Watching MSNBC following the two speeches from President Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney I saw Chuck Todd interview Liz Cheney. Chuck first asked her what she liked about what Obama had to say. I thought this was an excellent question because her answer to it would immediately expose her degree of partisan bias. Good job Chuck! She answered that she approved of the President saying that keeping America safe was the first thing he thought of in the morning and the last thing he thought of at night, which she says shows he’s taking the issue as seriously as he should. OK, good for her for coming up with something nice to say about the other side, but what a telling thing for her to pick. That statement by Obama was just about the only one in his whole speech that could could be used the increase America’s fear level. That’s what I am most weary about from the Cheney camp. They just seem so determined to make us fearful for our safety.
She went on to challenge the President’s assertion that terror suspects could be incarcerated and tried in existing prisons and courts within the U.S.. She claims that there are serious problems with trying terror suspects in Federal courts and suggested a book written by a prosecutor experienced in the problems. She asserted that such procecutions would never work because of these issues, whatever they are, and that Obama was naively not even aware of these issues. Now, I don’t doubt that there are problems which may require us to change some of the rules of evidence or whatnot in order to protect classified information in these cases, but my first reaction was that we have successfully prosecuted terrorists in our federal courts in the past. Why can’t we do it again? Also, contrary to Liz’s assertion Obama did mention those same problems in his speech.
I like that Obama seems to be committed to addressing whatever issues that come up in a way that respects our own laws and founding documents. I think this is really the difference between the two camps. Cheney is really defending the position that we can’t afford our high falutin’ morals if we’re going to have safety and I for one reject that position completely.
Dick Cheney himself just continues to argue with categorizing waterboarding as torture. OK, if that’s the case, what do you have to say to the Japanese officer we tried, convicted and sentenced to 15 years hard labor for waterboarding American POWs after WWII Dick? His fear and knee-jerk reaction towards totalitarianism based on that fear are no credit to him. They are, in fact, quite primitive and disgusting.
Dick, your worldview has been rejected by the American people after years of reflection. We’re not naively taking the threat of terrorists too lightly as you believe. We just prefer the rule of law to your totalitarian policies. If I were you I’d start preparing my defense to the charges you are sure to face. You just might have 15 years of hard labor in your future.
In any case, I haven’t heard either Cheney present any facts which support their position and until they do I can’t take their arguments seriously. They continue to trot out the same tired assertions, such as the dandy that waterboarding resulted in intelligence that was used to prevent other attacks on U.S. soil. These assertions have been refuted by the evidence again and again. Unless they can bring something better to the discussion I wish they’d just go away and let us get on with repairing the damage they’ve done.