Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 7, 2007
By: T.A. Frank

DICK CHENEY'S BOY.... It looks like another member of the Cheney family is getting into trouble. This time, it's DHS General Counsel Philip Perry, husband of Elizabeth Cheney and son-in-law of Dick Cheney.

According to testimony yesterday by Government Accountability Office Comptroller David Walker, the DHS strategy of dealing with investigations is to "delay, delay, delay." This comes as no surprise to Monthly staffers. Our latest issue, due on stands this weekend, has a piece all about Perry, "Dick Cheney's Dangerous Son-In-Law," and his role in another delay, delay, delay. That would be the five-plus-year (and counting) delay in producing any serious chemical security legislation in the wake of 9/11, even though security experts agree that our chemical plants are uniquely vulnerable and deadly.

Why would Philip Perry, general counsel of DHS (who recently announced his resignation), have any influence in undermining chemical security? Well, if you ardently oppose regulation, play your cards with skill, and, most important, have Dick Cheney as your father-in-law, there's almost nothing you can't make people not do. Read the whole thing.

T.A. Frank 11:53 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (28)

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The real story is buried halfway in the article:

If environmentalists love IST regulations, however, industry executives hate them. The chemical industry is one of high costs and fairly low profit margins; from its perspective, stringent IST requirements throw off what is already a delicate cost-profit balance. Also, years of unhappy experiences with Washington have convinced many industry executives that regulations will be clumsily introduced. Worst of all, they feel, IST could give environmentalists and their allies in the EPA another pretext to expand their regulatory reach.

Greenpeace et al never cared about terrorism before. They're merely using terrorism as a tool to justify the policies they want to emplay anyway, with the secondary goal of driving corporations they don't like out of business. When the EPA gets serious about fighting terrorism instead of simply trying to disrupt business, they'll be part of the counter-terrorism effort. Until then, homeland security is better off without them.

It's also interesting that you focus on Vice President Cheney's son-in-law. Not only is his family devoted to public service, his daughter married somebody who *also* wants to spend his skills serving the public.

Posted by: American Hawk on February 7, 2007 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

You know, what if there really were terrorists trying to kill us? Wouldn't actually doing something about homeland defense might be a little more important than protecting chemical company profits.

This must mean that the Cheney family has no fear of Al Qaida or any other "Islamoterrorists" actually attacking us again.

Posted by: Ron Byers on February 7, 2007 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry the sentence was supposed to read "Wouldn't actually doing something about homeland defense be a little more important than protecting chemical company profits." I have a lousy editor, me.

Posted by: Ron Byers on February 7, 2007 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

It ain't public service. These are political appointees, and another name for their job success is nepotism.

Posted by: Cycledoc on February 7, 2007 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

No one in the Cheney family gives a damn about "public service"--and this just further proves it. It's all about money for these scumbags, and they don't care how many lives they put at risk to make it.

Posted by: haha on February 7, 2007 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

there's almost nothing you can't make people not do.

Cheney, his son-in-law, the DHS and crack dealers have a lot in common.

Posted by: Brojo on February 7, 2007 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

From American Asshat:

When the EPA gets serious about fighting terrorism

No wonder we're having such a hard time in Iraq! What fool was responsible for sending the Army instead of the EPA!

Posted by: tomeck on February 7, 2007 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

"Trouble" seems a little strong: he's not being accused of any impropriety. He's being criticized by Congress and the opposing party, mostly. It's like saying Ann Althouse is "in trouble" when Kevin Drum calls her a wingnut.

Posted by: sean on February 7, 2007 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

I don't understand the conclusion "The real story is buried halfway in the article".... is the suspicion of EPA's hidden "agenda" to regulate and drive out of business chemical stories the "real story." Quite frankly, it makes me wonder how frickin' serious this man is when it comes to security. I have read a lot of his posts chastising the "left" (lol....as if it is a "left" position that we want our soldier's lives and willingness to kill and die to be used only for wars of necessity) about not being serious in the fight against these terrorists, but then turn around on this oh-so obvious peril that exists in many of our neighborhoods. I just don't get it; I just don't get it. Will it always be the case that you see what side of the fence "Kevin Drum" is, and then reflexively jump to the other side? Is there ever an issue, just one issue, where you will say to yourself and us, ummm, yeah, I think I agree with you. To argue against what is written in this article just invites complete befuddlement, and for me, despair for this country. How can we even speak to each other? After all, folks, this idiot is armed with a VOTE, and with it, he and his cadre have only merely been able to set the Middle East on fire. Just great...great.

Posted by: Jack on February 7, 2007 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

This is pure guilt by association. "Philip Perry is Dick Cheney's son-in-law. Therefore he is evil and all his acts are evil".

Hogwash. Philip Perry is a man who has dedicated his life to public service. America is a better country because of men like him. Without his efforts the federal beaurocracy would be even more bloated than it is.

This is all part of a liberal campaign to smear Repuplicans so that Mrs. Clinton - a woman married to a man who disgraced America - can be elected president.

Posted by: Al on February 7, 2007 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

The only way to secure the chemical industry is to kill those who threaten. All the rest is worthless againse a committed enemy.

