vpResident Evil on Fox: Waterboarding “good policy”Posted: August 30, 2009
Fox News has just posted RAW DATA: Transcript of Cheney on ‘FOX News Sunday’. I’m not a lawyer and I’m certainly no expert on national security. I try to keep to economics because I have training and expertise there. Some times, because I’ve been given front page privileges, I bring things up that I’ve read because they just shake me to my core. I really believe from the bottom of what I feel is right and wrong that the policies pushed on this country by Dick Cheney were beyond pale and the U.S Constitution. I’d like to compare Cheney’s thoughts to some other Americans who have known the privilege of serving the American public and taken oaths to uphold our Constitution. I consider these Americans to be the experts that I am not on matters of the U.S. Constitution and Liberty.
Here is a quote from a great American justice that encapsulates what I feel right now as I share the contents of that interview.
The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal — well-meaning but without understanding.
Louis D. Brandeis
Then, there are these thoughts from two great Presidents and Statesmen.
The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.
The history of liberty is the history of the limitations of governmental power, not the increase of it. When we resist the concentration of power we are resisting the powers of death. Concentration of power precedes the destruction of human liberties.
Then, there is the granddaddy of all liberty quotes.
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Here are some quotes from the Cheney interview:
I’m very proud of what we did in terms of defending the nation for the last eight years successfully. And, you know, it won’t take a prosecutor to find out what I think. I’ve already expressed those views rather forthrightly.
I knew about the waterboarding. Not specifically in any one particular case, but as a general policy that we had approved.
Chris, my sort of overwhelming view is that the enhanced interrogation techniques were absolutely essential in saving thousands of American lives and preventing further attacks against the United States, and giving us the intelligence we needed to go find Al Qaeda, to find their camps, to find out how they were being financed. Those interrogations were involved in the arrest of nearly all the Al Qaeda members that we were able to bring to justice. I think they were directly responsible for the fact that for eight years, we had no further mass casualty attacks against the United States.It was good policy. It was properly carried out. It worked very, very well.
I think that if they were faced with the kind of situation we were faced with in the aftermath of 9/11, suddenly capturing people that may have knowledge about imminent attacks, and they’re going to have to have meetings and decide who gets to ask what question and who’s going to Mirandize the witness, I think it’s silly. It makes no sense. It doesn’t appear to be a serious move in terms of being able to deal with the nation’s security.
The thing I keep coming back to time and time again, Chris, is the fact that we’ve gone for eight years without another attack. Now, how do you explain that?
The critics don’t have any solution for that. They can criticize our policies, our way of doing business, but the results speak for themselves. And, as well as the efforts that we went to with the Justice Department and so forth to make certain what we were doing was legal, was consistent with our international treaty obligations.
Oh, one more quote for you from some one around way before the U.S. Constitution was ever written.
A prince, then, who would be powerful should have no care or thought but for war, lest he lose his dominions. If he be ignorant of military affairs he can neither be respected by the soldiers nor trust them. Therefore, he must both practise and study this art. For the practice, the chase in many respects provides an excellent training both in knowledge of the country and in vigour of the body. As to study, a prince should read histories, note the actions of great men and examine the causes of their victories and defeats, imitating those who have been renowned.
Anyone who would act up to a perfect standard of goodness in everything must be ruined among so many who are not good. It is essential therefore for a prince to have learnt how to be other than good and to use, or not to use, his goodness as necessity requires.
This Machiavelli quote from the Prince and the section entitled “Of Maintaining a Princedom” is usually thought to be the source of the old saying “The ends justify the means”. I don’t know about you, but this is essentially what I was taught about Machiavelli when I had to read The Prince in junior high school.
Niccolò Machiavelli was an Italian statesman and writer and is considered one of the most significant political thinkers of the Renaissance. His best-known work, The Prince, describes cunning and unscrupulous methods for rulers to gain and keep power.
Which of our past leaders should we look to for inspiration concerning liberty and the existence of our constitutional Republic?