Pardon Me If I'm Mistaken, But...
...aren't elections over for another year and a half? They are?
Then can someone please tell me why President Obama and Dick Cheney are going to deliver "dueling speeches" tomorrow for the hearts and minds, if not the collective soul, of America? And why is it being framed as a "national security" debate when it's been pretty much proven that torture has not enhanced our national security one bit but rather weakened it and jeopardized our troops?
Let's take stock of what a moral horror show in which we now find ourselves:
The Obama administration, promising change for two years and seemingly honoring the campaign promise of openness and transparency in government, of putting an end to torture, then had to reverse itself earlier this month on two key issues. One of them was the president's decision to not release some 2000 photographs that depict torture of detainees at American hands. The president's official reason is that it would inflame Muslim and terrorist wrath all over the world.
Let's parse that very carefully, boys and girls: The Obama administration is so hamstrung by the towering, flaming, Mordor-class evil of the Cheney administration that it now has to reverse itself on its stance on openness and transparency and is afraid of what the Muslims will do to us if these photographs ever see the light of day.
This time it's not the Republicans that have the Democrats shitting in their tailored trousers but al Qaeda terrorists.
Looks as if they've won.
Furthermore, Obama's reversal seems to signal that this new administration cannot control the Muslim terrorist threat any more than did the Bush administration.
Meanwhile, torturers of the past, present and future will see this as a precedent that the greater the evil, the greater the need for secrecy and will continue to turn the thumbscrew and pour those pitchers of water over hooded faces with complete impunity and anonymity.
Now we have banjo-playin' Dick "B for Banjo" Cheney, grinning idiotically from his catbird seat playing a damned good counterpoint to our latter-day Ronnie Cox, played by Barack Obama, and both men will sound as if they're advancing reasonable, perfectly-balanced positions. Adding to the lunacy of this counterpoint, you'll have Cheney calling for transparency in releasing those two documents that purport to prove that waterboarding of KSM was beneficial to national security and Obama saying, "Hold on, now, not so fast, you string-picking savant!"
It'll almost come off as looking like Obama-McCain IV with Dick Cheney thrown in at the last minute to second his game but aging buddy from Arizona. And even if our JSOC death squads are continuing to kill in Cheney's name just as we did for Reagan and the CIA in the good old days, we must remember that Cheney is not in power any longer. When those retired generals came out against Rumsfeld in 2005, the White House responded by saying that we couldn't take them seriously anymore because they were no longer in the loop.
The same should apply to Cheney, who actually seems to think that he can change through sheer force of will national security policy.
What's frightening is that he's doing just that.