Posted by: Walter E. Wallis on February 7, 2007 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

"Devoted to public service". Hawk, please enlighten us with your definition of "public service" and we will see how any of the Cheneys fit that definition.
Isn't it really that the public serves, and pays, the Cheneys? I have no other example in my lifetime where the world has been more bent by the personal ideology of one man as it has by VP Cheney. Even Sadam didn't have this kind of reach.
Equating what he does as being "devoted to public service" is a true insult to the selfless unsung servants who truly serve the public. Accepting the accolades for writing a check? There are some, and in public office, who have actually gone amongst the lowly and lent a hand. Exactly how close did Cheney ever get to New Orleans or to any other disaster, or any event for the common man, or do anything public in 6 years that required him to venture forth from safety? Al Gore is a public servant, Cheney is a slave to his fears.
And I quote:
"Cheney's stopover in New Orleans was also criticized by Democrats, who released a news release questioning the vice president's decision to not spend time in areas flooded by Katrina." www.katc.com

Posted by: Zit on February 7, 2007 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

This is pure guilt by association. "T.A. Frank is a critic of Dick Cheney. Therefore he is evil and all his acts are evil".

Hogwash. T.A. Frank is a man who has dedicated his life to telling the truth. America is a better country because of men like him. Without his efforts Al's thinking would be even more bloated than it is.

This is all part of a reactionary campaign to smear Democrats so that Dick Cheney - the hammerhead conservative prick whose policies have disgraced America - can continue to flush this country down the shithole.

Posted by: Pennypacker on February 7, 2007 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Two bloggers hired recently by Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards were criticized Tuesday by a Catholic group for posts they had written elsewhere on the Internet.

Catholic ayatollahs issue fatwa against their critics.

Gee, now where have we seen that type of reaction before.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

I'm sure conservatives will rapidly come to the defense of the Catholic leadership, despite their own abusive and ranting protestations against Muslim leaders who rant at and try to destroy anyone who criticizes fundamentalist Islam.

Islamic intolerance of their critics not okay.

Catholic intolerance of their critics okay.

Posted by: Google_This on February 7, 2007 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

I fixed this for you:

The Bush admin never cared about terrorism before. They're merely using terrorism as a tool to justify the policies they want to emplay anyway

Posted by: Disputo on February 7, 2007 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

"This is pure guilt by association."

Kind of like taking everyone who isn't a card-carrying Limbaugh Loyalist Republican and tossing them under the heading of "liberal" and then using the word "liberal" as a dumping ground for anything you don't like, that kind of guilt by association, Al?

Posted by: Zit on February 7, 2007 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Another Chaney family story, eh? Ya think Blitzer wants a piece of this?

Posted by: Keith G on February 7, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Not sure why this came up in this thread, but...

Two bloggers hired recently by Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards were criticized Tuesday by a Catholic group for posts they had written elsewhere on the Internet.

Catholic ayatollahs issue fatwa against their critics.

Er, no. The Catholic League is a nutball rightwing lay group, not a clerical group associated with the heirarchy, and its entire purpose is to serve as a wedge to gin up the perception of conflict between the secular left and Catholics and thus secure the Catholic community as a base for the political right.

In fact, Donohue's criticism itself has frequently been the target of clerical criticism. There are, certainly, plenty of things for which the Catholic heirarchy and clergy can be legitimately criticized, but the actions of the Catholic League aren't among them.

Nice try though.

Islamic intolerance of their critics not okay.

Catholic intolerance of their critics okay.

Criticism, in and of itself, is not intolerance; attempting to rhetorically equate criticism (even Donohue's hypocritical and unjustified criticism) with death threats, OTOH, is intolerance of criticism.

Anyhow, on the specific issue, Media Matters provides more context.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 7, 2007 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Oh yeah, he is purely a "public servant" - Jr partner at Latham and Watkins - Goes to the White House to oversee implementation of Homeland Security and the Safety Act which protects private industry from law suits. Goes back to L & M as a partner - lobbies for General Electric and Lockheed - Back to the government to oversee a 1,500 staff of lawyers for Homeland Security - Learns more and more about government procedures involving law suits - Now, it is back to the private sector for more high six figure salary and bonuses involving lobbying the government to once again protect the private sector from any "nuisance" suits.

Wow, What a "Public Servant"!

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 7, 2007 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

From the Washington Post (4/1/05): "After a stint in mid-2003 with the Bush reelection campaign, Perry rejoined Latham & Watkins as a litigator and a leader of its homeland security practice. In 2003 and 2004, he was registered as a lobbyist for Lockheed Martin." He now works for Homeland Security. It's seamless!

Hardly the CV of dedicated civil servant. His connections are everything and that's nepotism.

Posted by: Cycledoc on February 7, 2007 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

Terry --

The Pelosi Air Force plane story is horseshit. Remember, don't always believe what you read in the Washington Times.

