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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. DAWN

    Cheney needs to relax have some herb and reflect on life instead of want to be in denial he is responsible for killing people. He is someone who had an amazing power drive and was good at it enough to get vice pres. He even shot someone in the face and made it out alive. LOl. But reality with why he is ranting and hasn't grown spiritually is simply that you can't kill people take their drugs burn their feilds, know possibly that we all deserve to party and enjoy life without guns guarding plants to see if people are enjoying life and he is scared. And please someone tell me how we can have a fully democratic government without 100 percent democrats? This ignorance is like saying we can have men come in who believe woman should be hit if they go shopping come in and be a part of the government. WE are democratic and we have been ignorant to say that we should label ourselves anything else if we want to run a democratic government that supposably listens to all their people not just the republicans.

    May 11, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  2. Jim M

    The media attention being sought by Mr. Chaney is nothing more that his desire to be recognized as the person who should have been President for the past eight years – and now he realizes that he will never get that chance.

    His commentary is as beneficial to the public as walking in sandals behind an elephant with diarrea. A large Republican elephant!

    May 11, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  3. ED FL

    It is only because of their similarities that Cheney annd Limpbugh are two peas in a pod. Both are cowards and draft dodgers. Cheney has medicaal problems when HE thinks they might be an asset, Limpbaugh is a drug addict and smuggler of male enhancment products.[ Probably for his companion more than for him.] He is a real GOP right winger , caught violating laws, Dumped 1-3 wives ,big asset for GOPer's ie Gingrich is still king he dumps them while sick in the hospital. He ranks as the no 1 alley cat so his latest wife should be prepared.then again Gingrich ,Limpbaugh would make a great GOP ticket. We would have to find an appropriate new name for the White House, Cheney could be their war adviser.

    May 11, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  4. Kyle from Illinois

    I believe that Cheney is criticizing the current administration because he knows that if they do prosecute him he can claim that they are attempting to silence dissent.

    May 11, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  5. Kim from PA

    Well blogged Sir! I agree

    May 11, 2009 at 7:05 pm |
  6. Karen S Crow

    Nope ... Obama and the Village Idiots of his staff are doing a DARN fine job of that all by their onesies!

    May 11, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  7. ronnie

    jim jim jim, your showing your ingorance, we got the tourture from our enemys back in ww2.

    May 11, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  8. jerri mercer

    I am tired of your portrayal of the GOP. CNN is SO biased and FULL of bull (ironically, you must know exactly what you are, given the name of your show)-we truly are watching the demise of democracy. Why don't you just cover the stories and stop telling people how to THINK?

    May 11, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  9. JIM S CALIFORNIA

    Cheney is not emboldening the enemy. Our president Barack Hussein Obama is by giving our interrogation procedures to the enemies. I personally believe Obama want to ruin the country. I agree with Dick Cheney that we are less safe now than when George W. Bush was in office. I believe we will have a terrorist attack before 2010. What surprises me is Obama attacks Cheney without giving him a chance to defend his position. That is what I call a hypocrite.

    May 11, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  10. Melissa

    Man, I'm at work and I shouldn't have been reading that but you totally had me giggling as silently as I could. Then I printed this out to show my husband when I get home.

    That was fantastic and its almost exactly what I've been wanting to say.

    May 11, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  11. Heaz

    One more remark-this is the first sensible and thoughtful repudiation of Cheney-now enough...

    May 11, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  12. Heaz

    I cannot believe how the media falls at the feet of Cheney and give him time...why? It is comprehensible, The media must just like a fight-negativity, negativity, negativity...

    May 11, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  13. iekjack

    What a piece. Can decent people like this speak up at least to let Cheney and his cohorts know that not all are carried away by his recent outburst. Some can see through the veil.

    May 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  14. Lesley Anne

    I completely agree with this assessment. It's not only funny but completely true. I wonder why Cheney gets so much press coverage though. Hopefully, it's just a few more months because he is so new to the public speaking arena, despite being an old hat in politics itself. He's not doing himself or anyone in this country any good, not that he ever did.

    May 11, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  15. frank, NC

    The truth is there is nothing more that the fringe Republicans like Cheney, Limbaugh, Rove, Coulter, Hannity, Ingram etc would like more than for another 9/11 style attack on America.

    Then they would claim "see i told you so". This is true Republican patriotism.

    POLITICS OVER PATRIOTISM

    May 11, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  16. alka

    Cheney is just being himself. That is why republicans failed in this election. They got too intimidated by Bush Cheney team. Cheney should add Ann Coulter to his wishlist. Powell knew better but he was too timid to leave the party.I still remember Powell holding that test tube with white stuff in it demonstrating chemical weapons Sddam has. He should have known better and refused to act like Bush Cheney tail.

