by Chris Bodenner
Zachary Roth points out "the most radical argument" of Cheney's "extremely radical" speech. Cheney:
And when [our enemies] see the American government caught up in arguments about interrogations, or whether foreign terrorists have constitutional rights, they don't stand back in awe of our legal system and wonder whether they had misjudged us all along. Instead the terrorists see just what they were hoping for - our unity gone, our resolve shaken, our leaders distracted. In short, they see weakness and opportunity.
Rule of law and democratic debate - even years after the emergency of 9/11 - are deemed weaknesses by this man. Roth:
In other words, the very act of debating torture, or the process by which we try detainees, is encouraging terrorists to strike. The implication, of course, is that dissent of any kind is dangerous.
Except, of course, the dissent of a former vice president openly repudiating a sitting president's policies on the cable news circuit, claiming his policies will endanger American lives. That's being a "grownup" and "statesman," according to Kristol:
Obama's is the speech of a young senator who was once a part-time law professor--platitudinous and preachy, vague and pseudo-thoughtful in an abstract kind of way. This sentence was revealing: "On the other hand, I recently opposed the release of certain photographs that were taken of detainees by U.S. personnel between 2002 and 2004." "Opposed the release"? Doesn't he mean "decided not to permit the release"? He's president. He's not just a guy participating in a debate. But he's more comfortable as a debater, not as someone who takes responsibility for decisions.
(Unlike Dick "Stuff Happens" Cheney.) My translation of Cheney's speech: they hate us for our freedom, so let's just get rid of the freedom part and then we'll be safe.