Dick Cheney is hard to avoid in the US media right now. His public reasoning is that he wishes to defend the Bush record and speak out against Obama’s policies, which are “making the country less safe”.
I have my own theory (of course). Dick Cheney wishes to galvanise public opinion and pull just enough people onto his side that any war crimes prosecution of the Bush government will be politically unpopular.
He is attempting to turn what is an absolute, indisputable legal case (that the Bush government broke US and international laws) into a matter of debate.
What’s more, as long as Cheney is debating these points in the media, any action by Obama against him will look like Obama is trying to shut him up.
What I’m wondering is: why aren’t the media calling him out on this? And I don’t mean calling him out in the sense of “Let’s ask Dick Cheney on camera and let him deny it”. I mean actually stating an opinion and not letting him get away with saying no.
He’s slippery, to be sure. But let’s call a spade a spade. Dick Cheney is a political operator who flagrantly broke both the spirit and the letter of the law quite a few times while holding high office, and he should be prosecuted. This is not a partisan issue (though naturally it has become one). This is a legal issue. The media should not make themselves complicit in a process that will result in justice not being carried out.
Cheney is entitled to his opinion. It’s time for those in the media to have one too.
If we don’t, we will embolden all the Dick Cheneys yet to come. They will think “If I can just rise to a high enough office, I can get away with anything”.
Imagine the shift in international opinion about the USA should those people be put on trial. Do it carefully, do it quickly, do it properly. Just do it.