Dick 9/11 Cheney – 9/11 Spotlight 9/11 Whore 9/11

22 May

Yesterday, President Obama gave a speech about national security and torture. I was working at work like normal people do and missed it. I did, however, read Dick Cheney’s reply speech, given at that hive of scum & villainy, the American Enterprise Institute.

Cheney’s speech was a lot of 9/11, a lot of denial that waterboarding is torture, a very clever and specific compartmentalization of torture the US actually committed, ignoring the torture we paid for or sanctioned, and suggested basically that, because terrorists are bad people they deserve to be tortured, and the ends always justify the means.

I am always perplexed by the idea that 9/11 was the beginning of the world being dangerous for Americans, or that it was the genesis of all terrorism, ever. Listening to neoconservative warmongers like Cheney, you would think that this was so. The world was plenty dangerous before 9/11 and it’s plenty dangerous now. It will, incidentally, continue to be plenty dangerous as long as bad or insane people decide they want to do bad things to other people.

But fundamentally, the battle is joined – a battle that didn’t really take place in 2008 between Obama and McCain because the Republican nominee also opposed torture, having suffered it himself.

There remains a small minority of Americans who think that Dick Cheney is the bee’s knees, and absolutely adore when he opens his mouth to defend every outright and borderline illegality in which the Bush Administration engaged during its tenure.

But the vast majority of Americans believe, as the President does, that the United States can combat terrorism – even pre-emptively – without fundamentally losing and jettisoning our values, and the rule of law.

TPM put together this juxtaposition of the themes each speaker hit upon:

At least one Tweet from a conservative that I saw yesterday swooned over Cheney’s speech because of his will to do anything and everything to keep America safe.

The problem with that, of course, is that he ought to do anything and everything within the bounds of the law and constitution to keep America safe.

Also, Cheney insinuated that the administration that immediately preceded the one in which he served treated all terrorism as a law enforcement issue, and did not engage in preemption. That is false, and ignores the Millennium Plot.

27 Responses to “Dick 9/11 Cheney – 9/11 Spotlight 9/11 Whore 9/11”

  1. Russell May 22, 2009 at 7:05 am #

    A couple interesting points in all of this that you somehow must have missed are that 1) Obama is still having a very hard time selling his plan to his own party; and, 2) Cheney’s favorable ratings are actually on the rise, now 8 points higher than they were when he left office (although still low). I have to think much of that rise is attributed to these issues because that’s all he’s been talking about since he left office.

  2. Russell May 22, 2009 at 8:11 am #

    And in direct relation to how often he criticizes Obama on national security.

  3. STEEL May 22, 2009 at 8:59 am #

    After the first World Trade Center bombing Clinton kept us safe from attack until Bush came into office. Obama has kept us safe from attack since he took office.

  4. buffaloobserver May 22, 2009 at 9:06 am #

    No matter what Cheney says he can’t get away from the fact that the events of 9/11 happened on his watch.

  5. Russell May 22, 2009 at 9:16 am #

    buffaloobserver, I think that’s his point. He points out that we were somewhat lax then. He learned from the mistakes of his and prior administrations and now he’s working to make sure those mistakes are not repeated and we revert back to the more lax positions. But thanks for pointing out the obvious.

  6. The Humanist May 22, 2009 at 9:18 am #

    Shorter Dick Cheney: The Bush Administration kept America safe after the worst domestic terrorist attack in our nation’s history that happened on our watch, primarily due to the fact we took our eye off Al Queda after we took office and ignored warnings and briefings from the previous administration and our own intelligence community of an iminent attack.

    I urge Deadeye Dick to keep on spouting his garbage and reminding the public what a fuckup his shadow government was.

  7. Russell May 22, 2009 at 9:45 am #

    Careful what you wish for, Humanist. As I already pointed out, the more Cheney speaks lately, the more people like him. That cannot be good for Obama, who already has problems with his own party on these issues.

  8. The Humanist May 22, 2009 at 10:24 am #

    Yes, Russell The Torture Apologist…..Cheney’s 35% approval rating is a big problem for Obama and his 64% approval rating

    Pundit is right about absence making the voters’ hearts grow fonder. Dubya hasn’t uttered a peep since leaving office and his approval rating went up six points.

