Archive for Dick Cheney

Leadership

Interesting anecdote in Karl Rove’s column on selecting a VP:

Choosing a running mate reveals much about the presidential candidate himself. Though still only a candidate, this is his first presidential decision.

It is one best made by asking about the skills, philosophy, outlook, work ethic and chemistry of a prospective running mate. Do they have good judgment? Can they be counted on to give their unvarnished opinion? Are they loyal? Who can best help the president govern? In other words, set aside politics. Put governing first.

This was brought home to me in 2000, when then-Gov. George W. Bush was strongly leaning toward picking Dick Cheney as his VP. He knew I was opposed and invited me to make the case against his idea. I came to our meeting armed with eight political objections. Mr. Bush heard me out but with a twist: I explained my objections with Mr. Cheney sitting, mute and expressionless, next to the governor.

The next day, Mr. Bush called to say I was right. There would be real political problems if he chose Mr. Cheney. So solve them, he said. Politics was my responsibility. His job was different: to select his best partner in the White House and a person the country would have confidence in if something terrible happened to him. The country was better served by Mr. Bush’s decision than by my advice.

That was merely 12 years ago, but it feels like another era. It may take a century for Bush’s positive traits to be appreciated—but when the last smelly liberal is finally laid in his grave (or scattered over Walden Pond), the baseless slanders hurled at his reputation will be silenced.

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Feel Better Soon, Mr. Vice President

Dick Cheney receives a heart transplant

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was recovering Saturday evening after undergoing heart transplant surgery, his office said.

Cheney, 71, had surgery at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia.

He had been on the cardiac transplant list for more than 20 months, a statement from his office said.

“Although the former vice president and his family do not know the identity of the donor, they will be forever grateful for this lifesaving gift,” it said.

PS: Despicable comments at the link

- Aggie

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NY Times Lies

Innocents die.

What did they lie about this time? They lied about the use of waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques.

Last night, Brian Williams got Leon Panetta to acknowledge that it was waterboarding that led to the capture of OBL.


Phew! That was tough, but he finally admitted it.

So, the NY Times today did a long piece about the use of waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques. Did they cover the Panetta comments?

In a story about the resurrection of the harsh interrogation techniques debate slated to run on The New York Times’ front page Wednesday morning, reporters Scott Shane and Charlie Savage completely ignore CIA director Leon Panetta’s Tuesday evening confirmation that waterboarding played a role in procuring the intelligence that led U.S. forces to terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.

“As intelligence officials disclosed the trail of evidence that led to the compound in Pakistan where Bin Laden was hiding, a chorus of Bush administration officials claimed vindication for their policy of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ like waterboarding,” Shane and Savage write in their story, accusing Republicans of igniting a debate they thought was long over.

Shane and Savage looked the other way, though, when it came to Panetta’s confirmation that waterboarding was part of the “enhanced interrogation techniques” used on detainees. “We had multiple series of sources that provided information with regards to this situation… clearly some of it came from detainees [and] they used these enhanced interrogation techniques against some of those detainees,” Panetta told NBC News anchor Brian Williams.

The New York Times duo also suggested that House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Peter King, New York Republican, inflamed the debate by saying he thought the intelligence came from waterboarding. “The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Representative Peter T. King, Republican of New York, told Fox News that the success of the hunt for Bin Laden was due to waterboarding,” Shane and Savage wrote.

It turns out King was right.

The duo’s story also wrongly reported the day of the attack on bin Laden’s complex in Pakistan. “Obama administration officials, intent on celebrating Monday’s successful raid, have tried to avoid reigniting a partisan battle over torture,” Shane and Savage wrote. The raid was conducted on Sunday, not Monday, as Shane and Savage reported.

A spokesman for The New York Times did not immediately return The Daily Caller’s request for comment.

Those who are interested can look up the story on the NY Times site. I am sick of being manipulated by them, so I’ll take a pass.

Another story about Leftist obfuscation, bordering on treason, has to do with the reports about the 2005 Seymour Hirsch piece in The New Yorker claiming that Dick Cheney had his very own assassination squad, outside of legal boundaries. That piece was breathlessly covered by Tom Brokaw at the time, and I heard clips of the report today. But guess what? The same squad that the Left maintained was stealing our liberties was used by President Barack Obama to kill Osama bin Laden.

I am not hearing any complaints from Seymour Hirsch or Tom Brokaw.

Tom?? Seymour??? Care to comment?

crickets

The United States of America is a marriage of convenience.

- Aggie

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Cheney Hearts Obama

Of course, considering the heart in question, that’s damning with faint praise.

But praise nonetheless!

