Friday, May 22, 2009

A calm and measured response to Dick Cheney.

Dick "Dick" Cheney's speech to the sycophantic American Enterprise Institute has brought me out of my undisclosed location for a few moments because there's enough self-congratulatory mendacity in those few minutes to curdle milk at a distance. So much hokum that I suspect Dick thinks no one remembers that 9/11 happened on his watch. That as the head of the terrorism task force, he couldn't be bothered to meet with the guy in charge of counter-terrorism. That Dick's protege, the president, when given the report that Osama was determined to strike within the US, dismissed the guy who delivered the briefing by saying, "Well, you've covered your ass."

Yes, Dick would love for us to forget how he and George screwed the pooch. Big time, as Dick would say.

But, let's take a quick look at a few lines from Dick's speech.

Even before the interrogation program began, and throughout its operation, it was closely reviewed to ensure that every method used was in full compliance with the Constitution, statutes, and treaty obligations.

Yes, men like John Yoo constructed paper-thin legal arguments for torture, arguments that better, more ethical lawyers at the DOJ would later clear their throats, stick their fingers in their collars and say, "Uh, those arguments, uh, not so much." This was after Dick and other criminals in his administration had violated the Constitution, our statutes, our treaty obligations, and our collective sense of decency.

...for all these exacting efforts to do a hard and necessary job and to do it right, we hear from some quarters nothing but feigned outrage based on a false narrative.

Believe me, sir, there is nothing feigned about my outrage and the false narrative seems to be coming from your nether regions in a self-serving attempt to avoid being tried as a war criminal.
I might add that people who consistently distort the truth in this way are in no position to lecture anyone about “values.”

I couldn't agree more.

What’s more, to completely rule out enhanced interrogation methods in the future is unwise in the extreme.

No, it is called doing what's right, knowing that it is not only our law and international law, but is a bright line that separates us from the barbarity of our enemies.

It is recklessness cloaked in righteousness, and would make the American people less safe.
There are many people in a position to know, military interrogators and others, who have testified that the opposite of what Dick says is true. But what's true has never concerned Dick. Truth is for little people. this excuses the violent and blames America for the evil that others do...terrorists or those who see them as victims are not exactly the best judges of America’s moral standards, one way or the other.

Wow. Did someone call the terrorists victims and I missed it? Did someone excuse Osama and blame Cheney for 9/11 while I was out? Because that's news to this liberal.

Just to be clear: Bush and Cheney did fail to stop 9/11, not because they were evil, but incompetent. They didn't take terrorism seriously, and that's to their enduring shame. But the people who flew those planes into those buildings are still considered evil fucks here at the Planet. And yet, their calculated murder of innocents does not justify abandoning our ideals and breaking our laws. Dick knows this distinction, he's hoping you're too stupid or blindly ideological to notice.

As for those who asked them questions and got answers: they did the right thing, they made our country safer, and a lot of Americans are alive today because of them.
That's something I'd like an impartial commission to decide, thanks. Because I think you're full of shit on this, Dick, like you've been so full of shit on so many other things, from Iraq having nukes to Saddam and Osama being BFFs.

But, a few days before Memorial Day, this is what really rankled:

Like so many others who serve America, they are not the kind to insist on a thank-you. But I will always be grateful to each one of them, and proud to have served with them for a time in the same cause.
Served with them? Really? Where'd that spring from, the soft confines of your fat civilian ass? You, the man who took five deferments to avoid serving? You, the man who had "other priorities? You, who eagerly let someone else's son take your place on the line?"

I know several young men who had other priorities in 1969. In fact, I'd guess most of the young men who stood with me in the Philadelphia induction center would have rather been doing anything else.

But we raised our hands. We took an oath I still take seriously. We served.

We didn't get rich. No one offered us a job as CEO of anything when we got out. And a lot of those young men came home damaged or didn't come home at all. Your claim of service dishonors all of those who sacrificed something other than a bigger paycheck.

On that note, I wish you all a good Memorial Day and this weekend, take a moment to say thanks for all those men who had other priorities but served anyway. I know I will.

See you next week.


Joe Saundercook said...

It's good to have you back with us, Dave.

Doonesbury summed it up today: These "enhanced interrogation" methods were previously used by the commies to wring false confessions out of people.

Too bad reality doesn't count much in the minds of fat, spoiled rich kids who play with tin soldiers and make up their own rules.

What's going to get lost in all of this is what those poor buggers who were torturing freelance are going to do to make a buck now that their profession has gone the way of the reeve and the witch-smeller.

I guess there's never been a better time to be a nurse...

Anonymous said...

What do you expect from a guy who, while Obama was looking for the washroom keys and Bush had not even landed in Dallas yet, starts ripping his own former boss a new one.

Let's call this what it is. Dick Cheney is doing this for Dick Cheney.