Cheney Cherry-Picks Again

Well, Dick Cheney is almost pathological. As we all know, he cherry-picked intelligence as he led us into war in Iraq — from yellowcake uranium to chemical, biological and nuclear weapons hanging over our heads; from metal tubes to mobile labs, you name it, he manufactured it.

Now Cheney is at it again, flailing around on Fox when he is not closeting himself in his bat cave writing his book to justify the disasters of the last eight years. But what I love is the transition from “We don’t torture” to “Well, torture worked!” And now he wants two memos released, one 12 pages and one 19 pages, to justify his actions. So Cheney wants once more to cherry-pick to try and make his point.

It won’t work this time.

He says the capture and torture of Khalid Sheik Mohammed stopped the bombing of Los Angeles. Trouble is, we were told that was thwarted in February of 2002 — oops, they didn’t capture Mohammed until March of 2003.

Cheney believes, it appears, that torture should be a part of U.S. public policy, as should wiretaps on Americans. Where will this take us as we adopt the tactics of the enemy? Clearly, we will become more like them.

If there is an extraordinary reason why a tactic should be used on a terrorist captive, let the president make the call. Don’t have memos written to justify torture or get around the FISA Court so that these extralegal approaches become “legal.” Don’t send it down the chain of command so that we have the tragedy of Abu Ghraib. Don’t allow torture to become a method to use so that 400 disciplinary actions against military officers ensue and Cheney washes his hands of it. Listen to Judge Jay Bybee, who signed one of those Justice Department memos, who told one of his law clerks, “The spirit of liberty has left the republic.”

Dick Cheney cannot justify his actions, no matter how hard he tries. There is no rule of law that applies to him. The Geneva Conventions are merely a nuisance. Past military protocol on torture is an impediment. The courts and the Congress are just full of naïve softies who must be circumvented. Dick Cheney knows best. Wait for his book; he’ll continue to cherry-pick his “evidence” on torture and illegal surveillance, just the way he did as he got us into the fiasco that is Iraq.

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