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The Magnificent Irony of Dick Cheney

Could we pause just a moment to appreciate the magnificent, multi-lawyered irony of Dick Cheney being on the side of disclosing government secrets -- and losing? Vice President Dark Side, Mr. Can’t-Reveal-Meetings-With-The-Energy-Task-Force, all of a sudden believes in openness, it seems, when disclosure would suit him. Raise your hand if you think he’d be arguing for release of documents on the effectiveness of interrogation techniques used during the Bush administration if he thought the information would undermine his case.

I’m with Cheney on this, by the way. Whether or not torture is effective is a different question than whether it should be employed, but I’m all for knowing the answer to the first question. The information about what the government did or didn’t gain through its "enhanced interrogation techniques" should be revealed to the maximum extent consistent with protecting national security -- not just a few cherry-picked memos, but the entire array of assessments.

That may still happen: in another delicious wrinkle, the Central Intelligence Agency rebuffed Cheney’s request to have the document declassified not because it determined the information had to stay secret, but because the document “contains information that is already the subject of pending litigation” -- Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits from public interest groups seeking information about the previous administration’s torture policies. So Cheney, having stymied a FOIA lawsuit about his energy task force, now finds himself stymied by FOIA. Cheney, having disputed the National Archives’ authority over the vice president’s office on the theory that it is not within the executive branch, now has the Archives relaying his request to have the document declassified. Maybe in retirement the vice president could take up a new cause: government openness.

By Ruth Marcus  | May 15, 2009; 1:08 PM ET
Categories:  Marcus  | Tags:  Ruth Marcus  
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Can't we just render Mr. Cheney to some foreign country and have everything we need beaten out of him? Screw congressional hearings and freedom of information. We could even send him home with a photo album and commemorative video documenting his cooperation.

Whatever works, right?

Posted by: Gmoney2 | May 15, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Ruth, how about waterboarding you 89 times before you get the answer to your first question, whether waterboarding works. How you people claim to be civilized human beings gets lost on me.

Posted by: August30 | May 15, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Ruth, you are missing the point. Its not that Cheney wants to have the info out in the open. I am sure he would have burried all of the memos around interrogations as deep as possible. But the Obama administration is just cherry picking what documents to release to fit their political needs. He has the power to declassifiy the information received from the detainees...why is he hiding it? They are only telling one side of the story. As with everything else, BO says one thing (transparency) and does another.

Posted by: jdschrumm | May 15, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

The answer as to whether torture is "effective" is already known: it is effective. But what does effective mean? Does it mean "getting the truth and nothing but the truth"; or does it mean effective in getting some "actionable information, regardless if it is true or not"? Israelis have already shown (see Krauthammer today) that torture is effective in the second sense, such as for example in locating Hamas leaders regardless of due process and targeting them for assasination. Even if the information proves to be false, who cares? Who is going to stop it? Is it criminal? Is in unjust? Does it create hatred? In other words, is is against the Torah? Who cares? It's effective.

Posted by: danigo | May 15, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

"Whether or not torture is effective is a different question than whether it should be employed, but I’m all for knowing the answer to the first question."

The experiment has been done. Tortured prisoners will say anything. The info you get is less reliable than info gotten in other ways. Those who raise the question are like those who argue that there's still doubt about Evolution. Torture does not work, the effects of those who torture are horrible and the World has decided that it is unacceptable and criminal to do it. End of story. Those who authorized the torture need to be held accountable. Do not be distracted from the central point.

Posted by: thebobbob | May 15, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

There are certainly two issues, one academic, and one that should really strike you at the heart of your morals. Does torture work is a question for the annals of interest. Should we torture is a question that deals with the violation of the most basic human rights, in which efficacy is not the most powerful argument.

Posted by: snguyenm | May 15, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"Raise your hand if you think he’d be arguing for release of documents on the effectiveness of interrogation techniques used during the Bush administration if he thought the information would undermine his case."

I'm raising the living heck out of my hand right now. What's chances the two documents he's after are the very first two pieces of evidence in history - worldwide, and throughout all of time - that torture is good for getting reliable, actionable intelligence?

