DICK TRIED TO SELL senators on the need for torture (which we don’t do, but still need) by citing the ticking clock scenario. Something bad is about to happen and we have to come just short of killing someone in interrogation to get the information. Maybe the clock is finally ticking down and out on Cheney because senators aren’t buying it [Newsweek]
Cheney said the law would tie the president's hands and end up costing "thousands of lives." He dramatized the point, conjuring up a scenario in which a captured Qaeda operative, another Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, refuses to give his interrogators details about an imminent attack. "We have to be able to do what is necessary," the vice president said, according to one of the senators who was present. The lawmakers listened, but they weren't moved to act. Sen. John McCain, who authored the anti-torture amendment, spoke up. "This is killing us around the world," he said. The House, which will likely vote on the measure soon, is also expected to pass it by a large margin.
SOME HOPE EXISTS the mad hysteria post September Eleventh is starting to wear off. Perhaps mere decency rather than doom will guide our moral decisions in war. Perhaps democracy at home can be a light still that can shine where Cheney’s darkness has shadowed our reputation.
CHENEY STILL CAN COUNT on one sympathetic to him: David Addington. If you read the cited Newsweek piece, be ready to be “stunned.” Being a d*ckhead for Dick is a good career move. Dark bluster in the White House counts for more than the light shed by a good moral argument.
A skilled bureaucratic infighter who uses his temper strategically to stun foes into submission, Addington, now 48, has matured into a classic Washington type: the most powerful man you've never heard of. As Cheney's counsel, Addington—a private workaholic who, unlike Libby, shuns reporters—was one of the most forceful voices for tough treatment of terror suspects. It was Addington who drafted the January 2002 Alberto Gonzales memo which argued that captured Taliban and Qaeda fighters shouldn't be covered by the Geneva Conventions. He was behind the presidential order establishing military tribunals. And he passionately argued that in wartime the president has almost unlimited power—a point of view that was spelled out in the "torture memo" that the administration was eventually forced to rescind under public pressure.
STRATEGIC LOSS OF TEMPER is an oxymoron. Whoever suggests otherwise is a fool. And we have been fools to let the intemperate lead us through less than temperate times. As all this comes down to us, Cheney promoted Addington to be his chief of staff. The clock is ticking down on these two, even if Cheney thinks he can stop time and make it move back into the past. PREVIOUS RELATED HERETIK POSTS [All Options] [Cheney Crosses the Line] [Day for Night]
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING AS PREVIOUSLY NOTEDby The Heretik, Cheney is lucky he has a bully like Addington around to take bites out of people. He is increasingly isolated. So what?
DICK, WE HARDLY KNEW YE [Joe Gandelman/ The Moderate Voice] It means that Cheney's island is shrinking because now Scooter Libby isn't around to run up to him and scream "Boss! Da plane! Da plane!" At BEST all this means Cheney's influence will wane and he'll be like many other Vice Presidents — a great guy to send to funerals. At WORST this could be the first step in hurling Cheney overboard since the fragile ship has sprung a leak - it might help to put some distance between him and The Boss. And Bush? No matter what happens, what all this suggests is a turbulent, weakened remaining three years. Theoretically, if Cheney goes and he replaces him with someone surprising and dynamic (Rudy Giuliani, John McCain) or history-making (Condi Rice) it'll give him some more breathing space between crises and demands for investigations.