Deconstructing DICK (Cheney)
The "Greatest Generation" had a more realistic view of the world, due to the effects of the Depression and WWII.
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Why is nobody asking him about the hundreds of millions of dollars he made as a Halliburton war profiteer... from a war of his own creation.
It was either Dick Cheney, or former CIA director, Michael Hayden, or both (dickheads are so very easy to get confused), who claimed that much intelligence in general about al Qaeda and the Taliban were ferreted out of tortured detainees.
The actual intelligence was garnered much, much earlier, by DIA agent Julie Sirrs, who was hounded out of the DIA after she returned from Afghanistan with this data.
Now why would that have been? Bringing out the important information, and carrying out a warning of an impending terrorist attack planned on US soil from the leader of the Northern Alliance, Ahmad Shah Moussad?
It is important to revisit what personnel in the intelligence establishment have suffered, career-wise, including going to jail, for fulfilling their oaths as American agents, and patriotically performing their duties.
Julie Sirrs, as previously mentioned, had her security clearance immediately withdrawn after returning with the goods from Afghanistan? She would be hounded out of the DIA.
Valerie Plame, and unnamed members of the CIA's anti-weapons-of-mass-destruction proliferation section, whose operation was the covert Brewster Jennings outfit, were outed as CIA coverts.
Ostensibly, we were proselytized by the KorporateMedia again and again, claiming that the reason was that the Bush administration despised her husband was his fact-gathering trip to Niger.
But with the outing of Valerie Plame, so too was the covert operation of Brewster Jennings outed, effectively not only rendering them useless, but resulting in the deaths of their covert assets, or foreign nationals in their employ.
Brewster Jennings, and Valerie Plame, were getting closer and closer to the source of a poison gas, listed in the WMD category, which had been intercepted during a smuggling run across Turkey's border, into Iraq, well after the invasion of Iran by US military under the Bush administration.
Well, old Cheney and company had long claimed there were WMDs in Iraq, and when none were to be found, they had to smuggle in some, correct?
Not lastly, but one who has appeared in the public eye, is John Kiriakou, the CIA whistleblower on the CIA torture, who was jailed for that reason under the Treason Act.
So. . . all the information was already known, long before this inhouse torture program began, although the US government (CIA), beginning with the Clinton administration, and expanding under the Bush administration, was already extreme renditioning of pro-democracy activists back to Libya, Egypt and Syria from foreign countries of refuge?
What's wrong with this picture?
Fear of being drafted.
Fear of the unknown.
Fear that he will finally be arrested & jailed for his International War Crimes in violation of the Geneva Conventions our nation is signatory to.
Fear is something only some Americans live in - the weak ones - the ones who falsely think torture works.
RIPPER: Mandrake, were you ever a prisoner of war?
MANDRAKE: Well, yes I was Jack as a matter of fact I was.
RIPPER: Did they torture you?
MANDRAKE: Yes Jack, I was tortured by the Japanese, if you must know, not a pretty story.
RIPPER: Well, what happened?
MANDRAKE: Oh Well, I don't know, Jack, difficult to think of under these conditions, but well, they got me on the old Ragoon-Ichinawa railway. I was laying train lines for the bloody Japanese puff-puff's.
RIPPER: No, I mean when they tortured you did you talk?
MANDRAKE: Ah, oh, no, I don't think they wanted me to talk really, I don't think they wanted me to say anything. It was just their way of having a bit of fun the swines.
we could have eliminated the threat al Qaeda posed with a far smaller footprint and much less torture.
why are conservatives such pussies?
a lot of assumptions in 5 words.
a. there are reasonable republicans
b. people in this group recognize that Cheney is not admirable
c. most of a believes b
kinda doubt it.
No, torture through history has been used primarily by governments and other institutions to accomplish three things: (1) instill fear or terror in the general population to 'encourage' or force right thinking and obedient behavior; (2) punish individuals when they challenge dogmatic beliefs or otherwise aggravate figures of authorities; and (3) produce 'confessions' to justify, after the fact, policies or courses of action in order to give those policies or courses of action a veneer of credibility. Dick Cheney did not instigate a torture program to help keep us safe or protect our freedoms. I don't think Dick Cheney gives a rat's ass about keeping America safe or in general about America's 'freedoms.' No, torture to him was about producing 'intel' he could use to justify his war for oil in the Middle East that helped further enrich himself and his crony buddies. And if instilling a sort-of clandestine torture program also undermined America's democratic institutions and reputation, well that was just icing on the cake. Dick Cheney has an authoritarian mindset and I'm sure he felt fully justified in making America less democratic and more authoritarian by eroding the check on executive power and by chipping away at this whole notion of America being 'as a city upon a hill.' Truly a disturbing figure in American history and if our government weren't filled and compromised by so many people like him, he'd be standing trial for crimes against humanity.
