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Wag the Blog: Who Won on Substance?



President Obama and former vice president Dick Cheney face off over national security. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

The call and response speeches by President Obama and former vice president Dick Cheney are over.

Let the analysis begin!

As we wrote earlier on the Fix, it's clear from a political perspective that Obama's speech is likely to be more well received by the American public because the president enjoys far higher personal favorable ratings than does Cheney.

But, beyond the simple political calculus, it's worth delving into the arguments laid out by the two men.

Obama argued that while keeping America safe is his first and most important priority, the idea that Guantanamo Bay and waterboarding are part of the solution rather than part of the problem is fundamentally misguided.

Cheney argued that the Obama administration is too worried about political correctness to recognize that the policies of the last president have worked in keeping the country safe, and that the decision to close Gitmo is a sign that the current president does not fundamentally understand the seriousness of the threat posed by terrorists.

For today's Wag the Blog, we are asking a BIG favor from Fixistas: put aside your personal feelings about Obama and Cheney and assess who won today's speechifying debate on the merits of their arguments?

We know this debate is on that brings out passions on both sides but we entreat you to try and keep the discussion in the comments section from descending into name calling.

The most thoughtful/insightful comments will be excerpted in their own post this weekend.

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 21, 2009; 12:27 PM ET
Categories:  Wag The Blog  
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Comments

Regardless of which of them won, the loser is the American People. Many of those held in Gitmo cannot be tried because any thing learned by torture cannot be used in a trial. Some will eventually be released not because they did not commit crimes but because they were tortured. And that keeps us safe, HOW?

Posted by: gan11 | May 25, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Obama won, because as a credible, respected messenger, he addressed our ideals and our standards and asked us to live up to them. Cheney lost, because he is trying to have his cake and eat it, too. He claims that it was necessary for our national security to "enhance" our interrogation techniques, but that it wasn't torture. He claims we were only able to get the "truth" from the detainees by these methods, when the actual interrogaters themselves deny this, and indicate that torture was actually counter-productive. Personally, I hope he does even more of these speeches, because they are really unseemly and ugly, and expose the slimy underbelly of the Bush 43 Administration. I find it fascinating that W himself has remained pretty quiet, while Cheney has ridden out onto the battlefield, as it were. Perhaps we have finally flushed the real president?

Posted by: brent2 | May 24, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Dick Cheney is evil incarnate. Every word he speaks is a lie

==

Pretty good first approximation.

If Cheney is NOT evil incarnate, he will certainly qualify until the real thing finally comes along.

As for every word he speaks being a lie, please don't tell me you're disputing this.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 24, 2009 1:23 AM | Report abuse

Wow - what a load of c**p...

If you've just read the article, and were thinking about having a look at the comments, don't waste your time.

It appears that only about one in twenty (5%) of 'readers' can manage ANY sort of comment without going into a wild emotional rant. (It's incredibly disappointing, to say the least...)

Here's the sort of 'commentary' you'll find in this column:

1. Dick Cheney is evil incarnate. Every word he speaks is a lie, and every lie is part of the secret master plan... to subjugate Planet Earth and enslave its inhabitants to his personal whim...
2. Barack Obama is good incarnate. He is a supremely intelligent, compassionate, and principled Super-Hero who will single-handedly lead mankind into a new Golden Age...

The rest amounts to little more than foaming at the mouth by both sides. (Surprisingly enough, the Democrats/liberals seem quite a bit MORE rabid that the Republicans/conservatives - I expected it to be the other way around...)

Hope you've received this little warning in time...

P.S. As far as the question itself goes, I'd say that Cheney MAY be right, though no real proof has yet been offered. However, even if he does have a point, I believe that the President IS on the right track - the United States should NOT treat its suspects like this, as torture demeans the captive far more than the prisoner...

Posted by: Guy-Hardrock | May 22, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

HARDBALL today 5.22.09 lobed you softballs. I can understand why you thought the victor was the former V.P. - he presented things in a simple way; easily digestible. But if your assessment is based on the communicating of Cheneyian facts and truth that substantiate his position - then your wrong. He didn't quote 'win". And anyone that believes his 16 page speech is also wrong.

I'm bothered by two things: 1) that Chris Matthews didn't address and confront your thesis and 2) that it appears right now that you didn't fact check his speech - not just for inconsistencies, but lies. He referenced a statement by the President's National Security Advisor which is false. In addition, a number of fact finding independent groups have culled the speech and found - not one or two points - but a litany of statements that are down right lies .... tell me you didn't have an opportunity to do the research before the show.

And also tell me why the media types - like yourself - are once again buying into what this guy - who is on a rehabilitation campaign - is going unchallenged again. And why the heck are people giving credibility or time - for that matter - to Lynn Cheney? It's like asking Amy Carter to defend her father regarding the Iran hostage situation or Ron and Pattie Davis to talk about Iran-Contra.

Keep ur eye on the ball Chris.


Posted by: dorikeller750 | May 22, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the most interesting debate is whether the American values hurt or help US abroad. Cheney made a good point when he said that those very values is the reason Al-Quaida and it's likes are trying to hurt America. Pluralism and freedom don't go well with religious extremism. So Obamas argument about Gitmo and waterboarding hurting the US because it doesn't fit well with the American values doesn't seem very logical to me. Cheney is the first guy to call him on that and deserves credit for that.

Posted by: h4x02 | May 22, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

The only way for Cheney to prove that his methods made us safer is to give specific examples. He didn't. When he was in power, he could have asked the CIA etc. to release the documents that would prove his case. He didn't. Instead, he kept them as hidden as he could. Now he asks us to trust him until the documents are made public. He has lost my trust.

Posted by: bdukore | May 22, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

So much for "put[ting] aside your personal feelings about Obama and Cheney and assess[ing] who won" on the merits of their arguments. Refusing to listen to one or the other hardly counts.

Posted by: JakeD | May 22, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Cheney deserves no time to defend the indefensible crimes that he wrought upon America during eight years of manipulation of the government. When President Obama speaks he has integrity, honor, decency and goodness along with him. Cheney, on the other hand, is an evil spitting neocon who poisoned the minds of Americans for too long. He needs a nice prison cell where he will be punished for all the laws he brought and the corruption he inspired. I am not sorry at all to say that if Cheney is speaking I am not listening. He is a horrible person who lacks honor or goodness of any kind.

Posted by: equalon | May 22, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Cheney deserves no time to defend the indefensible crimes that he wrought upon America during eight years of manipulation of the government. When President Obama speaks he has integrity, honor, decency and goodness along with him. Cheney, on the other hand, is an evil spitting neocon who poisoned the minds of Americans for too long. He needs a nice prison cell where he will be punished for all the laws he brought and the corruption he inspired. I am not sorry at all to say that if Cheney is speaking I am not listening. He is a horrible person who lacks honor or goodness of any kind.

Posted by: equalon | May 22, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

everbody was waiting on this day, between obama and cheney so that got their wish. obama stood his ground and up for us and explain everything well, obama won the debate and won on all the substance that we were very please to hear from him. praise to obama

Posted by: charlesv28 | May 22, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I wish to amend my previous post to correct my mispelling of "volumes". Sometimes my emotional reaction to anything Cheney related overrides my attention to spelling. Thank you for your patience and tolerance gentle readers.

Posted by: seethewest | May 22, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Cheney lost the debate.

He does not believe in our Constitution.
He believes that a lie told often enough starts to sound credible after a while, especially if he snorts and gruffs for effect.

Cheney wants us to be afraid. America has already proven better than that.

Posted by: mattmix | May 22, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

President Obaba won on subtance and class to be blunt he won the debate. cheney sound so weak up there telling lies that we know are lies. cheney need to be torture .he know he is going to jail that is why is keep talking trying to make a point. cheney its over stay off the tv you are hurting your party. stop trying to hurt the party that is in charge obama standed his ground very well. he still kept his word he will close the prison. so cheney stop trying to scare people with lies. cheney get an life obama won the debate we trust him not cheney

Posted by: charlesv28 | May 22, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Cheney has essentially become a strident apologist for decisions and practices already rejected by the voters. His views are narrow minded and obsessive. Obama at least appears to be trying to approach issues with a wider, more global, and rational perspective. And as opposed to Cheney, he is willing to recognize there is a bit of gray in most things in this world.

Posted by: AnteekGeek | May 22, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

You are not going to believe it: they're both right.

Posted by: zorro37

==

This sort of pablum is what passes for sagacity in the low-information sphere of things.

o/~ not one or de udder budda liddle bidda both o/~

go to hell

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 22, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I enjoy reading intelligent comments that address the topic or question put forth. This column would be much more interesting if there were a limit on how many times one may post. That JakeD person would do us all a favor if he checked his impulse to subject readers to volumns of irrelevant drivel.
Obama has the potential to be a great leader - he is brilliant, has had a first class education, and his life experiences have prepared him for any eventuality as Commander in Chief. Obama is thoughtful and deliberate in his decision making, he seeks the input of experts, and he bases judgments on facts, not fear and reactionary, shoot-from-the hip, bufoonery. Bush was an ignorant, easy to manipulate (by Cheney and others), bufoon.
Cheney is a fear-mongerer who will stop at nothing to cover his behind and keep his nefarious doings of the past 8 years secret. Cheney's purpose in government was to enrich himself and his corporate affiliations. Hence, the illegal war. He did not keep us safe - stopping 9/11 would have been a good first step to that end. There was ample warning by the Clinton Admin. to do so. Bush and Cheney ignored the warnings. They did nothing but wait for it to happen.
The press and network media have been highjacked by those who only choose to cover the most sensational stories. They loved Bush's war - talk about sensational. The "debate" between Obama and Cheney is a non-issue. The news media should leave Cheney alone to entertain his right-wing nuts. They might then carefully cover Obama's efforts to do his best to repair 8 years of vast and unmitigated destruction of our country.
Citizens have to dig deep to find truth these days. It is our civic duty to seek the truth of what politicians are feeding us. I guess as a child of the sixties I took to heart the admonition to "question authority". Never has that warning been as relevant as it is today.

Posted by: seethewest | May 22, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Point One
Postulate One: Publication of photos of American abuse of prisoners places our troops in jeopardy.

Postulate Two: Continuing photos of prisoners from Gitmo suggests continuing rights violation.

Therefore: Gitmo = soldiers (and soldiers are Americans) at continued heightened risk.

Supporters of Gitmo and photo supression can't have it both ways.

Point Two:
While not receiving the appreciation of some other public servants (police, troops, firefighters, hospital staff) the corrections work force does an admirable job in protecting America from some very dangerous people. In addition, corrections protects prisoners from each other in what is frequently an around the clock simmering war between prison gangs.

It is reprehensible that for the sake of political point scoring politicians such as Senator Kit Bond slanders their capabilities when, in his case as a two-term governor, he knows how capable they are. Shame on those who patriotism doesn't include the brave men and work who staff the corrections systems.

Posted by: jmandelker | May 22, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I thought Mr Cheney's rhetoric was equivalent to that of a child around 10 or 11 years of age.

He simply asks his audience to be scared & afraid, to shoot first & possibly the wrong people, to act illogically and most likely illegally, to accept that he knows what is best for all of us. And if we don't do what Mr Cheney says we might all be attacked again. Only Mr Cheney can keep us safe.

Yet his own words now contradict his past actions. Cheney asserted the right of the President to make the decisions, like go to war, torture people, or listen to every word they say, unhampered by the Congress or the Senate, or say Joe Wilson.

