If I Were a Fan of Dick Cheney…


Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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5 Responses

  1. Avatar mike farmer says:

    It makes no sense for anyone, out of context, to recommend torture, and it will be almost impossible to conclude that torture worked as claimed by the Bush adminsitration, but the context of 9/11 provides a little understanding of why torture was performed. All of a sudden, with the sudden explosion of planes into skyscrapers in New York, the people in power were presented with a situation unlike anything since Pearl Harbor. They had no way to know if other attacks were planned, and, if so, how many lives were at risk. In this context, and under these conditions, it’s understandable that extreme measures were taken. I believe if we have another attack, even under a Republican adminsistration, with what we’ve learned, there would be reluctance to go to such extreme measures — however, if we were almost certain that the attacks would continue and torture was the last hope to get information, after all else had failed — who among us would not give the order? You have a high level terrorist before you who you know has valuable information, and who you know was responsible for the first, say, 50,000 deaths, and you’ve tried everything short of torture, and intelligence tells you another attack is imminent — what do you do? I really don’t know what I’d do, but more than likely I’d be asking for understanding later.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to mike farmer says:

      I can’t object in general Mike. I agree with you on principle but the problem lies specifically in what Cheney/Bush did. They not only did it during the dire emergency but they also institutionalized it and concealed it and continue to attempt to conceal it. If it were truely necessary to torture these people then the only principled way to do so would be to unambigously admit to it and make your case. None of this “it’s not really torture” nonsense or “We sortof told the opposition” kabuki or the “it must be kept secret or else our enemies will prepare against it” prattle.Report

      • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to North says:

        Exactly. Just about anyone could understand if the Administration, in the days after 9/11 authorized actions that crossed the line. Those actions would still be illegal, of course, but I doubt you could ever find a jury that would ever think of convicting. No, the problem is the institutionalization and the post-hoc justifications that utterly fail to acknowledge just how wrong these actions were – things like the refusal to acknowledge that these actions amounted to torture, the continued insistence that they were effective despite a complete dearth of evidence to that effect, etc.Report

  2. Avatar mike farmer says:

    I don’t know — I’m certainly no fan of Bush or Cheny, but it all smells like political opportunism from the Obama adminsitration — something to boost his lagging support — I find it difficult that others don’t see the timing suspect, and don’t doubt Obama when he says Holder is being independent. This whole things stinks as bad as Bush and Cheny — both sides are pure politcal animals, and the people caught in the middle doing their job will be hurt the most. It’s a digrace, and not objective in any way.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to mike farmer says:

      Perhaps it is. But that’s the nature of the beast. If Obama, for either political or principled reasons, brings more sunshine onto this aspect of the War on Terror then I shall applaud regardless of his motives. In fact I almost hope that he uses it to whip the republicans up and down DC. I would -love- for it to become a part of political thought that doing what Bush and Cheney did is political suicide. Imagining some spineless president (R or D) in the future saying to his cabinet “Maybe it would help but if we do it this way the opposition is going to Bush/Cheney us into oblivion so I won’t support it.” that makes me smile.Report