    May 11, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  17. Marie

    Cheney needs to go away. His recent actions are despicable. We've had enough of him for the past eight years. Go away!

    May 11, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  18. Steven

    Dose Chaney know Stan myers?

    May 11, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  19. Steven

    Has anyone checked this guys books yet? Were dose his paper train tracks lead too? Are we the people allowed to ask that? I know if we did that 2 years ago we would be getting arrested like many teens who voiced their opinions on MySpace and other BS. Their was power abuse beyond any measure and no has paid for that yet!! I also want to know why the gas prices fluctuated like the stock market and kept growing until this man and his cronies got the move out slip. OH! Y Dose he want us to look at his books now!; because they have been properly altered to clear his name or to distract us from something else? WHATS THE DEAL? Im not sold

    May 11, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  20. Sherry

    Yeah this dude is clearly going out of or is out of his mind!!! I 've heard and seen more of him today then I did the last 8 yrs. If he didnt say what he wanted then, why should we hear from now!! good lord give it up!! Bush has turned out to be the smartest one from this bunch, quite and out of sight.

    May 11, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  21. john

    How did you get an entire commentary out of three images-
    meds, crazy uncle, no make that two.

    May 11, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  22. Kevin from Portland, Oregon

    Dick Cheney needs to just go away. Permanently.

    May 11, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  23. Roxie Pruitt

    David, you owe crazy old uncles an apology. Crazy old uncles are not dangerous to any one but their self.. Every time he appears on tv with his nonsense, he helps the democrats.. It appears he is waiting for another terroist attact , so he can jump up and down with glee and say "told you so !"

    May 11, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  24. ra

    He is definitely a Loony Tune !!!
    I feel for anybody who believes in this fool. Straight up IGNORANT.

    May 11, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  25. nancy

    Couldn't have said it better myself! thank you

    May 11, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  26. matt woods

    I am thankful for the security we have had with the republican party..

    But know of no one who feels that if was to happen all over again, we would suffer far more than before.

    Bless our troops!

    May 11, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  27. Barry E.-Laredo,TX

    Great editorial, David! However, do believe Brother Cheney needs more than "ZOLOFT" to square-away the dementation in his mind!!!

    May 11, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  28. Gene Krishingner

    A little harsh . .you want people to respect the current administration and the new ideas however you then throw cheap shots at the former vice President for representing his side of the issue. Listen . and then make an intelligent argument. It is no wonder our kids don't learn respect for adults and elders.

    May 11, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  29. William

    Or just a lack of class. Have we heard anything from the former Presdient? No. He understands his time is up, time to retire, write a book or open a library. Contribute where useful. Cheney and some ultra right Republicans, on the other hand, are using any excuse to try to rewrite their failed record. I was a Republican but can no longer identify with this continued lack of class and am thinking about registering as a Democrat or Independent, just to clear my mind.

    May 11, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  30. mireille Mtl, Can.

    This man still dangerous because out of his mine..(ill very ill) Off of meds probably.. that's why a rendezvous with dr. phil...is urgent.

    May 11, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  31. Ayse_London@twitter

    Cheney's new found taste for the news circuit reminds me of that classic line 'doth the man protest too much?'

    May 11, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  32. Lisa in CA

    America needs the Republican Party .... why? Maybe this is just the right time for it to become a mere Third Party and for one of the current Third Parties to step up to the plate and become viable opposition.

    Cheney & Rush are exactly why the GOP has become marginalized.

    May 11, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  33. S.B.

    Well, stated. I have never before known of a former vice-president to be so critical of a new administration. I think he must be having difficulty adjusting to the fact that he's no longer in power, or as the writer stated, "off his meds." I doubt that anyone's taking him very seriously since he left with such extremely low approval ratings, but it just seems very unprofessional.

    May 11, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  34. Laughing in Seattle

    I can't get the image of George Bush and Dick Cheney as "Pinky and the Brain" out of my mind.

    "What are we doing tonight Dick?"

    "Same thing we do every night George, figure out how take over the world."

    "Abdeya, Abdeya, Abdeya, That's all Folks."

    May 11, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  35. Linda B., Ga.

    "Former" VP Cheney, is a good one to talk. For 8 years, we hardly knew he was around, he was probably down in his war room, in the White House basement. He needs to just get on with his private life and leave the rest of us alone.

    May 11, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  36. Sharon

    were is good "Undisclosed Location" when you need one?

