T Nation

Obama vs Cheney



I don't understand why Commander hope'n'change has to keep whining about "The mess I inherited" when he clearly opted to inherit said mess. It's like whining about having to do your job - that you are being paid to do. The "It's all Bush's fault" bullshit is older than McCain's mammy, I'm sick of hearing it.

Commander hope'n'change needs to retool his message; instead of trying to deflect criticism by blaming everything on Bush and "those evil reTHUGlicans", he should just admit that he clearly has no idea what he is doing in regards to the war on terror.


I think you can't see how Obama is playing out that rope for The Dick, at the same time he's letting him dig the hole deeper and deeper. Cheney is going to take a whole lot of folks down with him, just because he can't STFU and go away. Keep digging, Dick. Keep digging.


The left, along with Opie, would love it if Cheney went away and stopped reminding America that they did what they HAD to do. I'll ask you the same question that Cheney asked, "Is it more immoral to torture than it is to fail to prevent the deaths of thousands?" All to often the left would rather see Many Americans die than use the methods that produce results, all because the idea of a hard interrogation makes them all squishy and uncomfortable. Just America's chickens coming home to roost, right? We brought it on ourselves right? Wrong.

Too bad. I myself, am a fan of results; and Dick Cheney gets results, like him or not.

Why did Opie cherry pick on what memos were released? Why doesn't he release the two memos in particular that Cheney says show that these interrogations actually DO work, and that they saved alot of lives? Because he's politicizing this whole thing, and national security will suffer because of it. If Cheney's wrong, then why not release the memos? I thought that Opie was supposed to be all about transparency? Guess not. I mean, for fucks sake, even the ACLU agrees with Cheney, release everything! One thing's for sure, a retired VP has a sitting president on defense, big time.

At the end of the day, I sleep better at night knowing that American warriors are doing whatever it takes to keep Americans safe. I could care less if some shit bird terrorist gets roughed up and water boarded. Big hairy deal.


Gotta love the folks over at American Thinker, I think this article hits the nail on the head. Must read IMHO.

[i][b]War is Hell[/b]

By Bruce Walker
May 12, 2009

Sherman was right: War is Hell. The current war against the Judeo-Christian world waged by al-Qaida and other radical Moslems is no different. War is Hell and Hell is full of torments. Our role, as children of a Loving God, is to make that Hell and those torments as quick, as slight, and as limited as possible. But it is not our power to end pain, to make peace, or to stop torture.

We cannot stop a Holocaust without inflicting pain. We cannot end the Gulag without hurting people. We cannot free slaves without the horror of civil war. We can be silent, passive, and helpless in the face of evil, and, perhaps, survive. But we cannot stop evil without fighting evil, and that battle cannot be conducted without hurting people.

There have been many hypothetical questions raised about the conduct of great democratic leaders in wars against past evils. Was Truman a "war criminal' for dropping two fission bombs on Japanese cities? Did Churchill authorize severe methods to extract information from German soldiers? All of this rather misses the point.

Churchill authorized the fire-bombing of Dresden, which resulted in the burning to death of many tens of thousands of innocent German women, children, and old people. Truman authorized the slow starvation of Japan by submarine blockade. The victims of these actions were more innocent than al-Qaida operatives, the pain they endured was much greater than water boarding, and the number who suffered was incomparably greater than the handful interrogated by American intelligence forces.

Who, in war, is not a war criminal? George McGovern dropped heavy bomb loads on innocent Europeans. Jimmy Carter by duty was perfectly prepared, if the order had come, to incinerate many millions of innocent Soviet citizens as a naval officer on nuclear submarines. Clinton ordered the bombing of Serbia, which tormented many innocent Serbs, and Obama is sending more troops to Afghanistan, who will use bullets and bombs and Predators to inflict much more pain on our enemies than they ever endued in American military custody.

In the struggle between good and evil in this life, evil will use violence to force good men to use violence as well. The critical questions are not whether this violence constitutes something which decent, sane men would consider as "torture." It does. War itself is torture. Men in combat suffer in ways which make water boarding look like a roller coaster ride in a theme park. War maims, burns, starves, cripples, traumatizes, humiliates, and destroys.

We pretend that there are rules in war, but that is all we do "pretend." Decent, sane people, forced into war, can only make their own rules. These rules are fairly straightforward and easy to understand.

