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?"