    May 11, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  37. anita

    you absolutely right david! dick chaney has lost his marbles. He can't let go of the pass with fell policies of George W Bush! Dick Chaney need to go crawl under a rock for the next 8 years while President Obama will be in office. They keep pushing repulicans moderates further away. pityful.

    May 11, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  38. Nathan

    Remember, embolding the enemy by speaking about the administration only applies to everyone els and the media, not the Republicans or Dick Cheney. What a liar and hypocrite.

    May 11, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  39. Jason

    So we're accepting as fact that Cheney was right when he said that speaking in opposition was emboldening our enemies? Because I thought everyone decided that was an attempt to suppress free speech and that Mr. Cheney and the administration were evil for doing that. Which one is it? It makes no sense to take an argument that you advocated against and now use it in your favor to make a point. Thats intellectual dishonesty.

    May 11, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  40. Mari

    When the cry-baby democrats decided to vie for presidential power and attack and pull the rug from under a vulnerable, war-time president (Bush), they are the ones that have endangered our US soldiers, cost many lives, and have emboldened the enemy – big-time! We are in serious trouble now.

    May 11, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  41. earle,florida

    Mr.Cheney's innate dillusional republican party, shrouded by self-infliction,and annointed Aristocracy has exposed his demonic atrophy for the democtic party. His phyche on a journey of futility shackled to a destructive venture brought on by unimaginable hubris. His pathetic tale is analogous to throwing a match into a blazing forest fire,hopelessly trying to stir the base. Sadly,only the unrealistic,and hard-core believers follow him into the ashes that follow. The plurality of the well to do,have abandoned the smoldering mind of a man gone insane,...?

    May 11, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  42. Barbara

    Dick Cheney would be well advised to keep his mouth shut. He is not helping himself or the Republican Party. He had 8 years, it's over, go away. No one is interested in what he has to say. He is indeed inviting more anger and resentment by our enemies with his rantings,and will be blamed for another attack, god forbid there should be one. He is like an angry old man trying to cover his butt for war crimes he was a big part of. The should put him and Rush L. into an padded cell and throw away the key.

    May 11, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  43. Susan

    I think he still thinks he's in power and is wondering who Obama is? Yikes whats up with the looney? We were calling Mr. Potter from it's a Wonderful Life, we thought it was fitting.

    May 11, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  44. Texas

    Cheney scares me, he so focused on the Republicans that he forgot about the rest of the nation. We have about 350,000 Million people in America. We have minorities out the “wazuu” and they are going to be the majority. The more he talks, he makes me feel that the "rest" of us couple hundred million people were never apart of BUSHinistration. Not only that, as a Democrat, I have had my times that I could have given Powell a lashing but he remains honest. The more Cheney speaks the more I see how Powell feels. The "right" is too far "right" and they need way more moderates. More Republicans will fall to the waist side in 2012. Powell should have been the Republican party's committee chairman but Steele is ok. Cheney downplaying Powell and going for an uneducated and inexperienced Rush was stupid.

    May 11, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  45. Carol

    Sorry, Mr. Gewirtz. Thought Anderson wrote this. But good writing all the same and totally on target.

    May 11, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  46. Carol

    I don't think I could have said it any better, Anderson. We have to ask is he even considering that he is stirring up anti-American, or anti-troop sentiment right now. If he is aware of this and is doing it anyway, really, he does the Republicans a gross disservice. I truly believe the medication angle might be right. I think he has deluded himself that he could run for President. He is putting it out there.. Otherwise, he wouldn't be so over the top. He is deluding himself any day or any time that he is a better public servant than Colin Powell. Because Colin Powell thinks about someone else other than himself. Even George Bush has more class and patriotism, if you will, to refrain from conducting himself in the manner we have seen exhibited by Cheney. Once again, great writing, Anderson.

    May 11, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  47. Repubs Lost

    All Cheney is doing is trying to sell his book. Oh and embolding the enemies. Some people like war, regardless if it is meaningless

    May 11, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  48. jenny

    Since George the second has left office, I have become convinced that Mr Cheney is the enemy. This man needds to got shoot something. MAybe he and Sarah Palin could hunt together and ill two birds with one stone so to speak.

    May 11, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  49. GH

    As a first-time voter who registered as an Independent for Obama, I agree with Mr. Gewirtz: We do need both our political parties regardless of which one we side with or oppose. Equally true, we don't need seemingly insane extremists on either party as leaders of our country. Cheney is among the most evil, as secret government (or the biggest pawn thereof) as they come. I believe the day Rush Limbaugh gets to lead this country will be the day those of us who aren't straight white Christian Republican males get put into 21st Century concentration camps.

    May 11, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  50. Malcolm E Reding

    The dark side of the force speaks out again

    May 11, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
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