VP Cheney makes quick trip to Utah to address secretive conservative policy group
By Nathan C. Gonzalez
The Salt Lake Tribune
Dick Cheney has departed Salt Lake City today after making a quick speech before a super-secret conservative policy group.
Air Force 2, a blue-and-white 757, took off about 2 p.m. - just about two hours after he landed. A small group of dignitaries greeted Cheney upon his arrival, including Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. and family members.
Cheney made no public appearances.
The purpose of the trip - which is privately funded - was to speak to the Council for National Policy, a private group that permitted no press coverage. The four-day event that began Thursday is being held at a downtown Salt Lake City Hotel.
The Council's self-described mission is to promote "a free-enterprise system, a strong national defense and support for traditional Western values."
The organization -- made up of few hundred powerful conservative activists -- holds confidential meetings and members are advised not to use the name of the group in communications, according to a New York Times profile of the group.
This from the Deseret News, as well:
Cheney addresses Salt Lake City gathering
By Nicole Warburton
Deseret Morning News
Published: Sept. 28, 2007
Vice President Dick Cheney spoke about the war in Iraq this afternoon during a brief visit to the Council for National Policy, said those who heard his speech.
News media were not allowed to observe the event, which was held in the Imperial Ballroom at the Grand America Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney also spoke to members of the Council for National Policy, which is described as a secretive conservative networking group.
Utah Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert said the vice president's speech was given to a "very friendly audience" of maybe 300 to 400 people.
"He talked about how it is not an option to lose," Herbert said about Cheney's remarks on the war.
Herbert is not a member of the Council for National Policy, but has been invited to speak Saturday during the group's four-day conference here. Former Utah lawmaker LaVar Christensen declined to comment on the vice president's remarks but said Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, gave a speech that touched on family and other conservative values.
"We don't talk about the specifics outside, but in general, regarding the governor, the speech was sincere and substantive ... it was from the heart," Christensen said.
Loud applause could be heard from the ballroom both during and after the vice president's speech and Romney's speech. Romney was approached by news media as he entered the event, but declined comment.
As for Cheney, he was greeted at Salt Lake City International Airport by Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., first lady Mary Kaye Huntsman, Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert and other dignitaries before being whisked away in a car for his speech downtown.
The vice president had no public appearances. Cheney was last in Utah in April to deliver the commencement speech at Brigham Young University in Provo.
Here and here is some information on the 'Council for National Policy.'
This is a website maintained by the group itself.