Wednesday, January 23, 2008

More Proof That Cheney Is Absolutely Insane

Newsweek has published an article titled "Fishing for a Way to Change the World" which is a lengthy excerpt from author Jacob Weisburg's book "The Bush Tragedy"

I am simply amazed at the utter lack of sense or reasoning which the following revelation shows as relates to Vice President Dick Cheney.
Cheney and Libby believed that Iraq's potential to produce a smallpox weapon necessitated universal vaccination of the general population, something that hadn't happened in the United States since 1972. On the other side of the argument was Donald Henderson, the heroic epidemiologist who led the WHO smallpox eradication program and later became Bush 41's science adviser. After the anthrax attacks, HHS brought Henderson in as a consultant to help develop emergency plans.

When I visited him at his office at the Center for Biosecurity in Baltimore, Henderson recounted a surprise, unpublicized visit he paid to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta with Cheney and Libby on July 18, 2002. Henderson flew down with them on Air Force Two and spent most of the trip explaining to the vice president and his chief of staff why he and other epidemiologists thought a massive vaccination program would be a terrible idea. Even medical professionals were horrified when they saw the range of normal reactions to a vaccination: grotesque scabs, lesions, and pustules. Henderson showed me a pamphlet that HHS distributed to hospitals to document the abnormal reactions: blackened limbs, uncontrolled swelling, and a reaction called progressive vaccinia, in which sores cover the body from head to toe.

Worse than the panic these reactions would cause would be the predictable casualties. According to Henderson, adverse reactions to the vaccine were estimated to kill between one and two out of every million people inoculated. The question of legal liability would be a nightmare. Henderson said that Cheney and Libby didn't seem to disagree with his arguments, which he reviewed with them on the return flight. "I thought, Thank God they've finally gotten the message. Finally we've been able to get it through to them that this just does not make sense," Henderson said.

When he reached his home in Baltimore two hours later, Henderson's wife was waiting with an urgent message to call the office. "They were going to have a press release the next morning announcing that they were going to vaccinate the entire country immediately," Henderson said. "I couldn't believe it." But after girding for battle and taking a 5:00 a.m. train to HHS the next morning, Henderson was relieved to be told that the vaccination plan was off after all. Bush had overruled Cheney.
Vice President Cheney was willing to see hundreds of Americans die and cause a nationwide panic in order to respond to a non existent threat. In fact this was worse than a non existent threat... it was a threat made from whole cloth by people determined to use the specter of 9/11 in order to drive this nation to needless war. George Bush comes out of this particular story actually looking like the reasonable one, but for the fact that he selected this freaking dingbat to be his number two in the first place.

Weisburg uses this story as a demonstration of the deadly earnest drive by Cheney and the neocons to protect this nation from what they were convinced was a truly dire threat by Saddam Hussien. In fact Weisburg believes that the smallpox innoculation plan proves that Cheney did not act in bad faith during the lead up to war in Iraq. Yet Weisburgs benign outlook on Cheney's motives is belied when considered against the recent documentation of the veritable carpet bombing by this administration of lies and deciept in leading this nation to war as documented by the new website The Center For Public Integrity. The graph in that report is particularly instructive. Note the spike in dishonest administration statements as they began the propaganda drive to war, right during the same time frame that Cheney was making his determination to doom hundreds of people to a grotesque death and cause a nationwide panic... before President Bush quashed the scheme.

Frankly, I'm not quite so willing as Weisburg to chalk it up to a misplaced sense of duty by Cheney on this one. Maybe I'm just too jaded and cynical at this point, but after years of seeing Cheney in action I can see him being the trigger to instigate a medical debacle, pointing the finger of blame at Saddam for the nations pestilence, further increasing fear and hatred of Iraq in the drive to war.

I actually find myself hoping that I am wrong... but fearful that I am right.

I was active duty at the time and didn't want to take the smallpox again. But I was forced to. The injection site (got 15 pricks) still itches to this day.

And are we really sure it was anthrax or were they really Bush/Cheney scare attacks?
Number of Operations Iraq Freedom and Enduring Freedom casualties as confirmed by U.S. Central Command: 4392
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