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Former vice president Dick Cheney and former Bush political guru Karl Rove could both be found on Fox News last night, preaching doom and spreading bile.

Fox last night aired the second half of an interview Cheney conducted with Sean Hannity.

Hannity asked if the Obama administration is "naive, that maybe they don't understand the nature of the war on terror?"

Cheney replied: "Yes, basically. I think there's -- the assumption seems to predominate on the other side that the reason there's been problems in the world is because of U.S. activity, U.S. conduct.

"We're the bad guys. We're the ones that lead people to become terrorists. We're the ones that generate the kind of criticism that has given al Qaeda an excuse to come attack the United States.

"I don't think that's true. I don't think they needed any excuse when they came here on 9/11, killed 3,000 of us. I don't think as we strip ourselves of important capabilities in terms of our interrogation program for detainees. I don't think there are members of al Qaeda out there around the world this morning that say, 'Oh, gee whiz, isn't that great? Barack Obama and his administration are no longer going to ask our guys tough questions when they are captured. Now, maybe we won't behead their people when they capture them.' I mean, it's just -- it says something about a mindset that I worry about very much...."

Hannity: He just doesn't have the courage to say it's a war on terror?... Does that seem like a weakness? Is that telegraphing weakness?"

Cheney: "I think it does. And I think it says to -- well, to the world out there that this is no longer a war, this is law enforcement. And our most important obligation responsibility is to read their rights to the people we capture, that we're going to treat them -- we're going to Mirandize them before we do anything else."

Cheney also said the release of last week's torture memos was "being done essentially to appease a certain element of the Democratic Party, or because of campaign commitments that were made in last year's campaign."

Then came Rove.

"What the Obama administration has done in the last several days is very dangerous," he told Hannity. "What they've essentially said is if we have policy disagreements with our predecessors, what we're going to do is we're going to turn ourselves into the moral equivalent of a Latin American country run by colonels in mirrored sunglasses, and we're going to do is prosecute systematically the previous administration or threaten prosecution against the previous administration based on policy differences.

"Is that what we've come to in this country, that if we have a change of administration from one party to another that we then use the tools of the government to go systemically after the policy disagreements we have with the previous administration?

"Now that may be fine in some little Latin American country that's run by -- the latest junta? It may be the way that they do things in Chicago, but that's not the way we do things here in America."

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 22, 2009; 12:13 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Quick Takes
Next: Torturing for Propaganda Purposes


Image and how people percive us is very very important to the republicans, but only to the extent that they control the image projected.

Did Cheney really say maybe we won't behead their people when we capture them? Was this a typo? Did he misspeak? Or did he reveal soemthing about himself?

Posted by: m_mcmahon | April 22, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Rove's comments........does the man remember Monica Lewinsky?

Posted by: BSquare1 | April 22, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

One man widely regarded as insane, another man whose plans for a permanent Republican majority led to a permanent Republican minority. Who cares what these desperate bozos have to say?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | April 22, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

This is classic Rove. His administration commits war crimes, disappears people, exacts political revenge even against CIA agents, and lies to the American people repeatedly. And, then he has the gall to say the Obama administration is acting like the leaders of a banana republic. Rove absorbs whatever criticism is being lobbed at his administration and then reformulates it as an attack on his enemies. Unfortunately, with the state of our news reporting, this strategy is often very successful.

Posted by: fletc3her | April 22, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I also love that his statement basically implies that Chicago is NOT part of America. Lovely.

Posted by: fletc3her | April 22, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Classic Karl and Dick. Wonder what would happen to them if they ever appeared on a news program.

Posted by: jpk1 | April 22, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm encouraged. If Rove and Cheney are worried and upset, it means Obama is doing something right. Seriously, if you read between the lines, they are setting the groundwork for their criminal defense.

They will start to nuance the conversation, as Cheney did at the end of this one, to show that it was the lawyers who basically directed them on their little foray into torture. Cheney's desire to have the memo's released is part of that.

I wonder if push comes to shove whether or not he'll hang Addington out to dry. Or will it be Addington who does it to Cheney? My bet is on Addington.

Posted by: wrx_zx6r | April 22, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Shorter Karl Rove: Torture = Policy Difference

Posted by: tailwagger | April 22, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Cheney is a real life Dr. Strangelove. I always expect him to start doing a Hail Hitler salute. He is incapable of admitting or recognizing a mistake because his end justifies the means mentality permits just about anything. He is lucky anyone still listens to him after the Bush administration stuffed a sock in his mouth for their last two years in office.

Posted by: ireverent | April 22, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Does it really constitute an "interview" when those two talk to Sean Hannity? How many times did Sean mention Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers in the "interview"?

