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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. Noel

    I am seriously trying to understand how the anti-Cheney people who write and read this blog can possibly think he is emboldening the enemy. Instead all I read are the same jokes told on late night talk shows and a complete misunderstanding of our enemy.

    Our enemy sees our new policies as a new era where there is better opportunity for more attacks.

    Do you think brainwashed suicidal holy warriors who take pride in video taping the times when they cut a man's head off are going to just stop trying to kill the great satan because we closed down a prison camp and become more gentle with our questioning methods?

    I thought I would somehow learn something from the other side coming here. I stand disappointed.

    Carry on with the funny Cheney jokes. I'm sure they're making a killing

    May 11, 2009 at 10:52 pm |
  2. john

    dick cheney was one the most (if not the most) dangerous man in the world. even though he's no longer in office, i still feel that somehow or other he is still dangerous. I am from England and I won't feel totally safe from this man and his friends until Mr Cheney is safely under lock and key.

    May 11, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  3. Ed

    Republicans think they can continue these attacks and win people. Republicans mirror south and poor ideas. I just heard Ed Rollin said Dick Cheney made Colin Power. This party is so behind and I think it is going to the ditch. Look at Abortion and Gay marriage, what happen to them? This 21st century and you need ideas and people who can solve them. Rush and these old folks don't have ideas trust me and they are fighting wrong fight and wrong targets. Republicans party is over, over!

    May 11, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  4. Sal Voce

    Well, if we let dolts like Jesse Ventura, etc., run the country, we may as well as welcome bin Ladin to the White House as the next president!

    Didn't we learn enough from the Clinton era of trashing national security and trashing the intelligence network? Are we condemning ourselves to repeat that mess??

    May 11, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  5. Lucien Le Comte

    Come on Anderson say it . . . nobody else says it !

    M. Cheney, let's face it, if terrorist wanted to create a massive destructive act in the USA while the Bush adm. was in power, it could have been done with relative ease.

    One doesn't have to be a genius to see the loopholes in the protection strategy of the interior. I travelled all over North America for a while and have waited hours in lobbies of airports realizing how vulnerable we all were. Home made bombs in baggages in the lobbies of airports and BOOM . . . thousands of people killed while in line waiting to be search for weapons and bombs.

    So Cheney is playing the odds, should the terrorist do something now while Obama is president he will of course say «I told you so». Sadly a lot of peop;e would believe him.

    May 11, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  6. Rick

    Here in Europe Cheney is viewed as evil personified. A lot of us believe that Bush was, and is, not smart enough to have made any of the major decisions on Iraq, weapons of mass destruction, torture, or indeed any of the really bad decisions of the Bush administration. The Cheney/Rumsfeldt partnership has a lot to answer for with regards that, and the declining international opinion of the USA. The two of them, together with Bush should be recognised as bringing the USA into a state of disrepute. I have to laugh when I read about Cheney being critical of Obama. Whatever next ??? Maybe he and Rumsfeldt will apply to join the Red Cross or Greenpeace as advisors.

    May 11, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  7. John

    Dick Cheney? First of all, the man speaks from the side of his mouth. How can he be trusted? Like Dick Morris who frequently appears on FoxNews as a political guru and master of everything under the sun; who once patronized a prostitute, these idiots speak from the corner of their mouths. Why people waste their time and listen to these narrow-minded elements baffles me.

    Whenever I see the ex-VP on TV, I remember Dr. Dre's 1992 CD, The Chronic. Dick Cheney is chronically delusional. This is a very sick man. I am desperately waiting for President Bush's memoir. Dick Cheney and his mentor, former Defense Secretary Rumfeld destroyed the presidency of a very good man. They led him astray. I am looking forward to President Bush's memoir which I think should be entitled, " Trusting Too Much"

    May 11, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  8. egbert

    i agree with cheney the gop doesnt need "people of color" or gays or non-christians (especialy jews who distort the conservitive message for financial gain) and time-clock punching trailertrash bluecollar losers. We are the educated upperclass that will always be in the gunsights of these lesser-class people...they our jealous of our successes and incomes weve earned through hard work and higher education and our christian-american teachings... we are the TRUE americans and our beliefs and values MADE this nation what it is today.

    May 11, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  9. Stacy

    Dear Mr. Cooper,
    You can go back just a few hundred years ago and show that torture does not work. Even Galileo recanted, during the inquisition, just at the thought of being tortured. So for those conservatives (Mr. Vice President Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, and the like minded) does the Sun really revolve around the Earth?

    Stacy
    Las Vegas, NV

    May 11, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  10. mike

    Dick Cheney is not only emboldening the enemy,but he is also showing people what he and his friends are all about. He not only does not care about the values of the US,but he thinks his way is the only way for us to go,and by coming out against Colin Powell like he did it proves to me that he is a bigot as well.Yes Dick and Rush deserve each other.

