Jeffrey Toobin assesses Cheney's torture speech:

Even worse than Cheney’s distortions was the political agenda behind them. The speech was, as politicians say, a markera warning to the new Administration. “Just remember: it is a serious step to begin unravelling some of the very policies that have kept our people safe since 9/11,” Cheney said. “Seven and a half years without a repeat is not a record to be rebuked and scorned, much less criminalized. It is a record to be continued until the danger has passed.” Cheney’s all but explicit message was that the blame for any new attack against American people or interests would be laid not on the terrorists, or on the worldwide climate of anti-Americanism created by the Bush-Cheney Administration, but on Barack Obama. For many months after the 9/11 attacks, Democrats refrained from engaging in the blame game with the Bush Administration. Cheney’s speech makes it clear that, should terrorists strike again, Republicans may not respond in kind.

I'll be spending some time this week on Cheney's gambit. He is playing the Dolchstoss card to rescue his own reputation. He will fail. And he must fail.

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