Why Dick Cheney Doesn’t Leave the Country Much

“My view is absolutely clear: torture is wrong and shouldn’t be allowed, and people who torture should be apprehended, with the full force of law applied,” says Britain’s most senior ranking general — A Soldier’s View of Torture, Just War Principles.

One of my private hopes is that the Candidate of the Thing That Used to Be Conservatism secretly recognizes that, though torture is still hugely popular with the Base, it is stupid and counter-productive and was an aberration Bush/Cheney should never have capitulated to.  In short, my hope is that, though he talks big about reinstating torture, he’s just doing it to please the mob but doesn’t intend to really do it since it’s been demonstrated to be not just evil, but stupid as well.  And not just stupid for American intel efforts, stupid for the people who ordered it since some of them now are effectively international war criminals who might actually face personal consequences if they set foot on the wrong piece of soil.

Hard to say if my hopes are founded or not, but it remains a hope.  It’s too bad that the Thing that Used to be Conservatism (you know, the Party of Life) is super-solidly committed to Torture as a basic Christian value now, such that its candidates have zero hope of nomination if they do not offer full-throated praise of it.  But it may be that the GOP leadership, at any rate, does not share the Base’s commitment to torture, since it could land them in an international court should they make the mistake of visiting the wrong villa for summer vacation and get caught.

  • Scott W.

    I think guys who green lit torture ought to face justice, but I don’t agree that someone going to another country under the diplomatic good will of that country ought to be subject to being scooped up and put on trial. That even applies to Pinochet as bad as he was. It has a chilling effect on relations between nations and sets a deadly precedent. After all, I believe there was a call to arrest the Holy Father on his visit to England. It never seriously materialized thankfully, but had it, we certainly would have been thankful for diplomatic protocal. Or as you have often noted: The power you give Bush to crackdown on citizenry, becomes Obama’s power when he’s in office.

  • Mark S (not for Shea)

    “One of my private hopes is that the Candidate of the Thing That Used to Be Conservatism secretly recognizes that, though torture is still hugely popular with the Base, it is stupid and counter-productive and was an aberration Bush/Cheney should never have capitulated to. ”

    One can always hope, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. When it comes to values and ethics, Romney’s tactic seems to be to wet his finger and hold it up to whichever breeze will most likely get him elected.

    This election is truly disheartening. We have a President who believes so many wrong things running against a contender who doesn’t seem to really believe in anything.

    Cheney will never be prosecuted. He knows where too many bodies are buried, both literally and figuratively.

  • http://chicagoboyz.net TMLutas

    Do you want to posture or do you want to win? If you’re into posturing, you do your best imitation of an old testament prophet, get promptly ignored, and wait for the hellfire to follow. If you want to win, you stick to your principles but seek to provide a politically viable climb down. For those who do not know what that looks like, here is a sample:

    We should never forget that the movement towards rougher interrogations started because we had moved too far in the other direction. The goal is to correct that failure so that we succeed in defending the country and never have another 9/11. But our system is often a pendulum system and one that replaces one wild swing with a swing in the other direction, one that comes with its own costs and dangers to national security. It’s been over a decade since 9/11. If we, as America’s leaders, have been doing our jobs right, in 2012 we shouldn’t have to rely on expediency, shortcuts, and methods that leave some people confused if we’ve crossed the line into actual torture. These shortcuts sacrifice our public image in order to desperately cover intelligence deficits until we have recovered and returned to normal. They should not be standard operating procedure. Our normal operating procedure should leave no doubt that we do not torture and if we have not fixed our procedures to eliminate that doubt; we need to and soon. Where we find that we have gone beyond what is permissible to actual torture, we should continue in our tradition of prosecuting such acts, a tradition that spans many decades and held by both parties.

    It’s not quite as snappy as going on about “the thing that used to be conservatism” but it would let Romney cover the same ground without blowing the election.

    • Mark Shea

      Bullshit. The movement toward *torture* (“rougher interrogation” is another euphemism) happened because cowards like Dick Cheney ordered it and those under him had to comply (though the military, knowing that torture is stupid and doesn’t work and is actively counter-productive resisted successfully his attempt to change the Field Manual). Real interrogators fought this bullshit for years while party hack fought to defend the cowardly and stupid actions of this five time deferment coward and his ilk. And stupid Faithful Conservative Catholics sold their souls to defend it too. And when they got caught, they hung a few lower level goons out to dry and pretended that torture was not policy.

      I don’t give my blog as a forum for Catholics for a Free Choice. I think I’m done giving my blog as a forum for your apologetics for grave intrinsic evil too. Bye!

  • Richard Johnson

    “We should never forget that the movement towards rougher interrogations started because we had moved too far in the other direction. The goal is to correct that failure so that we succeed in defending the country and never have another 9/11. ”

    Depending on which conspiracy theory you subscribe to, it was failing to listen to people or take seriously proffered evidence that kept us from avoiding the attacks of 9/11. I have yet to hear of such a theory that “enhanced interrogation efforts” would have helped us.


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