There can be no more visceral reminder of the failure of politicized intelligence and the horrific dangers of allowing corporate CEOs into government than ex-Vice President Dick Cheney. It hasn’t even been a month since the election, and the Republican who ran a campaign of lies about his public support for the War in Iraq (Trump supported it publicly in 2002) just invited Cheney, the reviled architect of the failed invasion, right into his transition team to tell him what to do and lobby Congress in support of Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson‘s bid to become Secretary of State.
This shouldn’t surprise anyone really, after all, Trump’s senior advisor and white supremacy nazi platform creator Steve Bannon put Cheney at the top of his list of evil personal heroes – alongside Satan and Darth Vader.
Rick Dearborn, executive director of the Trump transition and a Senate veteran who served as chief of staff to Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions for more than a decade, is looking to leverage Cheney’s influence with key GOP senators, according to a transition aide. Another transition aide said Cheney’s imprimatur may serve as “a good housekeeping seal of approval” with Republican skeptics. And indeed, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio received a call from the former vice president earlier this week. The goal: “To move Marco the right way,” according to a source familiar with the conversation. Rubio will cast a pivotal vote on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which must approve the nomination before it proceeds to the full Senate.
The former vice president is also in close contact with senior Trump aides. Cheney speaks frequently with the vice president-elect and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who himself serves as a liaison between the president-elect and Capitol Hill, and who has said he hopes to model his vice presidency on Cheney’s. “Mike relishes the advice,” said a senior transition aide.
Even Trump’s paranoid voters must be doing a double take at this point, given that Trump vanquished Republican opponents like Jeb Bush by claiming to be against the Iraq War. However, Tillerson’s appointment has opened deep divisions within the GOP as the few remaining legislators that continue to honor their oaths to defend the constitution – like armed services veterans John McCain and Lindsey Graham – who are calling for a broad investigation of Trump’s Russian ties.
Of course, Trump reached out to none other than war criminal Cheney, the most hated political figure in America, to convince Republican shills to install the man who holds a ‘Friend of Putin’ award and crafted a $500 billion dollar deal that President Obama’s sanctions rightfully killed after Russia annexed Crimea and invaded Ukraine and caused the shoot-down of a civilian airliner. Those aforementioned events happened after former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s Ukrainian master Victor Yanukovich was deposed from office for kleptomania and his Kremlin ties. Incidentally, Manafort continues to live at Trump Tower and advises the presidential transition team.
America cannot afford even another minute of Dick Cheney’s continued involvement in American government. He has no business being an advisor, lobbyist and surrogate for any American administration ever again, but that isn’t stopping Donald Trump from using him to do just that.
For all we know, it could have been their plan all along.
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition