April 25, 2014

Transcript: DICK Cheney Interview with CNN’s John King – Cheney Says Obama Choices Create Risk

(Source: CNN)
Aired March 15, 2009 – 09:00   ET

JOHN KING, HOST: I’m John King, and this is our STATE OF THE UNION report for this Sunday, March 15th.

President Obama urges absolute confidence in the struggling economy, but can the country afford his ambitious plans? We’ll ask the former vice president, Dick Cheney, who joins us for his first television interview since leaving office.

[Read more...]

Obama Transparency Train Makes a Stop at Justice Dept.

Several Bush/Cheney Memos Secret Memos Not Secret Any Longer

If there’s one thing the Bush/Cheney Administration loved, it was secrecy.  They would say the president had the power to authorize things like shipping enemy combatants to other countries to be softened up, write a memo or legal opinion, then lock it away.  Today, several of these memos were released by the U.S. Dept. of Justice after years of being locked in someone’s safe there.

Now, these legal opinions may see the light of day where scholars and the public can judge their merits.

Why should you care?  Because we elect presidents to exercise their power within the bounds of the Constitution, existing laws and treaty obligations.  This is the rule of law.  We deserve to know whether or not the law is being observed or bent to the will of maniacs like DICK Cheney and David Addington.

CIA Destroys Tapes – Like a bad movie

Evidence for the Bush/Cheney Truth Commission being shitcanned according to AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) – New documents show the CIA destroyed nearly 100 tapes of terror interrogations.

The figure is far higher than the handful of recordings the agency has previously admitted destroying, and the revelation comes as a criminal prosecutor is wrapping up his investigation in the matter.

Sen. Leahy Echoes Clips & Comment; Calls for Truth Commission on Bush Presidency

Ever since I submitted two ideas to then President-elect Barack Obama’s “Citizens Briefing Book,” I’ve wondered whether or not anyone with any real pull read them.

My answer: Perhaps Sen. Patrick Leahy did.  According to the Associated Press today:

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is proposing a “truth commission” to investigate abuses of detainees, politically inspired moves at the Justice Department, and whole range of decisions made during the Bush administration.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said the primary goal of the commission would be to learn the truth rather than prosecute former officials, but said the inquiry should reach far beyond misdeeds at the Justice Department under Bush to include matters of Iraq prewar intelligence and the Defense Department.

Leahy outlined his suggestion for a “truth and reconciliation” commission during a speech at Georgetown University Monday.

“I’m doing this not to humiliate people or punish people but to get the truth out,” he said.

The panel he envisions would be modeled after one that investigated the apartheid regime in South Africa. It would have subpoena power but would not bring criminal charges, he said.

Among the matters Leahy wants investigated by such a commission are: the firings of U.S. attorneys, treatment and torture of terror suspect detainees, and the authorization of warrantless wiretapping.

“Rather than vengeance, we need a fair-minded pursuit of what actually happened” during the Bush administration, Leahy said.

Here’s what I wrote at change.gov and on this fine blog back on January 17:

… Here’s an idea – a truth commission.  What if the concept was based around answering the questions regarding the Constitution, the efficacy of torture, who was ultimately responsible, etc.  This could be done in such a way as to put off any public hearings or transparency until after a bipartisan panel of serious legal, policy experts and just plain citizens had a chance to pursue the issues with subpoena power under a media blackout.  Their product would be public. …


Cheney: Still a DICK

US-POLITICS-INAUGURATION-OBAMAThe impudence and incivility of former Veep DICK Cheney is not gone and this bitter man is trying to be be not forgotten.

In an interview with Politico published on Wednesday, Cheney essentially says, if the Obama team only understood what the Bush Administration was trying to do they would “backtrack” on their stated intentions.  Only understood?  Here’s what a lot of Obama supporters understand: Cheney used one horrific terrorist attack to subvert the rule of law for seven years, keep the entire nation in a state of terrorist anxiety and embroil us in a useless Iraqi war.  Oh, but if we only understood.

Essentially Cheney is selling the same line he’s always sold: It’s about him.

On the big things for eight years the Bush Administration failed.  Rather than subside quietly into retirement, Cheney’s self-will is on display by giving interviews like the one he did with Politico.  Historically, it’s been thought of as crass and ill-advised for outgoing principals in one Administration to open their pie holes during the early days (or years) of the next.  For all of the talk about “respect for the office” that came out of the Bush Administration, Cheney is now dissing the office.

There is a book I would recommend for anyone who is interested generally in late 20th century U.S. History and specifically in taking a long walk through the context of the Viet Nam Era.  The book is They Marched Into Sunlight, by David Maraniss.

Maraniss tells a tale of the Viet Nam war that shifts from the Pentagon and the decision makers, to a single battle on the ground in Southeast Asia, and to the homefront in the Southwestern U.S. and on the campus of the University of Wisconsin.  It’s a tale of humanity and history with figures both famous and forgotten.  Dick Cheney is in the story.

As the battle rages in a Vietnamese jungle, Maraniss recounts the battle raging on the Wisconsin campus and spilling into the town of Madison.  There are generally two sides – the activists on campus versus the establishment on campus and in town.  Cheney was a graduate student at the time.  What I remember from the book is that while all hell is breaking loose around him, while people are working passionately for and against the war, Cheney is shuffling back and forth across campus with his computer data taking care of Cheney.  The man has no soul.