But now Mr Cheney is out of office he seems to want to change the rules to suit himself, he wants to influence government as though he was the VP still.

One wonders what Mr Cheney's real concern regarding detainees getting out of Gitmo might be? Perhaps that they have all been treated to Mr Cheney's new low cal definition of torture? He might be concerned about detainees negative feelings towards those in the previous administration responsible for cooking up the new low cal torture definition?

Anyway we can all sleep safe in our beds, as long as they stay within Mr Cheney's definition of torture, no harm will come to anyone.

Posted by: PhatrRick | May 22, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Like Sex, Fear sells. Don't think the American People are willing to buy much these days, especially not from the huckster who has cheated them so many times before. Obama wins on substance and on subliminals, but Cheney wins more airtime to taint the jury pool for upcoming prosecutions of war crimes and treason.

Posted by: juliinjax | May 22, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

The bloggers: they're generating a lot of heat, but so very little light.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | May 22, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Obama's approach is based on thoughtful, objective analysis. Cheney's approach is based on fear. Obama considers the US to be part of the international community and strives to participate in the laws of the international community. Cheney considers the US to be above and exempt from any law--both international and US--as if the 9/11 event gives the US a pass to do anything it wants, to anyone, at any time. Obama's approach comes from mindfulness and consideration for humanity. Cheney's approach comes from distrust, hate, and obsessive fear.

Posted by: peggypollo | May 22, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

One of the things which has been learned from various psychological experiments is that there are a couple of ways organisms react to fear: They might slide into a state of "learned helplessness," and cease trying to do anything about the problem.

Or, they might find that the repeated stimulus loses its ability to cause fear, come to grips with it, and go on.

I would bet that Cheney, by nature autocratic, was hoping for the first reaction from the American public: that we would, out of fear, accept whatever that administration was doing, no matter what it did.

Unfortunately, most Americans fell into the latter category: we outgrew the initial fear, moved on, and there's Dick Cheney still decrying the boogeyman to people who have become immune.

It's like wearing a wristwatch: initially, when you put it on, you can feel it, but shortly, the brain just ignores it as a meaningless stimulus.

Caution is a useful trait. But every fear is a fence, keeping us within an area that the "farmer" decrees. When an administration looks at the population basically as a farmer looks at his livestock (that is, as a provider of income and sustenance) we need to remember something: If a farmer has a steer to dinner, it's going to be on the table, not at it.

The whole point of a democracy is that the people are the end, not the means. America does not exist to provide the Cheneys and Bushes of this world (and their corporate interests) with warm bodies for war and fat bottom lines.

When the 2008 presidential took place, it was a referendum on what we wanted to be, and ruled by fear was not it.

Posted by: cmcintyr | May 22, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

zorro37 wrote: "You are not going to believe it: they're both right."

You're right: I don't believe it.

Cheney lost this debate *during* the Bush administration. His resurrecting it now is pathetic and probably owes more to his own fear of prosecution than any real concern for the safety of his fellow Americans..

Posted by: nodebris | May 22, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

You are not going to believe it: they're both right.

Posted by: zorro37 | May 22, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

I thought Cheney won on points. He made a argument about what would happen to the hard-core detainees if GBay was shutdown. Obama didn't really have a concrete plan.

Posted by: rusty6 | May 22, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

I thought Cheney won on points. He made a argument about what would happen to the hard-core detainees if GBay was shutdown. Obama didn't really have a concrete plan.

Posted by: rusty6 | May 22, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

I was simply rebutting the claim that Bush never admitted to a single mistake. I don't have to list all of them for that.

Posted by: JakeD

==

When did he ever admit making any serious mistakes as president? Other than some inconsequential admission of needlessly harsh language?

I remember one news conference where he made a big show of puffing out his cheeks as though deep in though, but more like trying to remember a phone number than searching his soul .. even so, he came up blank. Nope, nothign he would have done differently.

Invading Iraq? Nuttin' wrong there. Trashing the economy? Stuff happens. Punting on global warming? Nothing wrong there. Fiddling while New Orleans drowned? Nope, we all did a great job.

And you admire the insecure little git

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 22, 2009 1:37 AM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade:

I was simply rebutting the claim that Bush never admitted to a single mistake. I don't have to list all of them for that.

Posted by: JakeD | May 22, 2009 1:23 AM | Report abuse

Wow. 82 out of 189 comments by jaked. And that's just on this one blog post. How frantically desperate.

He really needs to get that Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder under control. This can't be healthy. What does his wife think, I wonder?

==

His wife, assuming she is any more real than his Stanford law degree, probably does a Tijuana donkey act right in front of him while he's posting and he doesn't even notice, too busy "pulling our chains" as the enjoys all the "free time" afforded by his "retirement."

When I retire it's going to be to my property in Viet Nam and enojying a succession of horizontal activitiex with the local men, not "pulling chains" on an effin' blog

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 22, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Wow. 82 out of 189 comments by jaked. And that's just on this one blog post. How frantically desperate.

He really needs to get that Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder under control. This can't be healthy. What does his wife think, I wonder?

Posted by: nodebris | May 22, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Jake - It's Sammy SOSA and if that's the only mistake he can admit, he did a helluva job.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | May 21, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Cheney is the master of the false dichotomy. Either you view 9/11 as a unique event or anything goes. The thought that there can be effective action against Al Qaeda and its affiliates without resorting to abusive techniques appears not to have made it to the secure location.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | May 21, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

ick Cheney won. The American people know the truth when they hear it,

==

Funny you should say that .. you gooper trolls hear BS like "no attacks since 9/11 means we succeeded and you eat it up like maggots in a mouse carcass. Anyone with a brain hears it and knows it's complete BS.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Oh if only Obama WERE a Marxist, he would have nationalized the banks and automakers without a second thought instead of prevaricating with bailouts and showing reluctance to tamper with the marketplace. Oh well he has seven more years to grow into bona-fide Marxism but I'm not holding my breath

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

It'd be sweet if Powell were to take the opportunity of his appearance on FTN to announce he can no longer in good conscience remain a Republican. With such luminaries as Limbaugh and Cheney inviting him to leave, and with the "leadership" engaged in such vital national business as trying to rename the Democratic Party, it's long past due for any Republican with a molecule of integrity to leave for good.

Leave the party for the Sarah Palins and the Booby Jindals.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Dick Cheney won. The American people know the truth when they hear it, and also know when they're being bullsh**** to and lied to, which is what we always get from Marxist Obama.

Posted by: armpeg | May 21, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox8:

Who was "obsessed" with whom, again?

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Freshairindc:

WOW!! All of that, and you couldn't even answer my simple question to you at 7:13 PM? Just to show you I don't have any hard feelings, I will answer your question: I am not a big fan of, nor am I cozy with, Rush Limbaugh. Lastly, Bush admitted it was mistake to trade Sammy Sousa (sp?). Try reading the news once in a while.

Have a nice life!

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Jake you are about as "independent" as one of the month-old fetuses you're always blathering about.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Broadwayjoe, thanks for the alert about Colin Powell appearing on Face the Nation.

I will be interested in what this man of integrity has to say!

Also enjoyed your thoughtful post.

What amazes me about President Obama are his analytical skills.

It is refreshing to have such high energy and intellect leading us.

He can even be self-deprecating at times.

Not sure Bush could admit a mistake or much less revise the party line when evidence suggested otherwise.

It is refreshing to see President Obama is in charge. He is thrilled to be our leader.

Quite possibly the confidence he exudes rubs off on the American people.

Why anyone would root for our leader to fail is repugnant. But then I have no reason to ever buy into their product.

Reminds me of a bumper sticker I used in the 90s.

Rush - Brain Food for the Brain Dead.

Jake are you a big fan and cozy with Rush?

Tell me it ain't so.

Even Will Rogers who never met a man he didn't like, never met Limbaugh, Gingrich, or Cheney.

If you show me someone who falls for a group of right wing extremists, then I'll show you a fool.

Life, as most understand it, is not only black or white. It's complete with a lot of gray area.

Moderation.

What is that said the neocon?

You mean we must rein in our greed.

Yes.

And the corrupt behavior too.

Yes.

But I can't, it will endanger my status quo.

Posted by: Freshairindc | May 21, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Obviously I believe that the President won the debate hands down.

==

Oh if only we COULD have a debate. Cheney only speaks before audiences pre-vetted for complete agreement where his disregard for truth will not be questioned. In a real debate Cheney would end up telling Obama the same thing he told Sen. Leahy because Obama's command of the facts is the real deal, while Cheney just makes crap up.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Freshairindc:

For the record, I am not the only one buttressing the GOP -- I am actually registered Independent, but I have a strong streak for national defense -- I think former Vice President Cheney did an excellent job of that today.

I am also not "hoping" for another 9/11 attack -- I actually hope that enough was done during the Bush-Cheney Administration to prevent another attack, regardless of whatever crazy (in)actions on Obama's part -- however, there's no doubt that Cheney's message will be seen as prescient if Obama's policies in fact lead directly to another attack (or worse). Instead of some bi-partisan Commission having to look at that, wouldn't it be better to PREVENT the next big terrorist attack?

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

But, I'm not going to stake my reputation on HuffingtonPost idiots.

Posted by: JakeD

==

Stake your what? YOUR reputation? LOL!!!

On the other hand you stake .. well, whatever .. on the word of the guy who said Iraqis would welcome us as liberators and that the war would be over quickly.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

BlindfolderDirtfarmer:

Do you remember candidate Obama saying that "The FIRST STEP to reclaiming America's standing in the world has to be closing this facility [prison at GTMO]"? At the time, did you think that FIRST STEP conveyed a sense of urgency and priority -- he did not put any specific date on it, but there was no indication during the campaign it would take a year for the FIRST STEP -- to me, that means SOONER rather than later. What do you think?

IIRC the left blogosphere was rumbling when "President" Obama finally announced it would actually take a year. But, I'm not going to stake my reputation on HuffingtonPost idiots.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

King of-, er, Jake, you cannot reap the benefits of BHO's stimulus package with living on your Mom's basement. Just sayin'. And, no, collecting comic books (quit calling them capital assets), redeeming smashed aluminum soda cans at the grocery store, and trolling for pennies in the shopping mall fountain, do NOT make you an entrepreneur.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 21, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

BlindfoldedDirtfarmer:

Obama essentially conceded Cheney's point with this new "5th category" of detainees. Now, we are just arguing over how many qualify as really, really dangerous.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Freshairindc:

It would have taken less time to simply answer my question than post that long explanation. Oh, well. Maybe you will get a chance later (after the baby goes to sleep).

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

If you believe Cheney won the debate it is because you are scared of stone-throwing bogeymen with third grade educations. Sorry. You're a little bit wussy if you believe his argument. If I had to make a bet on who might win, either a nutritionally and educationally deprived group of fanatics or on our military defending our nation of laws,... Well, color me a little "Terror-fatigued." Obviously I believe that the President won the debate hands down.

Posted by: BlindfoldedDirtfarmer | May 21, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

I read Cheney's speech and thought it was a strong portrayal of his position. We did what we needed to do. I then read the President's speech and as I got to what I thought was the end I felt that it was better. It laid out the thinking that was behind the decisions that the administration has made. But then the speech went on and on and on.
If it had been half the length I would say the President won hands down. But, being concise is essential in speechfying, and so I must say that Cheney's speech was better.

