Quote Of The Day – Unreliable Sources

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Cheney, Foreign Policy, Hillary, Quotes

“I don’t consider him a particularly reliable source of information.”
- Hillary Clinton on Dick Cheney

Washington Post has more on the “Return of Hillary Clinton

It wasn’t the most stirring defense, but a defense it was, and it served as a reminder of Clinton’s relatively low-profile in the first months of her tenure. To an extent, that makes sense; it’s not the job of any Cabinet secretary to overshadow her boss, Obama has generally preferred to make major public announcements himself, and the White House is surely relieved that the Obama vs. Clinton storyline has been largely dormant since the Inauguration.

But Clinton is a bona fide celebrity, the only one in the administration — apologies to Hilda Solis and Shaun Donovan — other than Obama. So when the president needs a surrogate to step up and help deliver his message, and rebut the criticism of a major figure like Cheney, Clinton is the obvious choice.

Frankly, I’m not exactly sure why Cheney keeps going off on Obama. Some have speculated that he thinks Cheney is worried about prosecution, but I honestly don’t think that’s it. Obama isn’t going to risk a show trial. It just won’t happen.

No, I just think Cheney misses the limelight and wants to protect his legacy. And so his logorrhea.

Question: Is Dick Cheney the Republican’s Jimmy Carter?

Discuss.


This entry was posted on Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 and is filed under Cheney, Foreign Policy, Hillary, Quotes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

18 Responses to “Quote Of The Day – Unreliable Sources”

  1. Kevin Jackson Says:

    Carter was honorable so No.

  2. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    Frankly, I’m not exactly sure why Cheney keeps going off on Obama.

    I think it’s because Dick Cheney knows of CIA memos that say the coercive interrogation tactics revealed information that saved American lives, and that the Obama administration is deliberately covering them up for political reasons.

    Cheney is not the source of those memos by the way, so Clinton’s assertion is a red herring.

  3. kranky kritter Says:

    Whatever happened to the good old “you won’t have dick nixon to kick around anymore” sentiment? IMO this was vastly under-rated.

    Can’t Cheney find some obscurity to fade off into? Please.

  4. michael reynolds Says:

    Jimmy:

    As Sully pointed out today, the methods we used are harsher than those used by the Luftwaffe, while being very much in keeping with the Chinese Communists.

    Whether or not they yielded information is A) beside the point and B) unprovable.

    Beside the point because you cannot argue that murder is okay because the victim was a bad person. End does not automatically justify means. If it did you’d be excusing torture in any number of cases, including of US citizens. Like you.

    And unprovable because we don’t know whether legal interrogations might have yielded the same data since torture replaced the legal interrogations.

    But I do get it: GOP = Torture. No problem.

  5. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    Beside the point because you cannot argue that murder is okay because the victim was a bad person.

    I argue that waterboarding a terrorist mastermind in order to retrieve information required to save innocent lives may be a moral necessity. No one is talking about murder or punishment.

    And unprovable because we don’t know whether legal interrogations might have yielded the same data since torture replaced the legal interrogations.

    You can prove that all of the other methods used leading up to the torture did not work if they did not yield the information to save innocent lives. If the terrorist subsequently gives up the information after waterboarding, then I would say that proves something.

    A daily Kos diarist once published something to the effect of, “I would rather die in another 9/11 than to live in a country that tortures.” To the extent to which the CIA interrogated the terrorists described in those memos, do you feel the same way?

  6. Todd Says:

    Jimmy,

    Why do terrorists use violence?

    Is their purpose to kill people?

    Or, could it be possible that the real point of using terror tactics is to attempt to coerce a target audience into behaving in ways they otherwise wouldn’t?

    If you even just a little bit buy into that second definition, then it doesn’t even matter whether “torture”, (or even if you prefer to call it “enhanced interrogation”) worked or not.

    No matter what you call it, treating another human being in that manner (no matter how bad they are, or what we think we can gain from it) is not in alignment with our American values and ideals.

