I couldn’t sleep after something woke me up at 4:15 this morning and I started thinking about Rachel Maddow’s piece last night about former Vice President Dick Cheney. She presented a video montage of his “torture saves lives” tour of news talk shows. It is really quite remarkable when you see them one after the other. Maddow’s piece ends with an interview of Retired Col. Lawrence Wilkerson who served as Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff when Powell was Secretary of State. Wilkerson wondered out loud if Cheney realized that he may be making revelations that could provide evidence which could eventually lead to his, Cheney’s, prosecution.
Then when I finally got out of bed and turned on the computer, there was Maureen Dowd’s column Rouge Diva of Doom.
When Bush 41 was ramping up to the Gulf War, assembling a coalition to fight Saddam, Jimmy Carter sent a letter to members of the U.N. Security Council urging them not to rush into conflict without further exploring a negotiated solution.
The first President Bush and other Republicans in Washington considered this treasonous, a former president trying to thwart a sitting one, lobbying foreign diplomats to oppose his own country on a war resolution. In 2002, when Bush Junior was ramping up to his war against Saddam, Al Gore made a speech trying to slow down that war resolution, pointing out that pivoting from Osama to Saddam for no reason, initiating “pre-emptive” war, and blowing off our allies would undermine the war on terror.
Asked by Bob Schieffer on Sunday how America could torture when it made a mockery of our ideals, Cheney blithely gave an answer that surely would have been labeled treasonous by Rush Limbaugh, if a Democratic ex-vice president had said it about a Republican president.
“Well, then you’d have to say that, in effect, we’re prepared to sacrifice American lives rather than run an intelligent interrogation program that would provide us the information we need to protect America,” Doomsday Dick said.
Cheney has replaced Sarah Palin as Rogue Diva. Just as Jeb Bush and other Republicans are trying to get kinder and gentler, Cheney has popped out of his dungeon, scary organ music blaring, to carry on his nasty campaign of fear and loathing.
So, back to my question: What is Cheney up to? Is he on some long term campaign to get Americans to be afraid so we will elect Republicans again? Is he trying to influence public opinion so that we don’t think torture is all that bad and we won’t want to bring him to trial? Or is he just stupid? Here’s Dowd again
Cheney’s numskull ideas — he still loves torture (dubbed “13th-century” stuff by Bob Woodward), Gitmo and scaring the bejesus out of Americans — are not only fixed, they’re jejune.
He has no coherent foreign policy viewpoint. He still doesn’t fathom that his brutish invasion of Iraq unbalanced that part of the world, empowered Iran and was a force multiplier for Muslims who hate America. He left our ports unsecured, our food supply unsafe, the Taliban rising and Osama on the loose. No matter if or when terrorists attack here — and they’re on their own timetable, not a partisan red/blue state timetable — Cheney will be deemed the primary one who made America more vulnerable.
According to Dowd, even the Bush Family doesn’t like what he is doing. What scares me is that there is a small segment of the population that will believe everything Cheney says and a larger one that can be influenced by his scare tactics. But maybe the Bushes would like to silence him before he implicates George W. Bush in a way that will be impossible to ignore. I think his remarks will lead to more documents being revealed. Perhaps we should keep Cheney talking.
Rachel Maddow has said several times she would like to interview Cheney and last night issued her invitation again with a twist. She would have Col. Wilkerson help her to do the interview. I’d say the odds are not good he will accept.