A bad characteristic of the Bush-Cheney Administration, one of many, was the reliance on fear as a weapon to manipulate the American people. One would think that, now they are out of office, this would stop. However, Dick Cheney has other ideas.
You can see it in people’s faces and you can feel it in the air: Americans are less fearful now that Obama is in charge. President Obama relies on inspiration and upon raising people’s awareness just as much as his predecessor relied on oppression, intimidation, and maintaining people’s ignorance.
Most of us feel more hopeful and less frustrated now, even though many are still complaining. Having a president who isn’t Republican, and, on top of that, one who is African-American, is repugnant to ignorant white racists and other evil people who still live in the Stone Age. And this makes for a number of irate, badly behaved people whom we have seen storming the town hall meetings. And the one with the sourest grapes of all is the former vice president, Dick Cheney.
Cheney is a broken record, stating that we need to torture people to protect ourselves from our enemies. He completely misses the point: We have become the enemy when we discard a civilized, ethical and fair way of behaving toward our fellow human beings. In Cheney’s warped mind, we will perish due to the terrorist threat if we don’t torture. When we torture, we have become no better than the terrorists, and the U.S., as we cherish it, ceases to exist.
Sure, Cheney could argue that if you’re dead you can’t have freedom of speech and so on. Who was it in the beginning of the nation who said, “Give me liberty or give me death!”? These were brave words that were spoken to motivate people to fight for freedom, the thing Cheney wants to erode.
Cheney will do everything in his power to sabotage the current administration. And by doing this, he sabotages our entire country. By pointing out every supposed weakness in the Obama Administration, he could give our supposed enemies a blueprint for attacking us. And this doesn’t seem to bother Mr. Cheney.
If our CIA isn’t subject to law, which is apparently the status that Cheney wants for it, not only can they perform illegal and inhumane things to citizens of other countries in the name of protecting the U.S., they can also interfere with the lives of American citizens, including the essential dissenting people who provide a very important component of our system of checks and balances. Our CIA should not be above our laws because it would make them become a terrifying secret government.
What is Cheney really afraid of? To me he resembles the evil emperor in the Star Wars movies who was always prepared to get you with some form of treachery.
Cheney ought to back off and let our President do his job, for the good of the country. We afforded this respect to President Bush, and now the Republicans must do the same for us. It’s our turn now.
Jack Bragen lives in Martinez.