God Bless Dick Cheney

Democrats who spent a number of years being advised of what the CIA was doing to extract information from enemy terrorists released a report claiming we were torturing bad guys. Further, they claimed that we were gaining no valuable information from that torture.

Individuals in the intelligence community have pointed out, mostly to deaf ears in the press, that (1) these same Democrats were well briefed for years; (2) there were no objections at the time; (3) we did, in fact, learn useful intelligence that kept us safe; and (4) none of the intelligence officers who were involved in the interrogations of the bad guys were interviewed by the Democrats.

The very same people embracing the Democrats’ report as some fountain of wisdom and salve to wash sins away were only two weeks ago claiming there’s a “rape culture” on American college campuses and anyone who dismissed Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s Rolling Stone article was siding with rapists.

Lest we forget, on September 11, 2001, a number of Muslim terrorists hijacked American airliners and flew them into the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and would have hit another building had passengers on United 93 not fought back. Subsequent terrorists tried to blow up other airliners and killed more people abroad.

It is a fact that enhanced interrogation, not torture, yielded useful information that helped the American military stop other Americans getting killed. Democrats have the luxury of peddling this report because they are all alive and our intelligence community successfully extracted information from bad men to avert further catastrophe.

What’s more, the media and left are now exposed as moralist preeners. They are vastly more concerned with a “narrative” that portrays the interrogations as torture and ignores the effectiveness of the same than they are the basic facts.

That leads us to Dick Cheney. He is one of the few men publicly pushing back against the Democrats. Cheney knows both what we did and how effective it was. He is willing to be unpopular to defend what must be defended.

Because of Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, and many nameless men and women, the Democrats and their friends in the media get to morally preen because they are alive and might not be had Dick Cheney, George W. Bush and these nameless men and women not done what needed doing.

This whole episode is only possible because the very things the Democrats are attacking prevented other domestic and international terrorists attacks. Had there been more attacks, these same moral preeners would be looking for scalps of people who, the media and Democrats would have insisted, should have done more.

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Vichy Republicans

The year is 2003. Tom Ridge is chatting, explaining what’s going on with Homeland Security, having a seemingly good time. His good natured counterpart in the conversation lets Ridge run with the conversation.

The other party in the conversation is Rush Limbaugh. Ridge had called into Rush’s show.

Over the past twenty years Rush has been on the air, people like Powell, Ridge, and others have had no problem using Rush to air their policy views, defend themselves, and chat.

And in those twenty years, as anyone who has regularly listened to Rush can tell you, the substantive coverage of issues has increased, not decreased. As Rush has become better educated over the last two decades on issues, we all have too. But Rush’s consistency of principle, conservatism, and humor have not changed.

Now, twenty years after Rush began, some Republicans who once fell all over themselves to get on the air with him, have decided he is too shrill, too conservative, and too harmful to the cause.

What they do not seem to notice is that Rush has not changed. They have. The ground has not shifted to the left. They have shifted to the left. They have become Vichy Republicans — not Republicans in Name Only. The difference is that they stand on their bona fides as Republicans, patted on the back by other Republicans of unquestioned party affiliation, to sell out the party by collaborating with the Democrats.

During World War II, the Vichy Regime arguable ran France as an independent nation, but were puppets of the Axis powers. In Norway, a similar situation occurred under the illegitimate regime of Vidkun Quisling. Today we use the word “quislings” to refer to those who collaborate with and help the enemy.

Call Powell, Ridge, etc. quislings, Vichy Republicans or whatever you like, but one thing is clear — these respected men have chosen to use their positions and media adoration to take on not Rush and Dick Cheney, but conservatives. Like Obama using various bank executives as a proxy to fight the free market, these men and others are using Limbaugh, Cheney, and others as proxies to fight conservatism in general.

Why? Because Cheney, Limbaugh, Hannity, Levin, Coulter, and others are burning down their potemkim village — their facade of being both reasonable and on the right. Continue reading

Cheney, Limbaugh, and the Destruction of America

Dick Cheney has given a lashing to both Colin Powell and Barack Obama.

Put me in the Cheney-Limbaugh camp. Heck, put me in the Cheney-Limbaugh 2012 camp.

If not a Presidential ticket, at least they should be the listened voices on the right — the ones whose advice guides the direction our candidates go.

Yes, the left may laugh at that and encourage it, but they would be wise to think about it.

Mr. Powell recently said that Republicans need to more move to the center politically and that Mr. Limbaugh’s polarizing far-right rhetoric hurts the party’s image.

Mr. Limbaugh retaliated by accusing Mr. Powell of being “just another liberal” and that he should become a Democrat.

“I think my take on it was Colin had already left the party,” Mr. Cheney said. “I didn’t know he was still a Republican.”

