A reader writes:

While I agree with your assessment that the former vice president is engaged in a desperate strategy to cover up (and avoid the consequences of) his own official misconduct in authorizing torture, I also believe that he (and the GOP in general) are engaged in a crude political calculation--that since the odds favor another terrorist attack within our borders, they are willing to play those odds by preemptively blaming Obama and the Democrats. There is, bluntly, a level at which they see the potential for mass loss of life and destruction of property as a political "plus". It is because this is true that the right has overreacted so savagely to John Brennan's pointed remarks last week.

People who regard this kind of speculation as outrageous and unseemly fail to understand that Cheney and his supporters--having already not only rationalized but celebrated torture and the weakening of the constitution in the name of national defense---have crossed a bright line into truly Strangelovian territory. These people are shameless; it is virtually impossible to malign them, it is simply that the truth itself is so malignant we can hardly bear to give it credence.

I agree; and I also agree it is about as despicable a strategy as one can imagine.

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