the bad guys in history justified their scummy actions, by insisting that their chosen ideologies were “righter” than others.


The thing is, one can go so far wrong searching for moral consistency within an ism, because isms and other ideologies always shut out some of the people some of the time, making them less than fully human, less than deserving of humanitarian concern—certainly all those who think differently than “we” do, who aren’t like “us” because “they” don’t think believe as “we” do, etc. Inevitably “we” come to oppose “them,” choosing “us” over “them.”


Ideologies can be a useful, interesting, creative way to organize one's thinking, but when taken too seriously–as “the truth”–they are very polarizing. 


It is neither possible to decide how rightly to treat other human beings by looking to ideologies and isms for one’s standards, nor safe, nor ethical, to decide on an ideological basis whether to support or reject that highest and most sacred value, the sanctity of human life.


“Treat all others as you would wish they would treat you” remains the most widely-accepted, time-honored, one-and-only gold-standard rule of ethical conduct ever conceived; it is found in every world religion and every moral, ethical, and justice code everywhere in the world, superseding all ideologies and isms, and consistently useful in every ethical or moral decision.


Ideologues of every stripe, every day, everywhere in the world, try to manipulate people into voting, killing, and even dying for whatever admirable-sounding preferred ideology their audience is familiar with, justifying their most horrific recommendations—invasions, occupations, terror, bombing, napalming, maiming, stealing, starvation, murder, neglect, torture, indoctrination, abuse, imprisonment, exploitation, coercion, manipulation—always in the name of some heart-stirring and noble-sounding aspect of a popular ideology.


Whenever demagogues (“those who gain political power by appealing to popular prejudices, fears, and expectations, typically via impassioned rhetoric and propaganda”—Wikipedia) anywhere in the world attempt to persuade fellow-citizens to act unsupportively toward others, they always cover their dark deeds with a soft, cozy, comfortable cloak of locally-popular ideologies. (H. L. Mencken called a demagogue “one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.”)


Whenever anyone in any country has done something injurious to any other, or left undone what could have helped another, no matter who we were, no matter in the name of what ideology we acted, no matter how noble we thought our actions, we were wrong. And whenever we chose to support human life, we were acting aright.


Politics is as simple—and as complicated—as that.


We either contribute to another’s fear, or we offer them loving support. We either perceive their anger and wrong-headedness as an anguished cry for help, or we attack and punish them. We reject them, or we contribute to their acceptance and well-being. We light a candle or leave them in darkness. We offer them war or contribute to their peace. We lift them up or we abandon them. We share their dreams or take them away. We help them or we hurt them.


We choose love over fear, or we quibble amongst ideologies to gain power, and end up losing shared life itself on our tiny blue planet.







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Symptoms of Inner Peace

About twenty-five years ago, if memory serves, I read the following wonderful passage by someone named Saskia Dasse. I have kept a copy of it, and ran across it again the other day…. I have followed many different paths on my search for inner/spiritual peace, although I believe anyone can learn peace by sincerely, honestly, and wholeheartedly following almost any single thoughtful and disciplined path. I have discovered that inner peace is not a permanent condition; life always brings up challenges even to the “enlightened.” However, I am happy to have moved to what feels like another plane of challenges. I certainly don't expect or desire to live a life without challenges, though. Meeting challenges well and learning from them seems to me to be what a happy life is all about–not at all a riddle to be finally solved, but an adventure to be lived. (If you're alive, you'll still have good and bad days.)

Nevertheless, over the years, as I have made a spiritual search a high priority, and as I have chipped away at self-improvement along my various paths and disciplines of spiritual growth, I have indeed found that (with the help of my Power/Source) I am increasingly capable of meeting and overcoming my daily and even major challenges peacefully, and far less frequently feel upset or at odds with others, or with the world.

As I now read over Saskia Dasse's list of symptoms of inner peace, I am happy to report that I have made considerable progress on all of them, although each is a still-compelling goal; ( I used to be really terrible at all of them, so considerable progress is saying a lot!)

Here is what I read so many years ago. (And thank you to the ungoogleable Saskia Dasse, whoever and wherever you are….)


Be on the lookout for symptoms of inner peace. The hearts of a great many have already been exposed to inner peace and it is possible that people everywhere could come down with it in epidemic proportions. This could pose a serious threat to what has, up to now, been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world.

Some signs and symptoms of inner peace:

* A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences.

* An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.

* A loss of interest in judging other people.

* A loss of interest in judging self.

* A loss of interest in conflict.

* A loss of the ability to worry. (This is a very serious symptom.)

* Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.

* Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.

* Frequent attacks of smiling.

* An increased tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.

* An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.

WARNING: If you have some or all of the above symptoms. please be advised that your condition of inner peace may be so far advanced as to not be curable. If you are exposed to anyone exhibiting any of these symptoms, remain exposed only at your own risk.

That's the end of Saski Dasse's piece.

I plan a blog in which I list at least the major influences, the major paths in my life so far…. Stay tuned! 🙂





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Come listen to me sing this peace and love duet I wrote for Faith Hill and Tim McGraw….

Not that I can sing, but these two wonderful entertainers sure can. Click on “more” below, and then, below the words to the song, click on the “Dreamin 1.wav” file to hear me sing the words and melody. And please let Tim and Faith know that you've heard a peace and love song that was made just for them (and just made for them, too…. They will know how to pick up some very nice harmonies….) I hope they love it and that you'll love it, too. (Sorry, but I ruined what voice I had cheering at my daughters' games, so now I have to almost whisper or my voice cracks!)

