Thursday, December 31, 2009

War Hawk Dick Cheney Rebutted By White House

Dick Cheney, the previous administration's war hawk vice president, has been making news recently criticizing the current president's approach to handling the recent terrorist attack on America - the attempted bombing of a Detroit flight. With comments made stating that Obama is ignoring the fact that we are at war and is making America unsafe - his typical spiel - Cheney has solidified is place in the GOP as that cantankerous old uncle every body has but can't seem to forget or stop inviting to family functions.

According to Dick Cheney, Obama "seems to think if he has a low-key response to an attempt to blow up an airliner and kill hundreds of people, we won't be at war. He seems to think if he gives terrorists the rights of Americans, lets them lawyer up and reads them their Miranda rights, we won't be at war. He seems to think if we bring the mastermind of Sept. 11 to New York, give him a lawyer and trial in civilian court, we won't be at war."

White House communications director Dan Pfieffer responded dismissing Cheney's remarks as nothing more then political rhetoric, even using Cheney's own opinions against him. Of Obama's response to the terrorist attack, Cheney said it was "the typical Washington game of pointing fingers and making political hay." Pfieffer's response to Cheney is that he is playing the "same old Washington blame game."

Maybe Dick Cheney has a bit more to be worried about, like the upcoming trial of Khalid Sheik Mohammad and four other September 11th conspirators, which may highlight his, as well as former president George W. Bush's and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice's, negligence, both gross and criminal, that allowed the terrorist attack to occur. Maybe he is worried that this time around the press will actually focus on the role he played in one of the largest attacks on American soil.

Pfieffer continued to push back at the former vice president, stating the comparison between this administration and the last, pointing out Dick Cheney's hawkish nature:
"The difference is this: President Obama doesn't need to beat his chest to prove it, and — unlike the last administration — we are not at war with a tactic ("terrorism"), we (are) at war with something that is tangible: al-Qaida and its violent extremist allies. And we will prosecute that war as long as the American people are endangered."
I would hope that higher up officials would speak out in much harsher terms against Cheney, but in the same breath, doing so could possibly help validate his statements, at least to some, and right now Cheney does not even dignify a response (which brings me to question why I am even writing this).

Also related, I had found this article from The Seattle Times, which compares this attempted terrorist attack to the one attempted by Richard Reid, the shoe bomber. At that time, president George W. Bush was on vacation and failed to make a comment for 6 days, receiving no criticism from the media or the Democrats. Democratic National Committee spokesman Hari Sevugan said "this hypocrisy demonstrates Republicans are playing politics with issues of national security and terrorism" and that "they would use this incident as an opportunity to fan partisan flames ... tells you all you need to know about how far the Republican Party has fallen and how out of step with the American people they have become." In 2001, on the following day of the attack, a meeting with the president lasted 25 minutes with zero questions of the shoe bomber, although a comment was made in passing. Bush's response:
"The shoe bomber was a case in point, where the country has been on alert. A stewardess on an American Airlines flight — or a flight attendant on an American Airlines flight — was vigilant, saw something amiss and responded. It's an indication that the culture of America has shifted to one of alertness. And I'm grateful for the flight attendant's response, as I'm sure the passengers on that airplane. But we've got to be aware that there are still enemies to the country. And our government is responding accordingly."
For additional reading regarding Dick Cheney and his abuse of power, check out:
Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency
Cheney: The Untold Story of America's Most Powerful and Controversial Vice President

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