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May 11th, 2009
07:30 PM ET

Is Dick Cheney emboldening the enemy?

David Gewirtz | BIO
Editor-in-Chief, ZATZ Publishing

I am seriously concerned that our former Vice President may have gone off his meds.

During the post-9/11 years of the Bush administration, whenever anyone in the media or the loyal opposition spoke out against the administration's policies, that person was immediately accused of emboldening the enemy.

The theory was that if Al Qaeda, or the Iraqis, or the Iranians knew that there was some disagreement among Americans, they'd feel safe in attacking us - perhaps even fighting us over here, instead of fighting us over there.

Hiding out in his secret, undisclosed lair for nearly the entire duration, Vice President Cheney ran the country with an iron fist. Our enemies knew that if they attacked us, he'd put on his Darth Vader hat, and hunt them all down single-handedly.

When anyone in America voiced opposition to the Cheney/Bush policies, retribution (or at least accusation) was swift. The opposition voice was accused of emboldening the enemy, and even of possible treasonous activities. Had someone ranted then, like Dick Cheney is whining and complaining about the Obama administration now, Mr. Cheney would have lost his mind.

We really don't know what went on with Mr. Cheney while he was in his various undisclosed locations, but one imagines each one must have had, at the very least, a shooting range where he could keep his marksmanship up to par. One also imagines that his secret service protectors were some very, very jumpy dudes.

But when the Bush administration left office, Cheney no longer had all the might of the U.S. government within the palm of his black-gloved hand.

Now, Mr. Cheney is apparently lair-less. If he can't oversee torture and mayhem, at least he can be out and about, keeping busy bad-mouthing the new president. He scowls and growls, he snipes about the current administration's policies, and his regular television appearances remind us all why he makes such great theater.

Then you have to ask, "What are the boundaries of Mr. Cheney's patriotism?" Could he possibly be putting what he thinks are the interests of the Republican party first, before the health, safety, and well-being of America as a whole?

What makes me really worry about whether Dick's got his meds mixed right is what he's saying about Rush Limbaugh and Colin Powell. According to Mr. Cheney, Rush is better for the Republicans than Colin Powell.

There's no doubt in anyone's mind that Rush Limbaugh is vastly more entertaining that Colin Powell. Mr. Powell rarely makes an outrageous, hateful, or unreservedly full-goose bozo statement and Mr. Limbaugh's got a million of 'em.

Look, I'm not trying to be partisan here. I voted for Ronald Reagan. Twice. And I think America truly needs the Republican party. There needs to be loyal opposition and the Dems (with the possible exception of President Obama himself) certainly haven't shown they've got the stones to take on our own fancy-pants bankers, let alone evil-doing terrorists.

But to be taken seriously, the Republicans can't have total nutballs as their standard bearers. For all his faults (you know, decorated military hero and all that), Colin Powell might well be a better (if less amusing) voice for the Republicans than Mr. Limbaugh.

And Dick knows that. He's just still sore that Powell sided with Obama and not McCain in the last election. Mr. Cheney also can't forgive the former Secretary of State for disagreeing with him over America's foreign policy.

But since America needs the Republican party, we need the Republican party to be at least marginally sane. If every time we see a Republican and he's spitting and swearing and got drool running down his red face, we're going to think Republicans are more like the crazy old uncle we all have than the thoughtful leaders of a nation we all need.

When it comes to our crazy old uncles, we're not sure we want to let them go out in public, never mind run a country. Hmmm...maybe that's Mr. Cheney legacy. Now that we've let our Dick hang out in public, maybe he's simply going for the crazy old uncle vote.

Or maybe he's just off his meds. Again.

Editor’s note: David Gewirtz is Editor-in-Chief, ZATZ Magazines, including OutlookPower Magazine. He is a leading Presidential scholar specializing in White House email. He is a member of FBI InfraGard, the Cyberterrorism Advisor for the International Association for Counterterrorism & Security Professionals, a columnist for The Journal of Counterterrorism and Homeland Security, and has been a guest commentator for the Nieman Watchdog of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. He is a faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley extension, a recipient of the Sigma Xi Research Award in Engineering and was a candidate for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Letters.

Follow David on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/DavidGewirtz.


Filed under: 360° Radar • David Gewirtz • Dick Cheney
soundoff (178 Responses)
  1. Harold W. Jones

    Whether Dick Cheney is right or wrong about torture being an effective interrogation tool and how many lives it saved is debatable. What's not debatable is the fact that tens of thousands of American men and women have been wounded and killed as a result of the lies by Cheney and the Bush administration promoting the war in Iraq. These people have clearly CAUSED a lot more loss of life than than they saved by whatever means they used.