Posted by: myhojda | May 21, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Too bad VP Cheney (as President of the Senate) didn't pull the trigger on the NUCLEAR OPTION when he had the chance!

It was the 12th floor of the AEI building, not the basement ; )

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Hello Jake. My first post and wanted to clean up some punctuation. Figured the Edit would override the earlier post.

I did get to read your provocative reply.

It must be a lonely vigil having to buttress the gop.

I will try to follow this blog but our one year old, the five dogs, and two students demand more attention than I have time for.

Keep up the good fight before the Fat Lady sings.

Posted by: Freshairindc | May 21, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

All his life Cheney has been able to speak in a voice of calm authority that leads people to believe he knows what he's talking about. Problem is, it's just an act, he's never really succeeded at anything.

Ironically, it was on Cheney's cocktail napkin that Laffer drew his Curve,hoodwinking Reagan into his dottard belief in supply-side economics, leading him and others to gamble the world's biggest economy on an idea that anyone with high school algebra could see the flaws in. Calm authoritative Dick didn't even have that much analytical ability.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse


Of course they have. They were probably all in the basement of AEI just this morning.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | May 21, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse


Of course they have. They were probably all in the basement of AEI just this morning.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | May 21, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Cheney never screwed up as a Senator, only as President of the Senate (VP). That's much better.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | May 21, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Yes. Have you?

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse


Thank you, broadwayjoe, for getting us back on track.

Cheney says "be afraid." And his minions say "listen to Cheney, be afraid."

Listening to fearmongers is all the rage, but I would prefer to listen to "the angels of our better nature," to quote the original, and best, Republican president.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | May 21, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Has JakeD ever been seen at the same time in the same room as Hall of Fame trolls AsperGirl, King of Kook, Dianne72, or 37andO (aka DorchesterandCongress)?

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 21, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

mikeinmidland:

Have fun being curious then.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Jake where could you POSSIBLY be getting the idea that anyone here wants to engage you? Other than refuting your endless stream of lies, nobody here cares if you live or die and a lot of us would be happy at the latter. Pose all the fakey "questions" you like but quit whining and inferring anything when they are ignored. Really.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Are you serious? Barack H. Obama, 44th President of the United States. Period.

Today, BHO calmly offered a rational explanation for how he plans to dispose of the mess Cheney left behind, including the 100's of illegally detained human beings at Gitmo.

The U.S. is decidedly less safe after the world saw us wage war against a sovereign nation that did nothing to us, based on a lie that they did--and after we tortured prisoners using techniques (e.g., waterboarding, starvation, genital electrocution, exposure to snarling dogs)deemed criminal since the Spanish Inquisition.

Cheney just coughed and growled the same non-fact-based talking points over and over: (1) torture, notwithstanding its criminality, works (even though it doesn't) and (2) I hate BHO.

Anyway this isn't the debating team at Yale: the press doesn't get that--you can't "debate" torture or illegal invasions. You don't debate slavery, Rosewood, or the Holocaust either. Anyway BHO won the debate long ago when he won the election; Cheney, who even had issues with Mandela, just can't accept that.

BHO made the case for returning to American values like due process and the Geneva Convention.

Cheney...well, Cheney is a case.

Cheney's performance ensures that the 18% number for folks who consider themselves GOPers is still on the down escalator.

But wait for Gen. C. Luther Powell, the most respected GOPer in the Nation, on Face the Nation this Sunday. He's due to give Cheney "what's fer" big time. This will be the main event: Powell, war hero, versus Cheney, [fill in the blank].

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 21, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

You made the rules Jake. I didn't use a question mark.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | May 21, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

mikeinmidland:

Too bad you said you had "no more questions" for me.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

And you Jake are trying like crazy to support the impression that Obama's support is nothing but the vagaries of celebrity, rather than what it actually is: respect for his intelligence, idealism, and honesty.

As you may recall the McCain campaign tried that one, tried it really hard, and McCain is now a smoking hole in the ground.

"We get it." You don't like Obama, and you think a lying incompetent like Cheney is the salt of the earth. Enjoy your long sojourn on the margins, nice to know you will be long dead before your creepy ideas get any representation in our politics ever again.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Jake, you obfuscatory little weasel!

You are the one who typed:

LOL!!! Listening to The One campaign speeches, I thought that GTMO would already be closed by now.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 5:08 PM

Which is what chrisfox8 was objecting to. And then you claim to agree with my recollection, that Obama never set a date certain.

I am curious to know what it was in his campaign speech that made you think Gitmo would be closed by now.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | May 21, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

"Freesh"airindc:

Already saw that once -- are you feeling OK -- did you see my original question to you?

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Cheney is proud of stating there have been no terrorists attacks for 7 1/2 years.

I guess there is no culpability for 9/11.

The data was there but their ineffective leadership failed to connect the dots.

The gop did not hit the ground running as President Obama has.

Mr. Obama gets an A for effort regardless how this hand plays itself.

The fair-minded American people feel the same way.

Today, I can say I'm proud to be an American.

We need to relax as President Obama helps us work out of the crap he inherited.

I can think of at least 3000 reasons why his credibilty will always be greater than the GOP.

Patriots they are not. The gop's fervor to score political points at the expense of patriotism is sickening.

If the gop falls into obsolescence, our nation will be stronger for it.

Frankly, Lincoln, for everything he represented, would find today's gop repugnant.

Posted by: Freshairindc | May 21, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Freshairindc:

Both you and Michelle Obama are proud to be Americans today. We get it.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

That's one factual misapprehension to your millions, Jake

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, yeah, "chrisfox8" YOU still think that Cheney was a "Senator".

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Funny you should mention the conspiracy theory, Jake ... back when it happened the idea was greeted by most Americans with scorn. In the years since, when we learned more about Bush and Cheney and their morals, the idea has gained a lot of credibility ground.

No, people still don't believe that Bush and Cheney were behind the attack, but not because they're seen as too moral to nurture such a despicable plan.

Now most Americans have no trouble believing they were morally up to doing it, but they can't bring themselves to believe they could have pulled it off. They are both seen as easily evil enough .. but not competent enough.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

mikeinmidland:

I will use whatever word I want, thank you very much.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Do you also assign blame to FDR for not preventing the attack on Pearl Harbor?

==

That honor is usually bestowed on Adm. Kimmel, tyke.

The PDB was dismissed because Bush was more interested in some Reagan-era missile-shield project.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse


Jake, please don't ever use "we" to describe you and me. I think I threw up in my mouth a little.

chrisfox8 and I agree that Obama never said he would "immediately" close down Gitmo. He was obviously referring to the January 21, 2009 executive order that said Gitmo would be closed down within a year of that date.

And despite your prodding, I don't think anyone here is upset that Gitmo hasn't been closed down yet, and won't be soon. One year is fine. Much much more important was the stopping of torture, and the moves to get these detainees out of legal limbo.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | May 21, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

gmail and Freshairindc:

Do you also assign blame to FDR for not preventing the attack on Pearl Harbor? The difference between Bush and Obama will be -- assuming there is another 9/11 attack -- the later actively released terrorists to carry out said attacks. Unless you believe the conspiracy theory that Bush personally planted demolitions at the WTC, Obama's (in)actions would clearly be worse.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

test

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 21, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

test

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 21, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Dick Cheney was NEVER a Senator.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I would like to remind the Cheney camp that while he is barking that Obama does not understand the terrorist threat, it was Bush and his administration that brush aside that threat in 2000/2001 focusing instead on our cold war era enemies of China/Russia.

Posted by: gmail | May 21, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Cheney is proud of stating there have been no terrorists attacks for 7 1/2 years.

I guess there is no culpability for 9/11.

The data was there but their ineffective leadership failed to connect the dots.

The gop did not hit the ground running as President Obama has.

Mr. Obama gets an A for effort regardless how this hand plays itself.

The fair-minded American people feel the same way.

Today, I can say I'm proud to be an American.

We need to relax as President Obama helps us work out of the crap he inherited.

I can think of at least 3000 reasons why his credibilty will always be greater than the GOP.

Patriots they are not. The gop's fervor to score political points at the expense of patriotism is sickening.

If the gop falls into obsolescence, our nation will be stronger for it

Frankly, Lincoln for everything he represented would find today's gop repugnant.

Posted by: Freshairindc | May 21, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Nobody with a brain takes the WSJ seriously, Jake

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

That's sort of like Sauron saying that he didn't make any major mistakes after the Ring went into the fire....

==

Sauron had put so much of his power into the One Ring that after its destruction he was never again able to manifest physically. If one the same could be said of Cheney, frantically trying to recast his long string of mistakes as deliberative and wise.

It's worth noting that in all his many positions of great responsibility, Cheney has never done even a mediocre job; as representative, as Senator, as CEO, as Secretary, and as VP, his life has been one unbroken string of screw-ups.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama inherited a set of national-security policies that he rejected during the campaign but now embraces as president. This is a stunning and welcome about-face.

For example, President Obama kept George W. Bush's military tribunals for terror detainees after calling them an "enormous failure" and a "legal black hole." His campaign claimed last summer that "court systems . . . are capable of convicting terrorists." Upon entering office, he found out they aren't.

He insisted in an interview with NBC in 2007 that Congress mandate "consequences" for "a failure to meet various benchmarks and milestones" on aid to Iraq. Earlier this month he fought off legislatively mandated benchmarks in the $97 billion funding bill for Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr. Obama agreed on April 23 to American Civil Liberties Union demands to release investigative photos of detainee abuse. Now's he reversed himself. Pentagon officials apparently convinced him that releasing the photos would increase the risk to U.S. troops and civilian personnel.

Throughout his presidential campaign, Mr. Obama excoriated Mr. Bush's counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq, insisting it could not succeed. Earlier this year, facing increasing violence in Afghanistan, Mr. Obama rejected warnings of a "quagmire" and ordered more troops to that country. He isn't calling it a "surge" but that's what it is. He is applying in Afghanistan the counterinsurgency strategy Mr. Bush used in Iraq.

As a candidate, Mr. Obama promised to end the Iraq war by withdrawing all troops by March 2009. As president, he set a slower pace of drawdown. He has also said he will leave as many as 50,000 Americans troops there.

These reversals are both praiseworthy and evidence that, when it comes to national security, being briefed on terror threats as president is a lot different than placating MoveOn.org and Code Pink activists as a candidate. The realities of governing trump the realities of campaigning.

(cont.)

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

We are also seeing Mr. Obama reverse himself on the domestic front, but this time in a manner that will do more harm than good.

Mr. Obama campaigned on "responsible fiscal policies," arguing in a speech on the Senate floor in 2006 that the "rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy." In his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, he pledged to "go through the federal budget line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work." Even now, he says he'll "cut the deficit . . . by half by the end of his first term in office" and is "rooting out waste and abuse" in the budget.

However, Mr. Obama's fiscally conservative words are betrayed by his liberal actions. He offers an orgy of spending and a bacchanal of debt. His budget plans a 25% increase in the federal government's share of the GDP, a doubling of the national debt in five years, and a near tripling of it in 10 years.

On health care, Mr. Obama's election ads decried "government-run health care" as "extreme," saying it would lead to "higher costs." Now he is promoting a plan that would result in a de facto government-run health-care system. Even the Washington Post questions it, saying, "It is difficult to imagine . . . benefits from a government-run system."

