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Morning Report 1/11/06 Whose Vault Is It?

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Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal solidify power at World Bank, Pentagon

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Kevin Kellems/World Bank
Bull from Wolfowitz and Cheney: Former Cheney flack Kevin Kellems snapped this photo last October of Chinese farmer Zhao Huimei showing Wolfie her cattle farm.

You’d think they had won the Iraq war the way the Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal and its minions are dividing the Earth’s spoils.

At the world’s No. 1 purveyor of arms and spilled blood (the Pentagon), Don Rumsfeld has quietly shuffled the order of succession, replacing the secretaries of the military services with such creepy civilians as Stephen Cambone.

Kellems-mug-98-wide.jpgMeanwhile, at the planet’s No. 1 source of development finance, the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz has installed former Dick Cheney flack Kevin Kellems in yet another absurdly powerful job. A sweet setup: The World Bank doles out money to “developing countries” only if they play along. The Pentagon does the same with arms.

It’s the long arm of Cheney that concerns many of the World Bank’s 10,000 employees, quite a few of whom are altruistic about helping spread the earth’s wealth instead of just letting the West plunder resource-rich continents. Wolfie’s already done a lot of trust-busting inside the bank.

Now Kellems, already a “senior advisor” to Wolfowitz, as I previously noted, is in line to become “director of strategy” at the bank’s External Affairs Department.

Insiders tell me that Wolfowitz tried to make Kellems (whom he took to the bank along with Boeing-scandal figure Robin Cleveland) the vice president for external affairs, but the bank’s board rebelled at that idea. Instead, Wolfowitz moved him in anyway, under VP Ian Goldin, who will be a figurehead.

The word is that Kellems will get the salary of a VP, about $250,000, still a little under Wolfie’s own $300,000. In both cases, insiders note, the World Bank pays for their taxes.

What a racket! And don’t forget: Wolfie’s girlfriend, Shaha Ali Riza, is still on the World Bank payroll even though she’s now working at the State Department with Cheney’s non-lez daughter Liz Cheney as chief flacks of a Middle East agitprop campaign.

Over at the Pentagon, figurehead George W. Bush — the Ian Goldin of the White House — made a recess appointment of cabal handyman Gordon England (the former Navy secretary) as the new deputy secretary of defense.

England, who has been a key player in the handling of Guantánamo prisoners (Cambone was a key player in their rough handling), thus gets to escape grilling by the Senate during a confirmation hearing. Coupled with the recent mysterious shuffling of Pentagon succession, this solidifies the Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal’s grip on the military. As a State Department release notes:

    Recent press reports indicate that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld still has his deputy designated to succeed him should he be incapacitated for any reason. However, he has now designated Stephen Cambone, undersecretary of defense for intelligence to be third in line, and then Under Secretary for Policy Eric Edelman, followed by Kenneth Krieg, undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics. Previously the line of succession went from deputy secretary to the Army, Air Force and then Navy secretary.

This is the kind of maneuvering that, in other countries, might signal an impending coup.

Next thing you know, the cabal will be sending canaries like me and other nattering nabobs down into Wilbur Ross‘s unsafe Sago mine to take over for the dozen who died there.