Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions. Use "Verse News Submission" as the subject line. Send a brief bio. No payment. Authors retain all rights after 1st-time appearance here. Scroll down the right sidebar for the fine print.

Friday, March 31, 2006


by Mary Saracino

It’s a crying shame, you know,
how those folks in South Dakota
laid down the law that terminated a woman’s
sovereign rule over her own womb.
They aborted our rights to decide
for ourselves what’s best for our lives,
for our families. They claim it’s
convenience we seek,
as if women cavalierly opt for expediency
over motherhood, stopping by
the medical clinic on a whim, ducking in
for a quick visit en route from work
to home, as if an abortion were simply
another item to cross off our to-do list,
as routine as swinging by
the fast-food drive-thru window for a burger,
processing our vacation pictures
at the one-hour photo shop,
or grabbing a Slurpee at the 7-11 —
just something else to cram into
an already harried day. Morning sickness,
and that bloated feeling, just bogs a girl down,
makes us crazy, impulsive,
compels us to do things without
discernment, those legislators just
have to protect us from our rash, reckless selves,
as if our uteruses ran roughshod
over our brains, as if those lawmakers
could cleave open our minds,
peer clear down into our souls, decipher
our intentions, our reasons, the whys and wherefores
of our most intimate decisions.
After all, life’s too precious, too precarious
to entrust to fickle females, I mean
the whole human race would perish
if procreation were laid in our laps,
don’t you think? That’s too much
responsibility for a mere girl to handle.

Mary Saracino is a novelist, memoir writer, and poet who lives in Denver, CO. Her newest novel The Singing of Swans is to be published by Pearlsong Press in the fall of 2006.

Thursday, March 30, 2006


by Diane Raptosh

Hohlensten-Stadel, Germany ca. 30,000-28,000 B.C.,
mammoth ivory, 11 5/8" high

Whisker and word sash, undershirt, underworld. Fact: Lambs, if raised by goats, will grow to prefer the fostering species for lifemate. For that matter, some words take in their antonyms, such as oversight and oversight, duck as in down about the head and duck in the nautical sense. Mistakes may have been made. "Maybe we need an unhappy medium, where things are somewhat less than fine yet not so desperate as war," mewls the feline man fielding questions as yet unaired in the midst of a nap, weightless with chicken fat.

Diane Raptosh has two books of poems, Just West of Now (Guernica 1992) and Labor Songs (Guernica 1999), and has published widely in such journals as Pif, Women's Studies Quarterly, and Michigan Quarterly Review. She teaches English and Creative Writing at Albertson College of Idaho.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


by Ed Webb

Tottering with two full mugs of tea
Put the lightswitch out of reach:
Let it burn a while longer.

Of such things are the doom of the planet made.

Soldiers returning from the oil war eagerly feed their combat pay
into sleek, hungry toys
Which no one could wish to deny them.

At least this field of coffins will fully degrade.

The degraded dead keep on giving while the living idle,
Pouring death into a reddening sky.

Ed Webb is a former diplomat and a current trouble-maker living in Philadelphia, PA.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


by Rochelle Ratner

The salt, perhaps, acted as a preservative, much as it does
in third-world countries with no refrigeration. But this is
New York City, circa 1962, the middle of the Cuban Missile
crisis. Children crouch under small metal desks with empty
inkwells, arms clasped over bent heads. There are air raid
drills in high-rise office buildings where adults quietly file
into long, windowless corridors. Laos is the most recent
country to gain independence, Sputnik's still fresh in
everyone's mind, water puts out fire, every five-year-old in
America presumably knows how to swim. The Brooklyn
Bridge dangles at least a hundred feet above the river,
while fresh water, bandages, paper blankets, and 352,000
Saltines are sealed in its base. What's amazing is the
pigeons didn't get them.

Rochelle Ratner's books include two novels: Bobby's Girl (Coffee House Press, 1986) and The Lion's Share (Coffee House Press, 1991) and sixteen poetry books, including House and Home (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003) and Beggars at the Wall (Ikon, October 2005). More information and links to her writing on the Internet can be found on her homepage:


by JeFF Stumpo

The towel boy is on screen for three seconds
before the camera cuts to UConn's coach
pacing, perhaps plotting three moves ahead,
or maybe just waiting for some spherical Godot.
Soon the ball will be passed inbounds, play will continue,
UConn will win in an excruciating OT.
The highlight reels will mythologize each hanging dunk,
Each tre, each turnover, each insane save.
But for a beautiful three seconds we see behind the veil,
Some Everyman mopping up the gods' bright sweat
That their miraculous bodies might not be their undoing.

JeFF Stumpo is author of the multilingual poetic sequence/chapbook El Oceano y La Serpiente / The Ocean and The Serpent (Zenane 2004), co-founder and co-editor of the online journal Big Tex[t], co-creator of, and founder and host of Javashock, the Brazos Valley's poetry slam. He has poorly-designed webspace at

Saturday, March 25, 2006


by Robert M. Chute

There is something strange,
        a change in atmosphere, I said.
A trend that has already turned
        some blue states to red.
Is it a promise or a warning?
        How can we tell?
The printer whirred, the paper
        curled out and fell.
Is there a difference?
        the printout read.

Robert M. Chute’s new book from JustWrite Books, Reading Nature, poetry based on scientific articles, is available from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Friday, March 24, 2006


by David Chorlton

The mission takes off. We shall wait
for years before a message comes back,
flying through the holes in a six
and nine noughts to tell us what exists
on a planet named for the ancient god
of the underworld. By the time
we know about the balance
of rock and ice on Pluto, we shall have news
from Earth about rising tides
and how much air
is safe to breathe. There will be cheers
at ground control
as the weather is announced: three hundred and fifty
Fahrenheit below zero. Perhaps the technology
will exist to import some of the cold,
to bring it back through space
and unpack it for distribution in our polar regions
so the ice will freeze again. At thousands of miles
every hour, technology’s miracle
travels the distance of our imagination
while vehicles on their cross-town drives
exhale the scent of slow destruction
as they head to the latest shopping mall
for a sale, to save what can be saved
at a late hour, even
if it’s only money.