Making adjustments in office is one thing. Constantly governing in direct opposition to what you said as a candidate is something else. Mr. Obama's flip-flops on national security have been wise; on the domestic front, they have been harmful.

In both cases, though, we have learned something about Mr. Obama. What animated him during the campaign is what historian Forrest McDonald once called "the projection of appealing images." All politicians want to project an appealing image. What Mr. McDonald warned against is focusing on this so much that an appealing image "becomes a self-sustaining end unto itself." Such an approach can work in a campaign, as Mr. Obama discovered. But it can also complicate life once elected, as he is finding out.

Mr. Obama's appealing campaign images turned out to have been fleeting. He ran hard to the left on national security to win the nomination, only to discover the campaign commitments he made were shallow and at odds with America's security interests.

Mr. Obama ran hard to the center on economic issues to win the general election. He has since discovered his campaign commitments were obstacles to ramming through the most ideologically liberal economic agenda since the Great Society.

Mr. Obama either had very little grasp of what governing would involve or, if he did, he used words meant to mislead the public. Neither option is particularly encouraging. America now has a president quite different from the person who advertised himself for the job last year. Over time, those things can catch up to a politician.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124286200693341141.html

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Cheney's only claim to competency is that, after 9-11, we didn't have another attack on our soil.

==

This is one of those qualifying falsehoods; to be a GOP member in good standing one has to be willing to recite a set of lies with conviction. The "Bush kept us safe" one is near the head of the list.

IT's worth noting that there were exactly as many terrorist attacks in the eight years before 9/11 as there were in the eight years after, and not one fewer.

It's not as though we had an 9/11-level incident every few months that the Bush administration's diligent attention to detail (*guffaw*) managed to put a stop to.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Cheney's only claim to competency is that, after 9-11, we didn't have another attack on our soil.


That's sort of like Sauron saying that he didn't make any major mistakes after the Ring went into the fire....


Stuff happens?!?! And the Corporate media eats it up. The Dick is doing a great job on his "Let's Insult the Intelligence of Americans Tour".
.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yq3a6NQZyJM


Posted by: DrainYou | May 21, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

"Obama was in favor of closing Gitmo since at least January 2008, and never do I recall him stating that it would be closed by a certain date."

That was my recollection, too, but "chrisfox8" says we are WRONG!!!

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

One of the overlooked aspects of The Dick Cheney’s speech today was his extensive linking of 9/11 to weapons of mass destruction (including nuclear weapons), Saddam Hussein, and Iraq.


In addition to his full-throated defense of torture, Cheney described the national security context as one in which they foremost fear was "a 9/11 with weapons of mass destruction."


Cheney said al Qaeda was seaking nuclear weapons and that because Iraq had "known ties" to terrorists, the Bush administration focused on Iraq because it was a regime that "might transfer such weapons to terrorists."


That Cheney would once again lie about Iraq is no big surprise, but the fact that he told those lies once again during today’s speech should raise even more questions about the veracity of his torture defense.


The man is a pathological liar, and there is no reason to believe a word he says.


Posted by: DrainYou | May 21, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse


Obama signed the executive order, delaring that Gitmo would be closed within a year, on January 21, 2009. He did make at least one speech that day, in which he described the order. It may be that Chris is thinking of that speech. Chris's recollection is not my problem.

What I am saying is that Obama was in favor of closing Gitmo since at least January 2008, and never do I recall him stating that it would be closed by a certain date. "As quickly as can be done in a responsible manner" is the sort of phrase that comes to mind. And I found a quote that bears that out, from before the election, and in the time frame you mention.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | May 21, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse


If he just wanted to tell people what they wanted to hear, he wouldn't have spoken for an hour. He wanted to explain his argument thoroughly.

Obama carefully listed the five categories of prisoners and how each was to be dealt with. How is that "winging it?"

Posted by: mikeinmidland | May 21, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

mikeinmidland:

Sorry, but according to "chrisfox8" candidate Obama said it would take ONE YEAR. Don't hold your breath for said quote though ; )

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Obama really likes to hear himself read off the teleprompter..for an HOUR! He comes off insincere and hesitant. Cheney made some good points and I give him credit for his firm belief in what he was saying. I really believe he is trying to help this administration. Obama speaks what people want to hear with no thought to how he is going to do it...he wings it.

Posted by: tnspaz | May 21, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

To Mr. Rule of Law and others:

Please show me in the United States Constitution where exactly it states that 1) The Constitution applies to foreign nationals (and outside of the US to be exact)
2)That detainment without trial of those foreign nationals captured in war is prohibitied
3) That torture or torture-lite (i.e. waterboarding) is prohibited.

Please, I am waiting.

If such is not contained in the constitution, then any law relating to said 3 items can be changed by congress at will to allow or disallow such.

Posted by: dwaterson52 | May 21, 2009 1:34 PM

======================

Article III - The Judicial Branch

Section 2 - Trial by Jury, Original Jurisdiction, Jury Trials

(The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority; to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls; to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction; to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party; to Controversies between two or more States; between a State and Citizens of another State; between Citizens of different States; between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.)
-------------
Stress on "...and treaties made." The Geneva Convention and UN CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment were signed by the US.

UN CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Part I
Article 1

1. For the purposes of this Convention, torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.

--------------

Waterboarding fits, right?

Chaney lost because he doesn't understand law.

Posted by: alysheba_3 | May 21, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse


Obama said, in late October, that he would close Gitmo as soon as it was prudent to do so:

"I am not going to give a time certain because I think what we have to do is evaluate all those who are still being held in Gitmo,” he said. “We have to put in place appropriate plans to make sure they are tried, convicted and punished to the full extent of the law, and that’s going to require, I think, a review of the existing cases, which I have not had the opportunity to do."

It is amazing to me, that the same people who are opposed to a policy, are the ones trying to foment dissatisfaction among those who agree with that policy, that is not being carried out with undue haste.

If the prison at Guantanamo Bay (as opposed to the military base we used to think of as "Gitmo") is not emptied before 2012, then I will have to hear a pretty convincing argument as to why I should vote for Obama to be re-elected.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | May 21, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

The one thing Cheney can do very good is to miss a target.

Posted by: Sybil2000 | May 21, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Let the old lying fool go huddle in his undisclosed location until his pacemaker battery gives out. When Cheney leaves this mortal coil, hopefully at the hand of a relative of someone who died in his elective wars, the world will at once become a marginally better place

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

We are in this disgraceful mess because of Cheney--why do we give him all of this attention. Let him go back to his cave and mumble to himself.

Posted by: footee | May 21, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Obama said it would take "one year" to close GTMO -- from BEFORE ELECTION DAY (I followed that issue very closely)

==

As routinely as you get your facts completely askew, your idea of "following an issue closely" isn't worth a bucket of warm spit

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse


If by "fine with me" you mean I would have still voted for him, then yes. Everything takes time. His predecessor claimed to want to close it too, but did nothing. His opponent also wanted to close it.

Obviously, the first step in closing the prison is to move out the prisoners. Bush released over 500 of them, so the ones left are the ones that are the hardest to find a place for.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | May 21, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Cheney has thumbed his nose at the Constitution his entire public career. Apparently the Corporate media does not see the value of the document either.


It is unprecedented in contemporary American politics for a former Vice President to critique the policies of a sitting President. Unprecedented. Vice President Gore waited a full two years before voicing his opposition to an Iraq War.


Aided and abetted by the media, Dick Cheney began voicing his opposition to the administration of President Obama within 14 days of his swearing in.


Anyone who uses a computer can document the lies in Cheney's public statements using Google. Apparently no one in the media knows how to use the Google. Put Cheney's butt under oath and then ship him off to the Hague to be tried as a war criminal.


Posted by: DrainYou | May 21, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox8:

You find me that quote -- Obama said it would take "one year" to close GTMO -- from BEFORE ELECTION DAY (I followed that issue very closely), and I will stop posting here forever.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

mikeinmidland:

If he had told you BEFORE THE ELECTION that "The first step to reclaiming America's standing in the world has to be closing this facility" meant the FIRST STEP would not be until January 22, 2010, that would have been fine with you?

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

There was NEVER "one year" mentioned as the going-out-of-business sale re: GTMO. In fact, the campaign rhetoric was that it would be closed immediately:

==

Once again you're wrong. Doesn't that get exhausting, being wrong all the time? Doesn't it ever give you pause, how much of what you believe is based on misapprehensions and incorrect reading of easily-available information?

Even a stopped clock has you beat, JackeD

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Here we Cheney,someone who put us in two wars and the biggest deficit we ever had with a deep down depression. He is now in the air teaching how to keep America safe.I do not think he remember that 9/11 did happens in his watch.Is he saying that he was not keeping America safe during that time?

Posted by: Sybil2000 | May 21, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

He started the process on Day Two. That's close enough to "immediately" for me. And on that day, he made the "within a year" pledge.

The material quoted does not say "immediately," either.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | May 21, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

It takes ONE YEAR for the "first step"?! OMG, we are going to be at this for quite awhile ; )

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

There was NEVER "one year" mentioned as the going-out-of-business sale re: GTMO. In fact, the campaign rhetoric was that it would be closed immediately:

A campaign fact sheet on counter-terrorism said this about Obama's promise to close the detention facility at Guantanamo: "Guantanamo has become a recruiting tool for our enemies. The legal framework behind Guantanamo has failed completely, resulting in only one conviction. President Bush's own Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates (who Obama has since nominated to retain this post), wants to close it. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, wants to close it. The first step to reclaiming America's standing in the world has to be closing this facility. As president, Barack Obama will close the detention facility at Guantanamo."

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/promise/177/close-the-guantanamo-bay-detention-center/

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Cheney spoke to a partisan audience at the AEI, an audience that was pre-selected to agree with his every word. Obama spoke to the American people from the Archives. Cheney's supporters are the few, the homogenous and the powerless, Obama's supporters are the many and the diverse.

Cheney's vision is one of grim and eternal persistence, Obama's is American.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Since I am not retired, I had to make do with reading the transcripts. For an analysis of substance, this is probably better.

It seems to me that Obama made rational points, founded on Constitutional principles. Not an absolutist, he allowed that we may need to hold some detainees indefinitely, essentially as POWs. He appealed to reason over fear.

Cheney, on the surface, made similar arguments to justify the actions of the previous administration. But the emphasis was on the threat to justify the extreme measures. He essentially said, "we were right to be afraid, and we should still be afraid." An appeal to fear over reason.

In my experience, the person trying to make you think is more to be trusted than the person trying to make you afraid. After all, isn't that all the terrorists were trying to do--make us afraid?

Posted by: mikeinmidland | May 21, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

If anyone else besides "chrisfox8" wants to discuss the thread topic again:

"Cheney won, hands down. Obama effectively conceded the debate by "punting" on his 5th category of detainees -- at least he finally realizes that some of them can NEVER be released -- whether the libs want to admit it yet, or not, the GOP won this round."

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Listening to The One campaign speeches, I thought that GTMO would already be closed by now.

==

Wrong AGAIN.

If you HAD actually listened to the speeches you would have heard that the plan is to close it within a year. And it will be.

Is there some reason, something other than cognitive disability, why you always get your facts wrong? It really is quite remarkable how distant an acquaintance you have with the truth, especially for one so frantic to dominate the conversation.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

JakeD,

Most of us here in the sane world don't cower in fear everytime one of your wingnut heroes, like draftdodgers Cheney & Bush, say - BOO!

