Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) were on ABC’s This Week today where Kerry unloaded on former vice president Dick Cheney after Cheney blasted the decision to investigate CIA interrogation abuses. Kerry said, “Dick Cheney has shown through the years, frankly, a disrespect for the Constitution, for sharing of information with Congress…”
On Fox News Sunday today, Cheney said, “I think it’s a terrible decision. It’s clearly a political move. There’s no other rationale for why they’re doing this.”
He also invoked 9/11 and claimed to be defending the CIA, “I think it’s a direct slap at the CIA. I don’t think it will work. I think that if they were faced with the kind of situation we were faced with in the aftermath of 9/11, suddenly capturing people that may have knowledge about imminent attacks, and they’re going to have to have meetings and decide who gets to ask what question and who’s going to Mirandize the witness — I just — I think it’s — it’s silly.”
Kerry replied, “Well, Dick Cheney has shown through the years, frankly, a disrespect for the Constitution, for sharing of information with Congress, respect for the law, and I’m not surprised that he is upset about this.”
He continued, “The Obama administration has no intention — I think the president himself has been unbelievably bending in the direction of trying to be careful about what happens to national security, protecting our national security interests, being very sensitive about the CIA’s prerogatives and needs and so forth.”
I wish somebody would come out and give the real reason for Dick Cheney’s vigorous defense of torture. He is trying to save his own skin. Cheney’s explanation sets up the false premise that the CIA was acting alone. This is not true. Cheney was running operations from the vice president’s office. Cheney constantly used his office to pressure the intelligence community.
If the CIA crossed the line, it was because someone ordered them to, and it is a pretty safe bet that Dick Cheney was involved. Cheney isn’t trying to keep America safe, defend his legacy, or the CIA. He is trying to save his own skin. There is nothing political about wanting to correct some of the most shameful abuses of power in recent American history. The true shame is that people like Cheney carried out these abuses in the name of the American people.