Colin Powell, Meghan McCain, and others would have the GOP become more Democrat to compete on the playing field of American politics. Cheney and LImbaugh both urge a clear, distinct brand. The money is on them. The GOP will never win by being Democrat-lite.

It is the essence of what Jim DeMint recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal. The GOP needs to refine its message and actually stand on principles instead of trying to be all things to all people.

One way to do that is to maintain consistency on a strong defense, which is right where Cheney is aiming going after Obama.

Mr. Cheney said that administration’s dismantling of many of the policies and protections instituted by President George W. Bush after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks — including the planned closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba and halting controversial prisoner interrogation techniques — have made the country more vulnerable to future attacks.

This is an important point to keep repeating because it has the virtue of being true and of lingering in the public conscience. If we are attacked again, and with Obama in charge it is more than likely that we will, the public needs to remember what it was like to have grown ups running the show.

How Many Americans Will Die Because of Barack Obama’s Weak National Security Leadership?

Let me say this without reservation, despite the left-wing assault when I twittered it: I do not doubt that more Americans will die at the hands of terrorists under the watch of Barack Obama than under the watch of George W. Bush.

Back on January 8th, I wrote

General Michael Hayden and John O. Brennan are career guys. They are not partisans. I could not tell you if either one was a Republican or Democrat or even if they voted.

They are professionals. But because they are connected to the Bush administration and the War on Terror, Obama is throwing them out.

These are the men who have kept us safe and alive for eight years. It was not Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld forcing policy positions on the intelligence community. It was the intelligence community making recommendations that were embraced by Cheney, Rumsfeld, and ultimately the President.

In Barack Obama’s rush to release memos outlining the enhanced interrogation techniques used by the Bush administration upon recommendation by the intelligence community and approval by the Department of Justice on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others, the Obama administration has curiously refused to release two key details: (1) that the enhanced interrogation techniques were highly effective at revealing crucial, life-saving intelligence and (2) that the techniques were only approved after the events of September 11, 2001.

They want us to know that the Bush administration implemented interrogation techniques Barack Obama disapproves of, the people who allowed those techniques might be subject to prosecution, but will not reveal what data was gathered or the justification for the techniques.

Why? Because the American people might realize just how effective and the enhanced interrogation techniques were. For example, water boarding Khalid Sheikh Mohammed revealed enough data to prevent a second wave attack against Los Angeles, California. In other words, without the enhanced interrogation, Jeaneane Garofalo could have been taken out by terrorists.

Continue reading

Lunch with Vice President Cheney. Part 2

During lunch I was a bit surprised that the subject of the bailouts had not come up. As lunch was winding down, I asked the Vice President his thoughts. He’d been quoted in the past, whether accurately or not, that deficits do not matter. I wanted to know if he thought they did. I never got a direct answer on that, but what he said was most interesting.

“It is important to distinguish between different problems,” the Vice President told me. The recession is one problem and the financial/liquidity problem is another.

He transitioned back in his life to the Nixon and Ford days on price and wage controls. He said they were “an inappropriate exercise of government . . . motivated by politics” not sound economic policy. “I don’t put that on my resume,” he laughed.

He said government should not meddle in the free market, but he viewed last summer as different because it was a financial crisis. “If the [financial system] does not work, nothing else will work,” he said soberly.

The Federal Reserve and the supply of money are government responsibilities, not marketplace responsibilities. Banks don’t print money, the government does, he implied. “Whether you agree or disagree that we got the policy right, we had a responsibility to act,” he said in a very matter of fact way.

He also said he decided something had to be done by the government to fix the problem because he believes “past government policies contributed to the crisis.” He cited Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, sub-prime lending, and the rise of mortgage backed securities.

Government, he told me, has regulatory authority and responsibility. “When the crisis developed, there was no one to look to in the private sector. We had to do it.”

He made very clear that he was talking about the TARP and the liquidity crisis. He then transitioned into the automobile industry bailout. What I noticed, unintentionally by him or not, was that he transitioned from using “we” and “I” to using the “administration” and the “President” when it came to the automobile bailout.

He pointed out that he had testified before Congress with David Stockman against the Chrysler bailout in the eighties. “That reflected my view,” he said. The private sector, he added, should be operate and have new businesses rise up from old ones.

Vice President Cheney explained that under normal circumstances the automobile industry needs fundamental restructuring, which would be done under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code. But, he said, the President made the decision not to go that route for three reasons: (1) the existing financial crisis; (2) the recession; and (3) the transition (“We’re not going to be here long enough to see it through,” he explained).

I left with the impression that were it up to him, he would have let the free market sort it out. As he said going into his explanation, that does reflect his view.