I'm guessing that you had to change your diaper immeadiatly following Darth's fear-mongering speech again today.

Posted by: DrainYou | May 21, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I LOVE hearing from dick cheney! He just keeps reminding the majority of this country that voted for Obama, why they voted for Obama. The more he puts his foot in his mouth, the more likely there WILL be an independent commission authorized to review all the bush/cheney lies. I get goose pimples thinking of goofus and doofus sharing a cell in Leavenworth!

Posted by: jasperanselm | May 21, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm retired, with plenty of time to waste

==

And wasting it you are. Is "retired" the right word for collecting psychiatric disability?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

JakeD hijacks another thread, re-posting the same dull screeds over and over, desperate for attention.

Give it a rest, Jake, let people talk about the topic instead of trying to get them to talk about you.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Where's "scrivener50" when you really need him?!

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

DrainYou:

How many people in the country actually listened to (or read excerpts of the speech at least) an unemployed coward like Cheney today?

You should be afraid, be very afraid.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

JakeD,

If the country actually listened to unemployed cowards like you we would all be afraid to peek outside of our door everyday.

Posted by: DrainYou | May 21, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

DrainYou:

I'm retired, with plenty of time to waste pulling your chain here, and I'm not wetting my pants or kicking my TV, wife, small animals, etc.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

"Anyone wanna buy a slightly kicked-in TV?"

Posted by: Clutch Cargo | May 20, 2009 6:12 PM

http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2009/05/cheney_open_running_a_possibil.html

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

@JakeD,
Quit wetting your pants and get a job!

Posted by: DrainYou | May 21, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Poor wittle, DrainYou, upset that anyone he disagrees with has free speech rights.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

P.S. while prison "escape" is probably not that big of a concern, I will note that the outside operations of several prison gangs, such as the Mexican Mafia, Nuestra Familia, the Black Guerrilla Family, the Aryan Brotherhood, and the Nazi Lowriders have all been directed via secret communications from within Pelican Bay's SHU "SuperMax" facility:

http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v01/n707/a04.html

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Channel Surfing:


[click]


"Our guest this morning on Face the Nation is former vice president Dick Cheney..."


[click]


"Our guest this morning on This Week is Liz Cheney..."


[click]


"Coming up next on CNN: Dick and Liz Cheney..."


[click]


"Welcome back to the Weather Channel. Here's Lynne Cheney to defend her husband's ordering of torture to establish a bogus Iraq-al Qaeda link, along with our weekend outlook..."


[click]


"That's right, Liz! While you're on Fox News claiming that your dad kept Americans safe---even though 9/11 happened on his watch---your roast is cooking to perfection in my amazing Ronco Showtime Rotisserie. And your family will love this: it comes with an extra rack absolutely FREE!"


[click]


"Welcome back to Judge Dick. The plaintiff, Gladys Higginbotham, claims that her mechanic, Buzz Taylor, overcharged her for a spring tune-up on her Honda Civic. But Judge Dick says there's 'no doubt' Buzz knows about secret meetings between Mohammed Atta and Saddam Hussein. Let's see if Buzz has cracked under ten days of sleep deprivation and forced nudity in a freezing cell..."


[click]


"See, kids, my dad says Cookie Monster only feels like he's drowning, but he's not. So it's not water torture...it's more like rinsing your face and sinuses and throat and lungs so they're really, really clean! Yaay! Let's give Big Bird a turn...!"


[click]


"Welcome to the Cheney Channel! All Cheney All the Time! This hour, Dick Cheney shows you how to shift the blame for anything onto Nancy Pelosi! First up: newly-unearthed CIA documents reveal how the Speaker personally sank the Titanic before she was born!"


[click]


Anyone wanna buy a slightly kicked-in TV?

Posted by: DrainYou | May 21, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Attempting to judge the speeches from a pure substance stand point, I would give the round slightly to former Vice President Cheney. Both individuals made fairly illogical arguments that were light on actual logic and factual statements and heavy on value laden quotes aimed at evoking visceral reactions.

Therefore, if someone who knew nothing of either candidate went and read the transcripts of the speeches (let's not forget the oratory gap) I would argue that the speech centered on” protection of country”, “us against them mentality”, and “lofty ideals of elites come second to protecting our children” rhetoric, trump “for the good of all men”, “making our country safer through encouraging others to like us” and "don't stoop to their level" rhetoric.

If you have ever been told by someone to take the high road or not to stoop to their level, what do you almost always wind up wanting to do? Not Take the High Road! When looking at the words on the transcripts I give the edge to the former Vice President.

Posted by: collins2789 | May 21, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox8:

I thought you found a job?

Back on topic:

(AP) Hours after Obama delivered a speech defending his choice to close Guantanamo Bay, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made clear Thursday he thinks the president still needs to provide details on where he plans to relocate detainees of the facility.

"We've received today a broad vision from President Obama and it's important that he did that, said Reid, who on Wednesday supported a Senate measure to strip funding to close the facility until a plan is laid out.

"We're all awaiting the details of his plan and he's going to come up with one."

"Democrats certainly, agree that it should be closed," Reid also said. "And it's going to be closed. I think that the president did today was giving us a broad vision of what he expects. And knowing President Obama like we've all gotten to know him, he doesn't do things half-cocked. He's going to give us a detailed plan and it will be forthcoming soon."

LOL!!! Listening to The One campaign speeches, I thought that GTMO would already be closed by now.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

We have among us a certain sort of person who is thrilled and inflated by the idea that America faces powerful and implacable enemies, men of superhuman determination who cannot be contained in prisons and whose disrespect for their own lives gives them comic-book powers.

In real life the "terrorists" are no more than common criminals with no special powers of organization or anything else, and no more able to escape from jail or wreak mayhem than any other disgruntled student of lawlessness.

Put an(other) Al Qaida terrorist into a maximum security prison and he's just as stuck as some guy who robbed a bank, and is no more of the threat.

This is reality, not a Marvel Comic. Let's get some perspective.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

foxy, jakey's not lying, he's just an idiot. If it's on his talking point sheet for the day, then it's the truth, right?

Posted by: jasperanselm | May 21, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

The 9/11 attacks occurred because the FBI and CIA were not on the same page, t

==

Nonsense as usual.

The warnings were as clear as they could be, but Bush had "other priorities." There was a Presidential Daily Briefing that spelled out the plot in unambiguous terms, and it was ignored. Please stop lying.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Patrick Henry in a rousing speech before the Virginia Convention in 1775 closed with the oft-quoted exhortation: "Give me Liberty or give me Death!"
Among the attendees were future Presidents Washington and Jefferson.

The notion that the *ideals* of this nation were more important than the lives of those who resided within her borders is a powerful Originalist position that should give pause to Mr. Cheney's supporters.

During the Cold War and the Korean & Vietnam conflicts a common refrain among the Right was, "Better dead than Red!" - a formulation that implicitly recognizes the superiority of American ideals to life itself.

Posted by: PaxChaosium | May 21, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

sverigegrabb:

The 9/11 attacks occurred because the FBI and CIA were not on the same page, thus resulting in failure to "connect the dots" re: an enemy that will not stop -- those were the main lessons learned -- the Dems are insisting we AGAIN fail to connect the dots. That's why Cheney's speech won, using any objective scoring system. I hope it does not take another 9/11 attack (or worse) to convince us.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

You're asking for the impossible! But I'll try. While Dick Cheney's quiet, headmaster-to-backward schoolboy manner of speaking lends a superficial gravitas to his claims/utterances, no one ever challenges his assertions--and that's ALL they are.

Besides, how does one disprove his extremely questionable assertion that 'we kept the country safe for 7 years' or 'our actions prevented another enemy attack', etc., etc.? There is NO empirical evidence that this either is or is not so. Yet the former Vice-President--and now his daughter, no less--continues to make these assertions with an implacability which would seem to leave no room for doubt. Yet if these arguments are examined closely, all one hears is the same 'only we can protect you'-mantra that we've all heard in one form or another for the last 8 years.

Nor does one ever hear from the Cheney side how the 9/11 attacks occurred on the Bush/Cheney watch.

As for President Obama, it is insulting that Cheney talks down to him and the Administration in general, as if Obama were 'Bambi' or a naif. We didn't see George Bush edit the Harvard Law Review (nor whatever the Yale equivalent is, either).

Obama hasn't been in office long enough to prove what he (Obama) has asserted on this subject, nor has he as yet had his assertions disproven.

The answer is NO ONE KNOWS if/when there will be another attack 'on the homeland' (a dangerously Hitlerian turn of phrase, incidentally), nor how it may occur.

As much as I dislike clichés, elections have consequences indeed. The problem with the Cheney crowd's seemingly endless carping is that the Bush/Cheney Administration HAD 8 years (and a shockingly compliant Congress as well) to do as they thought was right, but ultimately, the electorate repudiated them. Now it's time to gracefully leave the field--or is hearing loss yet another of the former Vice-President's health issues?

Posted by: sverigegrabb | May 21, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Cheney's a joke. If we can't protect this country within the scope of the rule of law then we are no better than the dogs that try to attack us.

We don't need to stoop to their level. We're better than they are, we're smarter than they are and we have better resources than they do. If little georgie had spent any time assembling other countries to fight terror in the manner that the old man did in the first gulf war, this world would be a much safer place. georgie had the chance after 9/11. All it would have taken was a little leadership and other countries would have followed our lead. Unfortunately for all of us, he listened to cheney and we've been screwed ever since.

Posted by: jasperanselm | May 21, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Cheney wouldn't have had to mention 9/11 so many times if you guys had learned the lessons from that day.

Posted by: JakeD

==

Learned the lesson? We played right into Osama's hands, gave him everything he hoped for and more, wrapped up in a pink bow. AQ is awash with recruits, the Taliban is on the march in a nuclear-armed country, Afghanistan is descending into chaos, America's readiness for a real threat has never been lower.

You are a fool.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Cheney went out of his way to express scorn for American values and ideals, regarding them as luxutries and inapplicable to dangerous times. He re-asserted that torture saved lives, yet another reiteration of the lie that nobody with access to classified documents has come forward to corroborate. He even descended to equate American idealism with "political correctness," playing once again to the base emotions, to fear and hate. He even used the word "tough" repeatedly, like a schoolyard bully.

Obama appealed to American decency and ideals, to ideas that have no resonance to the hate-crazed and enraged troglodytes who comprise the remaining GOP base. Those of us who believe in America as a land of good people with more at stake than grim eternal persistence were uplifeted.

In short, each speech appealed to the audience that was already in tune with it. Obama's appeal to American greatness has no resonance to those who want phones tapped and prisoners tortured, Cheney's appeal to fear and hate has no resonance to people who think we're more than that.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse


What a specious argument. No one ever wants a convicted felon to live in their neighborhood. If that is your only argument for keeping Gitmo open, then I assume you would approve of just killing anyone accused of a crime, just so we don't have to bother with them anymore.

When the police can arrest anyone they want, and anyone arrested can be dealt with as the government sees fit, then the only people we will be afraid of are the police. Sounds a lot like the old Soviet Union to me.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | May 21, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

You know what I wonder?

I wonder if the "close Gitmo and "give the detainees Constitutional rights" position is no more than a continuation of liberals' "turn them loose" (versus "string 'em up") position on incarcerated criminals.

Does anyone know the answer?