Posted by: danw1 | April 22, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

You know, while he was vice president, Cheney was in the bunker for much of Bush's first term. Now that he is ex-VP and totally irrelevant, he won't shut up. It is hard to put torture in the past if he wants to run around extolling its virtues at the top of his lungs. As a leader, his outspoken defense of this immorality is exactly why there has to be an investigation and if warranted, prosecution. Otherwise, there will continue to be a dangerous and significant part of the population who believe it wasn't torture, that it was harsh interrogation, utterly justified, and really, no big deal.

Posted by: SarahBB | April 22, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

@wrx_zx6r - you don't even have to read between the lines at this point - it's pretty clear what Cheney et al. are trying to do. I hope they have good legal teams - I think they're going to need them.

As for Addington selling out Cheney or the other way around, it reminds me a bit of the following old joke:

"What's the difference between communism and capitalism? Under capitalism, it's man against man. Under communism, it's the other way around."

Posted by: apn3206 | April 22, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

"... Obama and his administration are no longer going to ask our guys tough questions when they are captured."

Oh come on! How about you submit to some tough questions for a change you draft dodging coward.

Posted by: ath28 | April 22, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Cheney is a real life Dr. Strangelove. I always expect him to start doing a Hail Hitler salute. He is incapable of admitting or recognizing a mistake because his end justifies the means mentality permits just about anything. He is lucky anyone still listens to him after the Bush administration stuffed a sock in his mouth for their last two years in office.


I see him, I see a bobble-head, with a broken neck, head just flopping around.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | April 22, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

As long as the GOP keeps tacking ever rightward, I'm happy to sit back and watch them spew their bile. It was dangerous when they were in power, but now it's fun to watch them burrow deeper into the minority. Their escalating radicalization will ensure their minority status for several more years; and the sooner they marginalize themselves, the sooner Obama and the spineless congressional Democrats can start pursuing true progressive legislation.

Posted by: BigTunaTim | April 22, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Words I long to hear:

Richard B. Cheney? We have a warrant for your arrest. You have the right to remain silent...

Posted by: davidbn27 | April 22, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

they are both going to have to answer to someone other than fox. but will anyone else interview them ,? can fox get anyone other then rowe newt cheney to interview dont think so.have they forgotten how reagan sold arms to iran, and daddy had to pardon 17 or 18 of cheneys buddies. his frien addington is going to jail. if he doesnt commit suicide.

Posted by: donaldtucker | April 22, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

TORTURE leaves physical signs on the body of a prisoner: broken bones, scars, bruises, and black-blue marks.

Psychological "torture" (note: lower case and quotes) leave no physical marks, but undoubtedly can PERMANENTLY mark the mind, the dreams, the mental outlook of a prisoner.

bread and water, weeks of permanent darkness or high intensity lights, loud sound, total silence, intense heat, freezing cold.
is this TORTURE or "torture" ?

What form of interrogation should a sane, responsible society permit on apprehended bombers or snipers to squeeze out information?

Guantanamo rules or Geneva rules ?

What are you saying?
WHAT!... are you saying
DO N O T H I N G ?


Posted by: mosheIsrael | April 22, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

"political differences"? this from the chump that "arranged" for the firing of the US attornees for, wait for it, they weren't loyal bushies! we should bring back the public stockade for this bloody confederate sack of S*&^!

Posted by: michael5 | April 22, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

@davidbn27 - More words we'd like to hear:

"Richard Bruce Cheney, you have been found guilty of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. You are hereby sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole."

Posted by: apn3206 | April 22, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Hannity keeps great company, huh?

VP Cheney, blossomturd Rove, Oliver North, Newt...

Third Reich propaganda Minister Goerbels would be proud of Sean.

Must admit he's got the classic ayrian features - and would look very natural in a brown shirt.

Born after your time, Sean.

Posted by: jfern03 | April 22, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

After this exhibition of arrogance by Rove and Cheney, I am convinced they should be investigated and prosecuted. Maybe with the same standards, legal and otherwise, as they advocated and instituted in Guantanamo and all those secret prisons around the world.

Posted by: myfriendisadog | April 22, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

my question for Cheney: how does trying to sell control of US ports to a Dubai based company make the country safer? Or how does the outting of a cia operative make the country safer? Funny how you didn't worry about safety until after 9/11. A week before Richard Clarke the counterterrorism czar, a Republican, sent Rice a private note after warning about not stopping AlQaeda, 100's of dead Americans, decision makers wishing they done something earlier, and with the final statement "That future day could happen at anytime." Sept.04/01. Letting the ban on assault weapons slide didnot make the country safer, indeed, it was easy to smuggle legal american guns into Mexico.

Posted by: katem1 | April 22, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

It is kind of funny that Cheney had nothing much to say during two terms but won't shut up now that he's out of office and essentially insignificant.

