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Dick Cheney: Beware the Messenger

May 23, 2009

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TNTalk! America. © 2009 by Leon A. Walker

It is often the one who quietly delivers warnings of betrayal who is also responsible for having planted the seeds of that betrayal. It may appear to some that Former Vice President Dick Cheney does not believe or understand his reality or the stature of his betrayal. It is my belief that he clearly knows his betrayal all too well, but that Cheney also knows that he has a much bigger problem confronting him. His mental reality compels him to openly feign concern over the nation’s safety and discontent over the alleged flawed leadership of our new President. Although Cheney must desperately continue to ply his politics, he also knows that his powers of manipulation over the American public and others around the world were exhausted long before he and George W. Bush left office.

dick cheneyThere is a very clear and simple explanation for Mr. Cheney’s actions. Perhaps Mr. Cheney is smart enough to know what many of us are beginning to suspect what he already knows. Cheney is a condemned man. He is desperate to create a diversion or perhaps even delays that will slow his inevitable walk to the figurative political gallows. He still desires to be relevant in some way while he has a shred of influence.

It was in July of 2008, having learned that the “International Red Cross”, the pre-eminent body on such matters, had ruled that the United States of America had engaged in a sanctioned program of torture, that I recognized the magnitude of the problem. It was at that time that I came to realize that the proverbial genie was out of the bottle. I came to the full realizaton that at that point that the “Court of Public Opinion” and the curious analysis in the media no longer made any difference in the reality that stands before the world. As entertaining and compelling as it may be to attempt to distribute blame along political lines, the attempt to assign blame will ultimately all be irrelevant. I quickly came to understand that there would be consequences for many. Among those that will pay are those who have been at the highest levels of our government.

waterboardThere are only three truths that Americans must confront at this point. First, the findings of the International Red Cross absolutely cannot be disputed. Second, torture took place at the hands of the United States of America breaking many international treaties and domestic laws. Third, the world will not stand by indefinitely and allow this to be ignored or mishandled for a prolonged period before bringing the matter before an international court. Mr. Cheney knows this reality and so does all of Washington.

As the typical finger pointing, accusations and political games continue surrounding this matter in Washington and compounded in the acutely biased and partisan media, few politicians seem to have grasped the full measure of their veritable helplessness. As much as they would prefer to occupy themselves with the typical pledges to hold hearings and inquiries into torture and who knew what and when, Washington collectively fails to realize that time is not on their side. America’s National Leadership at the executive, judicial and legislative levels have lost control of this very serious matter regarding their moral compass before the world.

Perhaps, given the timing of the election and the seating of this new administration, Washington never had control of the reality they face. What is worse, unless they act swiftly, justly and soon, they will only make what may be the most horrible moral and diplomatic travesty in modern American history considerably worse.

911 tragedyThis reality is not Watergate, Iran-Contra or Lewinsky. The reality may be for many in this national leadership and many of our citizens simply too shocking and ghastly to fully absorb. Recent discussions about what is and what is not torture, detainment categories, treatment of terrorists versus enemy combatants, who kept the country safe and for how long, who knew what and when, are evidence of the incapacity by many to process the magnitude and global scope of our national moral and political dilemma.

Allow me speak more clearly. It may be that the former President and former Vice President of the United States, among others, do bear responsibility for war crimes under the letter of international law. No amount of political posturing and no amount of partisan rhetoric will stop many Americans and “nations around the world” from applying continued pressure for answers and more importantly, for those responsible to be brought to justice. This is not an internal domestic embarrassment that can be watered down with politics or impeachments, truth commissions or dismissed with Presidential pardons.

Political or moral reality is rapidly slipping out of America’s control! Unless, we move swiftly to investigate, charge, bring to trial and severely punish any found responsible or guilty, the nation may find itself protecting international criminals from extradition. Even worse and more humiliating, the nation may face sending the miscreants off to spend prison sentences in foreign countries. I wonder what sort of credibility this nation would hold around the world should that happen. The best thing our Justice Department can do is to order a Special Prosecutor and do a sweeping and deep investigation. This would be the best case scenario for all concerned including those found guilty.

iraq warIt is now conceivable that after nearly three thousand Americans were killed on 9/11, the same former President and former Vice President sent another four thousand off to die in Iraq due to sheer ineptitude or the most vile and callous personal or political reasons. As twisted, shameful and diabolical as such a thought may be, if proven, even this in not at the root of the torture discussion. The precedents for responding to charges of war crimes have long ago been set along with examples of historically appropriate punishments. It saddens that we are compelled to entertain such matters in this country. It pains me to think that we have been reduced in the eyes of many around the world to something other than a proud model of fairness and democracy that has been our long legacy.

Clear your minds America. Remember these truths. We tortured. Someone ordered that torture. Those responsible must be held accountable. They are responsible for both blood, shame and for breaking the law. Mr. Cheney knows this. He dwells in the center of the national shame.

bush cheney tortureWhen you hear the politicians and media pundits groping in the dark for excuses, scapegoats and dealing the worn and faded fear card, keep your eye on the ball and do not be distracted from the facts. When former Vice President Cheney speaks, remember this truth. Beware the Messenger.

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