I urge you to take the time to read The Undertaker’s Tally, by Roger Morris. Morris was a former National Security Council staffer under Johnson and Nixon; he quit over Nixon’s insane invasion of Cambodia.
His two-part series describes in devastating detail how two mutually-reinforcing toxic elements — Rumsfeld and Cheney — entered the political bloodstream of America as young men and finally took over the White House.
In the excerpt below Gerald Ford is president. Donald Rumsfeld is his secretary of defense. Dick Cheney is Ford’s chief of staff. They are laying the foundation for Iran’s nuclear program which, thirty years later, Cheney will use to spread his war into Iran just as Nixon spread his into Cambodia and Laos:
At the same time, Rumsfeld avidly stepped up ongoing U.S. arms shipments to the Shah of Iran’s corrupt, U.S.-installed oligarchic tyranny — its torture-ready SAVAK secret police intimately allied with the Mossad, the CIA and the DIA. In 1976, Rumsfeld also pressed the sale to the waning Shah of up to eight nuclear reactors with fuel and lasers capable of enriching uranium to weapons grade levels.
Ford was prudently uneasy at first, but relented under unanimous pressure from his men. Cheney backed Rumsfeld from the start in urging an Iranian nuclear capability; and, in this at least, they were joined by their arch-rival Kissinger, ever solicitous of his admirer the Shah, ever oblivious to internal Islamic politics — he himself primed by an obscure but vocal thirty-three-year-old State Department aide named Paul Wolfowitz.