    … and our Values and Ideals are what make us the great country that we are.

    If we are willing to sacrifice our values in the name of security, then the terrorists have already won … even if they never succeed in killing another American civilian.

    Just my opinion,
    Todd

  7. TerenceC Says:

    Jimmy

    The law is the law. Both US law and International law were broken by Americans – that appears to be the fact. You can certainly have your belief that the ends justify the means, but when the law is broken that argument goes out the window. Either change the law or enforce it. There is no way in hell that the people who masterminded this torture scenario should be able to walk away unpunished – they are the worst of the worst. Low ranking soldiers are spending time in jail for much less serious infractions associated with this. As Americans, all of us have a vested interest in insuring all the facts come out on this subject and those responsible are “outed” and punished to the full extent of the law.

  8. michael reynolds Says:

    Jimmi:

    Actually the timeline claiming credit for the LA thing has just fallen apart. It came from pre-torture information.

    One of the primary goals of the torture was to demonstrate a connection between Al Qaeda and Saddam. Even under torture no such link was proved. So we were torturing to provide support for a misconception/lie.

    You make yourself a moral peer of Chinese communists and North Koreans, and drag my country through the mud in the process.

  9. Chris Says:

    Jimmy, once again thank you for proving our point. But the point I’d like to bring up is that Cheney was never in the limelight if you remember: he was hiding in a cave somewhere for 8 years.

  10. gerryf Says:

    Todd notes that “treating another human being in that manner (no matter how bad they are, or what we think we can gain from it) is not in alignment with our American values and ideals.”

    Here’s the scary thing I cannot get by–as I’ve seen this same idea stated and rebutted hundreds of times across conversations and the internet for the past month: what if it IS in alignment with our American values and ideals?

    Has anyone been paying attention the past 30 years?

    We’ve become more and more selfish and self-absorbed, less tolerant, more arrogant–and it all culminated in the election not once, but twice of a group of people who not only advocated and performed torture as a policy, but launched a pre-emptive war.

    It’s not as if this is all a big surprise–we’ve known about various forms of torture as far back as 2003. The president knew it, the congress knew it–and we knew it. It was on CNN for crying out loud. And we STILL elected these people a second time.

    I am with those who fear any kind of investigation and prosecution will turn into a witch hunt, but at the same time I think we must do it.

    It will be painted as a partisan attack, and it will be corrupted by people on both sides, but ultimately, this is not a trial of those who performed torture or enacted policy condoning it…it really is a trial of what we as a nation have become, ‘cuz we’re all guilty.

    I remember turning to my late-father in 2003 when Bush launched the Iraq War based on nothing more than a wink and a lie. There was no doubt Hussein and his cronies were bastards and the world is better without them, but even so, we launched a war on obviously false pretenses and most of the country cheered.

    All I could think was, “Jesus, when did we become the bad guys?”

  11. wj Says:

    Here’s an alternate theory for why Cheney keeps talking about this: he’s the one least at risk.

    If criminal prosecutions for war crimes arise from the torture that was done, who can be prosecuted?
    - the individuals who conducted the torture. Cheney isn’t personally (from anything that I have heard) one of them.
    - the individuals who wrote the official legal justifications (per the precedent of the Nazi lawyers). Cheney may have argued for torture, but he wasn’t responsible for writing the official legal justifications. That was the guys at OLC.
    - the individuals who ordered the torture. For that you have to be in the chain of command. You can run that up thru the military and the CIA, all the way to the President. But the Vice President isn’t in that chain of command.

    So, unless someone can explain another justification for prosecution, Cheney looks like he can escape legal responsibility. (The question isn’t whether he is morally responsible, having pushed the administration into it, if you believe that he did. Just whether he is legally responsible.) Which means he can feel free get up and spout off, without risking having his comments come back to haunt him at trial.

  12. Todd Says:

    “Here’s the scary thing I cannot get by–as I’ve seen this same idea stated and rebutted hundreds of times across conversations and the internet for the past month: what if it IS in alignment with our American values and ideals?”

