Tragically but not surprisingly, Dick Cheney in his speech today resorted to the old tactic of using 9/11 as much as possible to demonize his opponents and justify his agenda on torture and the war on terror as well as even the war in Iraq. David Wiegel of the Washington Independent writes this:
Weigel writes, “Cheney talks about the run-up to 9/11, the events of 9/11, where he was on 9/11 (’I’ll freely admit that watching a coordinated, devastating attack on our country from an underground bunker at the White House can affect how you view your responsibilities’), the aftermath of 9/11 (’We could count on almost universal support back then, because everyone understood the environment we were in’), the temporary patriotism of the media (’After 9/11, the Times had spent months publishing the pictures and the stories of everyone killed by al-Qaeda on 9/11′), the threat of a ‘9/11 with nuclear weapons,’ and how the administration prevented another 9/11. In all, he mentions ‘September 11′ or ‘9/11′ 25 times.”
Enough reminding us about 9/11! Seven years after it happened we remember it happened! We recall the carnage and horror of that day. As one of the so-called millennial generation I have to say it defined my generation the same way that the Kennedy assassination defined the ‘Baby Boomers’ and the attack on Pearl Harbor those who would later become known as “the greatest generation”. I and other Americans still thirst for the day with catch Bin Ladden.
Having said that enough with those politicians,(especially those of the Bush/Cheney administration, pundits, and Rudy Gulliani)and the RNC who invoke it every time they open their mouths. Most Americans view 9/11 as a solemn and tragic day fraught with horrors, but it seems that Cheney, Gulliani, and many others view it not as a day of devastation, but as a campaign tool or a scapegoat to justify the extreme acquisition of power. A warning to Conservative Republicans, we view it as the former so stop trying to exploit that. Imagine if past administrations and figures had used the tragedy of the Kennedy assassination or Pearl Harbor in such a matter. The American people would begin to grow vexed by that.
The “9/11” tactic isn’t working and if you have any doubts about that, Rudy Gulliani ran a campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination simply using the 9/11 fear card, and look how far that got him!
In other news if you want to see the differences between the speeches given by President Obama and Cheney take a look at these excerpts from their speeches:
We see that, above all, in the recent debate — how the recent debate has obscured the truth and sends people into opposite and absolutist ends. On the one side of the spectrum, there are those who make little allowance for the unique challenges posed by terrorism, and would almost never put national security over transparency. And on the other end of the spectrum, there are those who embrace a view that can be summarized in two words: “Anything goes.” Their arguments suggest that the ends of fighting terrorism can be used to justify any means, and that the President should have blanket authority to do whatever he wants — provided it is a President with whom they agree.
Both sides may be sincere in their views, but neither side is right. The American people are not absolutist, and they don’t elect us to impose a rigid ideology on our problems. They know that we need not sacrifice our security for our values, nor sacrifice our values for our security, so long as we approach difficult questions with honesty and care and a dose of common sense. That, after all, is the unique genius of America. That’s the challenge laid down by our Constitution. That has been the source of our strength through the ages. That’s what makes the United States of America different as a nation.
On the other hand here is Cheney:
The administration seems to pride itself on searching for some kind of middle ground in policies addressing terrorism. They may take comfort in hearing disagreement from opposite ends of the spectrum. If liberals are unhappy about some decisions, and conservatives are unhappy about other decisions, then it may seem to them that the President is on the path of sensible compromise. But in the fight against terrorism, there is no middle ground, and half-measures keep you half exposed.
Obama is in fact right on this. We are by and large not a country of two camps of citizens held prisoner by two extreme opposing ideologies. Obama took a more nuanced view saying that this matter is more complex then it appears, and though I have begun to be a little critical of Obama he comes off as the sensible adult. Rarely are things so morally clear cut after all if they were we would have resolved this whole issue already and Al-Queda and terrorism itself would cease. Besides, when the opposing view puts up a guy who carries a biological chemical survival suit with him everywhere he goes, appearing mature and rational isn’t that hard. But Cheney once again can’t help but inject politics into his argument as well as the childish black and white ideology that was a hallmark of the Bush/Cheney administration.
For some reason Cheney appears to be under the grand delusion that he is the lone figure that can keep America and the world safe and that without him it would degenerate into bedlam and bloodshed. A legend in his own Mind. Don’t flatter yourself Dick, your not that important and you don’t exactly have a stellar track record when it comes to the truth, the facts, or predicting the future.
UPDATE (8:35 PM/ ET)- Talking Points Memo states that a reporter commenting on the New York Times Story that 1 and 7 detainees returned to the proverbial battlefield may be completely accurate since some of the detainees were held on lesser charges. Which by the way if true, means that that 1 in 7 released were released during the Bush/Cheney administration. This says that either detainees were more radicalized by the whole Gitmo experience and thus unintentionally did Al-Queda’s recruiting work for them.
Update: (8:50pm/ET)- Neoconservative talk radio host and blogger Hugh Hewitt meanwhile evidently believes that when President Obama says Supermax Prisons he means only one in Colorado.
After a few brief sentences trying to make political hay, Hewitt writes in a post that:
BTW: Supermax holds 490, and there are already more than 400 inmates. So even if the whole Gitmo gang goes to Colorado, where do they put the Unabomber’s buddies who have to move on?
And what do the guards and staff of Supermax (and their families) think about being ground zero for Islamist fanatics in the U.S.?
First of all I strongly doubt that all detainees would be kept in one facility. That would just be supplanting Gitmo and not eliminating it and the bungled inefficent and damaging system it represents. The Supermax Prison in Colorado isn’t the only one in the country. There are numerous facilities across the scape of our nation that could hold them. There is even one vacant supermax prison in a Montana county where a town council is practically begging to house some detainees, and any remaining ones would be held in other supermaxes or millitary prisons. Nice try Hugh!