Clearly A Political Move
I didn't bother to watch Dick Cheney's Traveling Emporium and Snake Oil Sales Extravaganza on Fox News Sunday, mainly because I knew that pro-torture Chris Wallace and the whole pro-torture team over there would treat it like a fanzine fluff piece. Wallace's hourlong fellatio session probably satisfied Cheney immensely, and predictably, the other networks saw fit to publicize Little Dick and his concubine, because what a former Vice President says is automatically news! News! News! Don't you remember all those prime-time slots for Walter Mondale, Dan Quayle and Al Gore recently?
In this case, there was some news made, although not of the variety that's being reported. First of all, Cheney, who appears to think that the Bush White House functioned under the auspices of the law, believes that the Attorney General of the United States is a political appointee. I'm sure that, in the case of Alberto Gonzales, that was true. It's not how the American system works, of course.
The president is the chief law enforcement officer in the administration. He’s now saying, well, this isn’t anything that he’s got anything to do with. He’s up on vacation on Martha’s Vineyard and his attorney general is going back and doing something that the president said some months ago he wouldn’t do [...] Well, I think if you look at the Constitution, the president of the United States is the chief law enforcement officer in the land. The attorney general’s a statutory officer. He’s a member of the cabinet.
Fourthbranch would have been the world's best Revolution-era Tory. He truly believes in the divine right of kings. Witness later in the interview, where he in his capacity as chief law enforcement officer of the United States decides to toss out the law books.
WALLACE: Do you think what they did, now that you’ve heard about it, do you think what they did was wrong?
CHENEY: Chris, my sort of overwhelming view is that the enhanced interrogation techniques were absolutely essential in saving thousands of American lives, in preventing further attacks against the United States, in giving us the intelligence we needed to go find al Qaeda, to find their camps, to find out how they were being financed. … It was good policy. It was properly carried out. it worked very, very well.
WALLACE: So even these cases where they went beyond the specific legal authorization, you’re okay with it.
CHENEY: I am.
Worked so well, in fact, that CIA and military interrogators killed dozens of detainees in their custody. But what's a little torture and murder when you're talking about saving lives? Oh, and Cheney's answer is a lie, but that's redundant.
Perhaps the most absurd thing about Fourthbranch, and also what gets him through the night, I would gather, is how he actually thinks his Administration has a good record on counter-terrorism.
I seem to recall the Bush/Cheney era a little differently. Cheney thinks it was a sterling success when it came to national security and counter-terrorism. Perhaps there's something to this. After all, except for the catastrophic events of 9/11, and the anthrax attacks against Americans, and terrorist attacks against U.S. allies, and the terrorist attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Bush's inability to capture those responsible for 9/11, and waging an unnecessary war that inspired more terrorists, and the success terrorists had in exploiting Bush's international unpopularity, the Bush/Cheney record on counter-terrorism was awesome.
After the previous administration established a record like that, President Obama didn't ask Cheney for tips? The nerve.
You see what Cheney is doing here. He wants to politicize the Bush terror policies - the investigations being sought by the Attorney General are "clearly a political move," he says - so that any attempt to question them becomes a partisan food fight instead of simply the application of law. This is his metier and he does it very well, judging from all the attention he receives every time he emerges from the bunker. Conservatives, ever on the lookout for victimization, cry that the Justice Department is being all political by investigating torture and murder, and the media cover the ping-pong match.
But they do more than that. They print fallacious articles that continue to muddy the waters, still trying to determine if torture "worked" (using anonymous sources and expertly cherry-picked information), and declare themselves unable to read the unbiased evidence that shows the opposite of Cheney's blathering.
And thus, the public is confused. About torture.
...Also, Cheney won't cooperate with any "improper" investigation. A Justice Department-directed investigation. You know, "fuck you" and all that.