Posted by: anti-terry on February 7, 2007 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

The real Pelosi story:

Ever since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the speaker, who is next in line for the presidency after the vice president, has been given use of a government plane for security reasons. Hastert, R-Ill., who had been flying commercially before the attacks, was the first to have use of a plane. But the one he traveled in was too small to make it to California without refueling.

Monday, the House sergeant-at-arms issued a statement saying that the leadership is awaiting word from the Air Force on the rules for using the plane. It is unclear, for example, who can travel with Pelosi and whether she can return home from a political event on the taxpayer-funded plane.

Pelosi's office requested the guidelines, triggering in the conservative media suggesting that she was asking for more than the former speaker received.

Democratic aides sputtered about a "right-wing hatchet job" to make Pelosi look bad. But, said one involved in the negotiations, "this is about security, not about convenience."

An aide in Hastert's office said Monday that the former speaker used the plane for official business but not for political travel. He did at times transport his wife and staff when he was flying to and from Illinois.

Brendan Daley, a spokesman for Pelosi, said that she will not use the plane for political travel.

The Statement by the Sergeant at Arms

In December 2006, I advised Speaker Pelosi that the US Air Force had made an airplane available to Speaker Hastert for security and communications purposes following September 11, 2001.

I told Speaker Pelosi that Speaker Hastert used the Air Force plane for travel to and from his district, however, I was uncertain of the rules and guidelines governing use of the plane. I offered to call the U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense to seek clarification of the guidelines.

Subsequently, several members of the Speaker’s staff and members of the Office of the Sergeant at Arms met with representatives from the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the U.S. Air Force liaison office to discuss the rules and guidelines which governed Speaker Hastert’s use of a plane. Several questions were posed to the Air Force and we are awaiting a response.

Nancy Pelosi was offered the same consideration as Dennis Hastert, except she needed a bigger plane because her district in California is farther away from Washington than Illinois. Right-wingers suffering from a deficit of geographical knowledge may not have been aware of this.

It's true. Check a map at your local library if you doubt it.

And for the record, Ashcroft was flying on private jets BEFORE 9/11 and he was just the Attorney General.

WATB's the lot of 'em.

Posted by: can't believe the whining on February 7, 2007 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

a-h: Greenpeace et al never cared about terrorism before.


"How many additional American casualties is Saddam worth? And the answer is not very damned many." - Dick Cheney August-1992

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/192908_cheney29.html

Posted by: mr. irony on February 7, 2007 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK
Nancy Pelosi was offered the same consideration as Dennis Hastert, except she needed a bigger plane because her district in California is farther away from Washington than Illinois.

More specifically, because the jet Hastert had access to could not (contrary to false statements by Lou Dobbs on the issue) fly nonstop to California (it needed to refuel every 2,000 miles), though it was more than adequate to do so to Illinois.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 7, 2007 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Defense Human Service or homeland security?

Posted by: h on February 7, 2007 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

And just today, a chemical plant explodes in Kansas City...

Methinks Kevin Drum is a terrorist!

Posted by: JWill on February 7, 2007 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

I worked in the federal government for five years as a civil servant. The time was equally split between Bush and Clinton. I was fortunate enough to meet a host of political appointees.

None were as completely cynical as Perry. He cared nothing for the substantive outcomes of policy discussions. He would not hesitate to change analysis to fit his needs. In my mind he represents the worst of this administration.

Posted by: Former Fed on February 7, 2007 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

petrochemical plants, refineries. i have written about them previously. in fact, i have always considered the fact these facilities were not struck on 11/09/01 as proof positive that the events of that day were not the acts of any real terrorists - that the events of that day agents provocateur ops.

never forget, for a few minutes more of flying time, a much easier target would have been the exxon refinery/petrochemical complex. the loss of that facility would have killed scores of thousands, and effectively shut down the east coast of the united states for years.

similarly, why strike at the pentagon, especially the area of the pentagon that was impacted? when, once again, for a few more minutes of flying time, there were the petrochemical complexes of wilmington, delaware.

no, when these targets that would have really injured the great satan were avoided, you can bank on the fact that no "terrorists" had anything to do with the planning of the events of that day.

it is even worse than that, of course. forget about the manufacturing facilities and their vulnerabilities[then and now]. contemplate the chemical car freight trains that run throughout urban amerika.

all of these cars can be perforated with rounds from commonly available automatic weapons. study on the chemical freights that travel out of amerika's petrochemical complexes.

today in houston, for example, as i made a certain freeway/tollroad drive, i watched a chemical train being assembled. in the middle of a major amerikan city. let's consider the contents of those chemical cars....

unodorized lpg
glacial acrylic acid
hydrochloric acid
ammonia
gasoline

and those were the cars that had their contents identified on the outside of the car.

this freight was more than a mile long. 500 - 1,000 cars of very toxic, flammable chemicals. parked within yards of 4+million residents. alongside a roadway.

this situation exists throughout the conus.

that none of these freights have ever been assaulted, other than by graffiti artists, should inform you that there never has been any real terrorist threat within the usa. that there never was any terrorist action perpetrated within the usa.

i could say so much more. the amerikan populace is so frigging ignorant it is stupefying.

Posted by: albertchampion on February 7, 2007 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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