“Dreamin’ of Peace” – a duet written with Faith Hill and Tim McGraw in mind….

by Nancy Pace, June 07, njcpace@gmail.com


FAITH:  Darlin’, after supper

When story-time is done

We’re thinkin’ of you far away

And dreamin’ of peace


We’re holdin’ things together

We’re sendin’ up our prayers

We’re blowin’ you sweet kisses

And we’re dreamin’ of peace


We’re dreamin’ of peace

We’re prayin’ for peace

We’re longin’ for peace

We’re dreamin’ of peace


TIM:   I told you ‘bout my buddy

He’s lookin’ out for me

We’re comin’ home together

And we’re dreamin’ of peace


When this war is over

When all the fightin’s done

You’ll never be alone again

Just dreamin’ of peace


We’re dreamin’ of peace

We’re prayin’ for peace

We’re longin’ for peace

We’re dreamin’ of peace


FAITH:  The days are gettin' harder

The kids are getting tough

The only way I sleep at night

Is dreamin’ of peace


I’ll lay you down and love you

I’ll never let you go

I need you here beside me

Just dreamin’ of peace


We’re dreamin’ of peace

We’re prayin’ for peace

We’re longin’ for peace

We're dreamin’ of peace


TIM:   Here everything is crazy

It’s hard to understand

How everybody’s fightin’

And dreamin’ of peace


Children dream of fathers

Mothers dream of sons

Young men dream of sweethearts

Who are dreamin’ of peace


BOTH:   We’re dreamin’ of peace

We’re prayin’ for peace

We’re longin’ for peace

We’re dreamin’ of peace


I Really Like This Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Quote

To think incisively and to think for one's self is very difficult. We are prone to let our mental life become invaded by legions of half truths, prejudices, and propaganda…. To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction….The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals…. We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character–that is the goal of true education. The complete education gives one not only power of concentration, but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate. The broad education will, therefore, transmit to one not only the accumulated knowledge of the race but also the accumulated experience of social living. —  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., writing in college, 1947










Another War for Oil?

The Darfur/Sudan dispute is primarily over who will control the newly-discovered oil-rich lands of Darfur, in western Sudan. As often happens, the indigenous poor there have been ruthlessly pushed aside by voracious corporate and national interests in a typical no-holds-barred international competition for scarce valuable resources.


China’s respectful diplomacy toward the legitimate Muslim government of Sudan has given the Chinese an “in” which they are very profitably exploiting. The bumbling U.S. strategy of arming Sudan’s neighbors has won us only suspicion and resentment.


A mysteriously (well) funded “Save Darfur” media campaign has legitimately excited the sympathies of people everywhere to help the innocents, perhaps also to “justify” future aggressions. Historically, many illegal invasions, occupations, and wars of greed have been “sold” as rescue missions.


China has much to teach the U.S. about win-win diplomacy and trade, just as the U.S. has many important and wonderful things to teach China. May we generously support peaceful international humanitarian efforts to assist the victims in Sudan, and may we use the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing to further mutual peaceful understanding, dialogue, and good will with our trading partner, China.


(I wrote the above letter-to-the-editor in response to the following letter-to-the-editor in our local newspaper:)


Local Physician Who Volunteered at Torino Won't Be in Beijing


I was a physician volunteer at the Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. Several people have asked me if I was going to go to Beijing in 2008 for the summer games. As I'm more of a fan of the Winter Games, and as Beijing in the summer is probably very hot, I told them, “No.” Recently, I discovered a much more compelling reason not to go and to encourage everyone to boycott those games.


In a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, Ronan Farrow and Mia Farrow (he a Yale law student, she an actress) made assertions which, if accurate, should cause a renaming of the Summer Olympics in China to the “genocide games”–and compel all moral people to boycott them. They state that China is “pouring billions of dollars into Sudan,” and that “they,” the Chinese, “purchase an overwhelming majority of Sudan's oil exports.”


With this money, the Sudanese buy bombers, assault helicopters, armored vehicles and small arms, most of Chinese manufacture. These arms are used by the brutal Janjaweed militia. The airports that are used by the Chinese, who have repeatedly used their veto power in the U.N. to block efforts to bring in peace keepers to stop the slaughter.


To date, more than 400,000 people have been killed and 2.3 million have been displaced from villages by the Chinese-backed Sudanese government. Efforts by our government have been unable to convince the powers that be to stop the killing. To his credit, President George Bush vows to go it alone to take action against Sudan if the other countries of the world will not.


A reasonable, moral person would likely conclude that, if the assertions above are accurate, he or she would have nothing to do with these games. What are some prominent people doing? Well, let's see:


Steven Spielberg, who founded the Shoah Foundation to allow the testimony of survivors of another holocaust to be heard, is preparing to help stage the Olympic ceremonies in Beijing. Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, General Electric and McDonald's are some of the high-profile sponsors of these games. If accurate, these assertions should cause these people to rethink their positions. Maybe with some forthright action, the Chinese can be embarrassed into changing their ways to allow the killing to be stopped.


Specifically, of Steven Spielberg, I would ask: “Is one holocaust worse than another?” And: “Would you have helped stage the ceremonies for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin?” Rabbi Akiva, of biblical times, said, “Where there are no men, Be thou a man.”


Hopefully, there are still some men who will do something to stop this tragedy. Anyone who would like a copy of the article can call me.


(The author left his name and phone number.)





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