Kristol Spins Like a Top for Dick Cheney

I’m not sure what Bill Kristol has been smoking, Popularity Isn’t Everything from his perch at NYT

WALLACE: Did you really tell Senator Leahy, bleep yourself?

CHENEY: I did.

WALLACE: Any qualms, or second thoughts, or embarrassment?

CHENEY: No, I thought he merited it at the time. (Laughter.) And we’ve since, I think, patched over that wound and we’re civil to one another now.

No spin. No doubletalk. A cogent defense of his action — and one that shows a well-considered sense of justice. (“I thought he merited it.”) Indeed, if justice is seeking to give each his due, one might say that Dick Cheney aspires to being a just man.

Dick can’t leave his bunker without spreading around some spin and double talk. Cheney: Was There ‘A Link Between Iraq And Al Qaeda? Seems To Me Pretty Clear That There Was’ – which, everyone except the same people that think president-elect obama was born on Mars, knows there was no link between Iraq and 9-11 or Iraq and al Qaeda. In 2004 Cheney was still asserting the falsehood that Saddam had an active chemical, biological and nuclear weapons program – not spin, just an outright scurrilous lie from the Vice-president of the United States. Cheney repeated this crap multiple times since 2001 – even after reports by the U.S. Senate said he was wrong. A just man, even by loosest definition doesn’t manipulate his fellow countrymen into dying for a lie. If Kristol honestly believes that Cheney is a “just” man, then intellectual consistency and all, Kristol must also think the Nazis and Japanese nationalists who tortured Americans were” just” too, Powell aide: Torture ‘guidance’ from VP

A former top State Department official said Sunday that Vice President Dick Cheney provided the “philosophical guidance” and “flexibility” that led to the torture of detainees in U.S. facilities. – Andrew Sullivan on Cheney’s latest interview and Cheney’s view that the VP is all powerful.

Kristol spends the rest of his column obsessing over the doomed, and rightfully so “Democrat, Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois”. What readers are supposed to do is suspend all understanding of moral equivalence. Blagojevich, your classic run of the mill corrupt pol is just so morally inferior to the guy that perpetuated one of the most execrable and deadly con jobs in American history, helped guide the economic policies that have resulted in the current recession, promoted torture, thinks he is a forth branch of government and a laundry list of other disgusting  behavior. Kristol’s latest column is just one of what promises to be a continuing attempt to rewrite history and salvage the neocon legacy – which just happens to be Kristol’s legacy.This has been the job of extreme ideoloques and tin pot dictators since someone started recording history. The tyrants were good, but did bad things for the sake of the people.

Also from the Fox interview, Cheney: We Asked If We Needed Approval For Wiretapping, Congress Told Us ‘Aboslutely Not’

Cheney’s startling claims run directly counter to accounts by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV). Rather than asking for congressional input, Pelosi and Rockefeller said in 2005 that Cheney simply informed them of what was going on — and ignored their objections:

PELOSI: The Bush Administration considered these briefings to be notification, not a request for approval. As is my practice whenever I am notified about such intelligence activities, I expressed my strong concerns during these briefings.

ROCKEFELLER: The record needs to be set clear that the Administration never afforded members briefed on the program an opportunity to either approve or disapprove the NSA program.

As Glenn Greenwald suggests maybe Democrats (at least some of them) shouldn’t get off that easy,

There is some marginal dispute about what they were and weren’t told, but no dispute about the existence of the briefings and the complete lack of any real efforts by Democrats to stop it or even object.

The key here is what they knew and when they knew it. It should also be understood that when members of Congress are given intelligence brifings, as any breifings on wire tapping would have been, they are legally obligated not to reveal the contents of those briefings. Remember that the Senate and House Intelligence committees would have been under Republican charmanship pre-2006. No hurry to run up the assummptions, they will be plenty of revelations about who did what and when over the next couple years.

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