    May 12, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  2. earle,florida

    How in the world can he embolden the enemy,unless of course it's the democrate party? Mr. Cheney's xenopobia delusional republican party is shrouded ironically by a self-inflicted annointed aristocracy! Your highness (Tricky-Dick Sequel #2) has over-exposed his demonic atrophy for his adversarial nemesis,known as the "Democratic Party"! Mr. Cheney's psyche is on a journey of futility,shackled to a destructive venture brought on by the aromatic stinch of un-apologetic hubris. His pathetic tale is somewhat analogous to a "Pyrrhic Victory",that has a beaten man throwing a match into a blazing forest fire,hopelessly trying to flame the base. Unfortunately he recruits only the unrealistic,and hard-core believers to follow him into the carnage of ashes! The plurality of the well-connected,and well-to-do have abandoned the smoldering mind of a man that thought it was his world to command!

    May 12, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  3. CdnViewer

    I feel that Cheney has run his course, but for some reason he does not shut up. If he really cared about his GOP party, he would give opportunities for younger, brighter Republicans to take a stand and re-define what it means to be a Republican, instead he blabbers on about how the currentt US administration sucks.

    I actually respect George Bush's present silence. I'm sure he could take Cheney's low road and talk crap about Obama et al, but he has enough respect to give them thier time and space.

    Where are the REAL Republicans at? The smart, intellectuals, the future of the party? Cause obviously it isn't Mr. Cheney.

    May 12, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  4. dan, texas

    JIM S CALIFORNIA...

    You can't be serious...lay off the "FOXX NEWS". By the way, we were attacked while Bush was in office and he literally $$$t on himself while it was happening because he didn't know what to do..and the other coward Dick cheney was in his bunker. I'm a Vietnam veteran(purple heart) and it never seems to amaze me how people who have never been in war always want war and talk tough about it...but I doubt if you ever picked up anything but a hunting rifle and wore your flagpin ......but you are so patriotic ..right?

    May 12, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  5. Ashley

    Jim S, in California: Wasn't it the BUSH Administration that failed America? And Obama wants to ruin the country? GET REAL. He is fixing the mess that the Bush Administration left. And, didn't a terrorist attack happen under that same Administration? Because i recall that it did. They knew people were being trained to fly planes into buildings, Thay didn't do a damn thing.

    Can't the members of the Bush Administration crawl into a hole until the job is fixed? And KEEP OUT.

    And stop using the middle name "Hussein" as a way to justify that he is a bad person.

    May 12, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  6. Tina, MN

    Cheney is choking on sour grapes. He should rethink his aim because its way off.

    Cheney, quit acting like a bitter, sore looser.
    Your reign is over and you're no longer pulling the strings. The brainwashing has failed to subdue the masses.

    Cheney should by tried for war crimes.

    May 12, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  7. Ben Ogbolu

    Well, Dick Cheney has been wrong from day one of that diastrous 8 year goverment. What policies where right? If so, why hasn't G. W. Bush defended his record? Neither had his dad or mum Babara come out to aid their son. Jeb has taken a different view, with the aim to reconstitute the GOP base, if there's anything to look forward to.

    Cheney, in the days of McCain's campaign made no attempt to show any relief on offer from the GOP. In the entire 8 years, he killed the relationship with US allies, turned America to be hated by their friends and while on that that lost hold of the economy. In further details, no one heard anything from him during Katrina, he showed no concern for the plight of the American people nor for the safety of soldiers or the economy.

    So, leave the current Commander in Chief to do his job, rebuild the economy and the much needed relationship with the world. If he is still bitter, he has nothing else to do, but keep shut and run in 2012. That's if he would have a reason to contest.

    May 12, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  8. Jerry

    I am convinced that Dick Cheney is right, honnest and courageous.
    We need more people like him to join the silent minorty of today.

    May 12, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  9. norma

    dick cheney, go jump off a bridge, go play in traffic in Time Square ....in other words, please go climb under the rock you have been hiding (in your undisclosed location) for the last 5 years. We are tried of your fear tactics.We will not fall prey to your terror anymore. The world will only allow one Hilter, so get lost. By the way, where is that man you 'accidentally" shot in the face. You probably want to do the same with Colin Powell but this time you will rot in jail. We all know that man is more than likely dead and you covered it up, so you wouldn't be charged. How come we haven't heard anything about this man again? If you did this to your friend, do you really think that we wouldn't believe you would torture your enemies? In a heartbeat you would,,,,,,,afterall, I have never seen anyboby look so wicked in my life. Everytime I see Cheney I think of what Lucife/Satan looks like . Please!!!!!!!!!!!!! go away...you and Bush tricked us for 8 years.no more

    May 12, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  10. Marge I

    Kudos, Dick Cheney, for speaking your mind. Seems the MSM has a short-term memory...not only of how their trousers were scared off their butts right after 9/11...but also of other "former" presidents criticizing their predecessors or successors: aka: Jimmy (I've never met a terrorist I didn't like) Carter and hot pants Clinton.

