Sunday, August 30, 2009

Idiot Cheney Needs to STFU

Fox News Sunday became the latest Fox News show to turn over its airtime to former VP Dick Cheney to spew forth his propaganda about his administration without any challenge from Chris Wallace (not that Wallace has the chops to challenge anyone -- his father, Mike Wallace, must be so distressed to see how his son has become a mere shill for the Right Wing Noise Machine).

What was interesting about the segment was the box Cheney put himself in. Cheney is furious that Attorney General Eric Holder has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate whether CIA interrogators exceeded legal guidelines in torturing prisoners to obtain information about terrorist activities. Cheney railed that the CIA Inspector General already conducted its own investigation, finding and prosecuting one individual.

It appears that there are a couple of issues here. First, can a new administration investigate and perhaps prosecute individuals from a previous administration for illegal activities? The answer is yes. We saw that in the wake of Watergate. Second, are investigations conducted during one administration free from political pressure that might color the results? If those results are so colored, should they be trusted as "fact"?

Given that new administrations have precedent to investigate, prosecute and punish illegal activities conducted by previous administrations, then the issue is whether prior investigations have been free from political interference. Historically, there has always been a tension between the President and the Attorney General's office. Though a Cabinet official, the AG is often seen as independent from the President. Had Janet Reno been concerned about politics rather than the law, she never would have ordered Elian Gonzalez be returned to Cuba. That action may very well have cost Al Gore the state of Florida in the 2000 election. This is how the Obama administration is treating Attorney General Holder. By contrast, the Bush-Cheney administration did not see their three AGs (Ashcroft, Gonzales and Mukasey) as independent entities, but mere extensions of the chief law enforcement officer in the land -- the president. Cheney reiterated this view on Wallace's program this morning.

In essence, Cheney conceded that investigations conducted about governmental activities during his administration were controlled by the White House -- ultimately serving political ends, rather than the ends of justice. In doing so, Cheney undercut the legitimacy of the Inspector General's investigation, meaning that our country needs to have a non-biased, apolitical investigation.

By opening up his mouth to yet again complain about the Obama administration, Cheney has given much-needed support to the special prosecutor. If Cheney wants to keep himself and others close to him out of prison, he really needs to STFU.


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10:36 AM  

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