Tag Archives: Vice President Dick Cheney

Oh, How Precious

13 Aug

Cheney’s writing a tell-all.  Evidently, one of the charges he’ll make is that during his second term, Bush went all limpy commie on him.

First Nixon, now Cheney. Two Republican Dicks doing harm to the Republic.

Cheney Wanted Tanks in Lackawanna

25 Jul

Remember the Lackawanna Six?

They’ll be out of jail sooner rather than later, and some of them will end up in the witness protection program for testimony they gave at military commissions in Guantanamo.

But the New York Times reports today that the Bush Administration – specifically former Vice President Dick Cheney – agitated for the government to send the US military to apprehend the suspects and declare them enemy combatants.

Tanks rolling down the streets of Lackawanna.  Troops marching down Ridge Road – not National Guard, but the actual full-time Army.  That would have been quite a sight.  A sight not seen on American soil since the Civil War, and probably violative of the 4th Amendment and the Posse Comitatus Act.

Still, at least one high-level meeting was convened to debate the issue, at which several top Bush aides argued firmly against the proposal to use the military, advanced by Mr. Cheney, his legal adviser David S. Addington and some senior Defense Department officials.

Among those in opposition were Condoleezza Rice, then the national security adviser; John B. Bellinger III, the top lawyer at the National Security Council; Robert S. Mueller III, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Michael Chertoff, then the head of the Justice Department’s criminal division.

“Frankly, it was a bit of a turf war,” said one former senior administration official. “For a number of people, crossing the line of having intelligence or military activities inside the United States was not worth the risk.”

The cooler head of George W. Bush prevailed over Dick Cheney in that instance.

They were arrested in September 2002, just before the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and people’s memories were still vivid and emotions very raw about jihadist terrorism at the time.  I’d go so far as to say that a majority of Americans probably wouldn’t have had a problem with any of this at the time.

But there are a few things I think have happened since that time.  I wouldn’t call it complacency, although some would.  Speaking for myself, living in fear of a terrorist attack hurting me or my family is something I don’t really feel like doing.  If something bad happens, it happens.  But I won’t let it overtake my thoughts or my actions.

Living in fear is a sucky way to live, and it sometimes makes you think and do dumb things.

In addition, I think that the military, law enforcement, and intelligence services have adjusted for this new world in which we live.  I wonder if in the era of the internet we still have spies doing dead drops in obscure Washington Parks or meeting in public places, greeting each other with code phrases.  It was a shift from cold-war era intelligence-gathering to contemporary counter-terrorism intelligence, a lot of which is done online.

But using the military against American citizens on American soil would have been going too far.  Kudos to Bush and those who agreed with him for killing this horribly misguided idea.  But it speaks volumes of Dick Cheney and his vision of a jackbooted America where fear trumps the Constitution and any civil rights violation is acceptable so long as it’s couched in the rhetoric of national security.

Stewart takes on Cheney 2.0

5 Jun


Dick Cheney cracks wise.

Cheney the Fear Fetishist: STFU and You’re Wrong. The End.

31 May

Richard Clarke in the WaPo:

Yet listening to Cheney and Rice, it seems that they want to be excused for the measures they authorized after the attacks on the grounds that 9/11 was traumatic. “If you were there in a position of authority and watched Americans drop out of eighty-story buildings because these murderous tyrants went after innocent people,” Rice said in her recent comments, “then you were determined to do anything that you could that was legal to prevent that from happening again.”

I have little sympathy for this argument. Yes, we went for days with little sleep, and we all assumed that more attacks were coming. But the decisions that Bush officials made in the following months and years — on Iraq, on detentions, on interrogations, on wiretapping — were not appropriate. Careful analysis could have replaced the impulse to break all the rules, even more so because the Sept. 11 attacks, though horrifying, should not have surprised senior officials. Cheney’s admission that 9/11 caused him to reassess the threats to the nation only underscores how, for months, top officials had ignored warnings from the CIA and the NSC staff that urgent action was needed to preempt a major al-Qaeda attack.

Frank Rich in the New York Times (I especially enjoy the link to here, outlining Cheney’s lies):

The speech itself, with 20 mentions of 9/11, struck the same cynical note as the ads, as if the G.O.P. was almost rooting for a terrorist attack on Obama’s watch. “No one wishes the current administration more success in defending the country than we do,” Cheney said as a disingenuous disclaimer before going on to charge that Obama’s “half measures” were leaving Americans “half exposed.” The new president, he said, is unraveling “the very policies that kept our people safe since 9/11.” In other words, when the next attack comes, it will be all Obama’s fault. A new ad shouting “We told you so!” awaits only the updated video.

The Republicans at least have an excuse for pushing this poison. They are desperate. The trio of Pillsbury doughboys now leading the party — Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Cheney — have variously cemented the G.O.P.’s brand as a whites-only men’s club by revoking Colin Powell’s membership and smearing the first Latina Supreme Court nominee as a “reverse racist.” Republicans in Congress have no plausible economic, health care or energy policies to counter Obama’s. The only card left to play is 9/11.

