30 August 2009

Utterly Pathetic.

Our former Vice President for Torture, Dick Cheney, maintains a steady pace on his attempts to derail and de-legitimize any investigation into possible (ha!) criminal activity under his the Bush administration. From a purely selfish standpoint, I can't say I blame him. If you were one of the major players -- in fact probably more culpable than the President himself -- in crafting policies in direct violation of established laws, both domestic and international, and you suddenly found yourself out of power, you might be more than a bit apprehensive about the extent of your criminality finding the light of day.

So his latest charge (really just a refrain he's been humming for several months now, only this time he's enunciating it a bit more clearly) is that "the process is political." Well, to an extent everything is political. His decision while a U.S. Representative in the 1980's to side with the Apartheid regime in South Africa was a political decision. His decision to reject a national holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., was a political decision (in 1978 he rejected it; in 1983 he voted for it -- so some measure of growth). So sure, on one level, of course it's political, because -- duh -- we're talking about our government.

However, on another level, we're talking about accusations -- and some significant proof even from the culprits themselves -- that some very illegal and very un-American (if "American" is meant to indicate adherence to the U.S. Constitution) activities were pursued under the former administration. Here's Cheney:
He criticized Obama for allowing a review considering the president previously said that CIA operatives involved in the interrogations would not be prosecuted. "I think he's trying to duck responsibility for what's going on here, and I think it's wrong," Cheney said.
What exactly is Obama ducking responsibility for? Obama wasn't the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania when these crimes allegedly occurred. It's fairly easy to tell that Cheney's trying to employ a classic bait-and-switch, in which he implies the target of the investigation is CIA operatives, when it should be apparent to anyone with a pulse that the real criminals are a bit further up the torture food chain, like maybe, I don't know, the VP himself. That way it's Obama who looks bad for going back on a promise, and not Cheney who looks bad for advocating torture.

However, my favorite Cheney argument against investigating his alleged criminal activity is this one:
"The fact of the matter is the Justice Department reviewed all those allegations several years ago," Cheney said. "They looked at this question of whether or not somebody had an electric drill in an interrogation session. It was never used on the individual -- or that they had brought in a weapon, never used on the individual."
So the Bush Administration Justice Department reviewed whether or not the Bush Administration had violated the law. I certainly see how that works, because I served on a grand jury once, and if the defendant said he or she was innocent, we naturally took his or her word for it, and voted not to bring charges.


jreed724 said...

I'm not so sure about what to think of this...torture is not my think, but sometimes it's required to get the answers from the Enemy.

cs said...

Or, as John McCain says, to get "an answer." Not necessarily the right one...

However, regardless of the accuracy or lack thereof of answers gained through torture, the tactic itself is something that we as a nation like to pretend we're above -- we like to imagine ourselves as somehow a bit nobler -- and that we're willing to take the long way and the hard way to remain that way.

Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Thank you, Dick Cheney, for saving the United States of America. But seriously, folks….

It sure is fun watching poor old Dick Cheney stumbling all over the right wing airwaves, desperately trying to poison the jury pool and dodge a VERY long stretch in a federal prison. I only saw clips of his “interview” with Chris Wallace on FOX Noise on Sunday. Someone described it as a starry-eyed teenage girl interviewing one of the Jonas brothers.

It sure is funny observing the meltdown of Dick and Liz (Cheney – not Burton and Taylor). The trillion dollar hammer is about to hit the fan. They’re like cornered rats. Oh, man! I’m lovin’ this!

Don’t take your eye off the Cheneys. For your best entertainment bargain, these two are the show that should not be missed. We’re talking essential viewing here!


Tom Degan, Goshen, NY