Posted by: mobedda | May 15, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

To me the question is not whether torture works or not. We all know that it is immoral and unethical and goes against everything that we think our country stands for. The only question to be answered is whether or not it is illegal. If it is illegal then we need to investigate and prosecute.

Posted by: chlind | May 15, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Cheney himself should just go away. He doesn't have to go away mad, but just go away. He's such a horrible man.

Cheney just seems to love to stir up confusion and hatred among everybody with loads of lies, deceit, and misstatements, and that makes Cheney smile.

Posted by: lindalovejones | May 15, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Can we render Karl Rove along with Cheney? We don't even have to ask any questions of Rove.

BTW, Ruth, did you mean "multi-layered irony" and not "multi-lawyered"?

Posted by: raschumacher | May 15, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Disappointing, Ms. Marcus. It does NOT matter what some people may think torture accomplishes. It's torture. By even considering it, we stoop (or slither) to the level of Cheney, the Taliban, Charles Krautmammer, al-Qaeda and their ilk.

That's not the kind of company I'd like to keep.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | May 15, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse


Extradite to the Hague.

And hold international war crimes trials there, since we can't be trusted not to pardon the criminal Cheney and his traitors.


Posted by: WillSeattle | May 15, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

you know why former VP Cheney said he wanted those documents released -- because he knew they would NOT be released, due to the pending litigation; he's not 'stymied' by the FOIA at all, but very, very sly (understatement of the century)

Posted by: ffej10 | May 15, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Marcus, I am surprised and perturbed. You do not understand we are a Nation based on the rule-of-law. Whether or not torture is effective does not alleviate the commission of a criminal act. Cheney admits he approved and supported water boarding. This is a domestic and international crime. By publicly admitting committing this crime, he is flaunting it before the country, the DOJ and the International community. In addition to being a crime, torture is morally repugnant to most Americans and certainly inconsistent with our constitution and the ideals this country was foundered on and lived by until the Bush/Cheney team came along.

Posted by: PaulofAnnapolis | May 15, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't Mr. Cheney contact the ACLU and have them bring the lawsuit uder the freedom of information act?

Posted by: grumpy788 | May 15, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

He's trying to convey that his administration would be vindicated by the release of such information. Of course it wouldn't; every time we were able to acquire documentation of such claims we learned the Bush/Cheney people were liars and hysterical paranoids. The act of requesting such information is in fact one more act of duplicity, as he knows it won't be released.

Posted by: e9999999 | May 15, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Cheney is just suffering from retirement boredom and fatigue. He is unable to ride off into the sunset. On the other hand, he so enjoys the limelight that he is willing to create any situation that attracts attention to himself. His worst punishment would be to be utterly ignored.

Posted by: jeangerard1 | May 15, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

If anyone thinks the former Vice President should be allowed to cherry-pick what memos are released, please raise your hand.

Cheney has apparently found two memos he likes. How many other reports are there that should also be released to get a full viewing? And why did the CIA destroy the videos of torture if the methods were so dang effective?

Posted by: kcbob | May 15, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

'Methinks you've all missed the point!!!!!


That he is a seriously emotionally unbalanced individual should be apparent to even the uneducated.

Quite giving him a platform, and he'll self-destruct.

Posted by: buckheaddad | May 15, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

"Good Question:If we need torture to keep the country safe, why did Bush and Cheney stop doing it in early 2004?" --Josh Marshall. [Does it have anything to do with connecting Al Qaeda to Iraq?]

Posted by: osullivanc1 | May 15, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

It's obvious the President is attempting to play politics with the torture issue, along with Speaker Idonknownolosi. On Jan 21, 2009, the President issued his reaffirmation of the need for maximum government transparency. Here's the link: http//
Now, he releases some classified documents that favor his democratic allies in Congress and holds back the evidence supporting their effectiveness. Maybe this is the very evidence that convinced Speaker Idontknowlosi to go along with the waterboarding in the first instance.

Posted by: ericnestor | May 15, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Cheney wants memos released that prove that torture works, but that does not in fact suggest that those memos exist.

It is a neat bit of deception, Obama's administration begins declassifying documents to get them out to the public and he is therefore "Cherry Picking". He doesn't get them all declassified, and some can't be declassified for unrelated reasons, (like they were sent by crypto secure message that might help in cracking our codes if the plain text and ciphertext can be matched) and it is the stuff that can't be declassified that is being "withheld".

