Theres a long-standing tradition in the U.S. surrounding a change in administration. Typically, the former president simply fades away. If hes public service minded, he occupies his time with large scale charities (ala Jimmy Carter), relief efforts (ala George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton) and occasional foreign relations issues (ala Bill Clintons recent trip to N. Korea). And with rare exceptions (Al Gore), the former vice-president simply fades into obscurity. Whens the last time you heard anything about Dan Quayle?
How I wish that were the case with Richard (the Dick) Cheney!
Instead, the former vice-president and his daughter regularly deem it necessary to come out of their badger dens to eviscerate any who have dared to examine the former administrations failings, of which there were many.
Its bad enough to read accounts of Cheneys torture programs from the past 8 years. But its darn near unbearable to listen to Cheneys tortured logic in his attempts to justify it. Even if the program did yield information that couldnt have been gathered any other way (and, despite Cheneys insistence, its uncertain that it did), it was patently illegal and immoral for torture to have been authorized.
However, the fact that Cheney would encourage and authorize such a program should have come as no surprise to anyone. His hunting accident was indication enough of the Dicks moral and ethical standards. Im not referring to the fact that he mistook a friends face for a bird, or that he waited hours to inform authorities (probably until he sobered up). What was most revealing about the incident was the reality that he was hunting for captive birds that had been raised to become fodder for fat cats too lazy and too impatient to hunt in the wild. Indeed, the game farm had provided Cheney and his friend with a menu of available birds, along with a hunting dog to flush them out of the areas where game farm employees hid them moments earlier.
How on Earth can it be considered sport to kill creatures in such circumstances? Thats no more hunting than ordering chicken from the menu in a restaurant. And its an indication of someone almost totally devoid of character.
I believe that Attorney General Holder was correct to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Dicks torture program. But I think the investigation is much too limited in scope. In my opinion, President Obama should live up to his campaign pledge that he will ask his Attorney General to examine the legality of every Bush administration directive. And, if I were president, I would subject Cheney to the same interrogation methods he so gleefully defends.
But since Im not president, all I can hope for is that the Dick and Liz will decide to go hunting together. May the best shot win.