THE DAYS AFTER CHENEY BECAME PRESIDENT
The New White House
(A serial book excerpt)
Previous installments – After Flight 93 crashes into the White House on 9/11/2001 killing President Bush as was originally planned, Dick Cheney, the Vice President, is made the leader of the country. He begins immediately to make changes.
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Work was going on well with the new White House complex area. A secondary fence had been built around the entire park across from the White House, pushing the protestors beyond the level to which he could hear their noise. The immense bunker complex was half finished, with the most crucial offices already open and running. It had been a marvel of building as during its construction there was to be no evidence of its creation above the surface. The machinery was brought in piecemeal at night and tunnels built through already existing underground complexes. Now as much work went on in the Cheney government underground as there did above.
The East Wing was whole again with the exception of having two additional floors underground that had not existed before. They would not be part of a White House tour, that is, if White House tours were given anymore. That was one of the D.C traditions that Cheney quickly changed. The tourists would just have to be content with viewing the temple of government from across the park.
Cheney’s old compadre Halliburton received most of the contracts for the work on a no-bid basis. This was a thank you to them for their loyalty to Cheney throughout the years. Some in the press heard of it and howled, but, as always, the majority of the people either didn’t see any problem with this or didn’t understand it, something which suited the Halliburton boys just fine.
The new offices for Homeland Security were completed ahead of schedule (it is amazing what having the President next door viewing the complete construction can do for getting the job done quickly.) Cheney had wanted it close at hand for accessibility and for the added protection that having the nations largest intelligence agency in the neighborhood could provide. A couple direct tunnels ran underground connecting it with the White House. Eventually, when it was in its final stage of completion, Cheney’s main office would be over there and the White House would become just an ceremonial seat of the President, a dinosaur of a more formal past. Cheney’s lair in the protective walls of the Homeland Security Building would be more secure, and secretive. Those who he wished to see could come and go with less observation of their doings.
The gears for the rest of the buildings moved more slowly, but steadily. The majority of the attention went to the Presidents pet projects, and the whole world would stop if it had to for their finishing.
The heads of all the right wing think tanks were there. It was a private conference, one that had just as much secrecy covering it as a governmental meeting. In fact, its meeting was hidden from most of the members of Congress. It was the very elite club of the conservative movements.
“These are the people who are causing us grief. It is their organizations and actions that are keeping us from the control and the profits that we want. A few examples are: The Sierra Club, the ACLU, Credo, PETA, Amnesty International, the Unitarian Church, NOW to name a few and, it goes without saying, any Democratic group.
“These are the groups that hinder us. Many of them are well meaning perhaps, but they still block our progress. We cannot simply get rid of them. This being America we must be nicey nice. But there are still many unseen ways to corrode their base and cause them to be toppled without anyone suspecting who was behind it.”
“Even international organizations like the UN get out of hand at times and must be monitored. We can not suppress them as readily as we can the other groups, but we can sabotage their plans.”
“So many of these people are a threat to us. A lot of them are jerk-ass kids who hate their parents so they take their crap out on us. We are going to introduce a new bill into law that will make any action or protest against a political or corporate entity a traitorous offense. We will also be installing a jammer in Homeland Security offices that can interrupt an Internet stream or hinder chosen email from reaching its recipient. These are dirty tactics, Gentlemen, but then this is a dirty world we deal with.“
“Are you sure they are not wise to these things already?”
“Oh, you can guarantee this would not come as a shock to them. They know that there is a little bit of a Cold War going on within our own country. But we are better at it than they are. And we have the big guns behind us. The liberals are only good at balling about things. When guns are drawn they are usually weaponless to begin with. They aren’t known for having a lot of heroes.”
“These people are the thorns in our heals. They are small fry, but they are small fry like the dust that gets in your throat and can choke you to death. We should not underestimate them. In fact, we will make it a future policy to trip them up any way we can. Just like the CIA was able to undermine a lot of leftist attempts to begin empire building in Latin America in the ’60’s to the 80’s, so it will be with these folks in our time. And we have a new big gun to use on them. Homeland Security and the NSA will have new talents that the CIA didn’t.”
A murmur went around the table, but no one spoke outright.
“We are going to see a new day here in America, gentlemen. One where those who were meant to be running the show WILL be running the show! And that, my friends, is us!”
Cheers broke out on all sides. Cheney was in like Flint.
The Cabinet meeting was going to be brief. Not everyone was there- intentionally.
