31 August 2011
from Truthout Website
June 20, 2007 file photo
(Photo: Doug Mills / The New
They all do it, sometimes more than once. Richard Nixon is the main example of one who produced a multi-volume apologia; by the time he went into the ground, he'd penned enough books to fill a wide shelf. Henry Kissinger was similarly prolific, which leads one to wonder about the relationship between criminal activities and the printed page.
Nixon was chased from office after a series of crimes that, at the time, had no precedent, and Kissinger is still so infamous that he cannot travel abroad for fear of arrest.
Both wrote enough books to take up half the
political science section of any local bookstore, perhaps in the vain
attempt to explain away the lasting damage their actions did to the
I'm sure you've heard about it by now; he laid the groundwork for its release by claiming the contents would cause heads to explode in Washington, causing a lot of people who should know better by now to say,
It isn't, at all, but I must confess that my
head did come very close to launching itself off my shoulders... not because
of what's in the book, but because I have to deal with the rancid reality of
a free and un-convicted Dick Cheney appearing in the public eye once again.
The Son of Sam, a.k.a. David Berkowitz, killed six people and wounded several others during his notorious summer-long shooting spree in New York.
Berkowitz is an absolute piker compared to Dick Cheney, whose actions directly caused deaths and injuries that number in the hundreds of thousands. The deaths he is responsible for are ongoing to this day, in fact.
If there were any justice to be found, whatever
profits he earns from his book would be spread out between the families of
dead and wounded soldiers whom he lied into war in Iraq, between the
families of dead and wounded Iraqi civilians, and between Americans like
Valerie Plame, who along with numerous other intelligence figures, had their
lives bulldozed by Cheney's eight-year rampage through our system of
According to Wikileaks, not only has the Obama
administration failed to seek a reckoning with Cheney, they worked
vigorously behind the scenes to ensure that no such reckoning will ever come
Remember that? They called it a "deferred
retirement benefit," an annual check with six zeroes to the left of the
decimal, and all the while Cheney was steering your tax dollars into
Halliburton's coffers with a blizzard of bald-faced lies about weapons of
mass destruction in Iraq.
There was all this, and so much more besides, but one incident stands out in my mind above all else.
It was only an accent in the symphony of wrongdoing Cheney directed from his office, and was barely noticed at the time, but I will never forget it. It was a simple thing, really:
Dick Cheney said no.
No, you cannot have any papers from the office
of the Vice President, and for one reason: the office of the Vice President,
because I say so, is not part of the Executive Branch.
The unmitigated gall required to utter such a
claim, especially after so much talk about the "Unitary Executive," is
unparalleled in modern American history.
Dick Cheney is the ultimate American terrorist, one who not only lacks respect for American law and government, but who spent his eight years in office actively working to destroy and dismember the functions of that government.
He tore the place up, deliberately and with intent, because he hated the law and the government it supported, and we will be a long time recovering from his deeds. He is directly and personally responsible for thousands of deaths and injuries.
If this is not terrorism in the raw, then the
word has no meaning.