DICK CHENEY: I think he’s– in terms of a lot of the terrorism policies– the early talk, for example, about prosecuting people in the CIA who’ve been carrying out our policies– all of that’s fallen by the wayside. I think he’s learned that what we did was far more appropriate than he ever gave us credit for while he was a candidate. So I think he’s learned from experience. And part of that experience was the Democrats having a terrible showing last election.

JAMIE GANGEL: You said you believe President Obama has made America less safe. That he’s actually raised the risk of attack. Do you still feel that way?

DICK CHENEY: Well, when I made that comment, I was concerned that the counterterrorism policies that we’d put in place after 9/11 that had kept the nation safe for over seven years were being sort of rapidly discarded. Or he was going to attempt to discard them. Things like the enhanced interrogation techniques or the terror surveillance program.

They’d been vital from our perspective in terms of learning basic fundamental intelligence about al Qaeda, about how they operated, who they were, where we could find them. And we were able to put in place a successful policy that did prevent any further major attacks against the United States over all those years. And he campaigned against all of that.

As I say, I think he’s found it necessary to be more sympathetic to the kinds of things we did. They’ve gotten active, for example, with the drone program, using Predator and the Reaper to launch strikes against identified terrorist targets in the various places in the world.

“Active” with the drone program? That’s like saying Lindsay Lohan was active in the party scene. Obama is to drones as Charlie Sheen is to Grey Goose. Still, as long as no one gets hurt. Oh wait…

Ed Morrissey notes the following:

Eli Lake, the Washington Times’s ace beat reporter on national security, wrote more than one overview last year about how The One has adopted and built on Bush’s counterterror apparatus, even grounding his arguments in the same legal justification Bush used — the September 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force in Afghanistan — despite the ever widening scope of the war on terror. Obama gets away with it because he’s “good” and Cheney, of course, is evil….

Speaking of Bush policies, with gas prices well above three bucks a gallon, where are the complaints? Last time they were this high, accusations of corporate profiteering were as thick on the ground as snow. Now, not a peep. Funny that.

PS: If you can’t stand to watch Today (and who can?), there’s more here.

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He May Be Nosferatu, But He’s My Nosferatu

The old man’s showing signs of wear:

But he ain’t lost his fastball:

“It’s a happy experience, and a rare one, to find the most powerful person you know is also among the least pretentious,” Cheney told the crowd of 2,500 invitees, calling Bush’s attitude “a classy way to operate, very American, and wonderful to see in the Oval Office.”

Cheney said to cheers and applause that the library “may be the only shovel-ready project in America,” a dig at President Barack Obama’s claims about the economic stimulus package.

A “dig”. Get it?

As if to prove the point:

Dick Cheney has more heart in whatever’s left of his than the combined bleeding hearts of this entire administration.

PS: And don’t think I didn’t notice that smokin’ red dress, Condi. But even those curves can’t steal the show from Richard Bruce Cheney.

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The Cheney You Don’t Know

To indulge in the zeitgeist, prove it’s not true.

But in case it’s not, here’s some more:

This week Cheney—dozens of pounds lighter but in seeming good spirits, fresh from a period of healing sheltered from distractions by family and playing with the kids and grandkids—announced that he will soon be back on the campaign trail, back to issuing stern warnings about the failings of the Obama administration, and back to finalizing his long-awaited memoir that is likely to be published next year.

Since his release from the Bush administration, Cheney has proven uncommonly, even joyfully, resistant to the standard rituals of Washington, where political rehabilitation comes from nursing your wounds quietly in a corner, offering a few timely mea culpas to re-establish your mainstream credibility, and then joining some charitable enterprise with a member of the opposite party. Call it the Clinton/Bush approach to political CPR. Instead Cheney seems to be taking his dark and dastardly image and running with it. When every PR agent in the word would tell him to avoid subjects like waterboarding and interrogation policies, Cheney proudly defends the administration’s record. He has gamely adopted the Darth Vader label as his own. Parting company with a sidelined (and quietly retooling) Bush, who feels he “owes” Obama his silence, Cheney has become the tart-tongued voice of the opposition. In the past year he has labeled President Obama a “one-term president,” taken Vice President Biden to task for the administration’s terrorism policies, claimed that Obama was politicizing the war in Afghanistan and projecting “weakness” to America’s enemies. For the Republican base it has worked wondered [sic]. It is Cheney, not his former boss, who seems more attuned with the current tenor of the GOP.

He was self-deprecating. Introducing myself as a former speechwriter for Donald Rumsfeld, for whom Cheney worked in the 1970′s, the vice president joked that he’d never been able to pull that job off. When other guests beckoned his attention, he began to walk off. Then he stopped and turned back with an earnest apology for having to go.

