Dick Cheney- Corporate Criminal


Sean Penn: Impeach George W. Bush, Dick Cheney

Tuesday , December 19, 2006
By Roger Friedman

Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn called for the impeachment of President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney in an impassioned speech Monday night in New York.

The occasion was Penn's winning the first annual Christopher Reeve First Amendment Award from the Creative Coalition, a non-partisan advocacy and lobbying group founded by New York actors such as Reeve, Ron Silver and Susan Sarandon more than a decade ago.

Penn was one name on a long list of honorees that included Branford Marsalis, Harvey Keitel and Marcia Gay Harden. He was introduced by PBS' Charlie Rose, who was preceded by Matthew Reeve, the documentary-making eldest son of Christopher Reeve and Gae Exton.

Penn, wearing slicked-back hair, suit and tie, came to the stage at Duvet, a party space on West 21st St., with serious intentions. Unfortunately, his cell phone rang a couple of times during his pointed remarks, and finally he had to answer it.

Such are the consequences of public speaking in the modern era.

Penn is no stranger to controversy, politics or their intersection. But last night's speech was a little different — even for him — amping him up to the next level in the war between liberals and conservatives over the war in Iraq.

Penn spoke in measured tones but was actually quite inflammatory. The combination worked. He also threw a verbal grenade into the crowd when he said: "So look, if we attempt to impeach for lying about a [oral sex act], yet accept these almost certain abuses without challenge, we become a [human] stain on the flag we wave."

The deleted word registered the level of shock it was supposed to, even for the fairly A-list hip crowd that included Heather Graham, Laurence Fishburne, Kerry Washington, Ruben Santiago Hudson, Giancarlo Esposito, Tony Goldwyn, Joe Pantoliano, Richard Belzer, Tamara Tunie and Richard Schiff, plus media types such as John Sykes, Matt Blank (Showtime) and Gerry Byrne.

Penn's proclamation went beyond just staining the red, white and blue. He preceded that line with: "Let's put his administration under oath," he said. "And then if the crimes of treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors are proven, do as Article 2, Section 4 of the United States constitution provides, and remove the president, vice president, and … civil officers of the United States from office."


Cheney Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

Washington, D.C., December 14, 2006

Vice President Dick Cheney has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bush, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan announced today. Cheney thereby joins the ranks of other top-level officials whom Bush has honored with the prestigious award, including former Iraq CPA head L. Paul Bremer, General Tommy Franks, and former CIA director George Tenet. Vice President Cheney issued no public response to the honor and has been unavailable for comment.

"We think Cheney should be pretty pleased, though," said Mr. McClellan. "Cheney's always been a straight shooter who's not afraid of absorbing a little collateral damage if it will help him hit whatever goals he's targeting."

Cheney's Presidential Medal of Freedom, one of the two highest civilian awards in the United States, is unprecedented for a sitting vice president. Some observers believe the award may be related to the shooting incident last February in which Vice President Cheney, hunting quail in light cover on a clear, sunlit afternoon, mistook 78-year-old Harry Whittington, a Texas attorney, for a small, low-flying bird and shot him in the face.

"That's the kind of can-do, no-questions-asked, take-no-prisoners attitude we're looking for, and that's what the president is rewarding," said Mr. McClellan. "It's pretty much standard procedure for this administration and represents the same thinking that led President Bush to grant the awards to L. Paul Bremer, General Franks, and George Tenet. We reserve the Medal of Freedom for the kind of gargantuan incompetence that can otherwise only be papered over by a sudden, unexpected death."

"General Franks, for example, was supposed to invade and secure Iraq, but instead ignored the advice of his colleagues and left the country wide open to looting, chaos, and long-term insurgency," McClellan continued. "Tenet was supposed to take the fall for Bush's false WMD justification for the Iraq invasion, and he fell like a ton of bricks. And L. Paul Bremer was supposed to take billions of dollars of American taxpayer money and scatter them randomly and ineffectually around Iraq, and that's exactly what he did. They're all winners in my book."

