Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cheney Speaking is Torture

According to my morning briefing from Red State (I don't know why I get these), Dick Cheney claims that if the torture memos are released, then all the good results gained by torture should be publicized. Bullshit, say I. If there were any good results the Bush administration would have been crowing about them. Moreover, I would be afraid to see what Dick Cheney considers "good".

As far as I am concerned, it doesn't matter if torture yielded any useful information. It's still wrong. I could rob some banks and point to how rich I got as a result, but that wouldn't make robbing banks OK. Scott Petersen could, if he folllowed Cheneyist moral logic, have argued that the murder of Lacy yielded good results for him and should be excused. Hitler's genocidal rampage was OK because it helped his cause in some way. Mao was able to get rid of a lot of hungry mouths in the purges of the Great Leap Forward, so good for him.

The bastards who wrote the torture memos should be disbarred and prosecuted. Those who followed the memos should be investigated and prosecuted if it is suspected that they knew better. If they didn't know better, they should be fired, because they're too damn stupid to occupy positions of trust.


Anonymous said...

The recent appearances of the Cheneys over the media as a credible political opponent on par to the Obama administration's policies and stances raises an issue of journalistic deontology! This is definitely of artificial making. On the one hand, we've got a legitimately elected President of the United States who has undergone the rigorous electoral process having to make his case to the American people and coming out successful in eliciting the policies he intends to carry out during his mandate within the confines of the American political institutional structure and process. On the other hand, we've got political personae (the Cheneys) who are effectively being presented by the media as a legitimate opponent on par to the Obama administration whereas they do not bear any electoral mandate whatsoever for the political views they profer and with no consequent responsiblity, stake and risk that will arise from any such mandate while the President is tied to them.

Anonymous said...

The latest case in point, is Liz Cheney's appearance on the Scarborough Show with her critical and undermining views of the President presented in effect as critical views to the Obama speech delivered in Egypt under the disguise of expressing her opinions. For comments/expressions of opinion on the President's policies, her views as well as those of her father have been given such a broad artificial reception by the media that runs very contrary to the expression of opinion as we've come to know it. These views are rather given almost the same weight and placed on par as the political stances of a legitimately elected president with a legitimate mandate for the policies he is undertaking while the Cheney's hold no such legitimate mandate and with no accompanying political accountability whatsoever. The issue here is that such attitude by the media is contrary to what we've come to expect from normal implicit democratic rules. If the Cheneys had any pretense for policies they wished to be implemented after the Bush Administration, the solution would have simply been for Dick or Liz to run for president. Since they didn't, it is artificial for the media to strive to present them as a counterweight on par to the Obama administration's policies well beyong what will be expected for the opinion of a simple citizen that the Cheneys are now notwithstanding their previous political roles. And by the way, by extension is it acceptable that any citizen, no matter what self-righteous pretense they might have, to be artificially given a similar counterweight role on par with the President on any policy issues of the Obama administration while not holding any legitimate political mandate for which they will be politically accountable for their stances? It can be understandable, that the Cheneys can be of direct concern when it comes to matters of direct relation to political issues having to do with Cheney's role in the Bush administration. But to raise their views on the policies and stances the administration should take on par with the President undermines appropriate journalistic deontology because as we should all know by now "elections do matter".

Anonymous said...

What strikes the mind here is that the Cheneys have perfectly understood this "naïvété" of the media and are using this "media confusion about fairness" to artificially strive to extirpate Mr. Dick Cheney from accusations of introducing torture policies during the Bush Administration among other political accusations. Their strategy is very simple. Legally, Cheney can't make it (they know that secretly). In all courts of law, so-called EITs are definitely torture practices. Besides, the facts as we know them are overwhelmingly against him and the Bush Administration, and Dick Cheney's contradictions are extensive. The real strategy of the Cheney's here is totally otherly: turn it "political". First, saying torture works and was for the good of the country should elicit the fervour of many Americans. Afterall, all what is needed is that a substantial number of Americans polled buy to this argument, and then the issue’s legal underpinning may be undermined. Secondly, posing artificially as the right wing counterweight to the Obama's administration policies elicits the impression and fervour in some quarters particularly to the right that he is making the President moderate and thus he is political useful. A look at this second political trick shows how the media has effectively been manipulated: knowing fairly well that in his administrative role the President will have to take practical and pragmatic postures with respect to the release of photos of abused detainees as well as on other policies, all what Dick simply have to do is to posit that he is against releasing the pictures and pretend to take critical policy issues postures on the right, making him seemingly a moderating influence on the President. Thirdly, the Cheneys simply have to claim that Obama is following the Bush Administration’s policies he criticized pointing to his strategies in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo. In this case too, the media is manipulated as they ignore the fact that the Obama administration does not have the luxury of starting from scratch as Bush had on all these issues but rather adopts a “course correction strategy” of the situations to bring them as close as possible to what he advocates. The fact is that, the underlying strategy of Dick and her daughter is to make this three steps political trick extirpate Dick from the accusations levied against the former administration. The sad thing is that the media is "naïvely" falling for these political tricks!