There has to be a point where we acknowledge that people aren't so easily influenced and led by popular art, and that popular art is much more a reflection of popular attitudes and fantasies than an influence upon them.
This cannot be understated.
It's hip now to shit on those generations. Largely because they were somewhat behind the curve in terms of civil rights for black people (though they did come around - Eleanor Roosevelt for example). But they, in very large part, were extraordinarily progressive in every other respect. For exactly the reasons you state.
They survived nearly starving to death. They witnessed and defeated a madman's fascist attempt to take over the world (It wasn't a Bond movie. It was real). And they saw the complicity of the 1% in both those events.
Those generations soberly constructed first-of-their-kind in human history global institutions to try and prevent that shit from happening again. Nobody has come close to advancing the cause of humanity like they did.
The New Deal was in fact widely popular and was the start of ALL progressive institutions in this country. And the far right - who sided with Hitler, BTW - have been trying to dismantle it ever since. And now the Right finally has a very real a shot at destroying everything those generations fought for.
The rationale that these picture will rile up anti American sentiment is ridiculous. These were the sons, uncles and husbands of Iraqis and Afghanis being tortured, to imagine that the Arab street doesn't all ready "know" that Americans torture is ludicrous. The reason to suppress these photos is to enable us to continue to tortue in the future, in fact I would be surprised if it wasn't happening right now.
Perhaps that bodes well for a return of wide spread participation in labor unions. Way to early to tell yet but methinks something is happening here. If the trend continues corporations may decide that they'd rather negotiate directly with their employees rather then get hit with the hammer of one size fits all employment laws.
As for the topic at hand, torture is evil and no justification removes that evil stench.
You have hinted that you've taken a fair number of trips around the sun. So tell me, do you really think Americans had a lot of qualms with torture before "24" and the Bush administration's euphemisms? Have things changed a lot since you were a wee Catalina?
@17 -- Reporter: “What Do You Think of Western Civilization?” Ghandi (maybe): “I Think It Would Be a Good Idea.”
@22 -- Really good analysis. Americans have the attention span of gnats. I.e., we are ahistorical; the past doesn't exist. Thus the future will be just like the present. Won't we be surprised when things fall part?
Just the other day, a girl I know who grew up in Iowa, served in the peacetime military, and promptly returned back to Iowa was assuring everyone on her page that torture produced results, because so many attacks were averted. She insinuated that she knew that because of her service, which is absurd - the woman is really an idiot, and probably spent her time in the military typing something - but people were buying it, because she is a vet.
It's basically the same mindset that lets people think that the Victorian Era was a wonderful time, or that "Gone With The Wind" is an accurate depiction of life in the old south.
People are dumb. They are very susceptible, especially to carefully crafted messages, designed to appeal to emotion, not reason. That's what TV is all about.
Keep in mind this country's history. McCarthyism worked well because enough ordinary people believe that some political viewpoints are dangerous enough that the Constitution doesn't really protect them, and many lives were destroyed - not so much by the allegations as by the soft ethical code most Americans live by, where who you are justifies what happens to you. It's the same idea that allows people to believe that being shot to death is just desserts for fucking around with a cop.
I guarantee that had a 9/11-scale terrorist attack happened in 1971, back when the news media was at its height of respectability and its ability to freely call a spade a spade, and that Islamic fundamentalist Arabs were responsible for it, that a 1984 poll about torture would still find statistically significant support for torture. We didn't just lose our moral footing because of government and media doublespeak.
Why not? Do you really think people's moral reasoning is different from all their other kinds of reasoning?
"So tell me, do you really think Americans had a lot of qualms with torture before "24" and the Bush administration's euphemisms?"
They had more. I've only had 4 decades on this earth and I know they liked to show the cops slapping suspects around in the old cop shows. I know these ideas aren't new. But I also know things really have changed. The idea that our government would hold people in black sites and torture them endlessly would not have flown with half the public in 1980.
As to you second point: There was a peep, much more than a peep in fact. Of course we had the excuse of it not being us that was doing it. It was (supposedly) either our guys or the communists, and given that the communists were usually authentically terrible... What could we do? (except stay out of it, which we weren't allowed to think of as an option because of flood of anti-communist propaganda.)
Propaganda works. I don't see how you can deny it.
Propaganda works on things like convincing us that a bunch of nomads with no arms can bring down our country. It cannot convince people to go against their ethics. Ergo, a lot of people's sense of right and wrong is skewed.
Propaganda worked to convince the Germans (what had been the best integrated nations in Europe) that they needed to exterminate the Jews.