I don't know why anyone would, but if you're tempted to drift into nostalgia or sympathy for Dick Cheney, as Newsweek magazine does in its recent cover story, consider the evidence of his Cheney's inhumanity to (non-white) man offered by (one-time Newsweek press critic) Charles Kaiser in the Columbia Journalism Review .
Newsweek suggests that Obama may find that the expanded presidential powers which Cheney pushed for too good to relinquish. While Cheney is often vilified as "a creature of the dark side, a monstrous figure who trampled on the Constitution to wage war against all foes, real and imagined," his methods, says Newsweek, "kept the nation safe and secure."
Plus, says Newsweek, Cheney probably never intended any of this torture stuff to go so far:
The issue of torture is more complicated than it seems. America brought untold shame on itself with the abuses at Abu Ghraib. It’s likely that the take-the-gloves-off attitude of Cheney and his allies filtered down through the ranks, until untrained prison guards with sadistic tendencies were making sport with electric shock. But no direct link has been reported.This, says Kaiser, doesn't just strain credulity; it's just plain wrong.
Leave aside for a moment the comforting image of “making sport with electric shock.” (The ACLU has documented the deaths of at least 160 prisoners in U.S. custody during the Bush administration, of which more than seventy were caused by “gross recklessness, abuse, or torture”: an unfortunate side effect of that “sport,” I suppose.) Let us focus instead on that tossed-off assertion of “no direct link” between Cheney and his allies and what happened on the ground in Iraq and Guantánamo.He's a very, very scary man. Which reminds me -- can't they prosecute Donald "Rummy" Rumsfeld for something? His arrogance in the face of his mistakes -- like launching an invasion with no occupation plan or exit strategies and failing to adequately arm and armor troops -- offended even the hawkiest of hawks high in the Pentagon.
The truth is, we know for a fact that all of the most heinous methods of torture used by this administration were aired at White House meetings attended by Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Attorney General John Ashcroft, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and CIA Director George Tenet. George Bush confirmed that those meetings took place in an interview with ABC correspondent Martha Raddatz last year. And just one month ago, Cheney boasted to ABC correspondent Jonathan Karl that he had personally approved of the program which led to waterboarding of alleged terrorists.
Hattip: The Daily Kos