In Cheney's case, Mr. McClellan explained, the award is "a bit more general".

"The president has decided to make Cheney's Medal of Freedom not for any one thing in particular," said Mr. McClellan. "It's kind of an all-purpose, 'you're doing a heck of a job' kind of thing. It's certainly not meant to help whitewash any lingering embarrassment from the Texas shooting incident or the pathetic attempt at a cover-up. Although I would put it to you that we still don't know whether or not Harry Whittington, the man whom Cheney allegedly shot, was in fact connected to al-Qaida, or if he were somehow the missing link connecting Osama bin Laden with Saddam Hussein, and I believe several intelligence agencies overseas may still be looking into that connection. Until we know for sure, we can just be thankful Vice President Cheney had the foresight and the will to take preemptive action before that smoking gun had the chance to turn into a mushroom cloud."

Vice President Cheney, who has been unavailable for comment since early 2001, remains unavailable for comment.


Mary Cheney’s Class Privilege

by Tommi Avicolli Mecca‚ Dec. 12‚ 2006

There’s always been two standards of behavior in America: One for the rich, the other for the rest of us. When abortion was illegal, the daughters, wives and girlfriends of rich men could travel over any border to deal with an unwanted pregnancy. Conservative members of Congress have always disregarded the laws against prostitution and legal age of consent to personally indulge in all sorts of sexual shenanigans, even as they ranted and raved about immorality in America, often turning the halls of our legislatures into bully pulpits.

This hypocrisy has a solid basis in American politics: The founding fathers, while pushing the all-so-noble idea that “all men are created equal” had slaves who sometimes bore them illegitimate children. Their wives and daughters couldn’t vote.

Now, along comes Mary Cheney, daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, who announces that she is carrying a baby that she’ll raise with her lesbian lover of 15 years, Heather Poe. No word on whether she went the anonymous turkey baster or the best-gay-male-friend-as-sperm-donor route. The announcement, at least publicly, has been greeted with a cautious statement from the expectant grandparents: “The Vice President and Mrs. Cheney are looking forward with eager anticipation to the arrival of their sixth grandchild.” That’s all they’re saying about the soon-to-be blessed event.

To his credit, Cheney has stated in the past that he does not support an amendment banning gay marriage. He even expressed support for alternative lifestyles in a speech in Davenport, Iowa a couple years ago: “With respect to the question of relationships, my general view is that freedom means freedom for everyone. People ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to.”

Not all conservative parents of queer kids end up so publicly tolerant. When the son of Phyllis Schafly, a big right-wing organizer of the 70s, came out, she didn’t miss a beat in continuing to condemn homos as the greatest threat to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Despite having an out lesbian half-sister, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich responded to the recent Mark Foley scandal by blaming gays for the lack of action on the part of Republicans who allegedly knew that the former Florida Congressmember was writing sexy emails to a 16-year-old.

Mary has it good. Sure, she’s been trashed by the right-wing Christian crazies who think it’s oh so awful that the kid won’t have a Daddy. Mary needn’t worry. No matter what happens, she’ll always be able to raise the kid in a style to which most of us will never be accustomed. Who’s going to stop her? Mary has the class privilege to do whatever she wants. She’s never even been an activist. She’s paid no dues. During the last presidential campaign, queer activists criticized her for not championing the cause of gay couples. She hasn’t been a fighter for anything. Her ability to be open is thanks to the sacrifice of countless working- and middle-class queer activists who, since 1949, have risked life and limb to pave the way for Mary to be the poster child for lesbian moms.

It’s not fair. The more deserving recipient of lesbian mother of the year is the working-class dyke with child. She faces it all: social stigma, a low-paying job and a fragile security that could burst at any moment, especially given the ever escalating cost of living and the lack of universal healthcare. If she’s black or Latina she faces an additional hurdle. No one’s devoting any space for her in the papers or on the airwaves.

Mary Cheney, despite the fact that she's sticking it to the right wing by having her child in the first place, is ultimately another poster child for class privilege in America.