Eugene Robinson in the WaPo, via the Buffalo News, compares & contrasts Obama World and Cheney World. Leonard Pitts, also in the Buffalo News, argues that Cheney is little more than a fear fetishist.

While I am mindful of the fact that a Democratic ex-POTUS or VPOTUS making outrageous charges such as Cheney has done would be the Republican Hissy Fit of the Century™, I enjoy Cheney’s mouth-shits, because they remind people how happy they are to be rid of him.

“Dick” Cheney

27 May

Sleazy, Dishonest & Divisive.

Andrew Sullivan argues that Cheney doesn’t even understand the alleged point of his own speech.

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.

Shorter Dick Cheney

21 May

I’ll steal one of Pundit’s favorite gimmicks for this one…


Dick Cheney made a speech today about torture and national defense.  After watching it, all I could think of was how Dick Cheney is morphing into a decrepit old version of Colonel Jessup from “A Few Good Men”.


The not-so-funny part of this is that there are people who applaud this shit, kinda like the people have had their view of torture and terrorism informed by Jack Bauer and the writers of “24”.  I weep for the soul of the right wing.

Shorter Andrew Sullivan

11 May

Dick Cheney’s America isn’t.

Please Keep Listening to Mr. Shootcherface

7 May

Cheney said the following, apparently without a hint of irony:

“I think it would be a mistake for us to moderate,” Cheney said. “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. You know, when you add all those things up, the idea that we ought to moderate basically means we ought to fundamentally change our philosophy. I for one am not prepared to do that, and I think most of us aren’t. Most Republicans have a pretty good idea of values, and aren’t eager to have someone come along and say, ‘Well, the only way you can win is if you start to act more like a Democrat.'”

Or more like a person with a commitment to the Constitution and constitutional principles. Or a civilized human being living in a western liberal democracy. Either way.

And Arlen Makes 60

28 Apr

The man conservatives hated and labeled a RINO will now enjoy being hated by liberals and his new “DINO” label. Arlen Specter switched to the Democratic Party today, and there are many reasons for it, and ramifications arising out of it.

Firstly, the moderate Republican is a critically endangered species. This is, in my estimation, a crying shame. I used to be one. The swift, dramatic radicalization of the Republican Party during the Bush years pushed me to become a moderate Democrat. Moderate Republican has become an oxymoron.

The reason it’s a shame is that most Americans aren’t radicals. They aren’t wingers of any sort. They’re pretty middle-of-the-road. Some tilt right, others tilt left, but most average people you meet are pretty centrist.

And so it was a pretty big coincidence that Republican pundit Ross Douthat – formerly of the Atlantic – wrote his first op-ed for the New York Times today explaining why it was actually a shame that Dick Cheney hadn’t run against Barack Obama. The trotting out of John McCain – a pretty centrist Republican – to run against Obama has only emboldened the pro-torture Cheneyist wing of the party. He begins with the current conservative conventional wisdom:

We tried running the maverick reformer, the argument goes, and look what it got us. What Americans want is real conservatism, not some crypto-liberal imitation.

“Real conservatism,” in this narrative, means a particular strain of right-wingery: a conservatism of supply-side economics and stress positions, uninterested in social policy and dismissive of libertarian qualms about the national-security state. And Dick Cheney happens to be its diamond-hard distillation. The former vice-president kept his distance from the Bush administration’s attempts at domestic reform, and he had little time for the idealistic, religiously infused side of his boss’s policy agenda. He was for tax cuts at home and pre-emptive warfare overseas; anything else he seemed to disdain as sentimentalism.

This is precisely the sort of conservatism that’s ascendant in today’s much-reduced Republican Party, from the talk radio dials to the party’s grassroots. And a Cheney-for-President campaign would have been an instructive test of its political viability.

The reaction from many on the right to Specter’s departure has been an echo of that Cheneyist sentiment. Let him go, they say. Screw Specter. Start raising money for the guy from the right-wing Club for Growth who’s running as a Republican for Specter’s seat. Specter was a rat RINO and he and Olympia Snowe and any other so-called moderate Republican can go join the Democrats, too.

That’s fantastic. Cull them. Purge the moderates. Push them out of the remnants of Reagan’s big tent, and further render the GOP an irrelevant anachronism of a shell of a party. Regional in nature, extreme in policy. It is against what most Americans are for, and is for what most Americans are against. Even torture.

The Specter switch is fraught with peril for Obama because on paper, he can roll through whatever he wants now. But Specter will most likely be as independent-minded as ever, so assume nothing will be easy. But it’s nice that the Democratic Party has become the only one that will welcome centrists. Sen. Olympia Snowe calls the move “devastating”. Sen. Lindsey Graham said,

“I don’t want to be a member of the Club for Growth,” said Graham. “I want to be a member of a vibrant national Republican party that can attract people from all corners of the country — and we can govern the country from a center-right perspective.”

“As Republicans, we got a problem,” he said.

For comic relief, here’s the Buffalo Ruse’s take.