David Chorlton was born in Austria, grew up in England, and spent several years in Vienna before moving to Phoenix in1978. He enjoys listening to very old music, birding, and hiking in the Arizona landscape. Along with poems in magazines, he has a list of chapbook publications with Places You Can’t Reach (Pudding House Publications) being the latest, and two recent books: A Normal Day Amazes Us (Kings Estate Press) and Return to Waking Life (Main Street Rag Publishing Company).

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Volume Two

Book XIII: CHENEY, Co4Seer

"I 4see clearly how Democracy has won"
says CHENEY, declaring Victory in Iraq,
"Anyone who did not 4see this is blind."

He e-adjusts his in4ra-red monocular:
"Anyone who can't 4see these last days
of the beaten insurgency needs 4-eyes!

Over 3 years ago, I 4saw Peace in Iraq;
my dearest friend, Ariel Sharon, 4saw
peace in Israel. As men of peace, we 4saw

what surely came to pass! If only he could
stand beside me here, his
in hand, 2see this." While he speaks,

his eyes water, his hand shakes, his
head nods. His time has come;
his hour
is @ hand, his sh@ronic mission done.

Book XIV: CHENEY, Master of Illusions

Saddam’s fabled fleet of doubles returns: Dubya
bikes w/a Secret Service squad of 5 dubyles,

cruising winey Napa above San Francisco Bay
in a swarm of spiky jet-black bike-weenies

murmuring “Death to Whoever dares cut us off!”
CHENEY chuckles. “Keep the Media heat off me!”

from his secret chamber. “Dubya sucks cold wind.
I suck the souls from both the living & the dead.

I swallow what is false & spew out what is real.
I am the master of souls, images, illusions, lies;

woe betide anyone who calls my bluff. Scooter
‘s a corpse with the dead face of the false living.

Whatever he says will be on his stony epitaph;
his treasonous hand will burst from his grave.*”

*My Polish-speaking Matka often told me as a child that anyone who strikes his mother
will suffer the (symbolic) punishment of his dry bony hand bursting up out of his grave.

Book XV: CHENEY, NeoBoliv@r of Free Oil & G@s

(Vilnius, Leituva) CHENEY met 2 of Moscow's least
favorites, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko
& Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili who’d led
democratic revolutions in their post-Soviet republics.

CHENEY’d planned 2 meet w/opposition leader
Alexander Milinkevich of Belarus, but he’d been
jailed by the Belarussian government last week.

"The Belarussian regime should end this injustice
& free Mr. Milinkevich, along with any other
democracy advocates now held in captivity,"
CHENEY said & added: "There’s no place in
a Europe whole & free for a regime of this kind."

Then, addressing Russia directly, CHENEY said:
"In many areas of civil society, from religion
& the news media, to advocacy groups
& political parties, the government has unfairly
& improperly restricted the rights of her people."

Referring 2 Russia's brief cutoff of gas 2 Ukraine,
CHENEY said: "No legitimate interest is served when
oil & gas become tools of intimidation or blackmail.
Free markets are the lifeblood of free peoples;
oil & gas must flow as free as the rain & wind.”

Book XVI: CHENEY, Make Notes [newspoem]

CHENEY’s handwritten notes on the margins of
Amb. Joe Wilson's NYT op-ed column July 6, 2003
"the contemporaneous reaction of the vice president,"
are “relevant to establishing some of the facts viewed
as important by the defendants immediate superior
about whether Wilson’s wife had “sent him on a junket." .

CHENEY’s notes "support the prop. that publication
of the Wilson op-ed acutely focused the attention
of the VP & the defendant Libby, - his chief of staff -
on Mr. Wilson, on the assertions made in his article,
& on responding to those assertions," says Fitzgerald.

Libby admitted CHENEY had told him in June 2003
about Wilson’s wife working at the CIA. But Libby
told the investigators that by the next month, he’d
(somehow) forgotten the vice president had told him..

Scribbled days b4 the leaks of Plame's identity, CHENEY
notes the CIA & Wilson’s trip: "Have they done this sort of
thing before? Send an Amb. to assess a question? Do we
ordinarily send people out 2do pro bono 2work 4us?
Or did his wife send him on a junket?"
To undercut Libby's
defense, Fitzgerald wants2introduce evidence referring2
CHENEY & Wilson's wife, asking "Why were people taking
this information about Valerie Wilson & giving it 2reporters?"
The Oct. 28 indictment charged Libby w/5 counts of perjury,
obstruction & lying2 the FBI, the first indication that
the Libby case might also focus closely on CHENEY.

Book XVII: CHENEY, Rai$e$ Earne$t Money [newspoem]

Dick CHENEY said a lot of nice things about
U.S. Rep. Rick Pombo at a dimly-lit $500-a-head
campaign fund-raiser tonite in Stockton CA..
“Congressman Rick Pombo’s earned another term
in the House of Representatives,'' CHENEY said to a
tightly packed crowd of 200 in the 2nd-floor lobby
of the restored Bob Hope Theater in Stockton.
“He’s good for California & he's good for the nation.''

Pombo's chief Republican primary challenger is
former Peninsula congressman Paul ‘Pete’ McCloskey.
who joined the media crush giving sidewalk interviews
as the crowd waited for a glimpse of CHENEY slipping
into Stockton by the back door. “I can't imagine how
CHENEY’s helping Pombo's reputation,'' said McCloskey,
who came out of retirement to run against the incumbent,

“CHENEY’s less popular in California than Bush.'' Still,
Conservative Republicans paid $2,100/ea to have photos
taken with CHENEY “who isn't important at this stage,''
says USC political-scientist Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, “He's
popular w/conservative Republicans. He energizes
their primary base & raises money.'' (Total: $200K+)
Rev.. Brant Randal Rognart’s opening prayer was:
Lord, tonight i$ all about rai$ing money.''

Book XVIII: CHENEY, "Bonhomme, Richard!"

[San Diego CA] (w/Applause cues)

“I came by today because I wanted2say
thank you 4what you've done 4all of us.
Being in the neighborhood, I wanted2personally
thank the men & women on the ships of ESG-1.
You're a spectacular group that has carried out
humanitarian missions, disaster relief, & combat operations.
I saw your work with my own eyes on a trip
to the earthquake region in Pakistan late last year.

In addition, some of the Marines here today
were also present when I visited al Asad, Iraq.
In February -- that's all right, don't hold back.
(Laughter and applause.) in February, ESG-1
returned home from a truly historic deployment.
It's good to see all of you, & I'm delighted
to say welcome home. (Applause.)

