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Dick Cheney Is Trying To Sell You A Rock

Dick Cheney has been actively defending his administration’s policies.  He knows (I think) that those policies were soundly rejected by the American people last year, but that hasn’t stopped him from trying to convince everyone that he was right.  Maybe he’s making his case for the historians?

One of his repeated themes is that the policies were right because they were successful.  It’s a carefully-clothed argument that the ends justified the means.  Sure, people were tortured.  Sure, people were denied their day in court.  Sure, Americans were unlawfully spied on.  But it’s all ok, because he made America safe.

From Thursday’s speech:

On our watch, they never hit this country again. After the most lethal and devastating terrorist attack ever, seven and a half years without a repeat is not a record to be rebuked and scorned, much less criminalized. It is a record to be continued until the danger has passed.

Here’s the problem with his argument: it’s empty.  No proof.  How many terrorist attacks have there been by foreigners in the US before 2001?  How many have there been after 2001?  And he wants me to believe that his policies made a difference?   Wikipedia has a list of terrorist incidents to help you consider the questions.

I’m reminded of this brilliant Simpson’s dialog, which aired in 1996 (five years before we had a Homeland Security department):

Later, a full-force Bear Patrol is on watch. Homer watches proudly.

Homer: Not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol must be working like a charm.
Lisa: That’s specious reasoning, Dad.
Homer: Thank you, dear.
Lisa: By your logic I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.
Homer: Oh, how does it work?
Lisa: It doesn’t work.
Homer: Uh-huh.
Lisa: It’s just a stupid rock.
Homer: Uh-huh.
Lisa: But I don’t see any tigers around, do you?
[Homer thinks of this, then pulls out some money]
Homer: Lisa, I want to buy your rock.

Thanks, Homer, but I like bears. I don’t need your Patrol.

I’m not buying Dick Cheney’s rock, either.


Comment from Quantum Mechanic
Time: May 22, 2009, 8:11 pm

But apparently The One is buying the rock, since He is following pretty much the same policies, though He mightily tries to hide that under a heavy fog of verbiage.

Comment from nora
Time: May 23, 2009, 5:31 pm

In fairness folks, the One, that one, the guy who is our President is using principles of due process and is not operating under a veil of secrecy. He has respect for the constitution and while I may disagree with some of the things that are being contemplated, I believe that they’re looking to do them only if they comport with the rule of law.