The actual cherry picking is that Cheney wants one or two memos declassed, that he expects to corroborate his claims, while keeping all of the vast mass of intel that totally contradicts him SECRET or higher.

Luckily, he now has no say in declassification proceedings.

Posted by: ceflynline | May 15, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

This country would be better off in everyway, if Dick Cheney would do us all a big favor and crawl back under the slimy rock whence he came, to never be seen or heard from again. He's the ultimate dirt bag coward, he would have been known as a war profiteer in any other generation!

Posted by: MDT1 | May 15, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

"Torture Master" Cheney should actually be in prison. waterboarding anybody 183 times in one month certainly deserves serious jail time. That tactic comes straight out of the Nazi playbook on torture.

Posted by: jimmy0530 | May 15, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

"This country would be better off in everyway, if Dick Cheney would do us all a big favor and crawl back under the slimy rock whence he came, to never be seen or heard from again. He's the ultimate dirt bag coward, he would have been known as a war profiteer in any other generation! Posted by: MDT1"

Well, actually, as long as Cheney, with his sunny personality and winning ways, and his alterego Rush Limbaugh are the voice and face of the Republican Party, it is a far better thing for the Nation, since it eventually leaves the Right Center a choice, vote for anyone but a Republican, or form their own party. Either way the country wins.

Posted by: ceflynline | May 15, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Vice President Dark Side? And you are .....a journalist? Or just a name-caller? You stay up late to watch re-runs of Keith Olbermann? Get your talking points from Rachel Maddow? Guest contributor to the Daily Kos? You are what, Ruthie, a sophomore?

Posted by: chatard | May 15, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Why don't they just send some investigators to check out Dick Cheney's basement and garage. Remember, when he had to move off of his VP mansion on Observatory Hill, he strained his back "carrying boxes" into his new house in McLean. That's why he was in a wheel chair on Inauguration Day, trying to garner pity. All the evidence we need to send him to prison should be there. John Gotti couldn't have done it better.

Posted by: dsrobins | May 16, 2009 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Cheney is determined not to lose the argument that he has already lost. He thinks by torturing prisoners he saved our bacon. Proof? Were there any terrorist attacks on the homeland in the post-9/11 era? Justification for torture? Well, they got answers they liked out of some of those that they tortured. An inconvenient detail is that most of those answers were got *BEFORE* torture was inflicted. A telling fact about Cheney's motiviation to torture is that he was extremely interested in tying Saddam Hussein to Osama bin Laden. Jointly, the Conservative mind goes, the pair of them conspired to attack the Homeland. Hence, invading Iraq was the right thing to do. Only the Saddam/Osama nexus never existed as did not exist the WMDs. First, Conservatives check their gut feeling about something, then they make a major decision, then they go about implementing their plan, finally they go back to fact check their gut. No matter how often they waterboarded the guy they couldn't get him to say that Saddam and Osama were buds. During the Korean War, were there not U.S. military members subjected to intense mental and physical anguish aimed at getting those members to "confess?" Were not those members who managed to return to the U.S. branded as cowards by Conservatives (chicken-hawks)? These right-wingers are know-nothings and proud of it.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | May 16, 2009 1:33 AM | Report abuse

Yes Deer, inquirying minds want to know. Oh man, I spelled deer wrong. That's like deer stuck in headlights. I meant the politically incorrect feminine satutation dear. Sorry Dear.

Posted by: crowbar8Prying | May 16, 2009 2:37 AM | Report abuse

Yonkers, New York
16 May 2009

You cannot depend on Dick ("Rasputin") Cheney to have any principles at all. He will do what suits his own purposes at a given moment in time, and never mind if to ordinary mortals he would appear to be inconsistent.

Mr. Cheney has done America a lot of harm when for eight long years he acted the Mentor to a man who was ill-prepared for the presidency.

He was George W's Rasputin and bears responsibility for many illegal and unconstitutional acts which have been ascribed to George W.

Why, unrepentant, he continues to bask in the limelight is beyond me. He should be hiding out somewhere.