    May 11, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  11. Sandy

    to Jim in California, get your head out of the sand, all the countries in the world know how you have been interrogating, don't you know that the folks that are released are telling them!!!!! Good grief, how stupid can you get. Love the fact that you used President Obama's whole name, not hard to tell you are one of the fear mongers in the U.S. and probably a republican....Cheney a chance to defend himself?? Again are you serious??? Cheney is nuts, loco, whatever you want to call it. Safer with Buch in the White House? Now you really are kidding, aren't you? Phew, I thought so.....

    May 11, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  12. Ruben from Oregon

    Did I hear Ed Rollins say that Cheney made Colin Powell? Ed implied that Powell was not qualified to be a general and that Cheney made him one as a token. Rollins is just as despicable as all other republicans. How could CNN let his comments go unchallenged?

    May 11, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  13. johnchristopher Saskatchewan

    We have had eight years of emboldening the enemy. The Bush administration has galvanized a new generation of terrorists and turned moderate (even pacifists) into extremists. This is what happens when you have to bury your friends or family members who have been killed by those who have invaded your country. Cheney needs to shut up. He has betrayed his country with his "chicken hawk" behaviour and motivated millions to hate Americans. The Bush administration is one of the saddest mistakes of history.

    May 11, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  14. Ray

    Hello,
    cheney is a creep who is tring to justify his actions, any fool knows who really was in charge on George's watch.
    At least he's got enough sense to keep his mouth shut, one of the few good things I can say about our last president. The old selfish crew, in the republican party hasn't many members left, and as the last of the type pass away, people like cheney are left to stand almost alone. They can't hide in a crowd and call out for there brand of Freedom, Violence! always the first and last tool in there bag of manipulation. Waterboard cheney for awhile, see if he thinks it's the way to treat others. CREEP. No deplomacy, just violence. Sad when the value of life is lowered to that of scared child that strikes without the maturty to weigh his actions or the effect they will have in the eyes of the world. Thank You, Ray.......

    May 11, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  15. Sandy

    got to love American politics, you just got rid of the two stooges but one keeps on embarassing your country. I have many republican friends who are very distressed with how the parrty they love is being hijacked by crazy old men who are definitely off their meds. Trust me, chose Rush and republicans will RUSH to the democratic party...and who let Cheny out of his padded room??????

    May 11, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  16. Martyn Belmont

    The comment that Ed Rollins made that Cheney " made" Colin Powell is the most insulting comment I have heard from a Republican "strategist". Colin Powell made Colin Powell. Ed Rollins, who I have respected up to now, needs to look at the Republican party as it is now, now what it was 8 years ago. I am a "recovering Republican" who, for the first time in my 67 years voted for a Democrat this year, Barack Obama. It is the thinking of the Ed Rollins, Mitt Romney and the Michael Steeles that drove me to change my allegiance. Cheney needs to shut up. Colin Powell needs to speak up. It is Colin Powell who I respect. Not Cheney.

    May 11, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  17. Mike

    I think it's actually kind of funny that Cheny and Bush were so toxic to the Republicans that neither campaigned for the McCain/Palin ticket.

    Republicans were smart enough to realize that the Cheny/Bush approval ratings were so low that to have either of them campaign would actually COST McCain votes in the election.

    Yet, Cheny isn't smart enough now to realize how unpopular his views are. Yeah, his "core Republican" old, white dude is listening, and wants to hear that crap....The rest of us don't.

    Go back to your undisclosed location Dick!

    May 11, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  18. Edward Wild

    He is not emboldening the enemy.I think the enemy is emboldening him.
    Please keep him out of the media .We already had 8 terrible years of Bush and Mr. Dick bad policies.

    May 11, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  19. Tom van Daalen

    Cheney spent 8 years emboldening the enemy with his childish partisan policies, and let's not forget his lack of focus in Afghanistan due to their personal war in Iraq. He has completly lost sight of what is good for the country by endorsing Rush limbaugh as more Republican than the war hero Colin Powell. I was just getting over the fact that he was no longer in power and now We as Americans!!!!! have to watch him try to tear this country apart. We voted to get the Republican party out of power, I don't think Mr. Cheney got the memo.

    May 11, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  20. Tutie

    Dick Cheney truly believes what he is saying notwithstanding his so called legacy. I recall the Dems crying about not being able to speak out for some reason and to do so was in fact patriotic. Well, Cheney is stating his views and he believes that it is his right as a patriotic citizen. At least I'm glad he hasn't resorted to name calling like Durbin (PolPot); Hitler, etc. as did many sleezy Dems.

