Cheney

by Matt

More and more I ask myself, “Don’t I have something better to do on a Saturday morning?” The truth is no, but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t be looking for something better to do instead of doing this.

To that end, I have taken the step of creating a “bookmark” folder entitled “to f’book post,” in which to store articles of a political nature that I discover over the weekend. Now I can empty that folder on Mondays, instead of posting a hail of stuff over the weekend. This folder currently includes Glenn Greenwald’s cogent run-down of the reasons Obama’s indefinite detention policy is bad, bad, bad, and why it’s important for people to speak up about it (because it seems like Obama listens). This folder is some kind of progress.

But in the meantime, I felt I had to post this now. Thursday, David Brooks, writing in The New York Times, echoed Lawrence Wilkerson’s idea that the so-called Bush/Cheney detention and interrogation policies were in play only until 2003 or 2004. The article is here.

The truth of the matter seems to be that the Bush/Cheney approach proved to be politically impractical some five or six years ago. But on Thursday both Cheney and Obama codified something else in the minds of Americans. Officially, it is Obama who is loosening the reins, and not people like Condoleezza Rice, Stephen Hadley, Jack Goldsmith and John Bellinger. Therefore, if any sort of successful attack occurs on American soil it will be Obama’s fault, and the Democrats’ fault, and the unpopular Cheney will be vindicated, along with whosoever is left of the GOP fear mongerers — even though many within the Bush administration worked to mediate Cheney’s policies for years.

Who knows why Obama is willing to open himself to this culpability when he doesn’t have to (my guess is he’s just too busy to see it, and doesn’t tend to think primarily in terms of this kind of partisan chess in the first place). But I can’t see how Cheney’s intentions are anything but nefarious. Even from outside the electoral process, he is showing a capacity to powerfully manipulate the truth, and unlike Rush Limbaugh, he reaches more than the ultra-conservative eddy of the GOP.

That’s bad.

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