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Thread: How scared is Dick Cheney?

  1. #1
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    Question How scared is Dick Cheney?

    From The Sunday Times

    March 29, 2009
    Scared Cheney puts his head in the noose


    The former vice-president fears being held to account on torture and is lashing out

    Andrew Sullivan

    Barack Obama’s most underrated talent is his ability to get his enemies to self-destruct. It takes a lot less energy than defeating them directly, and helps maintain Obama’s largely false patina of apolitical niceness.

    Obama is about as far from apolitical as you can get; and while he is a decent fellow, he is also a lethal Chicago pol. His greatest achievement in this respect was the total implosion of Bill Clinton around this time last year: Hillary was next. Then came John McCain, merrily strapping on the suicide bomb of Sarah Palin. With the fate of all these formidable figures impossible to miss, one has to wonder what possessed Dick Cheney, the former vice-presi-dent, to come lumbering out twice in the first 50 days of the Obama administration to blast the new guy on national television.

    Growling and sneering, Cheney accused the new president of actively endangering the lives of Americans by ending the detention and interrogation programmes of the last administration, and vowing to close Guantanamo Bay. It’s hard to overstate how unseemly and unusual this was.

    It is fine for a former vice-president to criticise his successor in due course. But there is a decorum that allows for a new president not to be immediately undermined by his predecessor. To be accused of what amounts to treason – a willingness to endanger the lives of Americans – is simply unheard of.

    Former president George W Bush himself declined any such criticism. He told a Canadian audience: “I’m not going to spend my time criticising [Obama]. There are plenty of critics in the arena. He deserves my silence.” Last week Condi Rice echoed the same theme. “My view is, we got to do it our way,” she said. “We did our best. We did some things well, some things not so well. Now they get their chance. And I agree with the president; we owe them our loyalty and our silence while they do it.”

    Cheney’s critique of Obama’s policies was also inaccurate. He claimed the new administration had abandoned the concept of a war on terror and returned to a pre9/11 law enforcement paradigm. But the noticeable thing about the new administration has been its retention of certain aspects of the terror war that are clearly about war and not law enforcement.

    It has not abandoned rendition, while placing it under the restrictions followed by the Clinton administration; it has insisted it has the right to detain terror suspects under the laws of war, if the suspects are deemed a direct threat to security; it has increased troop levels in Afghanistan; it has decided to keep the US presence in Iraq as high as possible for the bulk of this year.

    Some critics on the right have even accused Obama of simply continuing the Bush-Cheney mindset with mere window-dressing to appease the civil liberties crowd.

    So what was Cheney thinking? My guess is that he fears he is in trouble.
    This fear has been created by Obama, but indirectly. Obama has declined to launch a prosecution of Cheney for war crimes, as many in his party (and outside it) would like. He has set up a review of detention, rendition and interrogation policies. And he has simply declassified many of the infamous torture memos kept under wraps by Bush.

    He has the power to do this, and much of the time it is in response to outside requests. But as the memos have emerged, the awful truth of what Cheney actually authorised becomes harder and harder to deny. And Cheney is desperately trying to maintain a grip on the narrative before it grips him by the throat.

    The threat, however subtle, is real. Eric Holder, the new attorney-general, while eschewing a formal investigation, has told Republicans “prosecutorial and investigative judgments must depend on the facts, and no one is above the law”. The justice department is also sitting on an internal report into the calibre of the various torture memos drafted by Bush appointees in the Office of Legal Counsel. The report has apparently already found the memos beneath minimal legal credibility, which implies they were ordered up to make the law fit the already-made decision to torture various terror suspects.

    But the big impending release may well be three memos from May 2005, detailing specific torture techniques authorised by Bush and Cheney for use against terror suspects. Newsweek described the yet to be released memos thus: “One senior Obama official . . . said the memos were ‘ugly’ and could embarrass the CIA. Other officials predicted they would fuel demands for a ‘truth commission’ on torture.”

    The narrative that has taken shape since Cheney left office and lost the chance to stonewall inquiries is damning to the former vice-president. It was not an accident, it seems to me, that Cheney went on CNN the morning The New York Times published leaked testimony from the International Committee of the Red Cross.

    The documents detailed horrifying CIA practices that the Red Cross unequivocally called torture – shoving prisoners in tiny, air-tight coffins, waterboarding, beatings, sleep deprivation, stress positions: all the techniques we have now come to know almost by heart. And torture is a war crime. War crimes have no statute of limitations and are among the most serious crimes of which one can be accused.

    This is what Cheney is desperate to avoid. It is unclear whether he will actually ever be prosecuted, but the facts of his record will wend their way inexorably into the sunlight. That means he could become a pariah. Even though the CIA actively destroyed the videotapes of torture sessions, it could not destroy the legal and administrative record now available to the new administration.

    So Cheney is reduced to asserting that what he did saved countless lives and averted many plots. He is reduced to asserting the same Manichean view of the world that gave us Guantanamo, Bagram and the Iraq war: fighting terrorism is “a tough mean, dirty, nasty business”, he told Polit-ico, an American political website. “These are evil people. And we’re not going to win this fight by turning the other cheek.”

    But no one is urging that we turn the other cheek: they are simply saying the West has to obey the laws of war and the rule of law in its battle against jihadist terrorism. By coming out so forcefully and so publicly so soon after he left office, Cheney is intent on asserting that the torture programme he set up was legal, moral and defensible. Like many of Obama’s former foes, he may come to regret making that move in his own defence.

    Scared Cheney puts his head in the noose | Andrew Sullivan - Times Online

  2. #2
    Elite Member Penny Lane's Avatar
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    Squeal like a piggy, bitch. Personally, I hope he's sharting his pants right about now.

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    I think Dick is physically ill, as well as being sick in the head.

  4. #4
    Elite Member Little Wombat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Penny Lane View Post
    Squeal like a piggy, bitch. Personally, I hope he's sharting his pants right about now.
    ITA.
    "Oh! I've been looking for a red suede pump!"
    - Marie (Carrie Fisher), When Harry Met Sally

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Nothing will ever happen to him or anybody else in the last admin.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member nana55's Avatar
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    Grimm's right. They are too evil to prosecute and they have too many "friends".
    If I can't be a good example, then let me be a horrible warning.

  7. #7
    Elite Member cmmdee's Avatar
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    Dick Cheney has a lot of nerve after all of the shit that he pulled.

    The man is evil personafied.

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