Mariano Patalinjug

Posted by: MPatalinjug | May 16, 2009 6:08 AM | Report abuse

Cheney doesn't care about facts. He is only interested in his own agenda - ignoring his and Dummy's failure to pay attention to terror before Sep 11, and trying to make everyone else look weak on terror since then. He is a failure in all but enriching himself.

Posted by: annegreen | May 16, 2009 6:32 AM | Report abuse

I'm even more cynical than Ms. Marcus. I think Cheney doesn't really want the documents released, and knows they could not be released for national security reasons. It's a phony pose for propaganda purposes.

Posted by: Connie3 | May 16, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Why didn't Dick Cheney seek the release of these documents before? Did he think their secrecy was important to national security four months ago, but not now? Did he forget to request their declassification while he was still Vice President? Did he try to get them declassified then, but was overruled?

Posted by: mke1 | May 16, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Poor old Dick Cheney reminds me so much of Nixon, back in the day. Paranoid, obviously frightened, egomaniacal, frantically trying to put a good face on a bad legacy. I've been reading as many of the books on this whole episode as possible, and in every single one of them, Cheney comes across as a man in a state of panic and obsession after 9/11. It wasn't what he'd bargained for, and like Bush, he was ill-prepared to take on that challenge, and because of his own fear and need to prove himself right (obvious insecurity) he resorted to torture -- apparently mostly to get a link between Iraq and al Qaida. There was no link. Cheney was still in a WW II mentality.

The world had changed, and Cheney couldn't accommodate to a new world. The threat wasn't the one he expected. So, now he's frantically, like Nixon, rushing around like a complete fool trying to "make it appear" that he was right -- even though he clearly wasn't. He has NO CREDIBILITY.

Time to get on that airplane, waving your victory fingers, Dick.
Goodbye and good riddance!

Posted by: cturtle1 | May 16, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Cheney's assertion that it was torture that "kept us safe" for eight years is totally his own construction of the truth. I could just as easily declare that it was the alignment of the stars that kept us safe. There's no proof. In fact, many FBI interrogators claim that they were getting very good info out of detainees BEFORE the torture started, and when it started, they got nothing but false leads. Almost anyone with a real brain knows that you get more cooperation out of a criminal by outwitting and manipulating them psychologically. These criminal terrorists were, for the most part, not brilliant. (The brilliant masterminds were in hiding, and some still are!) KSM was no genius. He could have been manipulated. He was eager to prove how "smart" and "right" he was. Okay, let him tell us about it!

But no, we had to half-drown him dozens and dozens of times until his brain no longer worked. Yeah, that's effective. Huh? Only average-minded thinkers copy TV shows and assume they must be Jack on 24. It would be hilarious if they hadn't been the men in power.

Posted by: cturtle1 | May 16, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Former V-P Cheney on the subject of torture is a known quantity. Much more disturbing and depressing to me than his views are those of Ruth Marcus, and, a few days ago, of Richard Cohen: "is torture effective?" as the interesting new question. Torture has been part of the unquestioned toolkit of totalitarian regimes for uncounted centuries, and of course by their standards it was "effective": it served their purposes in many ways. My question would be, rather, whether American society has now been so permanently degraded that the "interesting" question is not whether torture is moral, but rather whether it is effective -- so to speak, profitable. Frankly, I am repelled by Marcus's framing of the issue. Instead of taking the easy route of bashing Cheney, she should look into her own soul.

Posted by: Pragmatix | May 16, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

'delicious wrinkle'?
you must realize that you are discussing torture, right?

Posted by: p-40 | May 16, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I would have thought Cheney would have made a few memos to cover himself whether they had any truth or not. I could say I will try not to be cynical but that is the irony of Cheney. So lets see them.

Posted by: digby2 | May 16, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Cheney is the one who stirred this thing up too.

Posted by: digby2 | May 16, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

One set of rules for the former Veep, and another for the common man. It's more than irony, it's American aristocracy in action.

