It has come to my attention that former Vice President Dick Cheney has been anything but the retiring type in his retirement, much to the consternation of the rest of the GOP. It appears that Mr. Cheney just can't help himself, seeing as his run at the top, or next to the top, or as puppet master for the top, was an abject failure, and he wants the rest of us to learn what he now knows.
No, we all know that isn't true. Rather, this is Mr. Cheney desperately trying to restore, or protect, or whatever you want to call it, his "legacy." Dick, your legacy will be one of shame and ignominy.
The record: when times were good your met with you buddies in secret, also known as the Energy Task Force, and went to the SUPREME COURT to prevent anyone from knowing who was there. That's about the best thing you did in your most recent stint in the executive branch. It all went downhill from there.
Let us fast forward: after nine months in office, it was on your watch, Mr. Vice President, that this nation suffered the worst terrorist attack in the history of the world. Not the nation, not the hemisphere, not the century. The world.
And the thing is, I can forgive that. We cannot prevent what I term "extreme human action," which are acts so unfathomable we would never expect the depravity, committed by people so dedicated that no normal stopgaps would prevent it. These are the mass murderers, the suicide bombers, and even the serial killers. All we can do is be vigilant and go on with our lives.
But you, Mr. Cheney, decided to use this as a multifold opportunity to try out your "neato" theory of the Unitary Executive, otherwise known as rule by fascist fiat, ie.: you must do what I say simply because I am the President, and am accountable to no one. I must have missed that chapter in Con-Law. I never found that in Article II, either.
In so doing you contributed to botching one war, [Afghanistan, which has now spread to a second country. You must be so proud......], and lied your way into Iraq. Which, we all know, was your personal reason for becoming VP - to correct the mistakes of the first President Bush. Oh, and enriching your buddies in the Energy Task Force. Ten dollar a barrel oil and all that........
Well, we all know that this really didn't work out so hot. No, we weren't attacked again, but Madrid, London, and Bali were, and nearly 5,000 American soldiers died for your avarice. Really, you shouldn't have. No, I really mean that you shouldn't have invaded Iraq, which in itself was a war crime.
I HATE comparing people to the fascists of the past, but you mimic those guys so well, like you were reading the Nazi Cliff Notes: complain that the other nation is going to attack you, ergo you must attack them pre-emptively, and when your own people complain, denounce them as traitors. I had my own family call me a traitor, Mr. Cheney, a phenomenon that spread nationwide because of you and your fanciful mushroom clouds. All of us want to personally thank you for that.
Mr. Cheney, you were dreadfully wrong about Saddam Hussein. Why should we ever listen to you now?
Now to my point: it has come to the fore that Dick Cheney was THE guy authorizing torture. I will save my vitriol for all the troglodytes with their baloney theories related to Jack Bauer for another post, so suffice it to say that torture is always wrong, and it is against the law. Not a little bit against the law. A lot a bit against the law. There is no defense for torture, unlike homicide, which might be justifiable in self defense. The domestic and international laws on torture, to which the United States is a signatory and are therefore the LAWS OF THE LAND, provide no "I was afraid" or "we thought he knew where the bomb was" defense. Such tried and lame excuses like "I was only following orders" are explicitly rejected in the law.
Hence, it becomes clear Mr. Cheney is trying to re-frame the issue for his benefit. But the law does not recognize this issue, namely that a Vice President or even the President can do ANYTHING in the defense of the nation and escape accountability. Such are not the powers delegated in Article II of the Constitution. Rather, it is not that nation the President swears to defend against all enemies foreign and domestic, it is the Constitution. Tell it to the jury, I say.
So here comes Mr. Cheney, out of the secure spider hole he spent the last 8 years, to say that we are in danger of attack because Mr. Obama is weak, and makes us look weak, etc. Actually, by authorizing torture, Mr. Cheney made us look weak. It is the weak minded, the bullied, that resort to torturing those smaller and weaker than them. And Mr. Cheney is a classic case of this - turning the immense power of his office upon dozens of men, many of them innocent of anything, in the form of torture, for the sake of his own fear - a fear of appearing weak, I surmise.
With poll numbers so low that I know some pitchers with higher Earned Run Averages, Cheney comes out of his hole, spouting this garbage. He also spouts some other garbage about how there are two other memos which show that his transgressions of international law and common morality yielded actionable intelligence. Really? Is that the standard? What happened to "Give me liberty or give me death?" and the more apropos "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." If only Messrs Henry and Franklin could see us now, they would weep.
Not to mention what happened to the good conservative concepts of "limited government" and "law and order"? I guess that those quaint phrases are just window dressing for "seeking complete power at any and all costs."
Now, seeing as I have demolished Dick Cheney's street cred both in and out of the GOP, I cannot understand why he would say on a radio show the other day that the GOP should not moderate, as "This is about fundamental beliefs and values and ideas ... what the role of government should be in our society, and our commitment to the Constitution and Constitutional principles."
Haven't I, some dumb schmuck with a blog just demonstrated that there is no principle in or out of the Constitution, or everyday morality, that Dick Cheney wouldn't chuck out the window if he thought he could make himself look tougher?
And, Dick, last time I checked during the election, your parties' principles had a lot to do with calling a fellow American a terrorist because he had a funny name. How'd that work out for ya?
When is someone in the GOP going to tell the war criminal that is Dick Cheney to quit while he is behind, so maybe they can have a chance to win an election? Can't they just find him another undisclosed location where he can cower in fear while the rest of us go on with our lives.
And with a little luck, and some pelotas in Washington, maybe Dick will be spending the rest of his in a 6'x6'. The law says he should.
If only we would follow the law.