The ships of the ESG-1 logged 10s of thousands
of miles on the recent deployment, provided
key support2Operation Iraqi Freedom
& 2the global war on terror. With us 2day
is the crew of the USS Tarawa -- (Applause)
don't overdo it -- (Laughter)
which steamed across2oceans, visiting 9countries
in Southwest Asia, Africa, & the Far East.
Tarawa provided humanitarian relief in the Philippines,
& participated in Exercise Bright Star in Egypt,
along with the USS Cleveland. (Applause)
that also conducted maritime security operations
in the Persian Gulf, trained with the Iraqi Navy,
& transported tons of heavy equipment,
food, & supplies to Pakistan after the earthquake.
The USS Pearl Harbor was also there in Pakistan
(applause) offloading heavy equipment needed
to clear roads, set up hospitals, & save lives.
I also want to recognize the other ships of ESG-1
that are now docked in Hawaii & Washington State
the USS Chosin, USS Santa Fe, USS Ingraham,
as well as the USS Gonzalez, still on sea-swap
deployment with the 5th Fleet. (Applause.)
Their assignments included joint exercises
with coalition partners & security patrols.
Another great ship, our host platform today,
is the USS Bonhomme Richard -- (Applause)
which spearheaded the Tsunami relief effort off Indonesia last year.

All around us 2day are the signs of American sea power
a fleet like none that ever sailed before,
a Navy, & Marine Corps that uphold noble traditions,
& a flag that stands for freedom, human rights,
& stability in a turbulent world. Aboard these ships,

on this base, & across the globe, Americans in uniform
are writing a new chapter of excellence & achievement
for the United States Armed Forces. You bring relief2
the helpless, hope2the oppressed. And you are
protecting the people of this nation in a time of war.

When this conflict began nearly 5 years ago,
President Bush told Congress & the country that
we "should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign,
unlike any other we've ever seen." "It may," he said,
"include dramatic strikes, visible on televison
& covert operations, secret even in success."

All this has come to pass & there is more work 2B done,
because we face ruthless & determined enemies.
We are dealing with small groups of highly motivated extremists,
operating in the shadows, determined2carry out missions
of murder of increasing size & audacity.
They came in2 our country2murder thousands of our fellow citizens.
They continued attempting2evade our strengths,
2search for our weaknesses, in order2find ways2strike again.

& the greatest danger2civilization
is the prospect of a terror network,
on its own or with the help of an outlaw regime,
acquiring weapons of mass destruction
and thereby gaining the power
2kill hundreds of thousands,
& 2blackmail entire nations.

In the face of such enemies, we have2consider a few basic questions:
1st, whether 2confront them on our terms, or on their terms; 2nd,
whether2face them on their territory, or our territory; and 3rd,
whether2wage this war on offense or defense.
America & the civilized world have made our decision:
Wherever terrorists operate, we will find them where they dwell,
stop them in their planning, & bring them2justice. We will stay on offense
& stay in the fight until the fight is won. (Applause.)

It's a large effort, because the terror network
has cells in countries all over the world.
Yet bit by bit, by diplomacy, through
intelligence cooperation, police work,
& the spread of democratic institutions,
we are acting2shrink the area
in which the terrorists can operate freely.
We have also enforced a doctrine
that is understood by all: Governments
that support or harbor terrorists
are complicit in the murder of the innocent,
& equally guilty of terrorist crimes.

We gave ultimatums2the brutal regimes

led by the Taliban & Saddam Hussein.
& when those regimes defied the demands
of the civilized world, we acted2remove them
4m power & 2liberate their people.

The nature of the terrorist enemy
hidden, diffuse, secret in their movements,
asymmetrical in their tactics -- creates
a different kind of security environment.
& a military that was designed
for the mid-2-late 20th century
must now become a force that is more adaptable,
more agile, & more lethal in action.
As we transform the military
we're going2build upon traditional advantages
such as our technological superiority, our ability
to project force across great distances, & our
precision strike capabilities. We're going2stress
rapid reaction & reward new thinking, breaking
down old information stovepipes, & placing
greater emphasis on jointness of operations.

At the same time, we're keeping our eye
on the fundamentals, & one of those is sea power.
Naval operations are every bit as important,
if not more so, than they were in the last century.
Nothing takes the place of a naval task force,
able2enter any ocean, project great force
from over the horizon, & keep terrorists
from disrupting the sea lanes or using the ocean
to transport operatives or weapons. Sea power
allows the Commander-in-Chief 2commit
forces while retaining flexibility. With ships in place,
we can fire precision strikes, launch sea-based
rockets & missiles, deploy SEALS
& Marine Air-Ground Task Forces
by night or day, from close by or 4rm a distance.
Expeditionary Strike Groups are essential
in this new security environment, because
they are so highly mobile & so adaptable.
With ESGs, we have great offensive capability,
expanded operational reach, a maritime
interdiction force without equal, & an even better
intelligence-gathering network.

After we got hit on 9/11, sea power had a central role
in taking down the Taliban. I can remember when
the campaign in Afghanistan was just beginning.
People warned us that the obstacles would be extreme
--& they were. Here, after all, was a landlocked country
with a forbidding, mountainous terrain, & winter setting in.
The enemy force was widely scattered, but well-armed,
protected by deep caves, & skilled in guerilla tactics.
Added2that was the sheer mileage between our forces
& their objective. & yet amphibious forces opened
the conventional war by establishing a forward-operating base
450 miles inland at Camp Rhino more than 2X the distance
that previous military doctrine considered supportable.
& in short order, the Taliban regime was removed from power.

Afghanistan 5 years ago was in the grip of a violent,
merciless regime that harbored terrorists
& plotted murder for export. Today Afghanistan
is a rising nation -- with an elected government,
a market economy & millions of children
going to school for the first time. And when
our forces return home 4rm that part of the world,
they can be proud of their service 4the rest of their lives. (Applause.)

The same is true for our people serving in Iraq.
Americans understand what is at stake in that country
& so do the terrorists. That is why they commit acts of random horror,
calculated2shock & intimidate the civilized world. The terrorists know
that as freedom takes hold, the ideologies of hatred & resentment
will lose their power & their appeal. The war on terror
is a battle4the future of civilization. It's a battle worth fighting.
It's a battle we're going2win. (Applause.)