    Hi Gerry,

    For about 25-27% of the population, you’re right, this has become part of “our” values. And for the past 7-8 years, unfortunately those 25%ers managed to scare enough of the rest of the population into agreeing with them, that they got to make the rules.

    For all intents and purposes, the terrorists were winning.

    I guess I’m showing my “spineless lefty” side, but I can’t help but believe that “winning” the war on terror will have to look a lot more like this sort of thing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Cups_of_Tea , than anything Jack Bauer might do on next week’s episode of 24.

    Just my opinion of course,
    Todd

  13. J. Harden Says:

    gerryf — That was truly a refreshing comment. It is not very often that one gets the bold whiff of that kind of national self-loathing hari kari. Usually, it is tempered with animic feints towards some conspiracy — usually “corporations” or maybe Zionist. But you filleted it, a true vivisection of the American heart. We are “Hilters Willing Executioners”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitler's_Willing_Executioners

  14. TerenceC Says:

    Harden-

    I wouldn’t say we’re Hitlers willing executioners – unless you’re postulating that the Jewish influence on the American political system created an anti-arabism for the past 50 years and we acted out on it as a population. That isn’t what you meant was it – and if not what exactly did you mean?

    There was enough of an opposition during Bush’s time to insure events weren’t swept under the rug no matter how many times Cheney and Rove repeated the lies, and no matter how long they kept at it. GerryF isn’t wrong in his assessment that the Bush administration was representative of the national conscience. It certainly had many of the same strange behaviors in evidence at the time.

    Things change however, people (voters) mature and realize that childish fantasies even when acted out by political leaders can’t last forever. So now we have to figure out what the hell happened, why it happened, and the extent of damage these guy’s did to us. Wars and the economy are obvious – it’s all the secret and insidious things that will be discovered as we move away from the Bush “darkness” that should be of concern to all of us.

  15. gerryf Says:

    J Harden,

    Bravo! I knew I would get a blast from someone from your side of the aisle with pretty much exactly that kind of comment. That 25-27 percent Todd is talking about?

    Take a look in the mirror, bub.

    What happened to you in your background that allows you to NOT be upset about what you’ve seen the last 30 years, but especially the last 8?

    Certainly, any progressive is outraged, and it just blows my mind that any conservative who even half believes in “morals” and “values” could in any way, shape or form condone what has been done in the name of your country.

    Maybe I don’t sleep so well knowing that maybe I didn’t do everything I possible could have done to prevent this embarrassment, but I certainly don’t loathe myself.

    But even more disturbing to me is people like you who sleep just fine.

    I know you cannot be shamed or convinced into feeling some regret for this travesty; and you are too smart to be scared into it (too bad, the most useful tool in the conservative tool box), so I am left with only one conclusion…you actually believe the crap you’re saying.

    There are a lot of people who call themselves “conservatives” who just follow along, but you’re a different breed…you’re leeding the herd.I honestly cannot understand what makes you tick.

    And I know you don’t care, but I really do feel sorry for you.

  16. david Says:

    gerryf, Harden and Jimmy aren’t even remotely conservative. They both loudly sung the praises of Bush while he ran up $10 trillion in debt (of course they will both lie and deny that now) but suddenlyare the world’s greatest fiscal conservatives. They both howled endlessly about the rule of law at Clinton but now think torture is just fine as long as it makes their cowardly little lives feel a little safer. Truly disgusting excuses for humans these snivelling little cowards that want someone else to do their torturing for them! No, these so-called conservatives today are nothing more than pliable little cowards. The founders would bitch slap them and tar and feather them.

  17. david Says:

    Yo Jimmy, since you think torture is OK as long as it gets information, then tell me, is it OK for our enemies to torture our troops if they think they might get something good? Oh, and don’t bother with your “waterboarding isn’t torture” horse manure Skippy, it has been defined as such for several centuries.

  18. Donklephant » Blog Archive » Torture Works? Not So Fast… Says:

    […] I guess maybe Hillary was right. […]

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