25 June 2007

Satan plans to bring him in as an outside consultant to "professionalize" eternal damnation.

So on the heels of Dick Cheney trying to claim that his office, the office of the Vice President, isn't actually really you know for certain a complete and real part of the executive branch of government (seriously: can you believe that? Talk about an absolute misuse of poststructural uncertainties of language), the Post publishes this series indicating that Cheney not only appears to be part of the executive branch, but also seems to be directing it. Remember all those jokes about Bush being a ventriloquist's dummy on Cheney's lap? The more apparently true they are, the less funny they become. We have a situation in which the Vice President drives policy and the President -- who at one point claimed he was "the decider" -- abdicates responsibility in the face of Cheney's snarl. "I'm the decider, see, and what I've decided is that Dick here calls the shots. If you need me for a signature or something, I'll just be passed out on that sofa over there."

Think in terms of lives ended, villages destroyed, and nations destabilized (don't even factor in millions made for multinationals controlled either by the individual or his friends), and try to come up with another living person who is in fact more evil in his actions than this man. While I'm certain that some people, given the chance, would exercise power more brutally than Cheney has done, Cheney understands that to keep power and wealth intact he must act with some restraint. However, more and more he's leaving that restraint behind, arguing forcefully for an Imperial Presidency in which the highest law of the land is not the Constitution, but the President's will, and in which the government is not ultimately answerable to the people of this nation.

In general, it's true that history is written by the victors, and so Cheney has been more or less protected as a functionary of the most powerful nation on Earth, a nation that routinely blocks criticism of its own human rights abuses in the same international bodies that it attempts to use to pass judgement on other regimes. However, how would Cheney's forceful advocacy of torture look through the histories told by the tortured? While the Post pussyfoot's around Cheney's criminal activities, it's not too hard to read between the lines:
No longer was the vice president focused on procedural rights, such as access to lawyers and courts. The subject now was more elemental: How much suffering could
U.S. personnel inflict on an enemy to make him talk? Cheney's lawyer feared that future prosecutors, with motives "difficult to predict," might bring criminal charges against interrogators or Bush administration officials.

In other words, Cheney advocated a limited definition of torture, one that insisted on redefining several activities and misreading the Geneva Conventions, while at the same time he looked for ways to protect those he would order to commit war crimes from investigations into their proposed war crimes. Except that he's concerned about circumventing or rewriting the laws to "legitimize" his psychopathic policies, Cheney proves himself worthy of the select company of torturers like Pinochet and Hussein, both dictators who enjoyed healthy support, both moral and material, from administrations in which Cheney served.

The question for those in the United States with a conscience is "how do we bring a murderous thug, even a homegrown one who prefers a three piece suit, to justice?"


Momentary Academic said...

This series in the paper makes me nauseated. Seriously. Yikes.

Reya Mellicker said...

You are my very favorite political blogger. Thank you!