Profiting from Torture, War, Outing CIA agents, and Ruining America

Now, ask me how I really feel about the dueling book tours of war criminals Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld?

Better yet, ask me why I disagree with President Obama who hasn’t said anything about the Dark Lords’ Book Tours and still thinks we should just put all this behind us?

MSNBC and NBC interviewed the vile creature that was our vice president, and I’ve actually watched the interviews. One of the most disgusting parts of the book and of the interviews was his continued plea for exoneration of Scooter Libby for all the lying and law breaking he did to cover up Cheney’s role in the outing of Valerie Plame.  He continues to point the finger at Colin Powell for the investigation and seethes about Dubya’s refusal to pardon Libby. He also characterizes Condoleeza Rice as “tearful” for her public apology on the 16 words that drove Joe Wilson to the op-ed pages to try to stop the incredible mistake that was and is the Iraq war.  If there ever was a reason to never bring Republicans back to a realm where they can influence the foreign policy of the U.S., Cheney is out there making that case right now.  How can so few people cost one nation so much in lives and treasure and then be allowed to go out and profit from their reckless, stupid, costly, deadly ideology and policy?

Here’s a link to The Atlantic to remind us “Why Americans Loathe Dick Cheney”.  There’s a huge, long list that includes Halliburton, spying on Americans, indefinite detentions, torture, and the radical view of executive power that haunts us today.  Each item on the list comes from a long list of books that investigated Cheney’s misdeeds and each of them should be enough to start a righteous Justice Department investigation of his actions while in office. Here’s the conclusions from author Conor Friedersdorf.

Dick Cheney was a self-aggrandizing criminal who used his knowledge as a Washington insider to subvert both informed public debate about matters of war and peace and to manipulate presidential decision-making, sometimes in ways that angered even George W. Bush.

After his early years of public service, he capitalized on connections he made while being paid by taxpayers to earn tens of millions of dollars presiding over Halliburton. While there, he did business with corrupt Arab autocrats, including some in countries that were enemies of the United States. Upon returning to government, he advanced a theory of the executive that is at odds with the intentions of the founders, successfully encouraged the federal government to illegally spy on innocent Americans, passed on to the public false information about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and became directly complicit in a regime of torture for which he should be in jail.

Glenn Greenwald got a jump on the corporate media by  publishing his diatribe in Salon on Thursday.  Oh, wait the corporate media is being somewhat deferential to grab the interviews. Greenwald lists the results of the poison fruits of elite immunity.  While CNN is fretting about the dying Lockerbie bomber who killed hundreds, here’s what’s going on with Dick Cheney, who is responsible for the senseless deaths of hundreds of thousands.

That’s what happens when the Government — marching under the deceitful Orwellian banner of Look Forward, Not Backward — demands that its citizens avert their eyes from the crimes of their leaders so that all can be forgotten: the crimes become non-crimes, legitimate acts of political choice, and the criminals become instantly rehabilitated by the message that nothing they did warrants punishment.  That’s the same reason people like John Yoo and Alberto Gonzales are defending their torture and illegal spying actions not in a courtroom but in a lush conference of elites in Aspen.

The U.S. Government loves to demand that other countries hold their political leaders accountable for serious crimes, dispensing lectures on the imperatives of the rule of law.  Numerous states bar ordinary convicts from profiting from their crimes with books.  David Hicks, an Australian citizen imprisoned without charges for six years at Cheney’s Guantanamo, just had $10,000 seized by the Australian government in revenue from his book about his time in that prison camp on the ground that he is barred from profiting from his uncharged, unproven crimes.

By rather stark contrast, Dick Cheney will prance around the next several weeks in the nation’s largest media venues, engaging in civil, Serious debates about whether he was right to invade other countries, torture, and illegally spy on Americans, and will profit greatly by doing so.  There are many factors accounting for his good fortune, the most important of which are the protective shield of immunity bestowed upon him by the current administration and the more generalized American principle that criminal accountability is only for ordinary citizens and other nations’ (unfriendly) rulers.

Even George Will says that Dick Cheney–at the very least–owes the world and the US an apology.

Five hundred and sixty five pages and a simple apology would have been in order in some of them. Which is to say, the great fact of those eight years is we went to war—big war, costly war—under false pretenses. And…to write a memoir in which you say essentially nothing seriously went wrong…if I wrote a memoir of my last week, I would have things to apologize for.

