Cheney's Latest Dolchstoss Gambit

The former vice-president and war criminal again assails the president of the United States because he won an election pledging to reverse the dead-end policies of his discredited and incompetent predecessors. One can only concur with Marc Lynch:

Thanks, Dick Cheney - whenever I fret about Obama, you're there to buck me up and remind me of the alternative.

Adam Serwer adds:

The Obama administration raised troop levels in Afghanistan and increased drone strikes in the region (whether one agrees with those choices or not) -- to the extent that they haven't implemented a new strategy, they've been following the one the Bush administration put in place for the past eight years give or take. So Cheney is basically admitting that the Bush administration strategy was itself "dithering," which doesn't seem to be a strong point from which to launch criticism.

Cheney claims the Bush administration conducted its own strategy review before they left office that had similar results, but that just seems to bolster my above point: The Bush administration implemented a strategy of "dithering" in Afghanistan for years, and now that he's out of office, Cheney wants to lecture the Obama administration on expediency.

There is also the chilling formula of Cheney speaking of torture as if it were merely a case of hurrying up legitimate and traditional interrogation.

Cheney should recall that the Republican nominee for president past time around believed that Cheney authorized torture, took the position that waterboarding was indisputably torture, and that the Bush administration had grotesquely violated American honor by embracing the tactics of police states and totalitarian regimes. If Cheney travels abroad (which is probably an unwise thing for a war criminal to do), he might understand the depth of the abyss he cast the US's reputation into.

Cheney is fighting against a narrative that will, in due course, cast him in history as one of the most criminal and incompetent officials in American history. It is logical for him to fight in this way, to lie about his record and to attack a sitting president in the vilest way possible while that president and the country remains at war. It is not logical for anyone else to take him the faintest bit seriously.

Except for this: For a former vice-president to do this in real time, and to use this kind of rhetoric, and play with these kinds of stakes - to warn, in fact, than any future terror attack will be blamed on the president, not al Qaeda, and used as partisan tool to get his own allies in power again to prevent justice being brought to him and his criminal cronies - well, it's as despicable as the rest of Cheney's record.

Which is saying something. I wondered if Cheney's record and legacy could get even worse after his eight years of thuggery and incompetence. He's proving every day that it can.