As Salon.com is reporting, in October, Lawrence Wilkerson, the lifelong Republican and miliary man who was Chief of Staff under Sec. of State Colin Powell, has publicly stated that the White House is an anti-democratic "cabal" led by Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. "Those people are not conservatives. I'm a conservative. Those people are radicals," he said at the Univ. of Maryland recently.
As Salon.com summarized, Wilkerson suggested that he and Powell "were duped by the case for war forged inside the Pentagon and CIA under the close watch of Cheney and his top aides," but came forward main because of "the use of American forces to torture prisoners in the war that it launched."
Wilkerson's a retired Army colonel who repeatedly saw heavy combat in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot, attended the elite Airborne and Ranger schools, earned degrees in international relations and national-security studies, taught at the Naval War College, and served as acting director of the Marine Corps War College. As if those credentials didn't make him worth listening to, Sec. of Defense Rumsfeld referred to Wilkerson's claims as "ridiculous"--the ultimate endorsement, to be sure.
Today, Wilkerson continues to see an administration that punishes dissent, pushes a radical reinterpretation of the Constitution, and exploits executive power.... "I can tell you that 9/11 made [Cheney] a paranoid, to the extent where I'm not sure his exercise of power carries with it reason."
[Wilderson] said the administration has played the fear card with lawmakers by suggesting that if the United States gets hit again, it will be their fault unless they back such policies as warrantless spying on Americans and the brutal interrogation of prisoners.
Such interrogation led Wilkerson to cite Aharon Barak, the chief of the Israeli Supreme Court, which ruled against the torture of prisoners in 1999. "This is the destiny of a democracy, as not all means are acceptable to it, and not all practices employed by its enemies are open before it," Barak wrote in the decision. "Although a democracy must often fight with one hand tied behind its back, it nonetheless has the upper hand."
Losing that upper hand, Wilkerson said, "is a very dangerous thing."