Posted by: crossroadsteam | May 16, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Darth Cheney is saving himself as when all the crimes come out even Satan would be proud. Ms. Marcus you just might see someone do the same torture to Americans and use the Cheney excuse. Yes so far we know innocent people were kidnapped tortured and even tortured to death. Many of the detainees who were released without charges. 7 detainees were torture to the point their now insane. Yes I'm sure you wont want to see the pictures of the children tortured or the woman who were torture even if you do approve of it. 17 Chinese Uighurs were tortured for information about China. You'll learn much of the Tortured detainees had nothing to do with Al Qeada but more about learning secrets of China, Iran, Syria and other countries. Look Bush/Cheney's close friend Gaddafi even let the US rent a prison in Libya to torture people. The Media and the Press have spread the Bush propaganda for 8 years and as information comes out the Press is losing viewers and even the Media rating are going down. If ony the so call Free Press were like Edward R. Murrow but we have reporters who lie and cover up lies.

Posted by: qqbDEyZW | May 16, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Bank Robbery
Lying under oath

Would it be ok if Cheney committed these crimes too--if they worked?? If he does the crime, does he have to do the time? Or is their a special dispensation for the vp of the united states? God help us if there is.

Posted by: tmcproductions2004 | May 17, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

You write, "The information about what the government did or didn’t gain through its "enhanced interrogation techniques" should be revealed to the maximum extent consistent with protecting national security -- not just a few cherry-picked memos, but the entire array of assessments."

Do you think you could tell us, without lapsing into metaphysical speculations, what the difference is and who would determine which documents meet the criteria?

Posted by: morphex | May 17, 2009 4:13 AM | Report abuse

It's rather pitiful watching Cheney (and his daughter) make the talk show rounds trying to polish Cheney's self-image. After all, his approval ratings are at about 16% now aren't they? This man constantly mislead the country with lies and innuendos for 8 solid years using GWB as his talking puppet. This administration will have a place in history as the one of the worst and corrupt ever, and Cheney's current actions will be added to that history. By the way, could it be that Cheney was spending his time in his "undisclosed location" wathing torture videos? Besides running the country, what else was he doing?

Posted by: lddoyle2002 | May 17, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

George Orwell never drempt of anything like this. Richard Cheney ordered the September 11 terrorism. He is a founding member of the PNAC, and according to "Richard Bruce (Dick) Cheney," "he is a former Senior Fellow with the American Enterprise Institute [2], served on the Advisory Board of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA)."

By the way, his first name is Richard, not Dick. I hate that kind plain folks act by politicians.

Posted by: markoller | May 18, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

This is another quote from "Richard Bruce (Dick) Cheney:

Cheney has been perhaps the most influential Vice President in history. During his 2001-2004 term with George W. Bush, he has [5]

championed Donald Rumsfeld for Defense Secretary
"over fierce objections by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell", insisted "on placing Paul Wolfowitz in the number two position at the Pentagon"
"insisted, again over Powell's misgivings, on making ultra-unilateralist John Bolton, then vice-president of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), undersecretary of state for arms control and international security."
"reportedly played a key role in the appointment of another controversial neo-conservative, Elliott Abrams, to head the Middle East office on the National Security Council."
"reportedly visited the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) several times in the run-up to the war in Iraq, in what was seen as pressure on CIA analysts to take a darker view of Saddam Hussein's alleged ties to al Qaeda and weapons of mass destruction."
Cheney's staff, headed by extremist Lewis Scooter Libby, had a major hand in [pre-]writing Colin Powell's February 2003 speech to the United Nations. [6],[7]

Posted by: markoller | May 18, 2009 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Richard Cheney also tried to carry out an all out bombing campaign against Iran, including the use of nuclear weapons. See "B-52 Nukes Headed for Iran: Air Force refused to fly weapons to Middle East theater," by Wayne Madsen.

I quote:

Vice President Dick Cheney's recently-departed Middle East adviser, David Wurmser, told a small group of advisers some months ago that Cheney had considered asking Israel to launch a missile attack on the Iranian nuclear site at Natanz. Cheney reasoned that after an Iranian retaliatory strike, the United States would have ample reasons to launch its own massive attack on Iran.

It could have led to direct confrontation with Russia and China, but any risk is jutified in the name of Greater Israel. Fortunately, the Air Force refused.