    As far as Powel is concerned....the Republicans made him the first affirmative action SOS...he'd still be a one star colonel without them...he sold his party out for skin color and I could have bet the farm that he would do that long before "the big announcement." We prefer to call him "Colon Bowel"....mainly because he's so full of crap.

    May 12, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  11. Tim Snow

    I would like to know why the media is giving a fail Vice President
    so much time on the air ? He should be ashame to show his face
    to the public after his fail vice President. But that only show that he
    likes to be in control. He is one of the biggest reason President
    Bush leave office as a fail President.

    America is now more safe than ever. He say we kept America safe.
    America was safe because the enemy did what they set out to do
    by taking down those two towers in NYC. They didn't try any thing
    else. That is why we were safe....

    May 12, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  12. DB

    Response to Jim S from CA-
    First of all, Pres Obama has not attacked D. Cheney, it has been the other way around if you have listened to a wide range of news sources. Second, you don't think our interrogation procedures are already known by our enemies? You are obviously a person whose views are driven by fear...exactly where D. Cheney wants you.

    May 12, 2009 at 9:06 am |
  13. ziafa

    i cannot agree more . i think no t been or in control of power is giving him nightmares. he stupidly belives he is the only ONE who can protect america. ibelieve he hopes and perhaps pray for aattack on us so he can be happy but here is news for you MRvp ,THE GOD THAT PROTECTED THIS COUNTRY WHEN YOU WERE IN POWER IS STILL ALIVE AND HE WILL PROTECT US UNDER THIS REGIME IN JESUS NAME AMEN .so you can wish all the evil you want it will fail.

    May 12, 2009 at 8:51 am |
  14. Larry, Ohio

    Dick Cheney is a certifiable sociopath, as is evident by his complete lack of a conscience over the harm he has done and continues to do to our country. I can't believe a man like Cheney who has been a war profiteer all of his adult life could presume judgment on a man like Colin Powell. Former Secretary of State and General Powell is a true American hero, who has served his country admirably while maintaining his integrity. Dick Cheney has joined Rush Limbaugh, at the swine trough to dine on his own swill. Right wing ultra conservatives are the true enemies of all Americans, Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike.

    May 12, 2009 at 8:51 am |
  15. JotSingh El Paso TX

    Loved this article... and couldn't have said it better. I definitely believe the US needs to have a Republican party and probably will, but not in my lifetime. In the interim though, enjoy the Cheney-Palin (all of them)-Rush entertainment attempts.

    May 12, 2009 at 8:31 am |
  16. Robert

    We live in a world which is to often lacking compassion. The solution isn't to seek the death of those with whom you might disagree. We have lost the high moral ground and empowered the fanatics. We can thank Dick for his misguided principles and hope that his is a voice with few supporters.

    May 12, 2009 at 8:09 am |
  17. randy p

    Dick Cheney, gave an interview a few days ago, when he said, "it's time for the old hands such as myself, to bow out and let the young bloods take over". Mr. Cheney, it's time for you to go AWAY!!!

    May 12, 2009 at 7:58 am |
  18. jimbo1

    This crap journalism belongs on the Huffington post not CNN.
    The shooting range comments and using the phrase "Hiding out in his secret, undisclosed lair " show that you have no objectivity and this is beyond opinion it is hyperpartisian.

    Maybe if the dems stopped the witch hunt against the former Administration he would bark allot less!

    May 12, 2009 at 7:36 am |
  19. Don Mitchell

    "Citzen" Cheney needs to keep his mouth shut...he is taking the tattered remains of the GOP and setting them on fire. Not only was he the country's most loathed Vice President...he's now earned the title of the most loathed ex Vice President. He is a constant reminder of the horrors of the Bush Administration (in all likelihood the GOP's worst...) and if justice were to be served should be brought up on charges. Run, don't walk, back to your "undisclosed location" Cheney. Well, at least get driven there very quickly.

    May 12, 2009 at 7:29 am |
  20. julianna... canada

    On.. Jim s from California's comment... " I agree with Dick Cheney that we are less safe now than when George W. Bush was in office. "

    PLEASE!!! tell me you are joking!!!!!

    I can tell you the world is feeling alot more safe now that George Bush and Dick Cheney are out of office... and with Cheney's comment he made... I am sure that we are now all safe, the USA and the World.. with them gone.....
    we feel that peace will have a chance now...
    and not a war that was all about George Bush and his lies...