Cheney once was seen standing in line at the White House mess waiting for a cup of coffee. When staffers ahead of him in the line insisted that he cut in front of them, he expressed reluctance. Then grudgingly he moved ahead, filling out his order on the sheets provided, just like any other employee. Whatever one may think of Cheney, this was not Richard Dreyfuss in “W.”

Sorry, I don’t to make any liberals ill. But to many of us, Cheney was the hero of the previous administration. Bush never defended himself from myriad scurrilous attacks—not as president, not after—but Cheney gave back as good as he got. Better. It’s easier to defend yourself and counterattack your enemies if you have no respect or regard for them or their foolish beliefs. That’s Cheney, that’s Rush, that’s Palin—and that’s why they’re so popular with conservatives and so hated—hated—by liberals.

Go, Dick, go—and we’re delighted you’re feeling better!

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Best Wishes, Mr. Vice President

I knew Dick Cheney had more heart trouble recently, and had noted his relative silence—but I hadn’t put the two together:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is still in the hospital after heart surgery in early July.

Daughter Liz Cheney says her 69-year-old dad is out of intensive care and hopes to return home this week. She tells “Fox News Sunday” that he’s already planning trips for fly fishing and hunting later this year.

Dick Cheney has had five heart attacks since he was 37. In his recent surgery at a northern Virginia hospital, Cheney had a small pump installed to help his heart work.

After the operation, Cheney said in a statement that he was entering a new phase of treatment for what he called “increasing congestive heart failure.”

Satan reserves his hottest acetylene torches for the tender nethers of those who wish ill to Dick Cheney. Call it professional courtesy, if you like, or call it karma—but cheer congestive heart failure in anyone and I hope you like your chestnuts roasted by an open fire.

Get well soon, Mr. Cheney.

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NY Times Blames The Victim, NY [Update with link]

This is a very intelligent argument, which, at its core, blames the victims of terror for terror attacks. One clever aspect is that the author refuses to go back to the beginning of the US war on terror: September11, 2001. He never mentions it. Why? Because if one acknowledges the terrorist attacks on 9/11, one then understands the necessity for our response. The argument that we create terror by responding to terror collapses like the twin towers.

My bad, forgot the link

…I’d like to invite Pipes and Goldberg to imagine an alternative universe, a universe in which behaviors — such as planting a bomb — don’t have a single “root” cause. [I'll just add my 2 cents here: "Root cause" is a leftist phrase, designed originally to blame the victim. Here the writer uses it as if it comes from the conservative world.] In this universe, bomb-planting behavior is kind of like the bombs themselves: a number of ingredients have to come together before things get explosive. If you figure out what those ingredients are, and which of them you can control, maybe you can make bomb-planting behavior less common.

In the universe I’m positing, the following scenario is conceivable:

A Pakistani guy moves to America, goes to college, gets a job, starts a family. He grows unhappy. Maybe he’s having financial problems (though I’m skeptical, for reasons outlined by Charles Lane here, that Shahzad’s home foreclosure actually signifies as much); or maybe the problem is just that he doesn’t find his social niche. And maybe he was a bit unstable to begin with — which would make it harder to find his niche and might intensify his reaction to not finding it.

Anyway, for whatever reason, he feels alienated in America. He stays in touch with people and events back home in Pakistan, and this gives him another reason to dislike America: American drones are firing missiles into Pakistan, sometimes killing women and children.

War-on-terror hawks need to seriously ask whether the policies they favor have created terrorists. [Again, limp peaceniks need to ask themselves whether their policies of accommodation and avoidance of reality created the conditions leading to 9/11. The terrorists assumed we would just want to talk about things.]

Thanks to the Internet, it doesn’t take him long to find like-minded folks, or to come under the influence of a radical imam operating out of Yemen. “Jihadi intent” is taking shape, and eventually he comes into the fold of actual jihadis, a faction of the Taliban in Pakistan. They give him what he hadn’t found in America: a sense of belonging, a sense of purpose. The basic ingredients of bomb-planting behavior are now in place. [I get it! He was sad and lonely, despite the wife and kids!]

I’m not sure this is the story of Faisal Shahzad; we don’t yet know enough to say. But this story is consistent with the facts disclosed about him so far — and, more to the point, stories like this do unfold in the world we inhabit. Various things fuel “jihadi intent,” and they may include the policy of firing missiles into Pakistan.

In fact, this policy does seem to have been part of Shahzad’s motivation. He reportedly told investigators he was upset about the drone strikes.