Inflict the pain on the guilty as much as possible and on the innocent as little as possible. America does this better than any nation in the history of the world. Desert Storm in 1991 was the first example of "smart weapons," the much-maligned "gold-plating" of American weaponry. Since then our forces have used such precision in combat that even when our own troops lives are in jeopardy, we have tools and technologies which allow us to almost surgically take out the bad guys. This, of course, is just what our interrogation was intended to do.

Nazis, Soviets, or Japanese imperialists did not treat gently those who held vital war information or those who might fight them when they interrogated. Instead they used savage violence with a broad brush. They slaughtered the general population of villages until information was provided. They, and radical Moslem enemies as well, do not care about who is innocent, who is a combatant, or who has crucial information.

Inflict only as much violence as is necessary to win. The intelligence and security organs of totalitarian regimes tortured without reference to guilt, to hidden secrets, or even to potential civilian hostility. They starved, beat, froze, and did things much worse, not because that level of coercion was needed, but because it was in the nature of their evil. The purpose of the brutalities of these regimes was, specifically, to cause human suffering.

Violence, force, pain, terror -- these are all dreadful aspects of life which we associate with torture -- can only be minimized and not eliminated. We do that when the elements of coercion are targeted only on the guilty, when we only use what is necessary, and when we grasp that goodness should always win these battles.

On September 11, 2001, thousands of innocent men, women, and children were tortured to death -- that is the blunt fact -- and since then America has operated using its own, compassionate rules of combat to liberate captive, tortured populations in Iraq and in Afghanistan using the mildest means at our disposal. If we grow sallow, puerile, vain, and pompous, then the suffering on planet Earth will not diminish: It will, instead, return with a vengeance. [/i]


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Perhaps the rope has two ends?


Your link said, "


Anyone know why the CIA turned down the request to declassify? Should a sitting president go over the heads of the CIA to declassify information they say should not be?


Yes. Obama decided what to release based on political considerations and authorized the CIA to do so. he chose the parts that would appear favorable to him. Cheyney simply called him out on the deception and Obama can't respond without admitting that Cheyney is right. Obama is using the CIA procedure as cover for the parts he didn't want released. It is apparent to anyone that the interrogation methods were effective and produced results. It would embarrass opie further if the information became public. Cheyney is way to smart for a noob like Obama.

If you view the outright lies told by Pelosi, with the foolish and naive outlook of Obama in dealing with terrorism you are left with a crisis in confidence among Democrats. National Defense is only one of the most glaring weaknesses of this administration. Leaders around the world realize this. Republicans realize this. Democrats are starting to come around, except for the moonbats.

Our former allies can't depend on us and our opponents are emboldened knowing we will not act in our own best interests with Obama as president. Bad situation all around. Hopefully he won't fuck things up much more by 2012 but I'm not hopeful.


Yes, because Bush signed an executive order in 2003 prohibiting the release of materials that are the subject of lawsuits. Cheney knows that, and that order was probably his idea to protect himself and Libby from the Plame lawsuit.

Here's a great article from McClatchy that points out all of The Dick's lies, omissions and obfuscations in yesterday's speech:



The former Vice President knows something (quite a few things actually) that our naive President does not. Forget the fact that Cheney is correct on this issue. The longer that Obama engages in this pulic debate with Cheney the worse he (Obama) looks.

There is no way for Obama to damage Cheney as it has already been done by the press. However, the longer that Cheney can keep the issue front and center the more Obama is tarnished as he and only he has something to lose.

I honestly can't think of any past Presidents who engaged anyone from a previous administration in this way. Certainly Clintion attempted to bait Bush several times but Bush did not rise to take the bait.

Obama is truly showing his lack of experience and frankly I'm enjoying the show.


As always, you have it exactly wrong zebbie.

Cheney not only has it exactly wrong on this issue, he's outright lying about every single part of it.



Excellent post!


When has the CIA EVER offered to declassify papers that aren't retardedly obsolete without someone in power telling them to? As a general rule they hate doing that--they'd rather keep it all to themselves.

If Obama ordered the release of the other memos, then it wasn't the CIA's idea to release that one either. They wanted to keep that one to themselves as well, but Obama wants it released. Ok, fine. Now he should release the other info.


Commentary about the speech's. The mere fact that Obama chose to attack a previous administration, to the degree he has, is a clar sign he isn't ready to govern. His handlers unfortunately are worse then he is.





The criticism is fair. It should be much harsher.


I think that he does not call a spade a spade will ultimately hurt him more.

