Dick Cheney: A Terrorist Attack Will Vindicate Me

Dick Cheney is a bitter man these days. He hasn’t gotten the recognition he thinks he deserves for his pro-torture and pro-warrantless spying on 300 million Americans policies, as well as for his strong, principled opposition to habeus corpus, the Fourth Amendment, and the dangerous notion that the executive branch does not have the right to break or ignore any law it finds inconvenient or undesirable.

And to top it all off, George refused to pardon Dick’s old friend Scooter Libby! Jeez, you work with a guy for eight years and you think you know him — and then he picks the very last moment of your time together to stand up to you!

Well, he laughs best who laughs last, right? And Cheney’s got a plan. It involves enlisting the help of sympathetic media outlets to predict a catastrophic terrorist attack inside the United States as a result of Pres. Obama jettisoning all those nifty tools that he, Cheney, came up with to prevent another major attack. It’s because he was “tough, mean, dirty, and nasty” enough to torture dangerousviolent, ruthless, evil terrorists, that there hasn’t been another 9/11-type attack in the United States since– well, since 9/11.

From the ass’s mouth:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney warned that there is a “high probability” that terrorists will attempt a catastrophic nuclear or biological attack in coming years, and said he fears the Obama administration’s policies will make it more likely the attempt will succeed.

In an interview Tuesday with Politico, Cheney unyieldingly defended the Bush administration’s support for the Guantanamo Bay prison and coercive interrogation of terrorism suspects.

And he asserted that President Obama will either backtrack on his stated intentions to end those policies or put the country at risk in ways more severe than most Americans — and, he charged, many members of Obama’s own team — understand.

“When we get people who are more concerned about reading the rights to an Al Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to kill Americans, then I worry,” Cheney said.

Obviously, Cheney’s motives are completely self-serving. He didn’t care about damaging the Republican Party’s political prospects while he was vice-president, and I doubt that’s changed now. But the far right is convinced that this strategy — predicting another terrorist attack and then blaming Obama if it happens because he refuses to torture people or imprison them forever without charges or trial — is perfect to get Republicans back into power.

The tables have now turned. The idea that Cheney wishes to be vindicated by a terrorist attack is absurd, but this is the paranoid idea now spreading across the left. Cheney says in the interview, “When we get people who are more concerned about reading the rights to an Al Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to kill Americans, then I worry.” If Obama and the left are correct that the Bush administration accepted a false choice between principle and security, then they have nothing to worry about. But if they are wrong, and there is a terrorist attack, this will be the narrative on the right, and it is a narrative that I have absolutely no doubt will return the Republican party to power. …

What it isn’t, is a new narrative. This is the same narrative that the Republican Party has relied on since September 11, 2001, to gain public support for indefensible policies and to discredit or silence dissenting views. And, as Glenn Greenwald pointed out on Rachel Maddow tonight, it’s the same narrative that various administrations have used repeatedly to justify policies that no one would support unless persuaded to believe that their lives depended on supporting them — the internment of Japanese-Americans and the Communist witch hunts in the late 1940s and early 1950s are two that come to mind.

Americans threw the Republicans out of the White Office because they were worn out and disgusted by eight years of incompetent governance — but that doesn’t mean fear-mongering will not work anymore. It will, and it does. If Republicans did not have good reason to believe that appealing to existential fear is still a winning strategy, they would not use it. Which is why we’ve all got our work cut out for us.

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