“Deconstruction - a
demonstration that it has already dismantled itself. Its
apparently-solid ground is no rock, but thin air."
It was Dick being a Dick to the bitter end in the neo-con bunker yesterday. He began:
"It's pretty clear the president served in the Senate and not in the House or Representatives because, of course, in the House, we have the five minute rule," Cheney said.
He's retired. What's the rush? Were the Russians on their way to the bunker?
Dick's comment did reveal his not-so-hidden contempt for the office of the president, including George, and his awareness of time, which may be running out on him to be a free man.
CHENEY: I first came to AEI after serving at the Pentagon, and departed only after a very interesting job offer came along. I had no expectation of returning to public life, but my career worked out a little differently. Those eight years as vice president were quite a journey, and during a time of big events and great decisions, I don't think I missed much.
Translation: "I shot an old man in the face and destroyed our democracy."
CHENEY: Being the first vice president who had also served as secretary of defense, naturally my duties tended toward national security. I had the advantage of being a vice president content with the responsibilities I had, and going about my work with no higher ambition. Today, I'm an even freer man. Your kind invitation brings me here as a private citizen - a career in politics behind me, no elections to win or lose, and no favor to seek.
Translation: Except, "Please don't extradite me to old Europe."
Cheney: The responsibilities we carried belong to others now. And though I'm not here to speak for George W. Bush, I am certain that no one wishes the current administration more success in defending the country than we do.
Translation: "George doesn't speak to me anymore."
Cheney: Right now there is considerable debate in this city about the measures our administration took to defend the American people. Today I want to set forth the strategic thinking behind our policies. I do so as one who was there every day of the Bush Administration -who supported the policies when they were made, and without hesitation would do so again in the same circumstances.
Translation: "I authorized tortured, I authorize torture, I would still authorize torture."
CHENEY: The point is not to look backward. Now and for years to come, a lot rides on our President's understanding of the security policies that preceded him.
Translation: "PLEASE don't extradite me to Old Europe."
CHENEY: Our administration always faced its share of criticism, and from some quarters it was always intense. That was especially so in the later years of our term, when the dangers were as serious as ever, but the sense of general alarm after September 11th, 2001 was a fading memory. Part of our responsibility, as we saw it, was not to forget the terrible harm that had been done to America … and not to let 9/11 become the prelude to something much bigger and far worse.
Translation: "Like losing the House, the Senate, the Presidency..."
CHENEY: 9-11 caused everyone to take a serious second look at threats that had been gathering for a while, and enemies whose plans were getting bolder and more sophisticated.
Translation: "We didn't and look what happened."
Cheney: 9-11 made necessary a shift of policy, aimed at a clear strategic threat - what the Congress called "an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States." From that moment forward, instead of merely preparing to round up the suspects and count up the victims after the next attack, we were determined to prevent attacks in the first place."
Translation: "Blame the FBI for 9-11."
CHENEY: Everyone expected a follow-on attack, and our job was to stop it. We didn't know what was coming next, but everything we did know in that autumn of 2001 looked bad.
Translation: So I hid in my undisclosed location.
Cheney: This was the world in which al-Qaeda was seeking nuclear technology, and A. Q. Khan was selling nuclear technology on the black market. We had the anthrax attack from an unknown source. We had the training camps of Afghanistan, and dictators like Saddam Hussein with known ties to Mideast terrorists.
Translation: This was a world I helped create.
CHENEY: These are just a few of the problems we had on our hands. And foremost on our minds was the prospect of the very worst coming to pass - a 9/11 with nuclear weapons.
Translation: "I' had to come up with something to avoid being blamed for that "problem" on 9-11."
CHENEY: To make certain our nation country never again faced such a day of horror, we developed a comprehensive strategy, beginning with far greater homeland security to make the United States a harder target.
As noted by McClatchy: " It is important to note that Cheney said the Bush administration "moved decisively against the terrorists in their hideouts and their sanctuaries, and committed to using every asset to take down their networks. He however didn’t point out that Osama bin Laden and his chief lieutenant, Ayman al Zawahri, remain at large nearly eight years after 9/11 and that the Bush administration began diverting U.S. forces, intelligence assets, time and money to planning an invasion of Iraq before it finished the war in Afghanistan against Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
CHENEY: We did all of these things, and with bipartisan support put all these policies in place. It has resulted in serious blows against enemy operations … the take-down of the A.Q. Khan network … and the dismantling of Libya's nuclear program.
Translation: "...after we outed Valerie Plame Wilson."
According to Sibel Edmonds, "The ring is headed by Pakistani nuclear scientist A. Q. Khan, and includes Pakistan’s ISI intelligence agency, as well as Turkish and Israeli representatives. The official is said to tell a member of the ring that a company the ring wants to do business with -Brewster Jennings & Associates- is a CIA front company. Brewster Jennings & Associates is a front for Valerie Plame Wilson, who will later be outed as a CIA officer in 2003, and possibly other operatives.
CHENEY: It's required the commitment of many thousands of troops in two theaters of war, with high points and some low points in both Iraq and Afghanistan - and at every turn, the people of our military carried the heaviest burden. Well over seven years into the effort, one thing we know is that the enemy has spent most of this time on the defensive - and every attempt to strike inside the United States has failed.
Translation: "What you don't know - and what I won't tell you - is that none of these "attempts" could hurt you."
CHENEY: So we're left to draw one of two conclusions - and here is the great dividing line in our current debate over national security. You can look at the facts and conclude that the comprehensive strategy has worked, and therefore needs to be continued as vigilantly as ever. Or you can look at the same set of facts and conclude that 9/11 was a one-off event - coordinated, devastating, but also unique and not sufficient to justify a sustained wartime effort. Whichever conclusion you arrive at, it will shape your entire view of the last seven years, and of the policies necessary to protect America for years to come.
Translation: Iraq - 9-11, Iraq 9-11, Iraq 9-11
CHENEY: The intelligence officers who questioned the terrorists can be proud of their work and proud of the results, because they prevented the violent death of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of innocent people.
Translation: The CIA's OIG report that there is no evidence to support Dick's wild claims must have based not on solid ground but thin air. Dick also denied there was any connection between the Bush administration’s interrogation policies and the abuse of detainees at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison, which he blamed on "a few sadistic guards ... in violation of American law, military regulations and simple decency." However, a bipartisan Senate Armed Services Committee report in December traced the abuses at Abu Ghraib to the approval of the techniques by senior Bush administration officials, including former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. "The abuse of detainees in U.S. custody cannot simply be attributed to the actions of ’a few bad apples’ acting on their own," said the report issued by Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and John McCain, R-Ariz. "The fact is that senior officials in the United States government solicited information on how to use aggressive techniques, redefined the law to create the appearance of their legality and authorized their use against detainees."
CHENEY: I might add that people who consistently distort the truth in this way are in no position to lecture anyone about "values."