Posted by: Section506 | May 21, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Cheney and Bush did what no terrorist nor any enemy of our nation EVER could do or did do. Basic American human & Constitutional rights were surrendered willingly because of fear generated & perpetuated by those who swore an oath to protect those exact rights. They shoved this nation into an unjustifiable war in a nation that had nothing to do with the attack on our nation on Sept. 11, 2001, they depleted our most precious & valuable resources (both material & human), and those who WERE responsible sat in their caves (or wherever) and smiled, smiled, SMILED.


Cheney and Bush were terrified by 12 guys with box cutters WHO THEY KNEW WERE COMING!


Posted by: DrainYou | May 21, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

The "close Gitmo and give the detainees Constitutional rights" position is no more than a continuation of liberals' "turn them loose" (versus "string 'em up") position on incarcerated criminals.

Let's pose the question to the public as, "The recidivism rate is 30%, and the next parolee (or Gitmo detainee at an unknown reoffending rate) is going to live next door to your daughter and her children. Do want him released?"

Posted by: mvd78209 | May 21, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

The "close Gitmo and "give the detainees Constitutional rights" position is no more than a continuation of liberals' "turn them loose" (versus "string 'em up") position on incarcerated criminals.

Let's pose the question to the public as, "The recidivism rate is 30%, and the next parolee (or Gitmo detainee at an unknown reoffending rate) is going to live next door to your daughter and her children. Do want him released?"

Posted by: mvd78209 | May 21, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

The "close Gitmo and "give the detainees Constitutional rights" position is no more than a continuation of liberals' "turn them loose" (versus "string 'em up") position on incarcerated criminals.

Let's pose the question to the public as, "The recidivism rate is 30%, and the next parolee (or Gitmo detainee at an unknown reoffending rate) is going to live next door to your daughter and her children. Do want him released?"

Posted by: mvd78209 | May 21, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Good lord, Bush himself finally repudiated Cheney's policies. The biggest flaw with them is that, in practice, they don't work. That's why the only high-level administration figure defending Cheney's policies is Cheney.

You should also never, ever take Cheney's protestations at face value. He's proven time and again that he will say what he thinks will work with no regard to facts. And I would be very surprised to discover that his sole motivation here is a deep, abiding interest in his country's security.

Posted by: nodebris | May 21, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Cheney gave a very concise speech from a factual base of great experience and unqualifed success of protecting America since 9/11.

Obama gave great speech-making from a therotical base of wishful thinking to get himself out of a jam and from a lack of executive experience.

Obama prays at night that the ACLU, Pelosi, Reid, and the CIA will come to his defense when we get hit again.

Posted by: bamvol | May 21, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Cheney gave a very concise speech from a factual base of great experience and unqualifed success of protecting America since 9/11.

Obama gave great speech-making from a therotical base of wishful thinking to get himself out of a jam and from a lack of executive experience.

Obama prays at night that the ACLU, Pelosi, Reid, and the CIA will come to his defense when we get hit again.

Posted by: bamvol | May 21, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Cheney is a traitor who should be jailed and then shot. No trial, no lawyer to represent him. Just summary execution. And his little verminous bumboy JakeD can follow him to the grave.

Posted by: cythera45 | May 21, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

If you read between the lines.. Obama should thank Cheney each and every day for his successful Presidential bid.. the huge boomerang vote catapulted him into his current office.

Posted by: newbeeboy | May 21, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Replying to the person who said this: "This is all very surreal. A former vice president "debating" the current president while the former president, secretaries of state and others remain silent and a Congress that reacts to whatever is politically expedient in the moment. Shame on us all."

Actually, several "wise men" of U.S. foreign policy history, including Henry Kissinger, recently appeared at the White House to voice their support of the president. This was enormously underreported. I think we have to partly blame the White House on that, for not promoting this as a major event and for having other big news of the day that walked on it as a news story.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | May 21, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Chris, Even to do you a big favor, I reject your premise that I should spend my day reviewing both a speech by the elected President of the United States, who campaigned and won resoundingly on these very issues, and a speech by a former vice president who brought that office into disrepute, is desperately trying to remake his historical legacy, is not entirely out of the woods on legal charges of obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and war crimes, and is, thank God, no longer in power. The second guy had his 15 minutes of fame (make that eight years). He doesn't get another second from me.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | May 21, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Obama's speech was more substantive, he didn't need his daughters to defend it like Cheney needed his daughter, Mary, to defend his today.

Posted by: AverageJane | May 21, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I felt most American today listening to the President's speech about what America should and will stand for and being honest enough not to pretend that he and no one else can be certain we will never have another attack on U.S. soil. I also fully believe that the Bush Administration was completely frightened after 9/11 as Condi Rice has told us and had to quickly try and assess the situation. Now we must decide if the FBI agent who testified under oath to Congress has perjured himself or if Dick Cheney, not under oath, is telling the truth regarding what we learned by enhanced interrogation techniques. Did we invade Iraq based on faulty evidence we received as a result of information obtained from enhanced interrogation techniques or directly from the CIA?

I disagree with Dick Cheney mostly on what seems to be that we must fight the war on terrorism alone and that potential allies are rather arrogantly dismissed. That is dangerous and irresponsible speak. We cannot fight terrorism alone and we do not win allies to help us by flippantly dismissing the Europeans and others. I was ashamed listening to the former vice president.

This is all very surreal. A former vice president "debating" the current president while the former president, secretaries of state and others remain silent and a Congress that reacts to whatever is politically expedient in the moment. Shame on us all.

Posted by: kimh1000 | May 21, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

If we "only" water boarded 3 terrorists, maybe we didn't really need to water board ANY terrorists.

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

After listening to Cheney I can only imagine what today would have been like if Obama had been in charge. We wouldn't be stuck in Iraq. And Bin Laden might have been captured, tried and executed by now. Fear is the only message I got from 'Dick'.

Posted by: AverageJane | May 21, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

dwaterson52 - "hohandy, did you read BOUMEDIENE V BUSH? It was a very limited opnion granting a specific right to the detainess under specific circumstances. It did not say that detainees have all rights that the Constitution gaurantees. "

changing your argument now or are you trying to falsely put words in my mouth? First you state that the Constitution doesn't apply to non-citizens at all. When I show you a case where the Supreme Court specifically says that the specific Constitutional right of habeas corpus applied to the detainees, you're suddenly pretending that the argument was about something else - that you never made the claim that "the Constitution does not apply to foreign nationals?"

I never made the claim that foreign nationals have ALL rights in the Constitution (that's your strawman dude) - but I have specfically argued several times, and have shown Supreme Court language that in both wording of the Constitution and in Supreme Court decisions that the Constitution makes no distinction between US citizens and foreign nationals when it comes to matters of adminsitration of the justice system by the United States government.

I've asked you to show us where in the Constitution it does make that distinction - and you've failed to provide anything. Instead you're now trying to dishonestly change the argument into something else than what it was. Typical.

Posted by: hohandy1 | May 21, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

FU Dick Cheney! I just peeked out from behind my couch to check the living room and I thought I saw khalid Sheikh Mohammed with a nuke in his hand, no wait, that's just a chair. But take heart my dear friends, that chair will not be hurting Americans in the near future. I waterboarded it and it gave up the coffee table's plot to stub my toe on Friday night. Damn, that was close. After changing my shorts I started watching The Dick Cheney again. Wait, what? You are some kind of benevolent protector doing the difficult things to keep us safe? FU! You are a malevolent narcissistic who is trying to tell us that we owe you a debt of gratitude for dancing on the ashes of the Constitution and getting us involved in wars that weaken our stance in the world both militarily and morally. FU! We only waterboarded three of them? If you were doing everything you could, and waterboarding isn't a bad thing, why not more? Lets pick up people off the street and waterboard them just in case they are plotting the next 9/11. They might have a dirty bomb in their trunk. We can't take that chance, Dick. Because, I'm scared. "We can't just stop half of the terrorists with nukes from getting into America, we have to stop all of them?" Are you saying Obama wants us to get nuked? FU! Are you suggesting that torturing people is the only way to keep that from happening? Well then strap some electrodes to my manhood, I'm ready to do my part for national security. But please, Dick, send Jack Bauer to do it, he'll know when to stop. We either have to do what you did or we're screwed? It's torture people, or 9/11 was one of a kind, or we're screwed? FU! Putting terror suspects in supermax is supporting them?!?! Since when is Florence Colorado an Al Qaeida training camp?!?! Oh, and I don't care what the damn memos say! How can I beleive a word of it when you were torturing the people who gave you the info? They could say that we thwarted a plot to kill Heidi and Spencer from the Hills, and it still couldn't have less credibility to me. They are memos written by people who needed a reason to justify torturing people containing content gained by said torture. Are we freaking idiots!? Don't answer that, Dick, because I know what your answer is. And since I know what you think of me, this is what I think of you.


FU DICK CHENEY!!!


Posted by: DrainYou | May 21, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse


President Obama is ahead on substance, because he has the rule of law on his side. Mr. Cheney is arguing that the ends justify the means, and that is always a specious argument.

The president's "5th category" will, as he predicts, be a matter of much debate. He will be working with Justice and Defense to provide the proper framework for their continued detention. In my opinion, if these prisoners are allowed to have representation, to know what they are accused of, and have had a chance to make their case, then they are being treated much better than they have in the last several years. I am willing to withhold judgement for a few months to see what the president does in these cases.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | May 21, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

JakeD:

I think Obama can make an argument that he did not concede the argument with regards to the "5th category" of detainees. Under the Geneva Conventions, a captured combatant can be detained for the duration of the conflict so long as he remains a threat to capturing nation. Therefore, even these guys who are not guilty of any crime can still be detained in federal prison indefinitely in accordance with some kind of a judicial review process whereby a judge determines 1) the conflict has not ceased (depending on what you define as the conlfict this can easily be indefinitely) and 2) the individual remains a threat to the United States (should not be too difficult). My guess is these individuals will have their case reviewed periodically (say annually). Therefore, you have this "5th Category" detained indefinitely under a legitimate judicial process in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.

Posted by: ADub1 | May 21, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

This is ridiculous. Cheney is a liar and a war monger, why is he being treated as someone with credibility?

I did listen to both speeches and all I heard from Cheney the blow hard was a re-hashing of all bs that they threw at us over the last eight years. The man is still trying to justify how wonderful the Bush/Cheney administration was. Any one that get's taken in by it is/was not paying attention.

Posted by: paguy1 | May 21, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

quoting from RASUL V BUSH - whether foreign detainees held by the Bush Adminsistraton in Gitmo have rights under the US Constitution:

"nothing in Eisentrager or in any of our other cases categorically excludes aliens detained in military custody outside the United States from the “ ‘privilege of litigation’ ” in U.S. courts. 321 F.3d, at 1139. The courts of the United States have traditionally been open to nonresident aliens. Cf. Disconto Gesellschaft v. Umbreit, 208 U.S. 570, 578 (1908) (“Alien citizens, by the policy and practice of the courts of this country, are ordinarily permitted to resort to the courts for the redress of wrongs and the protection of their rights”). And indeed, 28 U.S.C. § 1350 explicitly confers the privilege of suing for an actionable “tort … committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States” on aliens alone. The fact that petitioners in these cases are being held in military custody is immaterial to the question of the District Court’s jurisdiction over their nonhabeas statutory claims."

Go tell the Supremes that they're wrong, dude.

Posted by: hohandy1 | May 21, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Good question.. first we would have to ask.. did either speech have any substance..

