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Dick Cheney Slammed Door on Overtures from Iran, Knew About Syrian-Israeli Negotiations

Reported by Marie Therese - January 18, 2007 -

This morning during FOX News Live John Scott reported that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is continuing her "peacekeeping" junket throughout the Middle East and Europe. "A plan for peace in the Middle East," Scott noted. "Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says there is reason to hope for quick progress toward a peace agreement. She says Israeli and Palestinian leaders are 'very desirous' of making progress. Secretary Rice is now in Berlin. She's updating German and British leaders on her recent trip to the Middle East." What FOX viewers didn't hear was the shocking news that has been revealed in the past 48 hours regarding the long arm of Vice President Dick Cheney. "Deadeye" Dick not only knew about talks between Israel and Syria, he also opposed the State Department when Iran offered to negotiate.

On January 16th I reported that there were secret, unofficial talks between Israel and Syria that ended when Israel was not willing to reclassify the talks as "official but secret." It turns out that Vice President Dick Cheney knew all about those talks. (Source: Haaretz)

Similarly, in December 2003, six months after the American invasion and occupation of Iraq, Iran made an offer to make its nuclear operations transparent in exchange for concessions on the part of the United States. The State Department (under Secretary of State Colin Powell) wanted to proceed with negotiations. Dick Cheney opposed it.

Tehran proposed ending support for Lebanese and Palestinian militant groups and helping to stabilise Iraq following the US-led invasion.

Offers, including making its nuclear programme more transparent, were conditional on the US ending hostility.

But Vice-President Dick Cheney's office rejected the plan, the official said.

The offers came in a letter, seen by Newsnight, which was unsigned but which the US state department apparently believed to have been approved by the highest authorities.

In return for its concessions, Tehran asked Washington to end its hostility, to end sanctions, and to disband the Iranian rebel group the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq and repatriate its members.

******
One of the then Secretary of State Colin Powell's top aides told the BBC the state department was keen on the plan - but was over-ruled.

"We thought it was a very propitious moment to do that," Lawrence Wilkerson told Newsnight.

"But as soon as it got to the White House, and as soon as it got to the Vice-President's office, the old mantra of 'We don't talk to evil'... reasserted itself."

Observers say the Iranian offer as outlined nearly four years ago corresponds pretty closely to what Washington is demanding from Tehran now. (Source: BBC)

Revelations like this do nothing to enhance our status in the world and most assuredly will further tarnish our reputation in the Middle East. American need to know these things. They need to know that Cheney runs the show in Washington and that our foreign policy is being driven by ideological rigidity rather than flexible adaptability.

As for the fawning sycophants in the corporate headquarters of the American media establishment, one wonders when they will grow a pair and finally start reporting all the news all the time, instead of cherry-picking a few news items that are covered over and over and over again.

In the meantime, we're all stuck with the steady stream of pap that passes for news these days - especially and most egregiously on the FOX News Channel, where the motto seems to be "Blow enough smoke in their eyes and they won't see the fire."

Post updated January 18, 2007 6:25 PM EST - In 1st paragraph "thwarted" changed to "knew about" - various typos corrected. - MT