“Good day gentlemen. Just an important tidbit. Don’t want to take up too much of your time. Rumsfeld is no longer the VP. I have chosen John Bolton to succeed him. I need someone with his toughness and ability to get things done. Rumsfeld will be notified of this shortly.”
The news fell on them like an ax. It was a surprise to almost all. Questions were in their heads, but no one had the nerve to ask why.
Cheney, hearing the silence he had hoped for dismissed them. “Thank you folks for coming. I hope it will be a smooth transition.”
They all dispersed muted in their shock.
The papers getting passed to Cheney at the CIA briefing were disturbing. They began to unsettle the greasy breakfast he had just had.
“The Chinese are putting us in a box here.” said the CIA Secretary directly.” They are going after every new oil development there is. They would be happy to suck us dry except that they still need us to buy their crap to pay for it all. Now they are being palsy with the Sudanese, building them schools and bridges so they can siphon off their oil. The last thing we need is them in Africa setting stakes. They’ll eat the place clean like locusts. The other aspect of it is that we can’t afford to have them get too friendly with the Muslims. We are only lucky that they are having trouble themselves with the Islamists in their Muslim provinces.
“These damn Allah worshipers! If I could wipe that religion off the face of the earth I would! I don’t see where there is any earthly good to it at all except for being a haven for every wanna be terrorist there is! Do we have many operatives in that area?’
“A handful Sir. It is a difficult area for recruiting.”
“Well, work on it. We’ve got enough of these type of guys in our country that we should find a couple boys willing to make some good bucks to go over there and pretend they are true brothers. We need to get our share of that Sudanese oil. The Chinese will just waste it all on mopeds.”
“We are actively working on recruiting some of the Lost Boys who were given asylum here, Sir.”
“Lost boys?” quizzed Cheney.
“Oh, that is the name given to a lot of the young men whose parents were killed in Islamic raids on their villages and they escaped and were found wandering the desert areas. Some were eventually given permission to settle in the U.S.”
“How old were they?”
“Anywhere from ten to nineteen.”
“How many were there?”
“Oh, a few thousand. They were settled mostly in the Midwest.”
“The Midwest? Isn’t that just about the opposite of Sudan? “
Secretary Bonz chuckled. “It would seem like it sir. North and South Dakota were the ones most open to taking them in.”
“They must stick out like eight balls in a hen’s nest!”
“It was poor judgment on the part of the immigration officials. But, this is where the Christian groups put up the money to take them in. But, despite all the help it has given many of them have the initiative to return to their home lands.”
Cheney looked doubtful and edged closer to the man. “And who is to say that these boys will stay on our side once they get back home. They could end up sticking it to us like these Taliban assholes that we trained to fight the Russians and now use their skills against us.”
Bonz looked worried at the Commander in Chiefs’ hard face. “We are keeping an eye on them sir. And weeding out those who don’t seem genuine.”
“That’s good, Bonz. Last thing we need are any home grown nutcases blowing us up too.”
“We will be watching out for such things Sir.”
“Good. Keep me informed when anything comes up.”
“Will do, Sir.”
The journalists had been getting more rabid. Cheney was going into the press conference well aware of that. The shock of 911 had worn off on the newsmen first. The public was still cowed, but the men and women of the media were always the first to have the illusions fall from their eyes.
At first the Republicans tried to keep them intimidated. It worked so well in the beginning. All you had to do was whisper “Boo!” or “Traitor” or “Coward” and they would be silenced. Now a few were showing some nerve. It always amazed Cheney how the people in what was to him the most worthless of professions could come up with such spunk at times.
Cheney entered the stage with his bulldog attitude ready. He was going to keep it short and sweet and hope that he could make it through without having to dodge arrows from the media people.
“Good evening my fellow Americans…” the words still came strange to his lips, “I am here to report that the war is going well…” already her could here the snorts of derision and the undertones of angry disbelieve bubbling out of the crowd, “… we are advancing well. The war should be wrapped up in a matter of weeks and then we can start bringing our boys back.”
Cheney could hear the ripples of unrest in the crowd. Did he lose control of them this quickly?
“Mr. Cheney-” spoke a middle aged man with a suit too thick for the weather. “Many question why we are in Iraq and not specifically Afghanistan. By all appearances the Taliban and Al Queda are operating out of that area. All signs point to Osama bin Laden being there as well.”
Cheney now knew he was in for a fight. Time to dig in he thought.”Our intelligence is known for its thoroughness, gentlemen. What they have found has led us to this theater in Iraq.”