    May 12, 2009 at 7:28 am |
  21. Mel, Alexandria

    Right on the money, Mr. Gewirtz. Cheney is allowing us to see that he was in charge of the administration's policies. George W.'s only act of defying Cheney was in refusing to pardon Scooter. The former vp is indeed scary. He felt so powerful that he shot his friend in the face. All moderates, (including George W.) should take care and never go hunting with him.

    May 12, 2009 at 7:28 am |
  22. J.V.Hodgson

    Dear Mr Cheney,
    Thousands, hundreds (emphasis on the plural) of thousands of lives saved by torture or illegal interrogation techniques. Stop it ,you are making yourself especially and the Republican party a laughing stock, and perceived as at least immoral ( which is against the Republican base voters ideas and ideology) and outrageously naive.Maximum 200,000 thousand US soldiers In Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Three thousand dead for 9/11 before "interrogations" yielded anything. WHERE ARE THE hUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF LIVES SAVED? Madrid, London, India and Mumbai, I think not ,the whole basis of Al Qaeda is "cells" so give us all a break!!
    Real spying is the classics of the UK breaking the Natzi Enigma codes and the US breaking the Japanese Naval coding,commumications IN ABSOLUTE SECRECY.
    Ex secretary of state Colin Powell has the same right individually as you. It it his choice and not your opinion that counts as to whether he is and remains or not an honourable Republican.
    So here is an opinion you will not like:
    You Mr Cheney sir are an outright extreme American Xenophobe and the reason why the World has and had absolutely no respect for the Bush administration.
    Your current ranting ( statements??) undermine totally the real core and fundamental priciples of American Republicans. Stop,please!!
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    May 12, 2009 at 7:22 am |
  23. Isabelle

    The Wizard of Oxy, Rush Limbaugh, and his infamous side-kick, the Scarecrow, Dick Cheney....

    Will the republican party survive?

    FORMER republican.

    May 12, 2009 at 7:14 am |
  24. Catharina Summers

    Former Vice-President Cheney is hate-mongering, and the media, is providing the means.
    Former Vice-President Cheney is fear-mongering, and the media is providing the means.
    Good analysis by Mr. Cooper, but shouldn't the media start assuming some responsibility.
    When the Cheney/Bush policy of 'shoot first and ask questions later' led to the invasion of Iraq under obvious false pretences, the media cowered in fear that they may be labelled as 'unpatriotic',' with the result that the media was merely a puppet of the Cheney/Bush administration. No longer in office, and with a new President who is setting a more humane agenda, nationally and globally, the Cheney/Bush policy still has its intimidating spokesperson using the media as its pawn.
    The media should learn to think for itself. There are enough wrongs in the world which require a critical eye. Stop giving the pulpit to the likes of former 'Vice'-President Cheney.
    A view from Canada.

    May 12, 2009 at 6:23 am |
  25. Donna in Oklahoma

    Anybody want to bet that Dick Cheney being so willing to talk all over the place doesn't have anything to do with a book ? I can't think that Dick Cheney would come out and talk like he is now without it somehow benefitting Dick Cheney. He is and always has been about lining his own pockets. The media shows him way too much interest in the guise that they don't know what is really behind his being so chatty! I think we should put Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh together in a locked room and see which one would collapse first from complete boredom.

    May 12, 2009 at 6:19 am |
  26. Cindy

    Go Cheney! People are starting to listen....many had forgotten 9-11 but they are beginning to remember. We are NOT safer today than we were three months ago....I pray to God that we don't find out.

    May 12, 2009 at 5:55 am |
  27. Art

    Mr. Cheney is in la la land. Please turn off the microphones and camera. Thank you.

    May 12, 2009 at 5:53 am |
  28. Rodney T. Scheuffele

    Dick Cheney. Is there really anymore that one needs to say in order to drum up a disappointing laugh? God bless us all for the fact that this pervert was born with a tongue and the means to blast it throughout the world. If I were face to face with this amoeba then I would make one quick mental note about his exterior appearance. That is, he has a tiny penis and the Viagra is no longer working. This is obviously why he is frustrated with the world at large. Upon making my mental note, I would corner this animal. After I was assured that it could not escape, I would rip the glasses off its head and smash them. Then I would give my instructions. SIT DOWN! SHUT THE HELL UP! You will let the Honorable Colin Powell talk, and then you will do whatever this man says. DO NOT MAKE ME COME BACK HERE! For if you do, then by the time I am through with you then you will pray that there were either one of two people standing in front of you. A peace officer, or a priest. For what I will have for you upon my return will make you wish for either protection from the law or your maker. But, that's just what I think. Have a good day.

    May 12, 2009 at 5:29 am |
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