Don Williams
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Don Williams is a prize-winning columnist, blogger, fiction writer, sometime TV commentator, and is the founder and editor emeritus of New Millennium Writings, an annual anthology of stories, essays and poems. His awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan, a Golden Presscard Award from Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalists, a best Commentary Award from SDC, Best Feature Writing from the Associated Press Tennessee Managing Editors, the Malcolm Law Journalism Prize from the Associated Press, Best Non-Deadline Reporting from the United Press International, Best Novel Excerpt from the Knoxville Writers Guild, a Peacemaker Award from the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, five Writer of the Month Awards from the Scripps Howard Newspaper chain, and many others. In 2011 he was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame. His 2005 book of journalism, Heroes, Sheroes and Zeroes is under revision for a second printing, and he is at work on a novel and a book of journalism. His columns appear at Opednews.com and have been featured at many other well-known websites. To run his column, gratis, at your website, post this link to a dedicated spot: http://www.mach2.com/williams/. Need a speaker, panelist, tv commentator or teacher for your group or to lead a writing workshop, in your town? Email DonWilliams7@charter.net.


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Don Williams comments

Dick Cheney should resign, here's why (first of two on a theme)
(Copyright by Don Williams, All rights reserved   01/31/2004)

Not even the Pope can save Dick Cheney from his coming fall. Despite soothing images recently of Cheney and Pope John Paul II walking and talking together, watch for Cheney to remove himself from the Bush re-election ticket--probably citing heart problems--within three or four months. My guess would be sooner rather than later--before indictments, investigations by regulators and the media catch up to him, certainly ahead of the 2004 Republican National Convention, which begins Aug. 30 in New York. And if he doesn't resign, which would be an act of loyalty to his party and his supposed boss, an impeachment movement could begin. That's assuming big-time journalism does its job and connects all the dots. You want dots? Here are dots.

  • A story on "60 Minutes," Sunday Jan. 25, revealed that during Cheney's tenure as CEO of Halliburton, in the nineties, that company executed multi-million-dollar deals to build oil wells and other infrastructure in Iran, long on the list of rogue states and one which Bush famously labeled part of the "Axis of Evil" two years ago. To skirt laws against dealing with rogue states, Halliburton created an offshore subsidiary, Halliburton Products and Services, Ltd, which owns at least one building in the Cayman Islands, "60 Minutes" reported. However, when they sent cameras, they found the building virtually empty. Apparently, Halliburton mostly operated out of corporate headquarters in Texas, which put them in violation of the law. Worse yet, they used capital from state pension funds of ordinary folks to help capitalize the activities. Assuming Iran used oil money to execute terrorist activities and build WMDs, Halliburton has been an accomplice in spreading terror. The Washington Post has reported similar offshore Halliburton subsidiaries provided oil-production capabilities to Saddam Hussein in the late 1990s, also during Cheney's tenure. By some standards, that amounts to more than corruption, it borders on treason.
  • According to a recent story by the Associated Press, a French judge has warned that Cheney could be charged regarding allegations that another Halliburton subsidiary, Kellogg Brown & Root, paid about $180 MILLION in bribes to win a contract to build the $4 billion-plus Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas plant in the 1990s. AP reported that Cheney was head of Halliburton for five of the seven years during which the secret payments were allegedly made. That's serious corruption, if it's true that Cheney knew.
  • According to a story in the Friday, Jan. 23 edition of The Wall Street Journal, Halliburton admitted recently that officials on its payroll accepted up to $6 million in kickbacks from Kuwaiti subcontractors. It also faces allegations of overcharging the government $61 million for fuel deliveries. The Pentagon has repeatedly warned the company that food it was serving 110,000 U.S. troops in Iraq was often dirty, with an audit finding "blood all over the floor of its kitchens, dirty pans, dirty grills, dirty salad bars and rotting meats... and vegetables." That's no way to treat men and women willing to die for you. All of this reflects poorly on Cheney, especially when you consider that....
  • According to a Sept. 25, 2003 report on CNN, Cheney still profits from ties to Halliburton. A congressional report found that, as of last September, Cheney still owned "more than 433,000 Halliburton stock options," including "100,000 shares at $54.50 per share, 33,333 shares at $28.125 and 300,000 shares at $39.50 per share." CNN also reported that "Cheney still receives about $150,000 a year" from Halliburton. Apparently the $20 million Halliburton reportedly paid Cheney when he left to become vice-president, and the $35 million proceeds from stock he cashed in wasn't enough.
  • Scripps Howard News reported earlier this week that Cheney might have compromised Department of Defense operatives in comments he made to the Rocky Mountain News recently. In those comments, Cheney apparently verified information contained in leaks to "The Weekly Standard," a magazine friendly to the Bush-Cheney administration. The leaks from classified DOD reports supposedly show a connection between al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein. Others dispute the classified evidence. Wesley Clark has called for an investigation to determine whether Cheney endangered government employees or operations by implying that "The Weekly Standard" story was true. Such affirmation could bolster confidence that clues to DOD methods and sources contained in the article are worth pursuing and could otherwise encourage leaks and compromise security. Cheney's apparent willingness to endorse leaks from DOD bolsters the case of those who suspect he participated in outing CIA operative Valerie Plame, wife of the aforementioned Joseph Wilson. The intelligence community and some other conservatives are reportedly furious.

But it gets worse. Tune in next week.