Cheney Takes Credit for Osama, Thinks Obama Should Start Torturing Again
Dick Cheney may have given an inch on handgun control after the Jared Loughner shooting, but don’t let this old bastard fool you—he’s no softie.
During George W. Bush’s presidency people widely suspected VP Dick Cheney of having outsized influence in the West Wing—even of being a kind of puppet master for W., who many thought followed Cheney’s policy decisions like he was the Pied Piper.
So it’s perhaps no surprise that since the end of the last term Cheney has been the most outspoken member of the Bush Administration, especially when it comes to policy. He volunteered a tiny change of heart on gun control laws after Jared Loughner’s shooting (even though his heart was recently replaced by a pulseless robotic heart) and weighed in on why Guantanamo is still necessary. Meanwhile George Bush restricted his major post-presidency interviews, one of them a casual feel-good interview with Mark Zuckerberg and another with Matt Lauer in which he mostly defended the invasion of Iraq.
Yesterday Cheney was back in the batter’s box on Fox News and took a big swing at a question by anchor Chris Wallace on whether waterboarding during the Bush Administration had helped kill bin Laden.
“Probably,” he says. “Which raises the question, if we were to now capture another new high value target, which is certainly more likely given this apparent trove of information that they recovered in bin Laden’s compound, should the president reinstate enhanced interrogation including waterboarding? …I certainly would advocate it. I’d be a strong supporter of it.”
As if imploring Obama for more torture, Cheney backed up his case by explaining how hard they’d worked to be able to torture without repercussions. “We went to a lot of trouble to find out what we could do, how far we could go, what was legal and so forth. Out of that emerged what we called enhanced interrogation. It worked. It provided some absolutely vital pieces of intelligence.”
Part of the “trouble” the Administration went to was apparently torturing America’s own forces, something of which Cheney seems proud:
“Waterboarding and all of the other techniques that were used are techniques that we use training our own people. This is stuff that we’ve done for years with own military personnel. To suggest that it’s torture, I just think is wrong.”
I can’t say I understand the logic that it’s not torture if you’ve done it on your own people—you can torture an American as easily as you can torture an Afghani. But you have to hand it to Cheney—he sure is sticking with his guns. Plenty of violence-mongers, like former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, tend to soften up in their old age. Cheney doesn’t seem to be anywhere near that point. Maybe he’s got that robotic heart to thank.