Dick Cheney is not a nice guy. But that doesn't necessarily preclude him from being an inadequate leader. The list of mean S.O.B.'s who were also stellar leaders is long and distinguished.
Unfortunately for Cheney - and the rest of the world - not only was he a notoriously cantankorous person, but he was also a train wreck of a two-term vice-president, influencing perhaps the most horribly calamitous series of policy initiatives of the past 50 years.
Exactly how much influence he had in the Bush Administration is debatable, though it's his most recent comments that lead me to think that Grandpa Angry had more sway than he should have. From The New York Times:
President Obama's decision to allow the Justice Department to investigate and possibly prosecute CIA personnel, and his decision to remove authority for interrogation from the CIA to the White House, serves as a reminder, if any were needed, of why so many Americans have doubts about this Administration's ability to be responsible for our nation's security," Cheney said.
Same ol' Dick, going with the Democrats are Sissy-Marys smokescreen, though I hear that still plays well in Abilene. Look, it's real sweet that Cheney claims he's still out to save us all from a concept (terrorism), but I'm not buying it. The guy's out to protect his own ass.
In Mr. Cheney's view, it is not just those who followed orders and stuck to the interrogation rules set down by President George Bush's Justice Department who should be sheltered from accountability. He said he also had no problem with those who disobeyed their orders and exceeded the guidelines.It's easy to understand Mr. Cheney's aversion to the investigation that Attorney General Eric Holder ordered last week. On Fox, Mr. Cheney said it was hard to imagine it stopping with the interrogators. He's right.
Here's the thing with Dick Cheney: He must have that climactic scene from A Few Good Men on a loop, in which Col. Jessep, played by Jack Nicholson, justifies his horrific misdeeds by ranting to the court that he exists to do the dirty work for which the rest of us have no skill, stomach, or will. Tragically for all of us, Cheney views himself in much the same way as the fictitious Jessup.
Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Whose gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall.
Thank God Cheney's no longer on that wall.