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June 25, 2007

Cheney the Monster - Part 2

I'm so filled with horror I doubt I'm going to be able to sleep tonight. In fact, knowing what I know now, I may never sleep again. And once you read the second part of the Washington Post's expose on Dick Cheney, you won't ever sleep again either -- that is, providing you have a working brain, a beating heart and a conscience. You will not believe it is possible to live through the nightmare that Cheney has inflicted upon this nation.


It's not enough for this sick bastard to wield power like a lasso around the necks of any and all who cross him. He has to make sure human beings are chopped up and ground down into submission. He really doesn't give a damn about you, me or anyone else who may have the misfortune of crossing his bloody, beaten path. We're simply expendable units of flesh and bone and gristle, you and I. Our status as "American citizens" is but a nagging, niggling, inconvenient little factoid to him. And God forbid a non-American should fall between his crosshairs. They're just easier game. He'll take any and all on the way to his own personal feast of souls.

Torture? What's that? No such thing. "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques", my friends, may extra-legally be inflicted at Abu Graib and Guantanamo Bay, at so-called "black sites" around the world in places like Syria, Uzbekistan and Romania -- you know, where our best friends the tyrants of torture rule -- or right here at home. South Carolina, where American Jose Padilla has been tortured for five years, is known as a good spot. The locales are really quite inconsequential to Mr. Cheney. The tactics are, however, of great interest. He's really not unlike the serial rapist who studies ahead of time in order to perfectly plan the nature and timing of his sadistic punishments. Cheney seems to be especially fond of methods that are meant not only to inflict unimaginable physical pain, but to de-humanize the victim as well. Ultimately, he prefers a smorgasbord of methods, like the ones used on Australian David Hicks -- "beatings, sodomy with a foreign object, sensory deprivation, disorienting drugs and prolonged shackling in painful positions" -- because he knows that combination is guaranteed to get the most for his efforts: a guilty plea and a promise not to tell. And really, after being subjected to all of that, would you be in any kind of physical or mental shape to talk? Not likely. And that's just what he's banking on, because he certainly can't rule as the King of the Dark Side if people are always tattling on him. Much better to render humans as silent and inanimate as rocks.

Everything is expendable in Dick Cheney's sordid and very, very secret world -- human beings, the rule of law, the Constitution, the Congress, the Supreme Court, the International War Crimes Tribunal and even his puppet, George W. Bush. We're all just annoyances. We're bugs meant to be stuck through with pins and mounted, like trophies, on cardboard under a glass case. The thing that leaves me wondering, though, is this: what happens when the glass case is full of dead and dying specimens, and the world outside it is an empty void, because there is simply no more game left to hunt? What then, Monster? What will you do then?

Posted by shoephone on June 25, 2007 at 01:23 AM in National and International Politics | Permalink



Thank you for covering this and for your outrage.

This is not only monstrousness - but a naked power grab which, along with others by the executive branch, has us in a state of coup. We are seeing, essentially, an overthrow of our democratic government from the highest level.

I think of Gonzalez visiting Attorney General Ashcroft's hospital room and trying to get him, while he was sedated, to sign off on illegal warrantless wiretapping by the executive branch -- a policy Rumsfeld opposed. I think of the recent revelation that Cheney exempted the Office of the Vice President from the government-wide system that safeguards classified national security information -- on the basis of his assertion that the VP is not part of the executive branch.

These are just three little things, eh? Oh, gosh -- I pray that the legislature is waking up. Please, please, please wake up. We are not in a business-as-normal mode here. We are in a completely different world. We are seeing treasonous behavior here -- as well as monstrousness.

Posted by: Noemie Maxwell | Jun 25, 2007 3:43:24 PM

"We are seeing, essentially, an overthrow of our democratic government from the highest level."