Posted by: markoller | May 18, 2009 1:06 AM | Report abuse

I find it interesting how Cheney is attempting to use the same media he usually shunned to get to others like Colin Powell and others who do not march in lock step with him. In my book Cheney is another who tripled his personal wealth while in office and did so at the expense of the taxpayers using strong arm tactics like no bid massive multi million dollar job awards to his cronies. I do hope to see him in front of a court of law answering for the offenses he committed while in office.

Posted by: npsilver | May 18, 2009 3:56 AM | Report abuse

Couldn't get past your first paragraph, Ruth. Demonizing our previous Vice-president maybe fun for you, but it's intellectually weak. Further, an intellecutally honest person would say why Cheney wants to release this secret - that it is not an honorable thing in a "transparent" presidency to release one side of an issue and not the other.

And, your smarmy secret energy task force thingie is ancient history. But, if you like ancient history, how about Clinton's secret health care task force thingie being the model for Cheney's successful court battle. Again, intellectually lazy.

This is why I almost never read your columns, and couldn't get past the first paragraph in this column.

Posted by: Cdgaman | May 18, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

The real question is, if Sacha and Malia were kidnapped, and the suspected kidnapper were apprehended, would
Obama sanction waterboarding or some other form of torture to rescue them. Someone should ask him. If not answered on the side of torture, it would be his Dukakis moment.

Posted by: ThisJustIn | May 18, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone considered the idea that Cheney is calling for the release of documents because he knows they won't be released, but by calling for the release it makes it LOOK like the truth is on his side? If Cheney REALLY wanted the release of documents, he would have ordered Bush to release them five months ago and now we'd have them.

Posted by: adifferentpointofview | May 18, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

"Whether or not torture is effective is a different question than whether it should be employed, but I’m all for knowing the answer to the first question."

How about you first answer the question whether or not what was done was torture? The attorneys in the DOJ responsible for interpreting the law said what was done was not torture. Intellectual honesty requires you address that issue to the level of detail they did before you go and claim anyone was tortured.

Even the Obama DOJ is using the theory re: torture contained in the OLC memos in federal court. Obviously they do not believe the legal theory is illegitimate.

Posted by: nnhansen | May 18, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Cheney is going after the democrats with both barrels. This is what should have been done for the past eight years against the hysterical left. Glad to see Cheney has the cojones to do it. Watched Chris Mathews this weekend and it is apparent despite their posturing they are afraid that Princess Pelosi and the rest of them are going to fall. Watch how fast the main stream media and the liberals make this go away. I hope Cheney keeps it up and exposes these clowns for what they are.

Posted by: Pilot1 | May 18, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

The multi-lawyered irony of Dick destroying himself may be the only thing this country gets to enjoy because it looks as if no one from the Obama administration is going to prosecute Cheney and his bootlickers or that Dick will let Jesse Ventura waterboard Dick.

Another irony of Dick is that while he didn't totally destroy the country during the past eight years, he couldn't get W. to declare martial law, he couldn't get W. to pardon Libby but Dick was a great help in getting a black with the middle name of Hussein elected president. Too bad this Hussein is not as vindictive as the one Dick had overthrown.

Posted by: Patriot3 | May 18, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Those who think the CIA performed 'torture' instead of 'enhanced interrogations' by water-boarding, during the Bush administration, and who assert that water-boarding, as qualified in the OLC memos, is torture, please explain why the Democrats have not defined this form of interrogation as a criminal act.

The mere declaration by the current President and Attorney General that water-boarding is torture, followed by a decision to not prosecute this supposed crime, suggests they are more concerned with partisan theater than the faithful execution of the duties of their respective offices. If they really think the previous administration was a criminal enterprise, they should clean that Augean Stable without delay.

Former Vice President Cheney has been asking for the release of several documents, not to vindicate the Bush administration's interrogation practices, but rather to counter the Obama administration's assertion that those practices were not effective.