But I don´t give a fuck.

That someone can knowingly break US law in public and get away with it because he is powerful enough marks the end of the republic.

The rest is... there is a German quote:

When a battle starts, everything is already over (as in: decided) except for the noise.

Meaning, the outcome was decided long before.

The day that the Bush administration could get away with disappearing people (They kidnapped EU citizens in broad daylight. You think it never happened inside the USA? Suckers), torturing some people, lie about it in public, that day it was all over.

Except for the noise.


Some sense from a British commentator:

"The theatre of yesterday's speeches from Barack Obama and Dick Cheney was irresistible. And phoney. That is, this was a pretty strange "duel" given that the matter was decided long ago and not just as recently as last November's election. Or, to put it another way, Dick Cheney might have given a largely and substantively similar speech had John McCain been the 44th President of the United States.

After all, McCain had also promised to close Guantanamo and confirm the prohibition on the use of the "enhanced interrogation techniques" Cheney says are so essential to preserving American security. There's nothing too surprising about this: Condi Rice also wanted to close Guantanamo and even President Bush held its eventual shuttering as a stated long-term policy aim.

Equally, the most controversial of the interrogation "techniques" were quietly dropped during Bush's second term. In other words, Cheney was arguing against the administration in which he served.
At its most simple, this is a fight that al-Qaeda and its affiliates cannot win. But it is one that the United States can lose. This is a psychological struggle just as much as it is a military battle or a law-enforcement problem. al-Qaeda cannot possibly, even in the most gruesome, deadly scenario pose an "existential" threat to the United States, but it can defeat the Idea of America. It can only do so, however, if America lets itself be so defeated.

That is, since the United States is, above all else, an idea the only way that al-Qaeda can prevail is if America itself destroys the Idea of America."



Dick Cheney vs. David Petraeus:

"More on today's Obama and Cheney speeches in due course, but first another bout: Dick Cheney vs David Petraeus. Cheney argued today that:

If fine speech-making, appeals to reason, or pleas for compassion had the power to move them, the terrorists would long ago have abandoned the field. And when they see the American government caught up in arguments about interrogations, or whether foreign terrorists have constitutional rights, they donâ??t stand back in awe of our legal system and wonder whether they had misjudged us all along.

Instead the terrorists see just what they were hoping for â?? our unity gone, our resolve shaken, our leaders distracted. In short, they see weakness and opportunity.

In the other corner, in 2007 General Petraeus wrote to US and allied troops srving in Iraq warning them that:

Our values and the laws governing warfare teach us to respect human dignity, maintain our integrity, and do what is right. Adherence to our values distinguishes us from our enemy. This fight depends on securing the population, which must understand that we - not our enemies - occupy the moral high ground.

This strategy has shown results in recent months. Al Qaeda's indiscriminate attacks, for example, have finally started to turn a substantial proportion of the Iraqi population against it.

In view of this, I was concerned by the results of a recently released survey conducted last fall in Iraq that revealed an apparent unwillingness on the part of some US personnel to report illegal actions taken by fellow members of their units. The study also indicated that a small percentage of those surveyed may have mistreated noncombatants. This survey should spur reflection on our conduct in combat.

I fully appreciate the emotions that one experiences in Iraq. I also know firsthand the bonds between members of the "brotherhood of the close fight." Seeing a fellow trooper killed by a barbaric enemy can spark frustration, anger, and a desire for immediate revenge.

As hard as it might be, however, we must not let these emotions lead us - or our comrades in arms - to commit hasty, illegal actions. In the event that we witness or hear of such actions, we must not let our bonds prevent us from speaking up.

Some may argue that we would be more effective if we sanctioned torture or other expedient methods to obtain information from the enemy. They would be wrong. Beyond the basic fact that such actions are illegal, history shows that they also are frequently neither useful nor necessary.

Certainly, extreme physical action can make someone "talk;" however, what the individual says may be of questionable value. In fact, our experience in applying the interrogation standards laid out in the Army Field Manual (2-22.3) on Human Intelligence Collector Operations that was published last year shows that the techniques in the manual work effectively and humanely in eliciting information from detainees.

I know whose side I'm on in this fight, but I guess General Petraeus is another guy with a 9/10 mindset who wants to see America defeated."



Are the Bush and Cheney apologists here aware that we had an AMERICAN CITIZEN held without trial for three and a half years because Bush designated him an "enemy combatant"? None of you have ever heard of Jose Padilla?