Speaking of Terror

Friday, May 22, 2009


This week former Vice President Dick Cheney and President Barack Obama went head to head, toe to toe, and back to back. It was the ultimate battle, at least in the coverage. PEJ's Mark Jurkowitz explains why the media love a showdown like this one.

Comments [10]

Ed Nelson from Orland Park, Illinois

The ex-VP's remarks were indeed "factual" in that they were presented as fact. But true? Of course not. That he presented them as fact is reminiscent of a previous GOP exec and the remark that, "If the President does it, it's legal -- right?" That's the imperial executive talking. And the danger to the nation is that there are those among us who accept such outlandish balderedash. The sale of such an attitude is destructive to the nation, founded on the revolutionary thought that we the people could govern ourswelves. ---ed

Jul. 11 2009 02:47 AM
keen from Kalamazoo, MI

I agree that "folks like Cheney,Rummy,Addington,Yoo,Rice a.nd Bush et al as war criminals for torture and murder" should go to court as SH did. Take along Rove too.

Jun. 11 2009 01:16 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

If this was a Howl of the Wolf News, a radio theater program I worked on at Yale radio in the late '70s and early '80s, we'd've long ago had Cheney in for a little boarding about all this but, of course, he would only have given us the answers for which he thought we were hoping!

May. 28 2009 08:24 PM

Yeah Harvin!

... and all because none of these motards can put a brilliant, but also puny and lucky attack by 16 dumbasses into measured perspective.
Thanks to the motards, 16 idiots have managed to commit the U.S. to another cold war, despite the lack of a genuine foe other than a relative handful of thugs (of which there will always be enough to cause trouble).
So now we're out a few trillion bucks for no good reason other than Cheney's jollies, if one's includes all direct and peripheral costs (not to mention all the spilled blood).

May. 23 2009 08:01 PM
HARVIN from Los Angeles

Look at the big picture,all you forever trusting patriotic serfs.America lost it's war on terror a millisecond after the towers' collapse,choreographed like the June Taylor dancers.What has changed in the home of the brave since that lovely clear morning?
Take stock.For a moment try to remember what America was like before 9-11.
Does anyone in the US of Amnesia remember when we still had habeus corpus?
Does anyone remember when there was no GITMO?
Or 'extraordinary rendition' ?
Or machine gun toting, helmeted and armored troops patrolling the filthy ruined streets of Washington DC, warning tourists like myself to stop taking photos of the landmarks(the Justic Dept. has some interesting carved doors I photographed from the sidewalk before being threatened by a ninja soldier with arrest).
Does anyone remember gettting on a plane without having to undress?
Or sending a child to school without worrying he might be cavity searched and drug tested?
Does anyone in freedom's land, the most violent, lawless nation on earth remember when the Constitution mattered?
Can anyone recall that a few years ago we hung folks like Cheney,Rummy,Addington,Yoo,Rice and Bush et al as war criminals for torture and murder?
Of course not.What a silly question.
PT Obarnum may blossom into the most evil flower since Stalin...or Bush.
I almost pity the millions of pathetic,desperate hopers and changers out there who thought their newly elected President a juggler, tap dancer and liar was going to be any different than Bush...or Stalin.

May. 23 2009 02:06 PM
David R from Lawrenceville, NJ

Mart, you mention the very issue that is in play - how do we know if Chaney's assertions are factual. We should start with him, because unfortunately, none of the President's assertions about Gitmo or enchanced techniques (closing it will make us safer; we can get the info through other means etc) are verifiable. But Chaney's statements that these things DID work are.

The great thing is, the President can do one thing to get both this and another monkey off his back, and kill two birds at once! He can shut Chaney up, and he can end the standoff in his own party between Nancy Pelosi and Leon Panetta. His administration can't tolerate an ongoing clash between two such high-ranking officials, especially when their disagreement stems not from issues of policy but from matters of veracity and credibility.

So all the transparencey president has to do is release the documents that Cheney asked to have released, and the record of Pelosi's meetings. He can declassify those, and then we can all move on to healthcare...

So why won't he? It's a no-brainer.

May. 23 2009 12:13 PM
Matt W. from Arlington, Virginia

I read the memos that were released side by side with his speech. The interrogation techniques were legal, essential, and justified.
He didn't assert a link between the attacks. He asserted a link between the security implications of Saddam Hussein's behavior and the implications of 9/11.
If you are going to take someone's word for it, then you should actually look at the words, instead of taking the anti-Bush Administration House Organ, i mean OTM's word for it.

May. 23 2009 11:19 AM
Mart Moore

Matt W.:

How do you know that Cheney's statement was "factual?" Since so much is classified, none of us has any evidence that the torture was successful. Whether it was legal, essential, or justified is completely open to dispute. You're simply taking Cheney's word for it. Many Americans took him at his word in late 2002, when he asserted that there was a link between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 attacks, and that Iraq had WMDs. Why should we believe him now?

May. 23 2009 07:27 AM
Matt W. from Arlington, Virginia

How can OTM do a five and a half minute story on this "Clash of the Titans" without even reading or listening to the former Vice President's speech? Vice President Cheney said that "he interrogations were used on hardened terrorists after other efforts failed. They were legal, essential, justified, successful, and the right thing to do." Suggestions that do not deal with this factual statement cannot be news coverage or even intellectually honest or even credible commentary.

May. 22 2009 10:10 PM

What gall !!!

How can Republicans fuss endlessly about immigration and securing our "open" borders, and in the same breath claim that Cheney/Bush made America safe from terrorism?!!!!

Are we safe when the borders are as porous as ever; port inspections still inspect only a small fraction of transported goods; thousands of years of experienced talent was ousted from government service because their ideology didn't mesh perfectly with Cheney/Bush; etc, etc...

Does Cheney really expect anyone to believe that banning nail clippers from airplane luggage kept us safe from terrorism?


Terrorists don't need to risk another attack on U.S. soil... they can plainly see that Cheney's fear-mongering has continually done plenty to destroy America:
it hurts our economic strength by making us excessively cautious; makes us spend interminably on militarism; harms our relations with trading partners; affects the price of oil; polarizes American politics; etc, etc...

All the world was with the U.S. after 9/11, but Cheney/Bush policies eroded our world support and markedly shifted world sympathy bit by bit towards the Islamic world, benefiting any real terrorists who may happen to reside there.

Why would Al Qaeda risk shifting world sympathy back to the U.S. when an attack by 16 guys with box-cutters is still working such amazing magic and effectively continuing to bring America to its knees eight years on(thus also taking a toll on the entire Developed world)?


May. 22 2009 09:40 PM

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