Posted by: rchelfrich | May 18, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Dick Cheney no longer shows his angry grimace when he speaks....he wants us to think he is a kinder,more gentle man than when he was in the White House.Think again, Dick

Posted by: vs25314 | May 18, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Liberals love to demonize Dick Cheney and make fun of his hunting skills. As radical leftist Saul Alinsky used to preach, you start by demonizing your opposition and then tell the lies so big and loud that that's all anyone remembers. Before the 2000 election, Dick Cheney was respected by the left for his "gravitas." Remember all of that? It was done because the Left tried to diminish Bush as a lightweight and a dunce (just like thet tried to do with Reagan). After 9/11, Dick Cheney became "Darth Vader" to the Left because, as Alinsky taught, he was the focus of evil in the world, a sinister manipulator who used Bush as a sock puppet to take over the world and spy on innocent Americans. This crap is only the latest underhanded attack on a good and decent man. He's an easy target now, due primarily to the Left's constant carping and moaning about his sinister image and his imagined abuses. Ms. Marcus' screed is just another worthless attack on a decent man in furtherance of Saul Alinsky's strategy of the Left grabbing and maintaining power by smearing the opposition. What next? A story about Sarah Palin and her daughter's illegitimate kid? Why not join cheap-shot artists Chris Matthews, Bill Maher and Keith Whats-His-Name and obsess over Palin?

Posted by: billvolk | May 18, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Obama:Let's fund abortion on demand all over the world, allow live aborted babies to be put in plastic bags to die, encourage 14 years olds to have saline solutions to be injected into their young wombs to burn 5 month old fetuses(and not even consider what it does to their chances of carrying other babies to term)deliver nine month old fetuses up to their shoulders and then stab the undelivered head with scissors and suck out the brain-which BTW has been emitting waves since 21 days after conception but please do not humiliate or scare the men who want to destroy this nation(which I don't really like anyways)

Posted by: Chamaco | May 18, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

War or Politics? Which will it take for the Republican Party to regain the House. Traditionally when one party looks to regain the assembly it does so by; taking it a part and getting back to its original platform, bringing in fresh blood with new ideas, not necessarily to revive the stalwarts but to weigh the balances. It's this part that has the republicans entrenched. The party is not opposed to new ideas, tax cuts, the main-stay of the republicans, has no shortage of brillant young lobbyists, it's the left of center, the RNC. It is the members of this new platform who have designed a party that will be more foward think as to how the GOP will move in issues of government, the power behind the throne. Ala, President Obama, why his campaign was so effective, and why it could not be duplicated. The issues that the Obama campaign choose to platform were picked, not something that was massed produced by the political war machine. Like it or not, the republican party knows that in order for it to exist in this new world order it has to develop the power of change.

Posted by: edtroyhampton | May 18, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I am hard pressed to find one - just one! - writer at The Post who has not betrayed journalistic ethics to become a mouthpiece for the interests of the elites in power, wether in government or in corporations. Marcus' predictable smoke and mirrors act totally distracts the reader from the moral and criminal nature of torture by fabricating two seperate questions where there should be one, in essence promoting efficiency over legality. If Ms. Marcus were only a lawyer, I know she would have many clients, mostly former Bush officials!

Posted by: DCEsq | May 18, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

MPatalinjug: "He was George W's Rasputin and bears responsibility for many illegal and unconstitutional acts which have been ascribed to George W"

Would you care to specify which acts you believe to be either illegal or unconstitutional and why?

Posted by: nnhansen | May 18, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Dick Cheney, without doubt, wins the gold medal for the most manipulative fear-mongering of our time. Every time the issue of the law or of human rights abuses comes up, he leaps up to remind the American public that we are all in mortal danger from ‘terrorists’.

So are we to believe that the most powerful nation the world has ever known – a country with more destructive weapons than the rest of the planet put together, and with a history of using that power to devastating effect - is in extreme danger by some radicalized, disenfranchised peasants from Asia and Africa – more dangerous than the Soviet Union during the Cold War, a country with weapons to match America’s? These people are so dangerous that this country has to sacrifice the very values that it used against the British to gain independence?

Cheney’s clever advantage is that the ‘enemy’ is unseen. If the public could actually see who these ‘terrifying human beings’ actually are, understand their stories, their backgrounds, who they are, what they are called, what they believe in and above all, why they hate America, then the public would see human beings with concepts and emotions like the rest of us, not some enduring monsters without faces.

But what does Cheney care? As long as he gets heard, and as long as the influence of fear works, then he has power.

Posted by: francinelast | May 22, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

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