Saturday, May 16, 2009

Overstaying his welcome

You know, it's a strange thing. Dick Cheney, during his period in the Vice Presidency, was almost a cipher: his name became synonymous with the term "undisclosed location." But suddenly, now that he's no longer a public figure, the man is everywhere. For some reason, he decided to make the rounds of the talk shows, saying ignorant crap like the policies of the Obama administration "will in fact raise the risk to the American people" (apparently ignoring that it was the administration that he copiloted that made the American people hated in every corner of the globe). Cheney felt the need to peddle his particular brand of fecal matter on Face the Nation, on Sean Hannity, on every show willing to book him.

Now, why would he do that?

Well, it's simple. While "undisclosed location" is two words, the best synonym for Cheney is "complicit." He and Bush, working together, authorized the torture of prisoners by people acting at the behest of the American government. They decided that the best way to combat terrorists was to use the tactics of a petty dictator. And Dick Cheney knows that if he can't cloud the water and raise false arguments on the subject, he has a good chance of going to jail. (He's already had to cancel any travel plans to Spain, after all, where they're investigating the whole mess - unlike other countries like the USA, for example.)

Of course, his argument, "it doesn't matter what we did - we protected America!" ignores a number of factors. It ignores the fact that you can't prove a negative: would America have been attacked if Bush and Cheney didn't disregard every moral guideline developed back to the Bible that they both claim to revere?

It ignores the fact that attacks on American soil by foreign agents are few and far between. Before 9-11, you had to go back to the World Trade Center bombing of 1993.

It ignores the Americans killed in foreign countries (including almost 4300 American military members in Iraq - gee, I'll bet their families feel safer).

It completely ignores the anthrax attacks, against American citizens and on American soil that the Bush Administration was never able to solve.

And it ignores one simple question: if the only way to preserve the American Way of Life is to completely destroy every moral value that America has ever held, is it really worth it?

And the people who are listening to this pompous, fatuous, fat-headed former Vice President - the people who believe that Dick Cheney, who would collapse in seconds if he was ever subjected to even the mildest forms of abuse that he authorized and still supports - every one of these people is ignoring one important, overwhelming fact. A simple thing that puts the current statements of our boy Dick into a slightly different light.

Dick Cheney is a liar.

He's practically pathological about it. He started lying when he got into office, and he's continued ever since.

(OK, that statement is probably unfair: I suspect that he was a liar long before he got into office, but that's the period that's important to us, so let's run with it.)

Dick Cheney consistently and continually lied to the American people that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, which they were willing and able to use on Americans. He also actively attempted to press a non-existent connection between the 9-11 hijackers and Iraq.

He manipulated intelligence reports, he shredded documents, and he gave millions of dollars in no-bid contracts to his former company, Halliburton; he simultaneously claimed that he had no connection to Halliburton, despite the fact that he was getting millions of dollars in severance payments from them every year for the first five years of his vice presidency. (Gee, I wonder if that would give him a reason to ensure that their profits stayed up?)

And Dick Cheney would not only lie, he would even lie about his lies. Correspondent Gloria Borger interviewed him on CNBC's Capitol Report on June 17, 2004, and asked about a claim he had made, saying that 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta had a meeting in Prague in April 2001 with an Iraqi agent. "You have said in the past that it was 'pretty well confirmed'."

Cheney was firm in his answer. "No, I never said that. I never said that. Absolutely not."

Unfortunately, she was quoting him from a Meet The Press interview from 2001, when he'd been speaking with Tim Russert (in an interview that even appeared on the White House website at the time).
Well, what we now have that's developed since you and I last talked, Tim, of course, was that report that's been pretty well confirmed, that (Atta) did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack.
Later in that same interview, Cheney admitted that the report from the 9-11 Commission had concluded that there was no relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda, but said that he, Dick Cheney, disagreed with the report. So Borger asked the obvious question.

"Do you know some things that the commission does not know?"


(Logically, the 9/11 Commission asked him to present this information to them. He didn't. And finally, after months of stonewalling, they released a fairly terse statement on the subject. "The 9-11 Commission believes it has access to the same information the vice president has seen regarding contacts between al Qaeda and Iraq prior to the 9-11 attacks.")

During the 2004 presidential campaign, Cheney stood up onstage with John Edwards, and made at least six blatant lies that he never had to answer for or explain.

The mistreatment of prisoners has long been one of Cheney's favorite subjects to stretch the truth about. One of the most fascinatingly strained examples of tortured logic from Mr. Cheney occurred in 2005, when the human rights group Amnesty International had the unmitigated gall to complain about the All-American torture of Guantanamo detainees. Cheney's response was unique.
Occasionally there are allegations of mistreatment. But if you trace those back, in nearly every case, it turns out to come from somebody who has been inside and been released back to their home country and now are peddling lies about how they were treated.
Let's break down that statement.

1. turns out to come from somebody who has been inside... Who else would complain?

2. ...and been released back to their home country... And they were released for a reason, too, Dickie. Those are the people who the government was unable to make a case in front of a judge and continue to hold them. (Maybe because they were... I don't know, I'm just guessing here... maybe they were innocent?)

3. ...and are now peddling lies about how they were treated. "Lies," Dick? Aside from the fact that no member of the Bush administration seemed to understand that the concept of "lying" might actually be a bad thing, why would innocent people, released back to their home country, need to lie? Because "they hate America"? And why would they hate America? Maybe because we threw them into prison, abused them, and never gave them any hope of release? Gee, imagine that…

Does anybody remember Dickie going on Larry King Live in June of 2005? You remember, when he said that he felt that Iraq was "in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."

Sure, everybody remembers that. But nobody remembers him, four months later, contradicting himself, saying that "Like other great duties in history, it will require decades of patient effort." ("Decades?" That's a long throe.)

Which brings us around to the most important question: if Dick Cheney is unable to talk without lying, why are people still listening to him? And why has the supposed "liberal media" given him a place where he can spread these lies?

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