Friday, May 22, 2009

Everybody Duck

"When they see the American government caught up in arguments about interrogations, the terrorists see just what they were hoping for — our unity gone, our resolve shaken, our leaders distracted. In short, they see weakness and opportunity." — Dick Cheney, 05/21/2009

"The weakness the terrorists see, Sir, is the weakness of judgment suspended, in favor of self-fulfilling prophecy. The weakness the terrorists see, Sir, is the weakness of moral force supplanted by violence and revenge fantasies. The weakness the terrorists see, Sir, is the weakness... of Dick Cheney." — Keith Olbermann, 05/21/2009
I'm still trying to get my head around Cheney's paradoxical double-flip of criticizing dissent and appealing to the terrorists all in the same gasp. I realize that ingrained deep in the Republican psyche is the stabbed-in-the-back philosophy. Failure in war is always the fault of domestic enemies and treachery in high places. Always blame the dissenters and hippies! Except now, Cheney is the dissenter... Does he even realize that?

I don't want to take away his right to disagree or anybody's right to disagree. But does he get it that he's not the one in charge now? Most of us voted for Barack Obama (he won the election, you know).

And Cheney is engaging in another old game of extreme fear-mongering (plus exaggerations and misstatements). If we don't agree with him, we're all going to die. He must have mentioned 9/11 every 30 seconds in his speech last night. Republicans can't get any blunter than that, or can they?

(YouTube video)

Why is the GOP remixing the 1964 "Daisy" ad? The main offense is that they took White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs completely out of context, but at least they were smart enough to leave out the H-Bomb of the original ad. The message is the same though: the future of America is in immediate danger. In 1964, the perceived threat was Barry Goldwater. In 2009, the perceived threat is closing the Guantanamo Bay Prison.

But I thought we had already tortured this topic. Our world-class prison industrial complex can safely hold these alleged terrorists. Supermax prisoners spend up to 23 hours a day in solitary confinement -- unable to communicate, unable to plot, and unable to escape!

Glenn Greenwald lists the convicted Muslim Terrorists already imprisoned inside the US, and he refutes another popular scare tactic. If there really were sleeper terrorist cells waiting to liberate their imprisoned comrades, then they've already had a long list of potential "target" prisons for 20 years now.

But let's not forget why the Guantanamo Bay Prison was opened in the first place. The location was ostensibly selected for its security. But let's get real. The location was really selected for its legal ambiguity. However, the Supreme Court ruled that Guantanamo detainees do indeed have habeas corpus rights.

So Dick Cheney and the RNC are scared. They're scared of something, but I'm not convinced it's the terrorists. I think their biggest fear is that nothing bad will happen, and then their ideologies, their policies, and their wars will lose even more credibility.

The world hasn't gone completely mad yet. Two top Bush-era officials, Robert Gates and Tom Ridge, say the country's national security is not in jeopardy. And at least one American town realizes that taking Guantanamo prisoners could be good for their economy.

Right now I wish Dick Cheney would take a nice long vacation. I hear Spain is lovely.

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