Obviously (I hope), to say that American policies may cause terrorism isn’t to say that America is to blame for terrorism. It’s just to say those policies may have downsides. And, obviously, those policies may have upsides as well; drone strikes disrupt terrorist logistics, for example. [A nuanced way to blame the victim]

Spelling out my reasons for thinking the downsides often outweigh the upsides is a subject for another column. For now my main point is that war-on-terror hawks need to confront the downsides, rather than act as if establishing the role of “jihadi intent” or “jihadist ideology” somehow ends the debate. They need to seriously ask whether the policies they favor have, while killing terrorists abroad, created terrorists both abroad and — more disturbingly — at home. [More victim blaming]

These possibly counterproductive hawkish policies go beyond drone strikes — a fact that is unwittingly underscored by the hawks themselves. They’re the first to highlight the role played by that imam in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki, in inspiring Shahzad and other terrorists. But look at the jihadist recruiting narrative al-Awlaki’s peddling. He says America is at war with Islam, and to make this case he recites the greatest hits of hawkish policy: the invasion of Iraq, the troop escalation in Afghanistan, drone strikes in Pakistan, etc. [All of result of 9/11. Sad that the writer, a relatively young man, has already lost his memory]

All of these policies — not just the last of them — may have helped incite Shahzad. Back in 2004, a real estate agent recalls, he was oddly outspoken about his opposition to the Iraq war. And last year he asked his father for permission to fight Americans in Afghanistan. Only when denied that opportunity did he turn toward Times Square. (This is evidence against the theory that he was from early on a “plant” in America.)

So too with the two other high-profile terrorist attacks against America over the past year: the Fort Hood shooting and the would-be underwear bombing. Both perpetrators had found in hawkish policies cause to buy into the jihadi recruiting narrative.

Major Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, was enraged by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And the aspiring underwear bomber, before he became an aspiring underwear bomber, was giving glimpses of his inchoate “jihadi intent” as a student at University College London. There he sponsored a conference on the war on terror, and on the poster advertising the conference was a picture of a prisoner at Guantanamo — hooded, handcuffed and kneeling. A jihadist pinup, courtesy of Dick Cheney. [It's Cheney's fault! If he had selected a different photograph, those 13 people at Ft. Hood would have been alive today!]

Unfortunately, President Obama isn’t discarding the Bush-Cheney playbook that has given jihadist recruiters such effective talking points. Quite the contrary: the White House thinks the moral of the Shahzad story may be that we should get more aggressive in Pakistan, possibly putting more boots on the ground. And already Obama has authorized the assassination of al-Awlaki. [Obama isn't weak enough to bring about peace. Let's dig up Neville Chamberlain.]

Even leaving aside the constitutional questions (al-Awlaki is an American citizen), doesn’t Obama see what a gift the killing of this imam would be to his cause? Just ask the Romans how their anti-Jesus-movement strategy worked out. (And Jesus’s followers didn’t have their leader’s sermons saved in ready-to-go video and audio files; al-Awlaki’s resurrection would be vivid indeed.) [Here we compare terrorists who murder innocent civilians with the Christian Messiah. This is the perfect blame the victim paragraph and should be engraved in gold.]

When you look at how much real-world evidence there is against the views of war-on-terror hawks, it’s not surprising that they would construct their own little universe, a place where “jihadi intent” is an uncaused cause, and our only hope is to kill or intimidate the people who, through some magical process that defies comprehension, have been possessed by it. [Isn't interesting that a guy who is smart enough to write for the NY Times can't comprehend the short-hand of jihadi intent? It needs to be spelled out, apparently. Jihadi intent means a combination of factors including, but not limited to, religion, culture, and a personal willingness/desire to become a hero in the culture. The writers who use the phrase assume basic familiarity with the history of jihad in the modern era.]

What is surprising is that Barack Obama, who became the Democratic nominee for president largely because he had opposed the Iraq war, seems increasingly to be taking his cues from the people who so disastrously supported it.

[But you'll vote for him anyway, won't you? Maybe Dennis Kucinich will mount an effective campaign to oust him...]

- Aggie

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And I Thought We Were Getting Serious About Bullying

Aggie already linked to the video of Dick Cheney’s appearance on This Week, but the transcript is so much fun to roll over in your mind.

I picture Biden in traction, with bandages and stitches all over his body.

CHENEY: Well, I — I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by my friend, Joe Biden. I’m glad he now believes Iraq is a success. Of course, Obiden and — Obama and Biden campaigned from one end of the country to the other for two years criticizing our Iraq policy.

They opposed the surge that was absolutely crucial to our getting to the point we’re at now with respect to Iraq. And for them to try to take credit for what’s happened in Iraq strikes me as a little strange. I think if — if they had had their way, if we’d followed the policies they’d pursued from the outset or advocated from the outset, Saddam Hussein would still be in power in Baghdad today.

