Monday, January 17, 2011

Cheney's still spinning..

No wonder Dick Cheney considers Rush Limbaugh a friend. Cheney twists political reality as relentlessly as he once twisted intelligence, relentlessly as Limbaugh.  If he gets a new heart, he should get his own show. 

Via Slate, here's his latest spin on Obama's counterterror policy, from an interview to be aired tomorrow on NBC:

He obviously has been through the fires of becoming President and having to make decisions and live with the consequences. And it's different than being a candidate. When he was candidate he was all for closing Gitmo. He was very critical of what we'd done on the counterterrorism area to protect America from further attack and so forth.

I think he's learned that he's not going to be able to close Guantanamo. That it's-- if you didn't have it you'd have to create one like that. You've got to have some place to put terrorists who are combatants who are bound and determined to try to kill Americans.

I think he's-- in terms of a lot of the terrorism policies-- the early talk, for example, about prosecuting people in the CIA who've been carrying out our policies-- all of that's fallen by the wayside. I think he's learned that what we did was far more appropriate than he ever gave us credit for while he was a candidate. So I think he's learned from experience. And part of that experience was the Democrats having a terrible showing last election.
And here he is on counterterrorism and drones:
As I say, I think he's found it necessary to be more sympathetic to the kinds of things we did. They've gotten active, for example, with the drone program, using Predator and the Reaper to launch strikes against identified terrorist targets in the various places in the world.
Okay, one point at a time:

1. Obama is still "for" closing Gitmo.  He has failed to do so because Congress, yielding to a wave of demagoguery, blocked him.

2. Supermax prisons in the Continental U.S. could easily handle the 84 prisoners remaining at Guantanamo who have not been cleared for release and for whom there might be probable cause to use the term "terrorist" -- a small percentage of the 774 prisoners who have passed through the prison, all of whom Cheney has always been happy to label 'terrorists,' notwithstanding the Bush administration's release of more than 500 of them.

3. Obama did repudiate the torture regime instituted by Cheney and his henchmen, timid though he's been about investigating and most likely prosecuting those (e.g., Cheney) whom we are obligated by international law to investigate and probably prosecute.

4. Candidate Obama advocated more aggressive pursuit of the Taliban and al Qaeda in Pakistan; the stepped-up drone attacks are in keeping with the policy he promised as a candidate.

Cheney also forecast that Obama will be a one-term president. That's actually reassuring, given his track record as a prognosticator.

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