Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cheney's Marker.

Jeffrey Toobin, in an article in The New Yorker, picks up the same vibe which I detected in Cheney's speech, the laying down of a marker which states that Obama will be to blame for any future attack on US soil.

The speech was, as politicians say, a marker—a warning to the new Administration. “Just remember: it is a serious step to begin unravelling some of the very policies that have kept our people safe since 9/11,” Cheney said. “Seven and a half years without a repeat is not a record to be rebuked and scorned, much less criminalized. It is a record to be continued until the danger has passed.” Cheney’s all but explicit message was that the blame for any new attack against American people or interests would be laid not on the terrorists, or on the worldwide climate of anti-Americanism created by the Bush-Cheney Administration, but on Barack Obama. For many months after the 9/11 attacks, Democrats refrained from engaging in the blame game with the Bush Administration. Cheney’s speech makes it clear that, should terrorists strike again, Republicans may not respond in kind.
It's astonishing to me that anyone could publicly make the case for torture, and yet that is now the official position of the Republican party as enunciated by Dick Cheney.

And, worse than that, he is actually openly arguing that Obama is endangering America by refusing to continue practising his war crimes.

I know that Cheney is doing all of this as way of, hopefully, avoiding prosecution; but there are times when his argument is so outrageous that he almost impels that he be prosecuted simply to put this issue to bed once and for all.
Cheney’s political acumen is not to be underestimated, notwithstanding his image problems. Last week’s lopsided Senate vote suggests that Republican mastery of the politics of national security (if not of national security itself) remains intact. During the campaign, the majority of voters came to support Obama’s contention that a tradeoff between our values and our security is a false choice. (And John McCain largely agreed.) But the quick flight of most congressional Democrats from their President suggests just how difficult a political assignment Obama has given himself. Cheney, in proclaiming that another attack will prove that his policies were correct, is trying to undermine confidence in the new team in the White House. The President gave a persuasive speech last week, but it proved only that he has a lot more persuading to do.
There's a very simple way for Cheney's theories to be tested, and that is in a court of law. Cheney insists that what he did was perfectly legal, whilst horrible lefties like myself insist that he committed war crimes. It seems only fair to give him his day in court to clear his good name.

Click title for full article.

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