Why Cheney Attacks

CHENEYChipSomodevilla:Getty

Allen and Vandehei write a piece in advance of the latest Cheney salvo at the commander-in-chief on ABC this morning. Money quote:

Cheney’s ability to influence policy as opposed to influencing cable-news programming may be dulled by his insensitivity to timing and penchant for rhetorical bombast, with such quotes as describing Obama as “a guy without much experience, who campaigned against much of what we put in place ... and who now travels around the world apologizing.” ...

“Listening to former Vice President Cheney attack President Obama's strategic failures in the war on terror feels a little surreal; even from Cheney's point of view, the Bush administration's record was at best a very mixed bag,” responded Walter Russell Mead, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, said in POLITICO’S “Arena” forum.

Several weeks earlier, after Cheney accused Obama of “dithering” during his review of U.S. policy in Afghanistan, Sen. Dick Lugar, an Indiana Republican with major influence on foreign policy, told Bloomberg TV that Cheney was being “unfair.”

Another Republican, former Rep. Mickey Edwards of Oklahoma, defended Obama’s approach to POLITICO and said, “Cheney was wrong and outrageously so to so cavalierly dismiss public opinion” in managing war policy when he was in power.

Stephen M. Walt, a professor of international affairs at Harvard University, was more succinct: “Have you, at long last, no shred of decency left? Oh, never mind. Silly question.”

And they even have a quote from me. Allen and VanDehei imply that my view of the origin of Cheney's outrageous behavior is psychological. I don't believe that. I believe it is very rational, an attempt to wrest the narrative away from the truth that he authorized horrifying war crimes, that he is criminally liable for them and will be described in history as the vice-president who made the US a symbol for torture throughout the world. 

(Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty.)

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