From what I can tell from these bits and blurbs from the interviews with NBC, Cheney thinks everything he did was right and every one else is wrong.  This includes the President he served and the people he served with maybe the exception of Donald Rumsfeld.  It’s a little odd, don’t you think, that Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Dubya can’t leave the country for fear of being sent directly to The Hague to be tried for Crimes against humanity?   Yet, Cheney can’t think of one thing that he wasn’t right about.

If you can stomach it, here’s a Youtube of NBC’s ‘exclusive” with Dick Cheney.  Isn’t this just ducky? Oh, and his book is up there on the bestseller list now.  How on earth could we let this vile creature out on a rehabilitation tour and enrich him for his inhumane agenda?

Oh, and just in case you’re inclined to give our President a Break, here’s a little reminder on something from Wikileaks via Jonathan Turley and David Corn from 2010 w/ht to Susie Madrak.

One of the little reported details from the latest batch of Wikileaks material are cables showing that the Obama Administration worked hard behind the scenes not only to prevent any investigation of torture in the United States but shutdown efforts abroad to enforce the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture. This includes threatening the Spanish that, if they did not derail a judicial investigation, it would have serious consequences in bilateral relations. I discussed these cables on Countdown.

For two years, President Obama has worked to block the investigation of torture under the Bush Administration — even as both Dick Cheney and George Bush publicly admit to ordering waterboarding of suspects.

David Corn in Mother Jones has an interesting posting today on the issue.

A “confidential” April 17, 2009, cable sent from the US embassy in Madrid to the State Department discloses how the Administration discarded any respect for the independence of the judiciary in Spain and pressured the government to derail the prosecution of Bush officials. Human rights groups around the world had called for such enforcement in light of Obama promise that no torturers would be prosecuted and Holder’s blocking of any investigation into war crimes.

The Association for the Dignity of Spanish Prisoners had filed a demand for prosecution with Spain’s National Court to indict former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales; David Addington, former chief of staff and legal adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney; William Haynes, the Pentagon’s former general counsel; Douglas Feith, former undersecretary of defense for policy; Jay Bybee, former head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel; and John Yoo, a former official in the Office of Legal Counsel. It had a compelled factual basis that these men ordered or facilitated war crimes — a record that has only become stronger since this confrontation.

American officials pressured government officials, including prosecutors and judges, not to enforce international law and that this was “a very serious matter for the USG.” It was Obama’s own effort at creating a “Coalition of the Unwilling” — nations unwilling to enforce treaties on torture and war crimes when the alleged culprits are American officials.

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) joined the embassy’s charge d’affaires in the secret campaign to block the prosection of Judge Baltasar Garzón.

18 Comments on “Profiting from Torture, War, Outing CIA agents, and Ruining America”

  1. dakinikat says:

    Former Bush official promises to testify if someone will ‘Pinochet’ Cheney

    The former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell pledged Tuesday to testify against former Vice President Dick Cheney if he is ever tried for war crimes.

    Col. Lawrence Wilkerson told Democracy Now‘s Amy Goodman that he would participate in a trial even if it meant personal repercussions.

    “I, unfortunately — and I’ve admitted to this a number of times, publicly and privately — was the person who put together Colin Powell’s presentation at the United Nations Security Council on 5 February, 2003,” Wilkerson said. “It was probably the biggest mistake of my life. I regret it to this day. I regret not having resigned over it.”

    In an interview that aired on NBC Monday, Cheney told Jamie Gangel that unlike President George W. Bush, he did not have a “sickening feeling” when they discovered there were no weapons of mass destruction after the invasion of Iraq.

    “I think we did the right thing,” Cheney said.

    Joining Wilkerson and Goodman to discuss Cheney’s new book “In My Time,” Salon’s Glenn Greenwald said that it was disturbing to see the former vice president treated simply as an “elder statesman.”

    “The evidence is overwhelming… that Dick Cheney is not just a political figure with controversial views, but is an actual criminal, that he was centrally involved in a whole variety not just of war crimes in Iraq, but of domestic crimes, as well, including the authorization of warrantless eavesdropping on American citizens in violation of FISA, which says that you go to jail for five years for each offense, as well as the authorization and implementation of a worldwide torture regime that, according to General Barry McCaffrey, resulted in the murder — his word — of dozens of detainees, far beyond just the three or four cases of waterboarding that media figures typically ask Cheney about,” Greenwald explained.

