THE BLOG
05/10/2013 08:31 am ET Updated Jul 10, 2013

Game Change: Cheney Opens Himself to Subpoena Regarding 9/11, Iraq, Torture and Valerie Plame

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When a former member of the Executive calls for Congress to subpoena another former member of the Executive, it is a game-changer. No longer can he rely on "Executive Privilege" to block his own testimony.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney has suggested that the GOP subpoena former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton again on Benghazi.

Fine and dandy. Let us first subpoena Mr. Cheney to testify about 9/11, Iraq, torture and the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame.

Unlike former Secretary Clinton, who has testified to Congress for hours on Benghazi, Cheney has never testified for one minute before Congress on any of these matters.

Indeed, Congress never really investigated 9/11. It appointed a commission more than a year later to determine what changes needed to be made in U.S. security, not to assign accountability. One might ask Cheney who is accountable for 9/11, who lost their jobs over it. That is what Senator John McCain (R-AZ) keeps asking about Benghazi, yet I have never heard the official answers to those questions regarding 9/11/2001.

Regarding 9/11, Cheney had been chosen (in the same way that he was 'chosen' to be VP nominee) by Bush to be in charge of security. The most important point to recall is that, despite all the warnings from January 25 from the then-White House counterterrorism advisor, Richard Clarke, Cheney never even called a meeting of the "principals" responsible for national security to discuss those warnings until 9/4/2001, and that meeting was perfunctory. (Against All Enemies, Richard Clarke, p. 237). It is also worth noting that New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, who had no classified information, called it in a June 26, 2001 column, "A Memo from Osama bin Laden."

Regarding Iraq, the Committee could probe how Cheney and his staff used Judith Miller to publish articles in the New York Times on Saddam's WMD that were sourced from Cheney and that Cheney then quoted without revealing he was essentially quoting himself. They might ask him about the certainty of his public pronouncements when the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) expressed serious doubt about many of its own findings. The Committee might ask him about his references to Mohammed Atta in Prague, and, well, one would scarcely know where to begin, or end.

Regarding torture, there is recent bipartisan report that the Bush Adminstration engaged in torture and that the highest levels of government (read, Cheney and Bush) bear direct responsibility. Even the commission's co-chair, NRA apologist and former Republican Congressman Asa Hutchinson, agreed with that finding.

The report has gone almost unnoticed. Perhaps the Cheney hearings can bring it to the fore where it belongs.

And then, of course, there is Valerie Plame. The Committee might ask him the justification for revealing classified information at all, and, by so doing, providing aid-and-comfort to enemies of the United States.

So, here's the deal. Hillary Clinton has already testified on Benghazi once. When Dick Cheney appears before Congress to answer questions about his actions that caused the death and maiming of hundreds of thousands of people, some from incompetence, some as a result of outright lying- -- then he can come talk to us about Hillary Clinton testifying again.

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