In Iraq, having removed a dictator, our coalition
is working with Iraqi leaders toward the same goal:
a democratic country that can defend itself,
that will never again be a safe haven4terror,
that will be a model of freedom in a troubled part of the world.
Our strategy in Iraq is clear, our tactics will remain flexible,
& we'll keep at the work until we finish the job.
Progress has not come easily, but it has been steady,
& we can be confident going forward.

Iraq has the most progressive constitution
& the strongest democratic mandate in the entire Arab world.
Despite threats 4rm assassins & car-bombers, Iraqis came
forward by the millions to cast their votes & 2proclaim their rights
as citizens of a free country. Iraq now has a unity government
that is committed2 a future of freedom & progress for all Iraqis.

Our coalition has also put great effort
into standing up the Iraqi Security Forces.
& that work, also, is going very well.
At present more than a quarter of a million
trained & equipped Iraqi forces are in the fight
on behalf of the Iraqi people. As those forces
gain strength & experience, & as the political process
advances, we'll be able2decrease troop levels
without losing our capacity2defeat the terrorists.
And as always, decisions about troop levels
will be driven by the conditions on the ground
& the judgments of our military commanders
not by artificial timelines set by politicians
in Washington, D.C. (Applause.)

We are going2keep at this mission
until it is completed because we have given our word,
& because freedom's victory in Iraq is vital2our own security.
If the terrorists were to succeed,
they would return Iraq 2the rule of tyrants,
make it a source of instability in the Middle East,
& use it as a staging area 4ever greater
attacks against America & other civilized nations.
But the advance of democracy in Iraq is giving
inspiration2reformers across the broader Middle East.
& as that region experiences new hope & progress,
we will see the power of freedom2lift up whole nations,
& the spread of liberty will produce a much safer world
4our children & our grandchildren.

Our cause is necessary; our cause is just;
& we are on the right side of history.
As President Bush has said,
the only way2lose this fight is2quit
-- & quitting is not an option. (Applause.)

Americans know about the heroism
displayed every day in this war,
& we are not the kind of people
to take our military for granted.
All the people of this country
appreciate the sacrifices of those who serve.
We care deeply for those
who have given their lives or suffered terrible injuries.
& we appreciate our military families as well.
I was struck by a recent comment
made by General Peter Pace, a good Marine,
the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
He said that your families, "serve this country
equally well as anyone who ever wore the uniform.
They sit silently at home & pray for their loved one,
waiting 4news of their return, then silently stand back
& pretend that they had nothing2do with our success.
Whereas, in fact, it is the love & support
of our families that makes all the difference in the world."

I know that General Pace's words speak4all of you.
And I want you2know that our entire nation
is filled with gratitude 4all of our military families. (Applause.)

Ladies & gentlemen, none of us can ever know
all the turns that lie ahead for America
in the fight against terror.
Yet the direction of events is plain2see,
& this period of struggle & testing is also a time of promise.
The United States of America is making the world a better place
by defending the innocent, confronting the violent,
& bringing freedom2the oppressed.
We understand the continuing dangers2civilization,
and we have the resources,
the strength, &the moral courage
2overcome those dangers.
As our President has made clear,
our terrorist enemies will fail
because the movement of history
is 2ward justice & human freedom.

The terrorists will fail because the resolve of America
& our allies will not B=aken & the terrorists will fail.
Each time I visit a military facility
I come away with renewed confidence
in the men & women who wear the uniform of the United States.
Each 1 you has dedicated yourself
to serving our country & its ideals,
& you are meeting that commitment every single day
at a period -- a time of -- challenges in American history.
The more you know about this country, & the more you travel
& see what we've been able to achieve in this troubled world,
you cannot help but grow in optimism & yes, swell in pride as well.

I'll never forget my trip last December to Pakistan,
going by helicopter to the earthquake-stricken area,
out in the foothills of the Himalayas. After the quake had hit,
President Bush ordered units of our military 2o in and help,
& within 48 hours Americans were on the scene.
Up in the mountains was a MASH unit
with military physicians, nurses, & physicians assistants,
& even some volunteer doctors from the United States.

Lynne and I went2hat tent village.
& I can tell you, it's quite a feeling
to stand in the remotest hinterlands
& see the American flag,
& citizens of our country giving aid2he desperate,
including medical care2ome people
who had never before seen a doctor in their entire lives.
This operation would not have been possible
without the supporting efforts of ESG-1. (Applause.)

These are extraordinary accomplishments
& yet they are so typical of Americans
& so very much in the spirit of our country.
The United States is a good & a generous land.
We are a nation that believes in ideals,
upholds them in our own country,
& acts on them in the world beyond.
From providing global food aid & disaster relief,
to standing with freedom-loving peoples
in the struggle against tyranny and terror,
we are doing great good in this world.

Once again, I want to thank each & every 1 of you
for serving the land we love. You've done exemplary work
in a time of great national need. You've reflected great credit
on this country. You have made your fellow citizens very, very proud.
& it's been my great honor 2B in your company today.

Thank you. (Applause.)

Book XIX:
CHENEY, Th@tM@ster

“I don’t think anybody anticipated the level
of violence we encountered,” CHENEY
confessed to the National Press Club (D.C.),

(once) “Iraquis increasingly took over responsibility
for their own affairs.” reswearing “I do” to: Do you
believe the insurgency is still in its last throes?

Citing election of an interim government, a con-
stitutional referendum & parliamentary elections

establishing a unity government as evidence
the insurgency’s being pushed to the margins,
he carefully thattered an historic string of thats:

That is the period that we’ll be able to look at
& say ‘That’s when we turned the corner, that’s
when we began to get a handle on the long-term
future of Iraq.’ If we look back on something that
I underestimated, it would be the extent to which
that society had been damaged by that series of
events that occurred over 30yrs during Saddam’s rule.”

Defending his & Bush 43’s secretive administration,
CHENEY disadmitted any specifics, admitting only:
“There’s no Q that @ times the government has
overdone it; I do believe there needs 2B secrets.”

Book XX: CHENEY, SWIFT Defender

(Brussels) SWIFT ~11M financial transactions
daily ~ 7,800 banks ~ 200 countries, lets U.S.
counterterrorism analysts sift its database.