So if they’re going to take credit for it, fair enough, for what they’ve done while they’re there, but it ought to go with a healthy dose of “Thank you, George Bush” up front and a recognition that some of their early recommendations, with respect to prosecuting that war, we’re just dead wrong.

Don’t tase me, bro! Ahhh! Ahhh!!!

CHENEY: I think the — the proper way to — to deal with [Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab] would have been to treat him as an enemy combatant. I think that was the right way to go.

The thing I learned from watching that process unfold, though, was that the administration really wasn’t equipped to deal with the aftermath of an attempted attack against the United States in the sense that they didn’t know what to do with the guy.

They need a process, a set of institutions that they can fall back on. Admittedly, this is hard. We had a hard time dealing with this. You’ve got the Supreme Court on one side that — that is going to evaluate everything you do, and you’ve got to be careful with that. The Congress gets involved in it.

So I’m not saying it’s an easy task, but by this point, when they’ve made all the decisions they’ve had, closed Guantanamo, end (ph) the high-value detainee program and so forth, I think those are all mistakes. Those were the tools we put in place to deal with this kind of situation. They should have had something to put in lieu of those programs, and it would look like they do not have — have that kind of capability yet.

And I thought “nobody messes with Joe”. Sounds like he got messed with and messed up.

So, the only debate, it would seem, is over whether this administration is reckless, or merely feckless.

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A Politician Who Makes Sense

Dick Cheney

Worthwhile to go to the link and listen to him.

- Aggie

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The Beatdown in the Beltway

It’s on:

It’s a VP showdown on this Sunday’s television talk shows, as former Vice President Dick Cheney, who’s frequently charged the nation is less safe under the Obama administration, appears live on ABC’s “This Week,” while Vice President Joe Biden appears in a taped interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” and live on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

In this corner, bald and with a bad heart (in more ways than one), Dick “The Cheyenne Social Clubber” Cheney:

And in this corner, bald but plugging away, Joe “The Mess” Biden:

Shake hands and come out fighting gentlemen.

Of course, in every fight there must be a reasonable amount of smack talk:

I’m very optimistic about — about Iraq, and this can be one of the great achievements of this administration. You’re going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the, uh, end of the summer. You’re going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government.

This administration? The president of which voted not “present” but vocally and vociferously against the surge? The vice president of which wanted to saw the country into thirds? The Secretary of State of which called General Petraeus a liar? That administration claims victory in Iraq? I don’t think even Rachel Maddow in the midst of a threesome with Janeane Garofalo and Joy Behar would be of a mind to believe that. (Too early on a Saturday for that image?)

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You, Sir, Are No Dick Cheney

Let me put this as succinctly as I can:

To elaborate:

Dick Cheney is not the most popular of politicians, but when he offered a harsh assessment of the Obama Administration’s approach to terrorism last May, his criticism stung—so much that the President gave a speech the same day that was widely seen as a direct response. Though neither man would admit it, eight months later political and security realities are forcing Mr. Obama’s antiterror policies ever-closer to the former Vice President’s.

In fact, the President’s changes in antiterror policy have never been as dramatic as he or his critics have advertised. His supporters on the left have repeatedly howled when the Justice Department quietly went to court and offered the same legal arguments the Bush Administration made, among them that the President has the power to detain enemy combatants indefinitely without charge. He has also ramped up drone strikes against al Qaeda and Taliban operatives in Pakistan.

However, the Administration has tried to break from its predecessors on several big antiterror issues, and it is on those that it is suffering the humiliation of having to walk back from its own righteous declarations. This is Dick Cheney’s revenge.

And as he is probably too busy shooting defenseless little furry creatures (deer, not hippies—although now that you mention it…), let me respond in his stead.

Ahem.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Boy, it sure must suck to have to adopt the policies of someone you find the most evil entity to walk the earth since Rasputin last pulled the wings off a fly.

It would be like me having to admit Al Gore was right. As if.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gitmo, KSM’s trial—the administration has thrown its policies into reverse so many times, they’ve stripped the gears.

As long as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were responsible for keeping Americans safe, Democrats could pander to the U.S. and European left’s anti-antiterror views at little political cost. But now that they are responsible, American voters are able to see what the left really has in mind, and they are saying loud and clear that they prefer the Cheney method.

Mr. Holder has nonetheless begun a campaign to defend his decisions on Abdulmutallab and KSM, telling the New Yorker last week that “I don’t apologize for what I’ve done” and that trying KSM in a civilian court will be “the defining event of my time as Attorney General.”

That’s about the only thing he’s said I agree with.

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