Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dick Cheney should stay in his bunker


Former Vice President Dick Cheney appears on CNN's "State of the Union" in Washington. As vice president, Dick Cheney was almost permanently in what the Secret Service might call a "secure, undisclosed location."

Few public appearances or press interviews outside ultra-conservative cocoons like the Heritage Foundation, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News or maybe a military base.

He could have set up shop in Maxwell Smart's "cone of silence."

That was the old Cheney. The new Cheney is almost too much with us, firing off broadsides at President Obama's health care initiative or, more lately, at Attorney Gen. Eric Holder's appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate possible crimes in the interrogation of terrorist suspects.

On reflection, we like the old Cheney better.

He hasn't added much more misinformation to the health care debate than the "town meetings" already have produced. But he's added more than his share of claptrap to the debate over the interrogation probe.

His three most prominent claims are that it was torture and threats that produced credible information about terrorist plots; that the charges Holder's special prosecutor will look into were reviewed in 2004 and cleared by the Bush Justice department; and that Obama himself promised there'd be no such re-examination.

None of that is quite as Cheney would have us believe.


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