The GOP's Cheney Problem

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The least popular vice-president in memory is not helping the Republicans regroup - according to this piece from the Hill. But Cheney is not giving these disgraceful and classless interviews to help the GOP. He's giving them because it is beginning to dawn on him that he is in very serious trouble - legally, politically, historically. As the full details of his obsession with the torture program emerge, and as the gruesome nature of the actual torture becomes clearer, he knows he will go down in history as a war criminal, defined for all time as the man who took America and the West to the dark side with no easy way back. He's trying to prevent that with the usual bluff and bravado. But even Bush isn't buying all of it any longer.

It seems to me that what we need is simply more disclosure of all the government knows about what Cheney and Bush did.

What Panetta and Rudman need to do is to find out and publish as much as possible about the facts of the torture techniques and, more saliently, what the results of the torture program were. We need to see what actual actionable intelligence we got from it, to evaluate the balance between false information and accurate information, and to find out just how intimately Cheney was involved in orchestrating, monitoring and presiding over the torture, from whatever distance. Until we know more facts, we cannot fully assess the damage. Right now, we just have blanket assurances from the accused that they did nothing wrong and saved many lives. What if that isn't accurate?

Cheney is out there hurting his party, helping the president, and sowing fear - because he has to if he is to survive as anything but a pariah. The one thing he cannot stand is sunlight. So let it in, Mr President. Let it in.

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