  9. The Humanist May 22, 2009 at 10:27 am #

    “he’s working to make sure those mistakes are not repeated and we revert back to the more lax positions

    “More lax positions” being not engaging in torture for political reasons and not invading a soverign country that was not responsible for the terrorist attack in the first place.

  10. Russell May 22, 2009 at 10:46 am #

    Actually, Humanist, up until about a month ago, Cheney’s approval rating did not go up. It is not about absence and Pundit is not right. It’s not until Cheney got really aggressive with his statements against Obama’s policies and actions that his rating started to rise. And I’m not talking about W. I’m talking about the Cheney.

    If Cheney’s favorability is increasing because of attacks on Obama, yes, it should be a cause for concern for Obama. In the least, people backing Obama should not be running around urging Cheney to keep it up. Furthermore, Obama’s inability to get his own party behind him on this issue should also concern him and his fans.

    Yes, he has a 64% approval rating right now. It’s not always going to stay at 64% and 64% is only average for presidents at this stage in their presidency. It’s not a great number to rest on. It’s also not wise to encourage someone who is gaining to continue the actions that are causing him to gain, especially when that means attacking the person and policies you support.

  11. buffaloobserver May 22, 2009 at 10:58 am #

    “somewhat lax” Russell? How about asleep at the switch! Cheney is trying to rehabilitate himself and prevent from being remembered as a central figure in the worst administration since Millard Fillmore. Gotta love all those Bush/Cheney apologists.

  12. hank May 22, 2009 at 12:27 pm #

    So why doesn’t the Obama White House release the documents that Cheney keeps talking about? If they’re not going to hurt Obama and his policies, why does the WH continue to refuse to release them?

    I guess Clinton was Wide awake at the switch during the 1st WTC bombing,
    attack on USS Cole, Bombing of the Towers in Saudi, etc etc etc. And his reaction was just as awake—Nada, zilch.

    Humanist has quite a selective memory. Tell the families who lost members in the Clinton Era terrorist attacks that Clinton was awake at the switch—-then duck if you want to keep your pretty face.

  13. Pete at BS May 22, 2009 at 1:08 pm #

    Cheney’s approval ratings are going up and yet the amount of people willing to say that they are Republican is going down.

    http://www.buffalonews.com/260/story/678455.html

    Approval ratings are really not all that important, especially when they relate to someone who doesn’t even hold office. I think Jim Kelly is great quarterback….doesn’t mean Trent’s job is on the line nor does it help the Bills win games in the future.

  14. mike May 22, 2009 at 1:12 pm #

    @ hank, So why doesn’t the Obama White House release the documents that Cheney keeps talking about? because they don’t exist.
    Now as for clinton, lets just say, “its the economy stupid”, yup chenney left us a turd there too.

  15. frieda May 22, 2009 at 1:57 pm #

    So where was Cheney hiding for the last two years of the Bush administration? Rumor has it that he was muzzled by the White House. So I’m guessing he went into that walk in safe he had installed in his office and pouted for 2 years.

  16. Jon Splett May 22, 2009 at 2:37 pm #

    Dick Cheney is an awful human being and I wish there really was a god so he could burn in hell.

    If his approval ratings rise, it is more a reflection of American stupidity than it is him being right. It’s sad but these days, Americans are easily manipulated pussies scared of their own shadows. The odds of you or anyone you know ever dying in a terrorist attack are astronomical. Even if we got hit with a 9/11 sized attack every year over the next decade, you are STILL not going to die in one. It’s ridiculous we waste this much time and energy on an issue that quite simply, isn’t one.

    Meanwhile, we’ve got a woefully broken health care system that IS killing people every single day and we do nothing. Billions for defence but we can’t have a single payer health plan because Americans don’t want the government ‘in charge of something so important’. Mind you, they totally trust the government to be in charge of the largest military in the world with a nuclear arsenal that could usher in the apocalypse in a moments notice, but apparently they can’t handle paying some doctor bills.

    America needs to grow a pair and buying into ghost stories from the biggest scumbag to grace Pennsylvania Avenue since Nixon. We have real problems we should be dealing with instead of playing into this fear mongering bullshit.

  17. Jon Splett May 22, 2009 at 2:38 pm #

    Bah. That should say ‘stop buying’.

