“Cheney only sees his truth.” – Comment by “airth10” on “A guide to truth,” 10 May 2009.
As I watched former Vice President Dick Cheney on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday morning, it all came flooding back - what so many of us fought so hard for – and against – for the last eight years.
If we needed a reminder that the fight is not over – this was it.
As Bob Schieffer welcomed him to the show, Cheney began the interview with “it’s nice to know you’re still loved.” That pretty much determined the level of truth – Cheney’s “truth” – throughout the interview.
With the clipped staccato of a tobacco auctioneer, Cheney let loose on the Obama administration, continually mentioning 9/11 and declaring the nation under Obama is less safe.
In justifying everything “we did,” he gave up the same neocon manatras of fearmongering, “There was the possibility of Al Qaeda terrorists in the midst of one of our own cities with a nuclear weapon or a biological agent.”
Cheney extolled the “very good programs” put into place by the Bush administration after 9/11 – “terrorist surveillance programs” and “enhanced interrogation techniques.” He claimed the Obama administration is keeping from the media and the American public memos which would prove the effectiveness of the Bush policies. However, when pressed by Schieffer for details of the memos, which Cheney says he vividly recollects, the former veep hid behind “they’re still classified.”
He defended torture – while denying the techniques he endorsed really are torture – and claimed that a great deal of intelligence was gathered from several high Al Qaeda leaders.
If only somebody would just come up with those dang memos.
When pressed by Schieffer, Cheney said Bush had “signed off on it,” referring to the surveillance and torture techniques, which now have been exposed.
Schieffer asked if Cheney had any regrets about the methods used under the Bush administration. “No regrets,” he replied. “I think it was absolutely the right thing to do. I’m convinced, absolutely convinced, that we saved thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of lives.”
And, this is Cheney’s “truth” – what, in the mind of a neocon, he really believes:
“I think if you look at this intelligence program that when things are quieter, 20 or 30 years from now, you’ll be able to look back on this and say this is one of the great success stories of American intelligence. I think, in fact, what the men and women in the intelligence community and the lawyers in the Justice Department and the senior officials who approved this program did exactly the right thing. I think the charge that somehow there was something wrong done here or that this was torture in violation of U.S. statutes is just absolutely false. … I think it’s very, very important that we have a clear understanding that what happened here was an honorable approach to defending the nation, that there was nothing devious or deceitful or dishonest or illegal about what was done.”
Schieffer asked Cheney about Pakistan, Afghanistan and the future of the Republican Party. You may read the full transcript of the interview HERE.
Then, came the pièce de résistance:
SCHIEFFER: Colin Powell, Rush Limbaugh said the other day that the party would probably be better off if Colin Powell left and just became a Democrat. Colin Powell said Republicans would be better off if they didn’t have Rush Limbaugh out speaking for them. Where do you come down?
CHENEY: Well, if I had to choose in terms of being a Republican, I’d go with Rush Limbaugh, I think. I think my take on it was Colin had already left the party. I didn’t know he was still a Republican.
SCHIEFFER: So you think that he’s not a Republican?
CHENEY: I just noted he endorsed the Democratic candidate for president this time, Barack Obama. I assumed that that is some indication of his loyalty and his interest.
SCHIEFFER: And you said you would take Rush Limbaugh over Colin Powell?
CHENEY: I would. … Politically.
“Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Only The Shadow knows.” Well, The Shadow and the millions of us who have followed the blatant lies this despicable person has spoken for the last eight years.
There were a lot of creepy persons in the Bush administration and in the neoconservative cabal which surrounded the former president, but Cheney, in my opinion, is the most chilling.