Posted by: newbeeboy | May 21, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I believe the debate is about opposing policies. If Mr. Cheney is correct, that waterboarding(torture) kept us safe, why did President Bush's administration discontinue the treatment during his second term? Did that make us less safe? President Obama was speaking to current policy. His administration believes waterboarding and the like is torture and this country will not engage in torture. The President is taking responsibility for his policies and trying to go forward and the former Vice-President is looking back, making justifications for his administration's policies, which now are being questioned. Personally, I believe detainees were tortured under the Bush administration and am thankful that his and now the present administration ended the policy.

Posted by: postitnow09 | May 21, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

dwaterson, I have proven that it's not I that disagrees with the law, it is you. See my post related to treatment of captured foreigners.

Here's the link again
http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/7c4d08d9b287a42141256739003e63bb/6fef854a3517b75ac125641e004a9e68

Posted by: Section506 | May 21, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

"I will agree that Obama is not, and will never be, Cheney's equal."

I would agree with that. Obama will never engage in the sort of criminal behavior that typified Cheney's tenure as VP.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | May 21, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

hohandy, did you read BOUMEDIENE V BUSH? It was a very limited opnion granting a specific right to the detainess under specific circumstances. It did not say that detainees have all rights that the Constitution gaurantees.

Posted by: dwaterson52 | May 21, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

dwaterson52: "If the Constitution applied to the Gitmo detainess, we would have to set them all free immediately per SCTOUS cases guaranteeing the right to a "speedy trial"."

Ok dude - tell the Supreme Court that they're wrong.

Posted by: hohandy1 | May 21, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Section506, you still have proved nothing, except for the argument that the United States cannot torture. I applaud you for at least backing up your arguments with facts, rather than the empty rhetoric that is rampant in the media and politics today.

hohandy1: You have proved nothing. The Constitution does not apply to foreign nationals. If you are looking for texutal proof, look at the preamble, which clearly states who "the People" are refering to.

If the Constitution applied to the Gitmo detainess, we would have to set them all free immediately per SCTOUS cases guaranteeing the right to a "speedy trial".

And finally, look to yesterdays NY Times article that points to 1 in 7 detainess that have been released are back to doing terroristic activities or fighting against us. And those are just the ones we know about.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/21/us/politics/21gitmo.html?_r=1

Posted by: dwaterson52 | May 21, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I will agree that Obama is not, and will never be, Cheney's equal.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

dwaterson52 - "even if the Convention were part of the contitution, which it certainly is not, it would not apply to Gitmo detainees because the constitution does not apply to foreign nationals"

dude if you're going to argue law, at least know the law. Please show us where in the Constitution it states that nationals and non-nationals face different systems of justice when administered by the US Government. You are making a false distinction - it's not whether the Constitution applies to nationals vs foreign nationals - it's whether the Constitution applies to acts of the United States Government acting in its official capacity - which it does. You obivously haven't read or understood the 3 Supreme Court cases involving the legal rights of detainees where the Supreme Court affirmed that the United States Government was bound by the Constitition.

Why should anybody bother expending the energy to make points with someone who so decidedly makes arguments that are so ignorant of the law?

Posted by: hohandy1 | May 21, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Motive is a large part of what's going on here. President Obama is responding to his nation's need for a serious and frank dicussion about his plans and priorities. Mr. Cheney is laying the foundation for high level accusations should there be another terrorist attack on America that Cheney is certain will be coming. His legacy is more important to him than the safety of the country.

Posted by: reggiebaby0315 | May 21, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

The media's attempt to equate cheney with obama is disgusting.

Posted by: drindl | May 21, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

dwaterson:

They won't answer your questions.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I only have one question for V.P. Cheney:
If EIT's were the only way to keep our country safe, protect the lives of "100's of
thousands" of Americans, etc.....

then why did you stop doing it?

lkharter
Anchorage, AK.

Posted by: lkharter | May 21, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh, for God's sake, Cilizza, GET REAL. Cheney is nothing but a lying scumbag trying to keep his as* out of jail for war crimes, which he committed.

STOP PRETENDING CHENEY HAS ANY CREDIBILITY.

Posted by: drindl | May 21, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh and dwaterson, it held the bits about detainment of foreigners because that post was too long.

It's here, in Article 4:

http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/7c4d08d9b287a42141256739003e63bb/6fef854a3517b75ac125641e004a9e68

Posted by: Section506 | May 21, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Whoa, dude.

First, Section 506 is part of RFK stadium, not any political thing. No need for the quotes.

Second, if you're creating a distinction between "convention" and "treaty" you're creating a strict constructionism that even Scalia would resist.

Third, you didn't ask me anything, other than to show you where it says treating foreign nationals a certain way is the law. There you go.

Posted by: Section506 | May 21, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

tallertapas311:

Cheney wouldn't have had to mention 9/11 so many times if you guys had learned the lessons from that day.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

So, "Section506", assuming for the sake of arugment (three are flaws, but assume for now) that you are correct that 1) The UN *Convention* was in fact a "Treaty" as defined by constitutional standards and that "torture" is not allowed per the treaty, you still have no constiutional arguement against detainment and right to due process.

Further the *Convention* can be revoked or unilaterally modified by the United States at any point in time, and does not have the same weight at the constituion. Moreoever, even if the Convention were part of the contitution, which it certainly is not, it would not apply to Gitmo detainees because the constitution does not apply to foreign nationals.

As for the Geneva convention and other *rules*, I would follow none. War is war. When one party is playing by rules and the second party is not, the latter almost always wins. History has shown this time and time again.

It is easy to discuss such topics in abstract and what people should and should not do. In a perfect world we should not torture, we should not go to war, we should not kill. But our current world is much different.

In reality, things are not so clear. I ask you again, if you were in a situation where the only way to save the life of your family, wife, husband, child, mother, father, ect.. was to torture someone, would you do it, or would you let your family member die because of an abstract principal?

Posted by: dwaterson52 | May 21, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Cheney was making excuses that history is already starting judge very harshly. Cheney is only fighting for his legacy, not America.

Obama was a sober, honest President that understands that we can not be brought down to silliness of terrorists walking our streets. America is very good a putting people in jail and keeping them there.

Cheney fell into the Guiliani syndrome of Noun-Verb-9/11. He was trying to scare us into doing what he wanted again. America voted against fear in 2008. Cheney realizes he needs to fight tooth and nail so he does not look like the lawless VP he was. He is trying to convince us that the VP serves to defend America, when the OATH IS TO DEFEND THE CONSITITUTION. Cheney used straw men as his examples.

Obama realizes that the past 8 years was not America. Cheney is not America. Washington Press corp may side with Cheney because they respect fearmongering. There is no proof torture works.

Cheney speech is what he believed when Nixon was President, "If the President does it its not illegal."

The Constitution says otherwise.

Posted by: tallertapas311 | May 21, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

JakeD claims
"OBAMA even agrees with Cheney re: the "5th category" of detainees."

No, he does not. He said that it is the most difficult category to deal with. He explicitly said that it is not up to one man to decide what to do with them - which is an explicit distancing from the Bush/Cheney argument that the CiC can do whatever he wants, without telling anyone.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 21, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

oh jeeze - let's do these in order:

Please show me in the United States Constitution where exactly it states that 1) The Constitution applies to foreign nationals (and outside of the US to be exact)

You'll notice in the Constitution that the rules governing trials and such refer to "persons" - not "citizens". We don't have a separate system of justice here in this country defined by the Constitution which creates separate rights for citizens vs non-citizens. If you believe that we do, please show us where *that* is in the Constitution...

2)That detainment without trial of those foreign nationals captured in war is prohibitied

I guess you are unfamiliar with last year's Supreme Court decision BOUMEDIENE V BUSH in which the Supremes declared unconstitutional declared unconstitutional a provision of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 that, at the administration’s behest, stripped the federal courts of jurisdiction to hear habeas corpus petitions from the detainees seeking to challenge their designations enemy combatants. Key point: the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, “falls short of being a constitutionally adequate substitute” because it failed to offer “the fundamental procedural protections of habeas corpus.” Got it? It is illegal and unconstitutional for the US to hold the detainees without giving them access to the courts (i.e.,habeas corpus).

3) That torture or torture-lite (i.e. waterboarding) is prohibited.

Look at Article 4 of the Constitution:
"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land" - Got it? Treaties = "supreme Law of the Land"

The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1984 and entered into force on June 26, 1987.

It defines torture as any act by which:
severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental; is intentionally inflicted on a person; for such purposes as:

•obtaining from him/her or a third person information or a confession
•punishing him/her for an act s/he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed
•intimidating or coercing him/her or a third person
•or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind;
when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity

The United States ratified the Convention against Torture in October 1994. The Convention entered into force for the United States on November 20, 1994.

i.e. it is the "supreme law of the Land".

Posted by: hohandy1 | May 21, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

"Who Won on Substance?"

Former Vice President Cheney's remarks rely on a logical fallacy, that because there were no successful attacks on US soil between 2001 and 2009, the Bush Administration's policies are the only way to keep America safe. Our current President argues that there are other ways to keep our country safe, that do not rely on legally tenuous policies regarding the treatment & interrogation of detainees. The former VP made a reasonable argument for why he & others within the Bush administration made the decisions they did. But he failed to explain why that is the only course of action that can achieve the desired result. Now a new administration has the opportunity to prove that their way is better.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 21, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Not all soldiers wear uniforms nor fight for a sovereign nation under a unified flag. You could say the same thing about some of the guerillas in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia but I think most of us would agree that they were soldiers.
Or what about the Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon? They have a flag and uniforms, but I think we would agree that they are virtually identical to many of the people we are holding in Gitmo.

Posted by: AndyR3 | May 21, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

You can paint whomever you want. Neither Cheney nor Limbaugh will be the GOP nominee for President in 2012.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER...


To Machiavellian zenophobes, Cheney won.

To Jeffersonian democrats, Obama won.

The question is:

How many of those who hold the true reins of power are motivated by ideologically-tinged zenophobia rather than by democratic values?

Unfortunately, Prsident Obama was mistaken when he said the U.S. no longer totures:


http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | May 21, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Jake,
Thanks for the actual numbers, but I think they prove my point that even though as you point out that Obama agrees somewhat with Cheney that the 5th group of detainees may never be able to be released, Cheney still 'lost' the debate in the eyes of the public.
And it is very possible that this will embolden Dick Cheney to keep attacking the white house, which would be the best thing that ever happen to the Democrats since it would continue to allow them to paint Cheney as the face of the GOP.

Posted by: AndyR3 | May 21, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

AndyR3:

What "uniform" were these terrorists wearing or "flag" were they flying? Then I could apply the Geneva Convention protections.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

dwaterson said
"So the question remains, what do you do with them? Closing down Gitmo does not solve the problem. You have to either let them go free or lock them up for life. If you lock them up for life, what is the difference between having them in Gitmo or having them on US soil? You still locked them up without a fair trial."

There is a simple solution to this, you treat them as prisoners of war, protected under the Geneva convention. You can then hold them in an appropriate retention center until the conflict is resolved. The reason this didn't happen in the first place is because as POWs the detainees have to have certain rights and the government is required to show just cause of why they must remain in custudy. Would you have a problem with the administration doing something like that? Just curious.

Posted by: AndyR3 | May 21, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Also - salutations to capecodder3.