    May 11, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  21. Sudharanjan Bhattacharyya

    I think Dick Cheney and his cohorts are praying for an attack by terrorists somewhere in the country so they could say "We told you so"

    May 11, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  22. Eleanor Warren

    I certainly would say Dick Cheney is the enemy. I think it is time for him to shut up now, he has caused enough trouble for the Great Country of America. What's up with him anyway, he didn't think we as American's had the right to ask him any questions when he was VP, and he stayed in hiding most of the time and wouldn't talk with the people, now I don't want to hear him!!!

    May 11, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  23. marhet

    Dick Cheyney's one of the best people to happen to the United States of America. He's a true patriot who cares and improves our country and the Republican Party. Regarding his comment about Colin Powell, everyone was shocked when he voted racist for Obama against his own party. Dick Cheyney and GW were the best people for America since George Sr. They are and were true leaders with common sense intelligence, which is sorely lacking in the current administration.

    May 11, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  24. Dave Exner

    Dick Cheney, the Deferment Champion of all time.
    Whatever you do, don't go hunting with him.
    About the only nice thing I can say about him is:
    Dick Cheney before Cheney Dicks You!

    May 11, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  25. Gregory Rosales

    Dick Cheney should know by now he can keep us color down all that is: he picked whitey He is a dumb redneck....
    I hope General Powell doesn't go hunting with him they might find full of holes hanging from a tree

    May 11, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  26. parker

    Cheney is criticizing Obama, yet Obama kept Cheney's Sec of Defense, Mr. Gates. Cheney is guilty of criminal acts and is preempting any charges that may be forthcoming. If anyone questioned the Bush Admnt they were called Un American. and not Patriots. I call Cheney unAmerican. I am so glad he is out of office. Go back to the ranch and stay there.

    May 11, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  27. Roger

    No, he's not emboldening the enemy. It was a nonsense claim that conservatives, including Chaney himself, thrust upon Democrats and other progressives when they criticized Bush's war. But it does clearly demonstrate that Chaney is a hypocrite.

    May 11, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  28. jane green

    You should start taking your medication! Denial is not the best state for the American people. Have a look at the views of Iran,China and the Middle East. This president is failing everywhere except Europe. Watch out America – you only think you are depressed

    May 11, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  29. Sal Trabanino

    Does anyone remember a book called "The Prince" by Machiavelli?
    In that book, Dick Chenney's philosophy of "The End Justify the Means" was clearly articulated, and has been condemned for hundreds of years, so that the title of "machiavellian" has come to mean "sinister" and "conniving."
    Both epithets fit Dick Chenney to the "T".
    He is a Machiavellian figure whose views of using whatever means necessary to achieve the end are sinister and dangerous.
    I am surprised that the press hasn't used these words in connection with Chenney before.

    May 11, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  30. Norman Simon

    Watching Cheney say today that he is representing "the other side" makes me wonder what he is talking about. I thought that with regard to security that everyone was on the SAME side!

    Why is he trying to vindicate himself when he already knows that the vast majority of Americans disagree vehemently with him?

    May 11, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  31. tom

    yes, Cheney is emboldening the enemy. Cheney is a coward, the man never served in war. He took 5 deferrements.

    May 11, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  32. David Manning

    Go away Dick Cheney...please! I would not put it past Dick Cheney to be in cahoots with the Taliban. Just to make him right!

    May 11, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  33. Jack, Montauk, NY

    Let's not forget which administration was in charge when we were attacked on 9/11...

    May 11, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  34. Beau

    Former VP Cheney has proved he knows how to defend this country, being vocal used to be praised.

    May 11, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  35. Frank Bergdoll

    Secure, undisclosed location? – like a secret lair? What's going on? Does he have a death ray? Is he cloning an evil twin of Obama?

    It all sounds very mysterious to me! :)

    May 11, 2009 at 9:45 pm |
  36. hongli

    WHEN WILL DICK CHENEY'S ARTIFICIAL HEART STOP BEATING????

    May 11, 2009 at 9:07 pm |
  37. Brandon from Ft. Worth

    Terrorist in the movies hadnt tortured an enemy in over 10 years. They use mind games and psychodelic drugs sit back and listen to the truth.

    May 11, 2009 at 8:55 pm |
  38. Brandon from Ft. Worth

    There used to be a time when people said that are country would be are was going to be attacked, we would call that treason. When did it become patriotism.

    May 11, 2009 at 8:52 pm |
  39. Brandon from Ft. Worth

    To Jim from California

    During Bush's first term a white house briefing came to his desk which said something to the extent of Taliban determined to attack inside the United States. These so called keepers of are safety completly dropped the ball and have continued to drop it. Torturing some innocent civilians has caused us to be less safe. The people we are fighting against believe that this is a "Crusade" and you can point all that to Bush and Chenney.
    So besides "torturing" which Americans didnt agree with and releasing prisoners from guantamono (prisoners at guantamono are being taken care of by tax payer dollars; which includes food and health care) which Americans didnt agree with. What is it that Obama has done that has caused us to be less safe?????

