Sunday, January 04, 2009

What we did was modest by those comparisons

This morning, Dick Cheney continued the Legacy of So What tour with an interview on Face the Nation.

He said that Israel did not ask for permission before attacking Gaza. And he told us that “it’s important to remember who the enemy is here. The enemy is not the Palestinians, from the perspective of the Israelis; it’s Hamas.” So that’s okay, then.

Like other Bushies, he is against a ceasefire in Gaza unless it’s “sustainable” and permanent.

He says that Iraq is better off today than it was before the invasion.

He says of George Bush, “Now you look back on it, he clearly was into self-deception in a major way.” Oh, all right, he said it about Saddam Hussein.

Did we invade Iraq with too few troops? “Well, we could debate that forever, and we may well.” Then he said that more troops probably wouldn’t have helped, but that it was the surge that accomplished all our goals. Huh?

He still claims that congressional leadership approved of warrantless wiretaps and that the letter Jay Rockefeller wrote disapproving of them “was a bit of a CYA letter”.

Asked the Frost/Nixon question again, this time he says, “I can’t say that anything he does is legal.” But he can suggest that it’s irrelevant whether it’s legal or not: he again justified the Bush admin actions by bringing up Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus. When Bob Schieffer pointed out that nobody thinks that was actually, you know, legal, Cheney responded, “Well, no. Well, it certainly was, in the sense he wasn’t impeached.” So it’s not that anything the president does is legal, it’s that anything he isn’t impeached for is legal. Also, “history” says that suspending habeas was a good thing.

He also again compared Bush admin actions to the internment of Japanese-Americans by FDR. It’s hard to know why he thinks that’s a winning argument. He even admits that “Most people now look back and say that was wrong.” Schieffer didn’t think to ask if Cheney thinks that was wrong, and I’d really be interested in the answer to that one.

But here is evidently Cheney’s point in bringing up the internment: “But what we did was modest by those comparisons.” Yes, and you didn’t kill the first born in Afghanistan or bring every Iraqi to America in chains to sell them into slavery. What’s your point?

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