Posted by: jerhz1 | May 21, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

AndyR3 (and caribis):

It's not quite 65% but even if it was, OBAMA even agrees with Cheney re: the "5th category" of detainees.

http://www.cnn.com Quick Vote:

Whom do you agree with most on closing Guantanamo Bay?

President Obama 59% (35168)

Former Vice President Cheney 41% (24122)

Total Votes: 59290

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Of course, the question you pose sets up a false equivalency.

One person is offering a thoughtful discussion of a complicated topic.

The other is trying to destroy the fabric of civil discourse, foment extremism, and further weaken our grasp on the "handshake" that is essentially the basis of our form of government.

Posted by: jerhz1 | May 21, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

On substance alone - Cheney won. No doubt about it.

Posted by: GeorgeK2 | May 21, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Section506- nice work. Thank's for saving me the effort of looking that info up. The more interesting question: Will waterson rebut?

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 21, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Obama won before it even started. Not because of his arguments (which I think are spot on), but because by giving his speach the same day that Cheney gave his he has created a situation where to support not closing Gitmo you have to support Dick Cheney.

Now for people on far right that is fine, but for the average independent voter vice-president Cheney represents everything that was wrong with the old administration AND by proxy the republican party.

Imagine it as a poll question "Do you support President Obama or Dick Cheney in regards to the closing of the Guantanamo Bay Prison?" 65% of the country are going to side with Obama, just becasue they don't like Cheney. Now this may be very unfair but it is genius politically speaking.

Posted by: AndyR3 | May 21, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

dwaterson:

Article VI

"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; **and all Treaties made,** or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."

Article I of the UN Convention Against Torture (ratified by US 21 October 1994)

"Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions."

Posted by: Section506 | May 21, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats won. As long as Cheney is a high profile talking head, and as long as he maintains his philosophy, he keeps the Republican party anchored to a losing strategy.

Posted by: caribis | May 21, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

To Mr. Rule of Law and others:

Please show me in the United States Constitution where exactly it states that 1) The Constitution applies to foreign nationals (and outside of the US to be exact)
2)That detainment without trial of those foreign nationals captured in war is prohibitied
3) That torture or torture-lite (i.e. waterboarding) is prohibited.

Please, I am waiting.

If such is not contained in the constitution, then any law relating to said 3 items can be changed by congress at will to allow or disallow such.

Posted by: dwaterson52 | May 21, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I seem to remember the argument made during the height of the Bush/Cheney years that we "couldn't let the terrorists win" and "they hate us for our freedoms". But isn't that what Cheney did and is still arguing for exactly that? We are ceding our rule of law, and our moral high ground, (only commie countries and dictators torture, right?) to the terrorists. We are admitting they won by changing our laws and our principals.

Posted by: DJShay | May 21, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

This entire "debate" is a media fabrication designed to increase viewer time on the cable news channels. These channels should be ashamed of promoting Dick Cheney's address to a far right wing conservative think tank as the equivalent of a national address by the sitting POTUS to the American people. One cannot help but wonder how a discredited, largely hidden, intensely secretive politician suddenly became the darling of the news media. Pardon me for thinking that it must have something to do with the ratings and almost nothing to do with the substance of what he says.

Posted by: capecodder3 | May 21, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Everyone seems to like to pile-on when it comes to Vice President Cheney. But when you look at their arguments, they are all the same. Sooner or later, one can only hope that they take the time to study history. Everything they are saying about Vice President Cheney, the political elite and the news media in England were say about Winston Churchill and his warnings about Hitler in the 1930's. When you get down to brass tacks, Cheney is akin to Churchill and Obama is akin to Chamberlin. Review your history and you'll see what the future holds for us if Obama does't wake up soon!

Posted by: traveler11 | May 21, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Obama has the rule of law on his side, his argument has to win, if we plan on remaining a democracy.

Cheney continues to make false claims when describing the choices we face. So much so I'd like to rename Cheney, Dick "Strawman" Cheney. He sets them up, he knocks them down.

Heck, even the simple things like his starting line criticizing Obama for talking so long. I didn't run a stop watch, but it seemed they both talked a long time.

The fact is that we have released over 500 Gitmo inmates over the last several years, we will release more in the coming year. Those left will be tried, and either convicted or not.

None of them will ever be released in America. They will at minimum be repatriated to their own country, and dealt with there, as they should be.

I wonder though, why do we continue to limit the conversation to "only 3 people were waterboarded". Weren't at least some of the people that died in custody tortured?

I am thinking of the taxi driver in "Taxi to the Darkside". Dilawar, who's death was ruled a homicide, and died chained to the top of his cage, after being kneed to his thighs so often that had he lived his legs would have had to have been amputated.

There may be questions about waterboarding, but homicide...

Posted by: jrheisler | May 21, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

hohandy1:

Obama effectively conceded the debate on substance by "punting" on his 5th category of detainees -- at least he fiunally realizes that some of them can NEVER be released -- whether you want to admit it yet, or not, Cheney won this round.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Where's the Wag the Blog summary for the Elizabeth Edwards story?

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 21, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

anyone who, when discussing the motivation of others, ties a significant point to the GOP buzz words "political correctness" rather than actually discussing what is legally required by THE LAW and who then further bases their arguments on appeals to emotion always loses on "substance" in my book.

Posted by: hohandy1 | May 21, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

The American people lost, thanks to Cheney and the complicit media lapdogs of D.C.

Posted by: db11232 | May 21, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, traveler11 and dwaterson52. I nominate your posts for the "most thoughtful/insightful comments to be excerpted in their own post this weekend" : )

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Cheney by a landslide...Obama is yet to learn the world is a complicated, rough and tumble place. The sooner he gets over trying to be everyone's friend and making nuanced changes to Bush Administration policies, the safer we will all be. Its time for him to stand up and lead!

Posted by: traveler11 | May 21, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Who won depends on your ideology. Cheney distorted and oversimplified many things. On facts Cheney lost. On propaganda he won. Cheney is the master of the strawman.

Posted by: shark61 | May 21, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

To those who say the detainees need their day in court:

Yes, in theory all prisoners should be tried in a court of law. In the real world, it is not possible to find these detainees guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a US court of law.

The rules of evidence alone would bar just about any form of evidence against them, if there is any evidence at all.

So the question remains, what do you do with them? Closing down Gitmo does not solve the problem. You have to either let them go free or lock them up for life. If you lock them up for life, what is the difference between having them in Gitmo or having them on US soil? You still locked them up without a fair trial.

Posted by: dwaterson52 | May 21, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Cheney is successful in striking fear into people with his beliefs.

Fear works with no one but the American people. this was an admin that had 911 and struck such fear into people that they didn't have to do anything about it--just forget those people were killed we are going to Iraq and forget the deaths..we have business elsewhere and the fear they put out, the Americans bought it.

We have no clue if we are safe or ever was. Bin Laden had 8 years to build a bigger force cause we did not go after him. I think Cheney wants to be president and he will use "FEAR" to get there.

Posted by: mac7 | May 21, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Cheney is successful in striking fear into people with his beliefs.

Fear works with no one but the American people. this was an admin that had 911 and struck such fear into people that they didn't have to do anything about it--just forget those people were killed we are going to Iraq and forget the deaths..we have business elsewhere and the fear they put out, the Americans bought it.

We have no clue if we are safe or ever was. Bin Laden had 8 years to build a bigger force cause we did not go after him. I think Cheney wants to be president and he will use "FEAR" to get there.

Posted by: mac7 | May 21, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

The problem with Cheney's argument is that everyone hates Cheney and a majority of people love Obama, including the media who hangs on every word of his and thinks he can do no wrong.

If Cheney was serious about his message, he should have had someone else deliver it. Someone who is not hated in general society.

On substance, each has a good point. Obama is right when he says Gitmo and torture are a security risk and reduces our standing in the world. Cheney is right in that Gitmo and torture have been vital to our security and that Obama and the Democrats are invoking "false morality".

The fact is that torture and Gitmo are not "immoral". It's part of war. It's sad and unfortunate, but necessary. Just like the deaths of innocent civilians in Iraq and Afganistan (and yes, they are being killed right now as we speak under Obama's direction).

We do not need to put the lives of Americans and the rest of the world at risk, just because of an idealogical belief held in vaccuum that torture is wrong. In the real world, it is not so simple. Would you torture someone yourself if it were the only way to save your spouse or child? Most people would. Gitmo is no different.

Posted by: dwaterson52 | May 21, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Cheney won "short" and "long" term. Trust me, if there are any detainees transferred to the U.S., the ACLU et al. will get SOME of them released onto U.S. soil (they will argue that it would be a death sentence to deport them). That's the whole crux of this argument.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

By referencing 9/11 some 25 times in his speech, Cheney is reminding us all that it happened on their watch. All subsequent arguments that Bush/Cheney did what was necessary to keep us safe are thus invalidated. From a pure debater's perspective, Cheny attempted use of scare tactics backfired and he lost big time.
Doesn't this guy have a ranch in Wyoming where he can hide?

Posted by: cjburke2 | May 21, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

To some extent Cheney has a point about Obama's "political correctness" problem. Rather than stand firm on the high moral ground that these guys in Gitmo are guilty of crimes so we are going to bring to the U.S. and try them in courts of law, he caved and allowed the Senate to vote down the closing. The idea that these guys in Gitmo would be walking around our hometowns and living next door to us is ridiculous. Look at the 1993 World Trade Center bombers who were brought to the U.S. tried and convicted and are now in federal prison. Obama needs to quit worrying about the political correctness of "looking soft on terrorism" and start being smart about legitimately putting these guys in prison (not just in his speeches but in his actions as well).

Posted by: ADub1 | May 21, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Dick Cheney always starts from a false position. Contrary to Cheney's statements, the Bush administration did not keep us safe. Bush ignored warnings about Bin Laden's intention to use planes against the United States. Bush did nothing and thousands died. Bush diverted resources from the real battle against terrorism to start a war in Iraq and prolonged the battle against terror. Cheney loses the agrument because his basic premise is flawed.

Posted by: merrylees | May 21, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Who 'won' on substance? This depends I think on whether a person takes a short-term or long-term view of things.

In the short-term, Cheney may be right. The decisions of the Bush administration may have kept the country safer. Expedient and extreme solutions often will.

But what about the long-term? Expedient tactics often come with high longer-term strategic costs.

So in the longer-term Obama is probably right. The decisions of the Bush Administration, torture, Gitmo, etc. don't make America safer. They do make allies less willing to work with us. They do aid in terrorist recruitment and they do erode our checks and balances.

Nothing is absolute. Like anything, there are costs and benefits to be weighed over time.

Personally, I think it's usually smarter to take the long view, and take actions that in the longer-term have better returns, even if that puts you at slightly higher risk in the short-term.

Yes, the implication is that I'm accepting a higher risk of another attack in the short-term. Easy for me to say? Well, I lived three blocks from the WTC in 2001, and still live in NYC.


Posted by: wappinne | May 21, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Character is all about what you do when no one is looking. What good are values and ideals if you can't uphold them ALL the time. Are country was founded on high-minded ideals and maintains its strength, dignity and standing in this world by upholding them. Some may think making special exceptions -- torturing horrible monsters -- allows for a special dispensation. I say no -- Obama's message carries the day.

Posted by: neil3 | May 21, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Obama effectively conceded the debate by "punting" on his 5th category of detainees -- at least he realizes that some of them can NEVER be released -- whether the libs want to admit it yet, or not, the GOP won this round.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Cheney, hands down.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

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