Monday, May 11, 2009

Cheney Starts Issuing Threats.

I've simply never known any former President or Vice President to make as many public appearances and to comment on the behaviour of the new administration to the extent that Dick Cheney is choosing to do. It's actually outrageous when one thinks of the usual protocol in these circumstances. However, he makes it quite clear in his most recent interview that he is worried.

He begins by pretending that he is worried about other people rather than simply protecting his own fat ass:

Now we have an administration that's come to power that has been critical of the programs, but not only that, there's been talk about prosecuting the lawyers in the Justice Department who gave us the opinions that we operated in accordance with, or referring them to the Bar Association for disbarment or sanctions of some kind, or possibly cooperating with foreign governments that are interested in trying to prosecute American officials, those same officials who were responsible for defending this nation for the last eight years.
Now, of course, there has actually been talk of much more than that, with many of us thinking that Dick Cheney himself was the person most behind the US decision to engage in torture, and many of us, myself included, think that no investigation into this period of US history will be complete without an investigation into the activities of Cheney himself.

However, even in this interview, in which he fakes concern for others and implies that this is his only concern, he can't help but reveal that it's his own ass he's worried about.

For example, why, if he's simply out to save others as he claims, does he so pointedly attach the noose around President Bush's neck, as he does in this exchange?

SCHIEFFER: How much did President Bush know specifically about the methods that were being used? We know that you-- and you have said-- that you approved this...

CHENEY: Right.

SCHIEFFER: ... somewhere down the line. Did President Bush know everything you knew?

CHENEY: I certainly, yes, have every reason to believe he knew -- he knew a great deal about the program. He basically authorized it. I mean, this was a presidential-level decision. And the decision went to the president. He signed off on it.

Firstly, he's making it very clear that if he goes down he's really not intending on going down alone. This is not a man concerned with saving others, this is a man issuing not too subtle threats that he intends dragging others with him should he ever fall into a legal hole.

Secondly, I'm really interested in the fact that he says, "He basically authorized it." Why insert the qualification "basically"? I'm really not trying to let Bush off the hook here - regular readers will know the deep contempt in which I hold that little toad - but it is more than possible that Bush was conned by Cheney into signing something which he did not fully understand.

After all, the president was a famously incurious man and Cheney was a famously manipulative and powerful Vice President.

Maybe I'm reading far too much into Cheney using that qualification, but I'm certainly not reading too much into the obvious threat he's making towards Bush.

And it's also interesting that Cheney, as he so often does, completely misconstrues the oath which both he and Bush took when entering office:
Now, if you'd look at it from the perspective of a senior government official, somebody like myself, who stood up and took the oath of office on January 20th of ‘01 and raised their right hand and said we're going to protect and defend the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic, this was exactly, exactly what was needed to do it.
Because, of course, the oath doesn't actually say that:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Both the President and the Vice President swear to defend the Constitution, the very thing which many of us think Bush and Cheney failed to do.

UPDATE:

I've cut the video that originally went with this piece as it was on auto play and came on every time anyone visited the site, which was extremely annoying. You can watch the video by clicking here.

Click title for full article.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Will this clown ever fade away? He certainly is unpatriotic...oh wait, republicans are the only ones who are allowed to accuse anyone of being unpatriotic.

Steel Phoenix said...

'basically authorizing' is likely meant to refer to Bush telling people (Cheney?) they could do this, rather than him writing up and signing a lot of paperwork.

This may end up as a battle of plausible deniability.

Kel said...

SP, It's going to end up as a battle of some kind, because "basically authorising" is vague enough to suggest it can be read various ways. It certainly implies, as you suggest, that Bush might have plausible deniability.

It certainly doesn't suggest that Bush's fingerprints are all over this in the way that I suspect Cheney's are.

I think Cheney can see the way that this is playing out and that he really doesn't like it.

Anonymous said...

Is it true that Cbeney has rented a special truck and is doing a cross-country tour in it? I think I read something about this in the Huffington Post yesterday. That he work up people in Keene, NH, ranting through a bull horn about how unsafe the country is under Obama. Was this a gag? If he is really doing this, then Cheney is definitely going off his rocker....What an embarassment he must really be to the decent Republicans out there, and there are "some" that are....

Kel said...

Is it true that Cbeney has rented a special truck and is doing a cross-country tour in it? I think that's a gag. Even Cheney isn't that desperate. Though the time may yet come...