I wrote this article about Dick Cheney back in May of '09 and to the surprise of no one, nothing has changed. From the first time I saw him in an interview (back in the early 90's at some point), I thought that he was one of the most competent politicians I had ever seen (and I mean that in the most positive way possible). I also thought that he might be one of the most dangerous politicians I had ever seen. His was able to discuss matters of life and death without showing a shred of humanity. I've never seen another expression on his face than the usual look of disdain at having to answer questions from someone or explain something to someone he clearly views as beneath him.
His latest attack on the President is in line with his previous statements regarding this administration's handling of the threat of terrorism. It has become clear that a breakdown in the intelligence community allowed the "Christmas Day Bomber" to be able to get on board a plane headed for the United States. It is not the fault of the President. It's is not the fault of the TSA (which is still without a leader because Jim DeMint is single handedly holding up a vote on his confirmation by the Senate). it's not something that any amount of vigilance by the administration was going to stop. There are policies in place that should have allowed the intelligence agencies to share the information, that was already in house, to prevent this near disaster. However, somewhere along the line, someone dropped the ball. That revelation did not stop the former from Vice President from claiming that the administrations policies are the ones that almost led to and will undoubtedly lead to disaster in the future. He is practically inviting terrorists to try and attack by claiming that the Obama administration has made America more vulnerable to attack than it was under the previous administration.
It is almost comical to anticipate the attacks on the administration from the Republicans these days. The President was on vacation at the time of the attempted bombing. He personally responded to the attack in a news conference in about under a week. Of course a great cry went up that the President was frolicking in the waters of Hawaii (which happens to be his home state), when he should have been back in Washington handling the "crisis" personally. When the shoe bomber tried unsuccessfully to blow up a plane, the President Bush took over a week to have a press conference and there was no harping in the press or the opposition party about how long it was taking. And if President Bush had taken any more vacation days during his first 8 months in office, he would have had to list "vacation" as his occupation on his tax forms. If President Obama had held a press conference immediately, the Republicans would have complained that he had responded before gathering all the facts. Some Republicans even used the attacks to try and scare people into donating money for their campaigns.
Mr. Cheney has a different motivation for taking on the current administration. Franky, he doesn't care about whether Republicans are returned to the White House (since it won't be him). Dick Cheney's only regret about the attempted terrorist act is that it was not successful. His line of attack against this administration has nothing to do with keeping America safe from attack. He is still hoping for ultimate redemption of his sanctioning of clearly illegal acts. He points to the fact that the leaders of the Al Qaeda in Yemen are former Gitmo detainees as proof that President Obama's plan to close the prison is misguided. However, the fact that the leaders of the terrorist group in Yemen are former detainees in Gitmo, says more about the Bush administration and their overzealous activities in rounding up as many people as they could, than it does about the Obama administration's plan to close the doors on that prison. And also it was the Bush administration that released those particular individuals. How is that now the fault of the Obama administration?
I would ask the esteemed former Vice President if he still thinks that the President has the power to detain whomever he wants without due process of the law? During the Bush administration and under the leadership of the Vice President's office, legal opinions were given that stated that during war time (even though no war has been declared by Congress), the President basically had unlimited to power to detain, torture and deny the rights of anyone that he deemed a threat to the country. And since the Vice President was always quick to question the patriotism and loyalty of anyone who questioned the Bush administration, I wonder how he would feel if the President decided that he was a threat to the safety of all Americans. Would he be okay with being detained indefinitely? How about being tortured (sorry, I meant having enhanced interrogation techniques applied to him)? If he followed his own tortured (pun intended) logic, then he would be fine with that. I wish that the President would take him at his word.
Dick Cheney has no intention of supporting this administration. He doesn't care about the success or failure of the President's domestic initiatives. He's rich and he doesn't care who knows it. He only cares that at some point in the near future a terrorist is successful in taking out a large number of Americans. That way, he and George Bush can rest knowing that they will not go down in history as the only administration that allowed a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil during their tenure. His idea of patriotism is "what's good for Dick Cheney, is good".