    “And as a result, Dick Cheney goes around the country profiting off of this, you know, sleazy, sensationalistic, self-serving book, basically profiting from his crimes, and at the same time normalizing the idea that these kind of policies, though maybe in the view of some wrongheaded, are perfectly legitimate political choices to make. And I think that’s the really damaging legacy from all of this.”

    • The Rock says:

      It’s a start. It takes courage to come out like that with no guarantee that the investigation won’t entirely focus on you. Not to mention the fact that I really believe that Cheney is like that uNorth boss from the movie ‘Michael Clayton.’ I think he has the names and numbers of some unseedy characters that would end Col. Wilkerson.

      Now we need a leader that has the courage to involve the justice system in a legal and fair trial against the cabal that put us in Iraq. Perry maybe? Ron Paul? Bachmann perhaps? Palin possibly?

      Yeah, right…..

      Hillary 2012

    • Pat Johnson says:

      And the same deference was paid to Henry Kissinger, treating him like an elder statesman and dragging him out of mothballs for some incomprehensible statement regarding world events.

      Like Casey Anthony, these war mongering thugs should be in hiding somewhere with only their obituaries marking their exits from the stage.

      Ironic that in his healthier days Cheney resembled Darth Vader. Today he looks more and more like the Crypt Keeper. I’d like to think it was because his conscience had been eating away at his insides but I seriously doubt the man ever had one.

      • dakinikat says:

        Here’s an interesting thing from ABC:

        Former Powell Chief of Staff: Cheney “Fears Being Tried as a War Criminal”

        Before serving as Powell’s chief of staff while Powell was Secretary of State, Wilkerson worked in the first Bush administration as a special assistant to Powell, who was then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Cheney was serving as Secretary of Defense. He’s known Cheney for decades, but says now, “I simply don’t recognize Mr. Cheney anymore” and calling him a “very vindictive person.”

        “I think he’s just trying to, one, assert himself so he’s not in some subsequent time period tried for war crimes and, second, so that he somehow vindicates himself because he feels like he needs vindication. That in itself tells you something about him,” Wilkerson told ABC News, explaining that Cheney may have “angst” because of receiving deferments instead of serving in the Vietnam War like Wilkerson and others in the administration.

        “He’s developed an angst and almost a protective cover, and now he fears being tried as a war criminal so he uses such terminology as ‘exploding heads all over Washington’ because that’s the way someone who’s decided he’s not going to be prosecuted acts: boldly, let’s get out in front of everybody, let’s act like we are not concerned and so forth when in fact they are covering up their own fear that somebody will Pinochet him,” Wilkerson said alluding to the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who was arrested for war crimes.

    • bostonboomer says:

      “…it was disturbing to see the former vice president treated simply as an ‘elder statesman.'”

      Exactly the same thing happened with Nixon–who was pardoned by Gerald Ford instead of being put on trial and sent to jail.

      That’s what happens when the rich and powerful get different treatment in the justice system.

  2. Minkoff Minx says:

    Don’t forget about Tony Blair:
    Dick Cheney autobiography heaps praise on Tony Blair | World news | The Guardian

    Looks like Darth Vader gives him the “dark side” seal of approval…

  3. janicen says:

    Matt Lauer looked positively smitten when he was interviewing this monster.

  4. madamab says:

    MSNBC and NBC interviewed the vile creature that was our vice president and I’ve actually watched the interviews.

    This is proof that Dakinikat is much braver than MadamaB. 🙂

    • The Rock says:

      Watching him, Obumbles, or Bush on TV and not throwing up seems more like a fraternity pledge stunt at this point…


      Hillary 2012

  5. northwestrain says:

    Thanks to the way Cheney and Rummy ran the wars the old concept of POW being treated according to the Geneva Conventions went out the window. Which also meant that there were no US or allied POWs — so how many American sons and daughters were killed — captured and killed rather than held as POws?

    There were mentions of this change in warfare very early on in the Cheney/rummy reign — but nothing has been mentioned lately.

    These two creeps are responsible for a whole lot of deaths and murder.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Excellent post! I don’t get why Cheney is so obsessed with getting a pardon for Libby. Maybe they’re lovers?