This is a guy who will lash out at anything the Obama administration does or says, regardless of its success (or failure), because it's part of an agenda that is directly opposed to what he tried to do.

Cheney ought to have a show on Fox News. He could go on every day and rant about the harm and bad policies of the Obama administration. Oh wait, O'Reilly and Hannity already do that...

Posted by: drewbitt | April 22, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

No David Frost interview here. Hannity has built a career around fellating these neocons.

Posted by: slim2 | April 22, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

So good to see Cheney now on Fox with Rove. They've become third-rate entertainers and have had their teeth pulled.

As the base of Bushies shrinks back to its proper numbers comprising a few old angry racist cranks who wear camo, rail against the UN and fluoride, stockpile ammo, mutter to themselves in the grocery store, and chase kids out of their yards, Fox will become a wacky curiosity glimpsed while channel-surfing, akin to the strange local-level televangelists ranting on cable access.

Posted by: info53 | April 22, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Is the Obama administration paying Cheney to appear this often?
Does Cheney remember his 19% popularity rating?
Every single time this war criminal and corrupt businessman shows his face, America flinches. His schtick is over, he's been revealed as the defibrillating liar he is.

Posted by: SteinXL | April 22, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

wow i didnt realize how many people on this blog were uninformed.

Look you can dislike a president for starting a war, but you must also be willing to accept that not everything he did was wrong. what bothers me so much is how people tend to see everything so black and white.

if you are capable of seperating Hamas as botha terror group, and a social political group, meaning they do some evil, but also some good.... then why cant you also say that Bush/Cheny did some evil, but also some good too.

Torturing al queda terrorists, who are in fact terrorists like KSM, Zubeda, ect... i mean are you really all for treating these mass murderers with geneva convention rights?

they Behead of soldiers... TOTALLY BARBARIC, and you complain about us waterboarding... i dont see how this is in the same ballpark

Posted by: theshtrool | April 23, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand why non-Faux News reporters/pundits don't ask Republican apologists about the Bush administration view of al-Qaeda before 9/11. The leaders of North Korea have kept it safe from attack for the last 50 years - is that who we want to emulate?

Posted by: dickdata | April 23, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

To Info53 - They are right about fluoride

Over 2,400 professionals urge the US Congress to stop water fluoridation until Congressional hearings are conducted, citing scientific evidence that fluoridation, long promoted to fight tooth decay, is ineffective and has serious health risks. See statement:

Also, eleven Environmental Protection Agency employee unions representing over 7000 environmental and public health professionals called for a moratorium on drinking water fluoridation programs across the country, and have asked EPA management to recognize fluoride as posing a serious risk of causing cancer in people

Nobel Prize winner in Medicine, Dr. Arvid Carlsson, says, “Fluoridation is against all principles of modern pharmacology. It's really obsolete.”

An Online Action Petition to Congress in support of the Professionals' Statement is available on FAN's web site,

Posted by: nyscof | April 23, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

So if we didn’t torture and everything was legal, then all this verbal gymnastics trying to justify whether we got good information or not is moot. If it’s all legal then no matter what, the quality of the information we received is absolutely irrelevant. So why are the supporters of this investing so much time and effort in trying to prove that we got good information from the suspects using these methods? Seems like they should be investing all of their efforts into trying to convince the world that everything they did was on the up and up. Otherwise the whole end justifies the means argument is simply not doing it for them, though it has distracted the press. Their approach seems to me to be along the lines of regardless of legality look at the information we got, its good stuff.

Posted by: m_mcmahon | April 23, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Cat's out of the bag on this torture thing, wingnuts. The proof's a plenty. BushCo violated lots of laws and treaties. If we don't clean house on this torture deal, international war crimes tribunals will.

Pick your poison.

Posted by: jfern03 | April 23, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

When the Bush administrations meet with the Saudi's pretty much on a regular basis with their arm in arm kissing and hugging on each other. And partnering with them in business and communicating with them before starting an investigation on the 911 attack and giving them immediate passage out of the country on 911. Then finding out that the crime of 911 was committed by 19 Saudi's. Any normal person would call this country dumb to have come this far without hanging some of that administration. Bush Sr should of been impeached for his crime, and then you have pure stupidity doing the same thing again and then using Rouge broadcasters to manipulate their crime and deter investigations with propaganda and threats.

Posted by: kimkimminni1 | April 24, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I think it's time that the business dealings of Bush Jr. and the bin Laden family get a closer look. What exactly happened to bin Laden's brother? How much if any money of the business that was shared in the administration of the business went where. And with the death of Bin Laden's brother who got what? And did this have anything to do with the war with the Taliban?

Posted by: kimkimminni1 | April 24, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

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