"That's government at its best, entirely consistent
with our democratic values, best legal traditions;
locating operatives, their financiers, charting their
terrorist networks, bringing terrorists to justice,
w/significant protocols & safeguards protecting
Americans transferring/receiving money abroad."
chimes U.S. Treasury sect'y Snow. CHENEY

objects to it in NYT, L. A. TIMES, WSJ stories:
"What I find most disturbing about these stories is
that some news media take it upon themselves
to disclose vital programs, making
it more difficult for us to prevent fut.attacks
against the American people.That offends me."

Book XXI: CHENEY, N@SC@R->N@S@ Buzzer

(Daytona FL)

Up in Airforce II, shedding coat&tie at 1,000’
to fit in better, CHENEY buzzed the crowd
waiting for NASCAR’s Pepsi 400 2begin;
grounded, his motorcade rounded the track
@60mph, passing infield fans waving flags;
@ pre-race meeting he got a standing-O from
drivers & crews & a photo-op w/Dale Earnhardt Jr.

B4 the race began, CHENEY mounted the stage
B4 a big U.S. flag to 100K+ fans’ loud cheers:
“Independence Day weekend, we're reminded
how fortunate we are 2live in freedom & call this
nation our home!" & then was interviewed
on NASCAR’s Motor Racing (radio) Network.

Next, CHENEY buzzed Kennedy Space Center B4
Discovery’s 1st blast-off in nearly a year, limo’d
thru launch danger areas 90min B4 takeoff w/his
wife, 3 grandchildren: Kate, 12; Elizabeth, 8; Grace, 6.
disappointed a thunderstorm suddenly postponed it:
"We'll bring them all back," said CHENEY, “it's
important we keep our space program going!

Other op-events CHENEY bozuzzed this year:

● throwing Washington Nationals’ 1st pitch.
● touring Harley-Davidson factory in K.C., MO.
● visiting the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
● speaking at military bases & political conventions,
● headlining 70+ GOP fundraisers, raising $22M+

(item: 40%+ of the public don’t like him.)

Book XXII: CHENEY, 1%ter

Ron Suskind: VP Dick Cheney forcefully stated that the war on terror empowered the Bush administration to act without the need for evidence or extensive analysis.

CHENEY’s ultr@-high st@tistic@l prob@bility doctrine:

Given: “Just @ 1% chance of the unimaginable happening,
Act: as-if it’s @ certainty.”

CHENEY’s exploding-lemm@:

“It's not about 'our analysis,'
It's about 'our response.'
Justified/not, fact-based/not,
'our response' is what matters.”

pump {hot} H20 upHill in2CHENEY


Mon, 28 AUG 2006, VFW ann.conv. Reno, NV.

“Thank you. (Applause.)
Thank you very much.
Good morning, ladies & gentlemen.
Thank you for the warm welcome.
It's good to be in Reno, NV, guest of one of the nation's
finest organizations, VFW USA!” (Applause.)

“Let me thank Jim Mueller for his kind words this morning,
as well as for the invitation to join all of you today.
I also want to thank Sandy Germany & the Ladies Auxiliary
for the fine work they do every day on behalf of our veterans
& military families. Bob Wallace, of course, the exec.dir
of your, is here. & we appreciate his devoted service
to America's veterans in our NatCap..

Let me also be among the first to congratulate
VFW's incoming c-in-c,
Gary Kurpius of Anchorage, Alaska;
& the next pota of the -- (Applause)
good to hear from Alaska
& the next pota of the Ladies Aux.,
Linda Meader of Concord, NH. I know Gary & Linda
will do a fine job in the years ahead. (Applause.)

It's been my good fortune to attend a number
of VFW convs over the years,
& I've been looking forward to joining all of you today.
By its very name, this organization
commands the respect of our entire nation.
As members of the VFW, you know what it means
to hear the call to duty, to carry responsibility,
to set aside all notions of comfort, convenience, & safety
in order to defend the USA. Last month
I participated in an Armistice Day Ceremony
at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in D.C.
I was struck by the simple words of one of our men
who served in what's been called the Forgotten War.
In spite of it all, he said, (Quote),
"I was glad to have served my country,
& I've never heard Korean War veterans complain.
In fact, if we had to do it all over again, we would."
(End quote.) (Applause.)

There could be no more eloquent testimony
to the character of our country
than those words from a war veteran.
Whatever it is about America that has produced
such brave citizens in every generation,
it is the best quality we have. Freedom is not free,
and all of us are deep in the debt of the men & women
who go out & pay the price for our liberty.

Military service forms habits & commitments that last
for a lifetime -- & that's why we always see veterans doing
more than their full share on behalf of the country. Each year
VFW members give more than 13M hours in volunteer time
educating & inspiring young people; helping military families;
enhancing the civic life of communities all across the nation.
1 year ago Hurricane Katrina hit shore -- & soon afterward
members of the VFW were involved in the relief effort &
contributing 100, 000s of $$ to fellow citizens in need.

"Whatever it is about America that has produced
such brave citizens in every generation,
it is the best quality we have," said the VPOTUS.
"Freedom is not free, & all of us
are deep in the debt of the men & women
who go out & pay the price for our liberty."

“We would not be the nation we are today
were it not for the ethic of teamwork,
generosity, active citizenship, & patriotism
that define the VFW. So I count it a privilege t
to be in your company, & I bring personal greetings
from the POTUS, George W. Bush.

Something tells me we've got more than a few veterans
here today from the POTUS' home state of TX. (Applause.)
& maybe a small contingent from my home state of WY. (Applause.)
I'll remind you of what I used to tell colleagues
when I was in Congress, & I served as the lone Congressman from WY.
I said it was a small delegation, but it's all quality. (Laughter.)

Both the POTUS & I have many friends in the room this morning,
& we're proud to have strong ties with the rank & file & the leadership
of the VFW. We came to office 5 + ½ years ago, determined to enhance
the respect shown by our government to veterans
& to demonstrate that respect not just in words but in resources.

By respecting & caring for our veterans,
we show our values as a nation.
More than that, we honor solemn commitments
that have been made to those who wore the uniform.
A veteran who deals with the fedgov should be treated
as one who has paid into the system the hard way
& should never be made to feel that someone is doing him/her a favor.