    May 11, 2009 at 8:49 pm |
  40. Annie Kate

    Off his meds? Maybe, but he's getting more attention now than when he was vice-president. I think he's just addicted to hearing his own voice on the news or at least his view of the truth. He just wasn't ready for it all to be over.

    May 11, 2009 at 8:32 pm |
  41. Sharon Hufton

    Cheney is acting like a psychotic. His lack of popularity has pushed him over the edge. He is determined to make everyone look weak in order to try and gain strength for himself, regardless of the damage it may cause. Almost reminds me of a scorned woman. Cheney does not care about the well being of this country because if he did he would be trying to help rebuild the foundation of this country instead of trying to undermine it and hope it collapes. The man has evolved into an egomaniac.

    May 11, 2009 at 8:28 pm |
  42. Emma

    Dick Cheney needs to go away, far far away or he stands the chance to be fully investigated and when he is found guilty of all the war crimes he committed, he will regret opening his big mouth because he will be spending the rest of his life in prison in some isolated island. Some people just don't know when to quit.

    May 11, 2009 at 8:04 pm |
  43. Dan Williams

    Somebody give Dick Cheney his own radio show so we can all think he's as irrelevant as Rush Limbaugh!!

    May 11, 2009 at 7:52 pm |
  44. deb in Glenside PA

    Good points. If he is really secure that what he did was "right" for the country then he should not feel such a need to defend his record. These call outs about beingf less safe almost seem like he wants an attack to occur to validate his history. It sounds like he is egging on some terrorists to act even though that is surely not his hope .The 9-11 attack occurred on his watch so he really has no room to be so critical. Its sad to see him doing this. We have enough problems without stirring this pot.

    May 11, 2009 at 7:52 pm |
  45. Ron Illinois

    Cheney is the enemy of all moral people.

    He filled his pockets and all of his friends while in office and he's still trying to run the country.

    Give it up Cheney, you are the loser, Finally.

    May 11, 2009 at 7:49 pm |
  46. deb

    Dick Chaney is the school yard bully who won't go away, no matter how often you give him your lunch money!
    Shame on him, trying to stir up ill will against the new admin, when it was his previous admin who is responsible for our economic and war troubles. At least GWB is gragious enough to keep his thoughts to himself!

    May 11, 2009 at 7:47 pm |
  47. susan

    That was a great commentary! I think the reason we are seeing so much of Dick is because he's worried about the new administration putting him on the stand for war crimes. This may be his pitiful attempt at justification. Please keep voting,middle America,or we may end up with another group like the last ones!

    May 11, 2009 at 7:44 pm |
  48. Michelle - St Augustine, FL

    Mr Cheney as warped as people may think he is, is a desperate man trying to throw out enough political BS as in the nuclear bomb threat which was non existant and the Anthrax to which there is no documentational evidence to keep people off the real reason he does not want this investigated. He claims that the torture was ordered from the top. What if the torture was never fully cleared at the top but an politcal implication that it was ,and the scum made it look that way? Thats what will screw him in the end. They claim he has changed after 9/11 when his own writtings disprove that theory. In a letter to President Clinton, well before 9/11 he voiced his opinion that he wanted policies changed and Saddam Hussien out of power. There is much more documentation out there that has not seen the light of day and should be exposed. Cheney is sadly misstaken if he thinks the american people are buying his we got info act. Being the daughter of a woman who till the day she died could not shake the memory of burning human flesh and the injustices of torture. This american is not going to let this go to a debate over well we got information out of it. That is a poor excuse for justification of an act that this country in the past has prosecuted and hung people for the same war crime.

    Torture is and should never be a political problem. Torture is an ethical, moral and legal problem. They violated the international law on toruture. It states very clearly that there is no excuse for it even if were to save lives or for public safety. The law is extremely specific in that there is no excuse for it. They need to be investigated and prosecuted for the same war crime as is the German Nazi we are deporting to germany at this moment. They have given this Nation a stain that wont come clean till we expose this and disinfect what corruption they have left behind.

    May 11, 2009 at 7:42 pm |
  49. Lampe

    Well all I can say is this. If Obama decides to bring GWB and Cheney up on charges, he better bring up Pelosi and any other Dem, who knew what was going on and did nothing.

    May 11, 2009 at 7:40 pm |
  50. Paul

    Cheney is a dispicable human being. he should be locked up in a dark padded room and left to fester in his own hate.

    May 11, 2009 at 7:37 pm |
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