Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Those pesky policy reviews

In an interview with ABC's Terry Moran, Dick Cheney talked candidly about torture, domestic spying and the responsilibities of this administration:

On torture:
Moran: Are you troubled at all that more than 100 people in U.S. custody have died -- 26 of them now being investigated as criminal homicides -- people beaten to death, suffocated to death, died of hypothermia in U.S. custody?

Cheney: No. I won't accept your numbers, Terry. But I guess one of the things I'm concerned about is that as we get farther and farther away from 9/11, and there have been no further attacks against the U.S., there seems to be less and less concern about doing what's necessary in order to defend the country.

Hmm, I won't accept your numbers. I guess this is more than a tacit admission of the presidential policy which creates its own reality. If you don't like the facts, you can simply ignore them.

Cheney:And what I'm concerned about, Terry, is that as we get farther and farther from 9/11, we've got -- we seem to have people less and less committed to doing everything that's necessary to defend the country.

You really T have to O read between R the lines T to see what U the president R of vice is E saying here.

On domestic spying:
...these are communications that involve acknowledged or known terrorists -- dirty numbers, if you will.
This must be the new "Axis of Evil" - the dirty dozen!

It's been reviewed. It's reviewed every 45 days by the president himself, by the attorney general of the U.S., by the president's council, by the director of CIA.
Let's see, that means the President reviews himself. But that's not all, his AG can review his policies (this is the AG that wrote a memo defending torture), the President's council (that merry band of yeah-sayers), and the CIA director (cowed the administration into accepting responsibility for any lapses in intelligence or judgment.) This isn't exactly what I'd call strict oversight.

On oversight of the program:
This has been done, Terry, in a manner that is completely consistent with our obligations and requirements, I can assure you.

Whew, the Vice-President assures us. Now I can sleep again at night.

On Iraq:
Moran: You talk about undermining the legitimacy of the resistance. Before the war you said Americans would be greeted as liberators here, and yet your own trip here today was undertaken in such secrecy that not even the prime minister of this country knew you were coming, and your movements around are in incredible secrecy and security. Do you ever think about how and why you got it wrong?

Cheney: I don't think I got it wrong. I think the vast majority of the Iraqi people are grateful for what the U.S. did. I think they believe overwhelmingly that they're better off today than they were when Saddam Hussein ruled.

Mistakes? Wrong? what me? us? who? no....I think the question is just poorly framed. Because death and destruction is how we define success!

On the Valerie Plame Affair:
Moran: You mentioned Scooter Libby is a close friend, and...

Cheney: He is.

Moran: ... he's worked with you for a long time. What do you make of what he's going through?

Cheney: Well, I'm sure it's very tough. But he's a good man. He's a patriot. And as I say, he's entitled to a presumption of innocence. And we'll leave it at that.

Just remember, laws aren't written for patriots. I'm sure this applies to all members of the current administration as well. The best defense is the patriot defense.

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