In a must-read post, Lawrence Wilkerson lets Cheney have it. What people forget about Cheney is his rank incompetence - which he covers up with fear-mongering and sadism. Very few things have enraged me as much recently - not even the thieves and con-artists at AIG - as that disgraceful, repellent, and deeply dishonest CNN interview Cheney gave last Sunday. Truly a low-point in that man's gutter-level conduct of public office. Money quote from Wilkerson:

The fourth unknown is the ad hoc intelligence philosophy that was developed to justify keeping many of these people, called the mosaic philosophy. Simply stated, this philosophy held that it did not matter if a detainee were innocent.

Indeed, because he lived in Afghanistan and was captured on or near the battle area, he must know something of importance (this general philosophy, in an even cruder form, prevailed in Iraq as well, helping to produce the nightmare at Abu Ghraib). All that was necessary was to extract everything possible from him and others like him, assemble it all in a computer program, and then look for cross-connections and serendipitous incidentals--in short, to have sufficient information about a village, a region, or a group of individuals, that dots could be connected and terrorists or their plots could be identified.

Thus, as many people as possible had to be kept in detention for as long as possible to allow this philosophy of intelligence gathering to work. The detainees' innocence was inconsequential. After all, they were ignorant peasants for the most part and mostly Muslim to boot.

The torture of individuals whose guilt or innocence is unknown is the mark of barbarism. The treatment of human beings as sub-human is equally the mark of the forces of anti-civilization. From the beginning in this struggle against evil, Cheney has been, as he proudly declares, on the dark side. And operating from within.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to