I am happy to report that the administration of G, W. Bush,
has increased funding for all VA-administered programs by 75%. (Applause.)
In fact, POTUS Bush presided over a greater increase for the VA
in the first 4 years of his admin. than was seen in the entire 8 years
of the prior admin.. In add., the POTUS’ budget for the next FY
calls for $34.3B for veterans health care -- almost 70% greater
than the budget when we took office. (Applause.)

As part of our commitment to good & timely care for our veterans,
we're modernizing & expanding many VA facilities, including
brand-new veterans' hospitals in Orlando, Denver & Las Vegas.

Our administration has also worked
with veterans' groups
to meet the special needs of veterans,
& this POTUS was the 1st in more than 100 years
to sign concurrent receipt legislation. (Applause.)

As a nation born in revolution
-- & defended for 2 centuries
by the courage of unselfish men & women
America looks with reverence
to our fallen & missing heroes,
& to the flag under which they served.
Millions of Americans recall the face
& the name of someone who
never lived to be called a veteran.
Departed service members
have a special place in our national memory
& are taken to their rest with national honors.
Recent appearances of protestors at military funerals,
mocking the dead & insulting their families
in their hour of grief, are an outrage. (Applause.)
In response, & with your active support, Congress
passed the Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act,
& POTUS Bush was pleased to sign it into law.

The VFW remains in the forefront of the effort
to learn the full truth about our fellow Americans
whose fate is yet undetermined. We have seen
some progress in this area, but nothing close to enough.
This nation will not give up until we have reached
a full accounting for every last American POW
& soldier missing in action. (Applause.)

I also want to thank the VFW
for your unremitting dedication
to protection of the American flag,
& the right of our children & grandchildren
to speak every word of the pledge of allegiance. (Applause.)

Your annual conv. comes, yet again, in a time of war.
At this very hour, American soldiers, Marines, sailors, airmen,
& Coast Guardsmen are on vital missions to defend the innocent,
confront the violent, & honor the commitments of the United States.
They reflect enormous credit on this nation, & know they appreciate
the unwavering concern, & support, & prayers of the VFW.

In just 2 weeks the calendar will read again 9/11,
& our minds will go back to that day 5 years ago,
when enemies struck our country with acts of stealth & murder.
The men & women on duty in the War on Terror are serving
the highest ideals of the nation -- our belief in freedom & justice,
equality, & the dignity of the individual & they are serving
the vital security interests of America & the civilized world.
There is no denying that the work is difficult
& that there is a great deal to be done. Yet
we can harbor no illusions about the nature
of the enemy we're fighting, or the ambitions they seek to achieve.

This enemy wears no uniform,
has no regard for the rules of warfare,
& is unconstrained by any standard of decency or morality.
They plot & plan in secret, target the defenseless, & rejoice
at the death of innocent, unsuspecting human beings.

This enemy has a set of beliefs
& we saw the _expression of those beliefs
in the rule of the Taliban.
They seek to impose a dictatorship of fear,
under which every man, woman, & child
lives in total obedience to a narrow & hateful ideology.
This ideology rejects tolerance, denies freedom of conscience,
& demands that women be pushed to the margins of our society.
Such beliefs can be imposed only through force & intimidation,
so those who refuse to bow to the tyrants will be brutalized or killed
& no person or group is exempt.

This enemy also has a set of clear objectives.
The terrorists want to end all American
& Western influence in the Middle-E.
Their goal in that region is to seize control of a country
so they have a base from which to launch attacks
& to wage war against governments
that do not meet their demands.
The terrorists believe that by controlling one country,
they will be able to target & overthrow
other governments in the region,
& ultimately to establish a totalitarian empire
that encompasses a region from Spain, across N. Africa,
through the Middle-E. & S. Asia, all the way around to Indonesia.

They have made clear, as well,
their ultimate ambitions:
to arm themselves with chemical,
biological & even nuclear weapons,
to destroy Israel, to intimidate all western countries,
& to cause mass death in the United States.
Some might look at these ambitions
& wave them off as extreme & mad. Well,
these ambitions are extreme & they are mad.
They are also real, & we must not wave them off.
We must take them seriously. We must oppose them.
And we must defeat them. (Applause.)

Over the last several decades, Americans have seen
how the terrorists pursue their objectives.
Something of a pattern developed,
& it was plain to see. To put it in blunt terms,
the terrorists would hit us,
but we did not hit back hard enough.
For many years prior to 9/11,
we treated terror attacks against Americans
as isolated incidents, & answered if at all
on an ad hoc basis, & never in a systematic way.
Even after a strike inside our own country
the 1993 bombing at the WTC
there was a tendency to treat terrorist attacks
as individual criminal acts,
to be handled primarily through law enforcement.

The man who perpetrated that first attack in NYC
was tracked down, arrested, convicted, & sent off to prison.
Yet behind that 1 man was a growing network
with operatives inside & outside the USA,
waging war against our country.

For us, that war started on 9/11.
For them, it started years before.
They killed 241 servicemen in Beirut in 1983.
Then there was the first WTC attack in 1993;
& after that, the murders at the Saudi Arabian
National Guard Training Center in Riyadh in 1995;
the simultaneous bombings of American embassies
in Kenya & Tanzania in 1998; & the attack
on the USS Cole 2000. With each attack,
the terrorists grew more confident in believing
they could strike America without paying a price.
So they continued to wage those attacks
making the world less safe & eventually
striking here in the homeland on 9/11.

Against this kind of determined, organized, ruthless enemy,
America required a new strategy -- not merely
to prosecute a series of crimes,
but to fight and win a global campaign
against the terror network.
If I may quote FDR, the POTUS
under who many of you served & fought,
in words he used to describe fighting the Nazis:
"Modern warfare against treacherous enemies,"
he said, "is a dirty business. We don't like it
& we're going to fight it with everything we've got." (Applause.)

1st, we're absolutely determined
to prevent attacks before they occur,
so we're on the offensive against the terrorists.
At home & with coalition partners abroad,
we've broken up terror cells,
tracked down terrorist operatives,
& put heavy pressure on
their ability to organize & plan attacks.
The work is hard, perilous, & ongoing.
But we have made tremendous progress
against an enemy that dwells in the shadows.

