...if you don't count 9/11.
HELLOOOO?!! How can Dick Cheney say with a straight face that we were safer under the Bush administration when the worst terrorist attack on American soil occurred?!!
Oh. He means after that because let's face it, 9/11 was Clinton's fault, right? Well, pardon me for being the fly in the neocon ointment here, but Bush had been in office for 9 months by that time. Bush and Co, ignored an AUGUST 8 memo warning that al-qaeda was planning to--what?--fly planes into buildings. Tell me how that is NOT on the Bush administration's watch? It speaks to the absolute lack of honor of the Bush administration that they would not only not take responsibility but STILL be placing it at the foot of the previous president. That's okay, though. I'm sure if a terrible terrorist attack occurs in the next few months, Republicans will of course allow the blame to be placed on Obama's predecessor, right?
It is absolutely a window into the dishonorable human and public servant that Dick Cheney is. He is not talking and talking and talking to keep America safe. He's talking to save his legacy. But, as Andrew Sullivan points out, "The president will remain above this, as he should, as Cheney seeks further to divide and destabilize this country in a futile attempt to rescue his reputation. But his reputation is unrescuable, his crimes a matter of record, and his character now indelibly written in history. Our job is to never let him forget it, to never let history be re-written and to remain resolute in bringing both him and those who attacked us to justice. And that is in the presidential oath of office."
Let's be honest, since it's just you and me talking. There will probably be more terrorism on American soil. I pray it won't happen, but the odds are that it might. As the bomb plot in NY demonstrated, the major part of thwarting terrorism is tied up in intelligence, infiltration and plain old law enforcement; not torture. As the "enhanced interrogation techniques" demonstrated, you could torture a Connection Between Iraq and Al-Qaeda out of even the most hardened terrorists. Except the connection did not, in reality, exist.
To that end, I also wonder why any true American wants to fall on the sword of torture in an argument about keeping Americans safe. "We will now negate what is great about America in order to keep America great." "We had to destroy the village to save it." If we feel that it's okay--and brave and decent and honorable--to adopt Viet Cong and Pinochet-like tactics to "save America" then I'm willing to say that we're not worth saving.
It is instructive that John McCain, the only person in this debate to have actually suffered torture, is against it. Those who took advantage of multiple draft deferments and have never served, seem to be all for it. That's not a coincidence. When you and/or your children will never have to face potential torture, you never have to think about the tertiary results of approving it. You can just-- as Dick Cheney did last night--robustly defend it and imbue it with honor.
My initial urge was to end this with "Cheney is an unrelenting Dick." But that is too flippant for what he really is: a cancer on the body politic and a stain on our history. He's a disgrace and should be treated as such.
Steve at Newshoggers offers a well-written takedown of the Cheney speech itself: newshoggers.com