In the Arena

Please Go Away

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Let’s leave aside the fact that if Dick Cheney and his alleged boss had been more vigilant–if they had listened to the Clinton appointees like Sandy Berger who warned about Al Qaeda, if they had paid attention to their own intelligence reports (notably the one on August 6, 2001)–the September 11 attacks might never have happened. Actually, I can’t leave that aside…but in any case, it is sleazy in the extreme for Cheney to predict another terrorist attack. For several reasons:

1. Some sort of terrorist attack is likely, eventually, no matter who is President.

2. Cheney has done here what the Bush Administration did throughout: he has politicized terror. If another attack happens, it’s Obama’s fault. Disgraceful… and ungrateful, since it’s only Obama’s mercy that stands between Cheney and a really serious war crimes investigation. Which leads to…

3. The means that Cheney has supported to combat terror in the past, especially “enhanced” interogation techniques, are quite probably illegal. He is criticizing the Obama administration for not being willing to defy international law.

4. Cheney’s track record of mismanagement in Iraq and Afghanistan–his sponsorship of Donald Rumsfeld, the worst Secretary of Defense in US history– disqualifies him from having any credible say on the security policies of his successor.

This is a man who should either be (a) scorned or (b) ignored.