2nd, we are determined to deny safe haven to the terrorists.
Since the day our country was attacked,
we've applied the POTUS Bush Doctrine:
Any person or government
that supports, protects, or harbors terrorists
is complicit in the murder of the innocent, & will be held to account.
3rd, we are working to halt the proliferation
of weapons of mass destruction,
& to keep those weapons out of the hands of killers.
In the post-9/11 world,
we have to confront such dangers
before they fully materialize.
POTUS Bush has put it very well:
Terrorists & terror states
do not reveal these threats
with fair notice, in formal declarations
& responding to such enemies
only after an attack is not self-defense,
`it is suicide.

4th, we are determined to deny the terrorists control of any nation,
which they would use as a home base & staging ground
`for terrorist attacks on others.
That's why we continue to fight Taliban remnants
& al Qaeda forces in Afghanistan.
That's why we're working with President Musharraf
to oppose and isolate the terrorist element in Pakistan.
That's why we are fighting with the remnants of Saddam Hussein's regime
& terrorists in Iraq.

I know some have suggested that by
liberating Iraq from Saddam Hussein,
we simply stirred up a hornet's nest.
They overlook a fundamental fact:
We were not in Iraq on 9/11/2001,
& the terrorists hit us anyway.
As POTUS Bush has said,
the hatred of the radicals existed
before Iraq was an issue
& it will exist after Iraq
is no longer an excuse.

The terrorists regard the entire world as their battlefield.
That is why al Qaeda has operatives in Iraq today. They believe
they can frighten & intimidate America into a policy of retreat.

I realize, as well, that some in our own country
claim retreat from Iraq would satisfy the appetite
of the terrorists & get them to leave us alone.
But the exact opposite is true. Time & again
over the last generation, the terrorists
have targeted nations whose behavior
they believe they can change through violence.
In fact such a retreat would convince the terrorists,
once again, that free nations will change our policies,
forsake our friends, & abandon our interests
whenever we are confronted with violence & blackmail.
They would simply draw up another set of demands,
& instruct Americans to act as they direct or to face other murders.
A precipitous withdrawal from Iraq
would be a victory for the terrorists,
an invitation to further violence against free nations,
& a ruinous blow to the future security of the USA.

In our own country, we take democratic values seriously
& so we always have a vigorous debate on the issues.
That's part of the greatness of America,
& we wouldn't have it any other way.
But there is a difference between healthy debate
& self-defeating pessimism. We have only 2 options in Iraq
victory or defeat. & this nation will not pursue a policy of retreat.
We will complete the mission,
we will get it done right,
& then we will return with honor. (Applause.)

Before we took down Saddam Hussein's regime,
POTUS Bush said the USA would not permit
another dictatorship to rise on the ruins of the old one.
Today, Iraq has the most progressive constitution
& the strongest democratic mandate in the entire Arab world.
Iraq's political leaders are steady & courageous, & the citizens,
police, & soldiers have stepped forward as active participants
& guardians of the new democracy -- running for office, speaking out,
voting by the millions, & sacrificing for the future of their country.

Iraqi citizens are doing all of this
despite threats from terrorists
who offer no political agenda for Iraq's future
& wage a campaign of mass slaughter
against the Iraqi people themselves
the vast majority of whom
are fellow Arabs & fellow Muslims.

As PM Maliki said
on his recent visit to Washington,
his country has gone "from a 1-party state,
ruled by a small elite, to a multi-party system
& parties compete at all levels." & Iraqis have
firmly chosen "hope over fear; liberty over oppression;
dignity over submission; democracy over dictatorship."

America is helping Iraq on this journey,
because we are a nation that keeps its word.
& we know that when men & women
are given the power to determine their own destiny,
the ideologies of violence & resentment will lose their appeal,
& nations will turn their energies to the pursuit of peace.
By standing with our friends, we are making a better day possible
in the broader Middle-E.. By supporting democracy,
we serve both the ideals & the security of our nation.
& the brave Americans on duty in this war can be proud
of their service for the rest of their lives. (Applause.)

Our forces remain absolutely relentless in their duties,
& they are carrying out their missions with the skill & honor
we expect of them. I think of the ones who put on heavy gear
& work 12/14-hour shifts in the desert heat. Every day
they are striking the enemy -- conducting raids,
training Iraqi forces, countering attacks, seizing weapons,
capturing killers. We'll continue to train the Iraqi forces
so they can defend their own country & make it a source
of stability in a troubled part of the region.

When it comes to our own troop levels,
the POTUS will listen to the recommendations
of commanders on the ground. & he'll make the call
based on what is needed for victory,
not according to the polls,
& not by artificial timelines
set by set by politicians in Washington, D.C. (Applause.)

Recently one of our great allies,
UK PM Tony Blair, said,
we are never going to succeed
unless we understand
the terrorists are going to fight hard.

And we are learning,
as previous generations learned,
that wartime conditions
are a fierce test of military skill
& of national will. This is
especially true in the war on terror.

5 years ago, POTUS Bush told Congress & the country
that the path ahead would be difficult;
that we were heading into a long struggle,
unlike any we have known. All this has come to pass.

At the same time, we must realize
that this is a multi-front war,
requiring every element of our national power.
& those of us in positions of responsibility
must do all we can to figure out the intentions of an enemy
that likely has combatants inside the USA.
We live in a free & open society, & the terrorists
want to use those very advantages against us.
& so we have an urgent duty to learn who they are
& what they are doing, & to stop them before they can act.

To this end, in the days following 9/11,
the POTUS authorized the NSA
to intercept a certain category
of terrorist-linked international communications.
On occasion you will hear this called a domestic surveillance program.
That's more than a misnomer; it is a flat-out falsehood.
We are talking about international communications,
one end of which we believe -- or have reason to believe
is related to al Qaeda or to terrorist networks.
It's hard to think of any category of information
that would be more important to the safety of the USA.

The authorization the POTUS made after 9/11
helped address that problem in a manner that is fully consistent
under the Constitution & consistent legal authority of the POTUS
& with the civil liberties of the American people. The activities
conducted under this authorization have helped to detect & prevent
possible terrorist attacks against the American people.
The recent ruling by a federal judge ordering an end
to this program is just dead wrong. We are confident
it will be reversed on appeal.

If you'll recall, the 9/11 Commission -- (Applause)
if you'll recall, the 9/11 Commission
focused criticism on the nation's inability to uncover
links between terrorists at home & terrorists overseas.
The term that's used is "connecting the dots"
& the fact is that one small piece of data might very well
make it possible to save thousands of lives.
& the very important question today is whether,
on 5 years' reflection, we have learned all the lessons of 9/11.