Noemie - you're right. It IS a coup, and it's unbelievable to me that we are actually living through this. I think more than a few in Congress have woken up to the reality of what Cheney has wrought, but the question is whether they have the courage to do the right thing. I know that investigations need to take place in order to build the case for impeachment - that's the way it works. But I pray that Waxman and Leahy will tighten the screws even more. There has to be accountability when subpeonas are ignored. There needs to be a very heavy punishment.

I would have to imagine that Congress members must feel as overwhelmed as we the citizens do, with the never-ending, daily onslaught of the revelation of more crimes. It's truly mindboggling. Cheney has put this nation in harm's way, and I say he must be impeached.

Posted by: shoephone | Jun 25, 2007 6:38:37 PM

And the Democrats act like Cheney has a big blackmail file on each and every one of them. Sickening.

Posted by: op99 | Jun 25, 2007 9:14:42 PM

Yep Shoey.

"And really, after being subjected to all of that, would you be in any kind of physical or mental shape to talk? Not likely."

This is one of the things that makes me the saddest and most depressed. Early on, there was at least enough shame and decency that all of the lawyers involved in this depravity acknowledged that after these things were done - you could never really try someone in any kind of "real" court. That was why they scrambled a bit over what to do.

But the truth is that the right wing noise machine and the complete lack of any reaction - even a blink - by the DOJ to the torture, has created something very ugly and horrible in the heart of our justice system. Because now, we are trying these people who are government has tortured and with loyal Bushies prosecuting and on the bench, or even just those who view their role as automatons as opposed to loyal Bushies, we have effectively and irrevocably brought torture into our courtrooms.

Lindh's plea agreement came after decisions by the Judge to allow his tortured statements and included a gag order to keep him from talking about his torture. Routinely, those who are released from our "detention sites" have to sign off that they were not tortured in order to secure their release. What do you do? Say you were and stay for more? But those sign offs are being treated as evidentiary.

Padilla's arrest warrant was issued based on the tortured statements of two men - so a court used torture to issue legal process. Did the court know at the time - no, because everything is "secret." But once the court did know that the statements were from torture - there's that difficulty in proving the torture, when the victims continue to be blackholed. And beside, there just isn't any level of giving a damn anymore. So what if the arrest was based solely on torturing two guys? We now approve of those kinds of warrants - our DOJ trots out dutifully to swear out applications and get them and our courts say: okayfine.

Padillas mental state after years of isolation, deprivation and depravation? Not a reason he can't be tried. Ditto for all of them. Stamp it secret, gag the victims from talking about it, or just ignore it - - torture is now in our courtrooms to stay. What was originally even something that made the loyal Bushies flinch- that torture would end up in the courts - ended up a fait accompli without even a ripple. As a society and as a justice system, we now have demonstrably less qualms about torture than John Yoo.

How's that for a thought to keep you up at night?

Posted by: Mary | Jun 26, 2007 6:52:36 PM

Mary - it's hideously surreal. I often try to conjure up the moment when the policy really changed, because we all know it happened before Cheney and Addington and Yoo actually drafted the torture memo -- since they only drafted it in order to set the stage for the MCA, which conveniently immunizes them against war crimes prosecution! So the crimes were already taking place. Did Cheney take it straight to Rumsfeld? Abu Graib did NOT happen without his knowledge and his sanction. If the CIA was so deeply involved, what about Tenet's role? It all gives new meaning to the words "slam dunk."

So Rice and Powell were left out of the loop and according to the article, when Rice found out she took Gonzales to the mat -- well, bully for her, but she backed off at confronting Cheney and that's the only confrontation that would have made a damned bit of difference. Powell, as usual, is the most disappointing piece of this sordid situation. The "good soldier" totally failed us by capitulating on the one area of policy where he could have made a difference. As Sec of State it was his responsibility to protect Geneva, and yet...and yet... and yet...

We really have become live evil, and not just because the rest of the world thinks so.

Posted by: shoephone | Jun 26, 2007 8:34:40 PM

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