    My bad.

  18. The Humanist May 22, 2009 at 2:43 pm #

    @ Russell The Torture Apologist – from the CNN article on Cheney’s poll numbers:

    “‘Is Cheney’s uptick due to his visibility as one of the most outspoken critics of the Obama administration? Almost certainly not,’ says Keating Holland, CNN polling director.”

  19. STEEL May 22, 2009 at 4:28 pm #

    Hank says,

    I guess Clinton was Wide awake at the switch during the 1st WTC bombing,
    attack on USS Cole, Bombing of the Towers in Saudi, etc etc etc. And his reaction was just as awake—Nada, zilch.

    So Hank, since you are including attacks on American Military targets as terrorism you then must also include the deaths of 5000 American soldiers under the Bush regime. That would bring Bush’s total terror losses to 8000 Americans dead. As a matter of fact under your metric Bush averaged about 4 terror attacks per week on Americans over his two terms.

  20. Joe Smith May 22, 2009 at 4:52 pm #

    Russell is half right. Cheney’s approval is going up the more he talks about the Bush-Cheney national security doctrine. However, Russell is wrong that Obama should be worried.

    A large part of the disapproval of Bush and Cheney is due to foreign policy failures, but they lost a large segment of the population due to corruption and incompetence (shooting a guy in the face didn’t help either). What Cheney has done these past few weeks has turned the perception of him from the totality of the Bush administration, to one issue national security.

    Cheney’s numbers are going up because he is bringing home people who agree with the Bush-Cheney national security doctrine, people who are very unlikely to approve of Obama to begin with. People who two months ago viewed Cheney and Obama unfavorably but policywise agreed with Cheney, now view Cheney favorably.

  21. Larry Castellani May 22, 2009 at 5:27 pm #

    All this is ultimately smoke and mirrors, bells and whistles of the process of turning the political sphere into legalities, further depoliticizing the democracy, be it as it may. It all serves to take us away from the real political task and conversation regarding the reconstitution of our communities and building a sustainable economy. The political class just loves talking about these Orwellian wars, the plight of the mega-rich bankers and Wall Streeters and why health care and meeting other human needs isn’t really possible without excluding much of the population ( which by the way serves to continue to divide the people, fueling the fear and hatred). Why humor the oligarchs and their servant bureaucracy? Why let “them” define the people’s politics? Despite all the seeming protest for and against, this conversation still smells of Stockholm syndrome to me.

  22. mike May 22, 2009 at 7:57 pm #

    shorter Larry Castellani…

    cuckoo cuckoo

  23. Frankie May 22, 2009 at 8:19 pm #

    Hank said;
    “So why doesn’t the Obama White House release the documents that Cheney keeps talking about?”
    ——————-

    Probably for the same reasons that Cheney/Bush didn’t release them. Either they don’t exist (which i doubt to be the case) or more likely, there are entirely necessary reasons that they not be released, which Cheney knows. Each possibility would allow him to embellish what they mean to his claim knowing he won’t be found out. Kinda like the empty claims of anonymous internet posters who claim they make $350,000/year and are going to go Galt over Obama’s tax policies.

    This is a gang that outed a CIA operative, made public an arrest of an Al Qaida member who they flipped and was helping us out, and told Ahmed Chalabi who promptly told the Iranians that we cracked Iran’s communications codes. I can only wonder why we’re not getting any leaks of simple hints regarding these massive scale terrorist attacks we’ve prevented by using torture. Especially when interrupting supposed terrorist plots isn’t something that hasn’t been reported on the nightly news.

  24. STEEL May 22, 2009 at 10:10 pm #

    My guess is that they don’t exist.

  25. Keller May 22, 2009 at 10:38 pm #

    Yes—because the Janjaweed, and the like are ALL about diplomacy. Is it ‘Save Darfur” but be nice to the terrorists? Democrats think this is a Star Trek episode with a happy ending…must be relaxing. But wrong.

  26. STEEL May 22, 2009 at 10:56 pm #

    If they had stopped any major plots during the Bush regime I can guaranty that we would have heard about at the time from Cheney and his cronies. The fact that we did not tells you everything you need to know about their torture program and its ability to produce information.

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