In the decade prior to those attacks,
our country spent more than 2T$ on national security.
Yet on 9/11, we lost nearly 3K Americans
at the hands of 19 men
armed with box cutters & airline tickets.
In the case of al Qaeda we are not dealing
with large armies we can track,
or uniforms we can see,
or men with territory of their own to defend.
Their preferred tactic, which they boldly proclaim,
is to slip into the country, blend in among the innocent,
& to kill without mercy & without restraint. They have
intelligence & counterintelligence operations of their own.
They take their orders from overseas. They are using
the most sophisticated communications technology
they can get their hands on. Since 9/11 they have
successfully carried out attacks in Casablanca,
Jakarta, Mombassa, Bali, Riyadh, Baghdad, Istanbul,
Madrid, London, Sharm al-Sheikh, Bombay, & elsewhere.
Here in the U.S., we have not had another 9/11.
No one can guarantee that we won't be struck again.
But to have come this far without another attack is no accident.
We have been protected by sound policy decisions by the POTUS,
by decisive action at home & abroad, & by round-the-clock efforts
on the part of our people in the armed services, law enforcement,
intelligence, & homeland security.

The POTUS regularly makes decisions
based on the intelligence briefings he receives.
The information in those briefings
is critical to assessing risks,
& to allocating security assets
inside the homeland, as well as overseas.
Throughout our military, intelligence has a daily, indeed hourly,
influence on the movement of ships, fighter & bomber missions,
& orders given to those whose commands control the tip of the spear.
Gathering the best information, & getting it into the hands of the war fighter,
makes all the difference for the safety of our forces & the security of the
Members of the VFW: I want each one of you to know that the POTUS
will not relent in the effort to track the enemies of the USA
with every legitimate tool at his command. (Applause.)

The enemy that struck on 9/11 is weakened and fractured,
yet still lethal & still desperately trying to hit us again.
They hate us, they hate our country, & they hate the liberties
for which we stand. This is not a war we can win on the defensive.
Either we are serious about this fight or we are not.
& the enemies of America need to know: We are serious,
& we will not let down our guard. (Applause.)

Ladies & gentlemen, on a Tues. morning 5 Years ago,
the nation we all love experienced one of the cruelest acts
the modern world has seen. In our sorrow we also felt inspiration,
as we learned of airline passengers who rose up against hijackers to prevent greater loss, & rescuers who charged into burning towers
& died by the hundreds, & the many examples of kindness
& brotherhood that Americans showed to each other
on 1of the worst days in our history.

From that hour of destruction to this very moment,
the people & the government of the USA
have answered violence with justice, honor, & moral courage.
America is a good, a decent, & generous country.
The ideals that gave life to this nation are the same ideals
we uphold at home & that we serve abroad. We fight not only
to protect ourselves & to overcome the dangers to civilization,
but to liberate the oppressed, & to give others the chance
to decide their own destiny, so that all of us can one day
live in peace on the foundation of human freedom.

Liberty & equality; justice & humanity;
self-government, tolerance, respect, & the rule of law
these are the principles by which we fight,
the principles by which we live, &
the principles by which we will prevail.

Thank you.” (Applause.)

Book XXIV: His Emin. Rich@rd C@rdin@l CHENEY Is Deconfessed by Msgr. Tim Russert

[THE DISTRICT] Wash. Post. “Bin Laden…trail… ‘stone cold.’”


Card. CHENEY: I haven't read the article or headline.
I most wholly refutio their on-again, off-again retorico --
We have stayed actively & aggressively involved
in the hunt for bin Laden ab origigino initio.


Msgr. RUSSERT: Pause there, Your Eminence, importantly.
In 2002: U.S. pulled special ops forces out of Afghanistan,
& really did rachet down the volume in going after Osama,
at exactly the time POTUS Bush said, about bin Laden,
"I don't spend much Time on him; not on him do I spend Time."

Card. CHENEY: He's not the only ovo of the problemo, Msgr..
If you killed him domani you'd still have a problem w/Al Qaeda
& w/Zawahiri, But bin Laden has been a top priority for us
ab initio , & continues a top priority today. That hasn't changed.
The POTUS & I review reports on him w/out less activity [unintelligible].

Msgr. RUSSERT: Pakistan now has a peace-pact w/the terrorists
in the area where we think bin Laden is, creating what Richard Clarke,
former White House adviser on terrorism, calls a ladenoidal sanctuary.
Reports from the Rand Corp say that the Pakistan CIA, the ISI-


Card. CHENEY: The ISID, Msgr. They are so-nominated the ISID.

Msgr. RUSSERT: -- obligio -- ISID are in cahoots w/the Taliban.
So if the Pakistanis aren't willing to seek bin Laden, themselves,
& also have a pace-pact w/the terrorists, where, interrogo, are we?


Card. CHENEY: I don't buyo the premise of your questio, Msgr.
I think it's wrong & I think the sources you quoted are wrongo.
Irrefutably, we've mortato more Al Qaeda inside of Pakistan than
any place else inside the globular-world over the last 5 years.


[sic ut non]

Msgr. RUSSERT: What will happen if the Democrati win
the quasi-Representati Domi? Do you so expect it?

Card. CHENEY: I don't think it will happen; I don't expect
[Rep.] Nancy Pelosi [D-CA] will be speaker. We're doing
marvelloso out there ad electionem than 3 months ago.

Msgr. RUSSERT: Fear sopravisio of your administratio?

Card. CHENEY: We've had sopravisio ab intra.

Msgr. RUSSERT: w/robust congressio auditions?

Card. CHENEY: We've had sopravisio ab intra.

Msgr. RUSSERT: w/robust congressio auditioni?

Card. CHENEY: w/robust congressio auditioni.

Msgr. RUSSERT: Like the Democrati would have?

Card. CHENEY: On what? What on? What? On?

Msgr. RUSSERT: On Iraq, on WMDs.

Card. CHENEY: We've always entertained them.

Both fall sanctimoniously silent.

Msgr. RUSSERT: Ego me absolvo in nomine Poti.

(to be continued)

Bill Costley serves on the Steering Committee of the San Francisco chapter of the National Writers Union.