“Is this intelligence from the old go-to guys the CIA or is it that new agency of yours, the Homeland Security?”
Cheney had to control his tongue to not lash out at this guy. To do so know would make him lose a lot of his credence. He managed to keep the anger out of his voice.
“The evidence comes from a collaboration between Homeland Security and the CIA and military Intelligence…”
“Who is in charge of this collaboration? “
The question brought a momentary stumble to Cheney. Knowing he was on camera he recovered quickly, hopefully too quickly for any of them to catch on. “Homeland is leading the investigations…”
A number of harrumphs and negative sounding comments rose out of the assembled journalists. They were no happy about this. Cheney could see that a fight was brewing.
“President Cheney, why was such a new agency as Homeland given power over other agencies such as the CIA and the FBI who have years of experience?”
“There had to be a core group that would assimilate the evidences and check them. It is recognized that the CIA and FBI are time honored organizations, but in our modern times we need to streamline things and have a new, more modern and fresh agency go over material as well.”
“Does this not make all three agencies answer direct to you Sir?” asked a reporter from the New York Times.
“God, these guys have nerve.” thought Cheney almost subconsciously. The froth was starting to form in his mouth. “Yes, they do answer to me. Someone has to be at the center and make the appropriate decisions.”
“But it also gives you power over them, doesn’t it?”
The anger finally broke out of him. “I am merely and overseer of data. Someone has to do it. A government cannot be run with too many roosters. Someone has to take the ultimate responsibility.” The words came hot out of his mouth.
“And the ultimate control.” said someone just a bit louder than he intended.
“The truth is, Mr. Cheney, that Iraq is essentially a debacle. It was disguised as a military venture under false pretenses. The real reason was to get control of foreign oil fields.” posed Chemarque.
Cheney hid his anger well. “That is not true. We went in because of the threat of weapons of mass destruction. There was an imminent threat to the well being of the United States if we did not do something about it.”
“Or was it a threat to our pocket books if we did not get their oil?”
Cheney wanted to squeeze the neck of the bastard. He was having a hard time keeping the shards of anger out of his voice. “This is a story invented by individuals to side track us. We have said and still do that everything will get turned over to the Iraqis.”
“Mostly. Or is it appearances of being turned over? From the looks of things we still control the Green Zone.”
Cheney could see where he was going with this. He would have to play dodgy and make this man look like a prying fool. “We do.”
“The Green Zone is the command center for a lot of what goes on in Iraq to this day. Doesn’t the Green Zone dictate, and notice that I use the word ‘dictate’, the operation of the oil fields to this day?”
“Bastard!” thought Cheney. His mouth instead said, “They control a lot of the operations, yes that is true. But that is only because the Iraqis are not up to speed on how to run things yet.”
“Not up to speed? And they have had the oil for how many years?”
“Oh, I believe since World War I.”
“World War I. And in all this time they haven’t developed the talent to run their own show?”
This guy wasn’t going to give an inch thought Cheney. “The Iraqis and the Middle-east in general have a tradition of relying on Western expertise in the matter. They do have their own engineers and such like, but all the good engineering schools are in the west with America leading the way. Iraq can just simply not get enough qualified students to take the courses.”
There was an intentional pregnant pause. “Is that by happenstance or intent.”
Cheney knew what he meant by that, but didn’t want to make things easy on him. “I don’t understand what you mean.”
He smiled at this dodge. “Were the Iraqis purposely kept under educated so that Westerners would continue to be hired to keep control over the industry?”
“Oh, I see. No, It is just a new thing to them. They have been shepherds for years and will be for years to come.”
Now it was Chemarque’s time to pause, but for other reasons. “I take that as a racist remark. But, I suppose you do not, or cannot, see it that way.”
“I’m just saying things as they are.”
Cheney’s fist hammered down upon the podium. “I have been given the duty of watching out for this country and by God that is what I am going to do. I would like to see any of you take on this responsibility. It would be interesting to see how you would fare with it.”
The room was silenced except for the sound of pictures being taken of the red faced leader of the country. They know this would be a million dollar photo.
“I think that is the end of this conference. Good day gentlemen.”
There was a nasty slur on the word ‘gentlemen’ as he left the podium.
He knew he had lost this one. He hated losing. He hated the press. He had come to hate the Amendment that granted free speech and the way in which people used it.
Something would need to be done about this. Something…
TO BE CONTINUED
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The complete book of 9/12/2001 is available from lulu.com under that exact title for $10.00 plus shipping. Now available as an e-book on lulu as well.