Profiting from Torture, War, Outing CIA agents, and Ruining AmericaPosted: August 30, 2011
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.
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.