Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mr. Cheney calls Obamanation Family Meeting.

Friends, sometimes it’s just time to call the meeting to order.

If you’ve got kids, you know sometimes they think they’re too cool & wise, too sophisticated for parents. They fancy themselves knowing more than you do. They’re determined to do it their way - to cut a new swath through brambles & briers instead of taking the solid path prepared by those who have trod before – & learned. As parents, we approach this attitude with patience, with compassion (usually), & always with love. In the process, we absorb the sideways glares & stomps of feet, the huffs & sighs. We’ve been there, & we know that the careful dismantling of ignorance will afford the child growth. Our perspective is wide. We can see the path for the briers & we know that the family will be stronger for it.

Former VP Dick Cheney offered Obamanation the voice of the steady parent today. My sense is that his vast experience as Secretary of Defense & as VP during 9-11, etc. made Mr. Cheney more-than-weary of the irresponsible & even infantile approach to this administration’s early Defense & Foreign Policies. I believe that like a wise parent, he decided it was time to call a family meeting, time to smack some hands & lay out a lesson. And like a wise parent, he had more than just the one child in mind, he was speaking for the good of the Family.

Thus the meeting was called to order. So if you missed it, take a seat on the sofa & listen carefully to a replay of what Dad had to say:

“Your kind invitation brings me here as a private citizen - a career in politics behind me, no elections to win or lose, and no favor to seek…

When President Obama makes wise decisions, as I believe he has done in some respects on Afghanistan, and in reversing his plan to release incendiary photos, he deserves our support. And when he faults or mischaracterizes the national security decisions we made in the Bush years, he deserves an answer. The point is not to look backward…A lot rides on our President's understanding of the security policies that preceded him. And whatever choices he makes concerning the defense of this country, those choices should not be based on slogans and campaign rhetoric, but on a truthful telling of history.

Our administration always faced its share of criticism, and from some quarters it was always intense. That was especially so in the later years of our term, when the dangers were as serious as ever, but the sense of general alarm after September 11th, 2001 was a fading memory. Part of our responsibility, as we saw it, was not to forget the terrible harm that had been done to America … and not to let 9/11 become the prelude to something much bigger and far worse…

We did all of these things, and with bipartisan support put all these policies in place. It has resulted in serious blows against enemy operations … the take-down of the A.Q. Khan network … and the dismantling of Libya's nuclear program…Well over seven years into the effort, one thing we know is that the enemy has spent most of this time on the defensive - and every attempt to strike inside the United States has failed.

So we're left to draw one of two conclusions - and here is the great dividing line in our current debate over national security. 1) You can look at the facts and conclude that the comprehensive strategy has worked, and therefore needs to be continued as vigilantly as ever. 2) Or you can look at the same set of facts and conclude that 9/11 was a one-off event - coordinated, devastating, but also unique and not sufficient to justify a sustained wartime effort. Whichever conclusion you arrive at, it will shape your entire view of the last seven years, and of the policies necessary to protect America for years to come.

The key to any strategy is accurate intelligence, and skilled professionals to get that information in time to use it. In seeking to guard this nation against the threat of catastrophic violence, our Administration gave intelligence officers the tools and lawful authority they needed to gain vital information. We didn't invent that authority. It is drawn from Article Two of the Constitution. And it was given specificity by the Congress after 9/11, in a Joint Resolution authorizing "all necessary and appropriate force" to protect the American people.

Our government prevented attacks and saved lives through the Terrorist Surveillance Program…

[The NY Times published] secrets in a way that could only help al-Qaeda. It impressed the Pulitzer committee, but it damn sure didn't serve the interests of our country, or the safety of our people.

In the years after 9/11, our government also understood that the safety of the country required collecting information known only to the worst of the terrorists. And in a few cases, that information could be gained only through tough interrogations…The interrogations were used on hardened terrorists after other efforts failed. They were legal, essential, justified, successful, and the right thing to do. The intelligence officers who questioned the terrorists can be proud of their work and proud of the results, because they prevented the violent death of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of innocent people.

Our successors in office have their own views on all of these matters. By presidential decision, last month we saw the selective release of documents relating to enhanced interrogations… The released memos were carefully redacted to leave out references to what our government learned through the methods in question…For reasons the administration has yet to explain, they believe the public has a right to know the method of the questions, but not the content of the answers….

Some [Democrats] are even demanding that those who recommended and approved the interrogations be prosecuted, in effect treating political disagreements as a punishable offense, and political opponents as criminals. It's hard to imagine a worse precedent, filled with more possibilities for trouble and abuse, than to have an incoming administration criminalize the policy decisions of its predecessors.

Apart from doing a serious injustice to intelligence operators and lawyers who deserve far better for their devoted service, the danger here is a loss of focus on national security, and what it requires. I would advise the administration to think very carefully about the course ahead. All the zeal that has been directed at interrogations is utterly misplaced. And staying on that path will only lead our government further away from its duty to protect the American people…
He continues, laying out part of the supporting facts to that which he has just asserted, then pulls no punches...

The [Obama] administration seems to pride itself on searching for some kind of middle ground in policies addressing terrorism. They may take comfort in hearing disagreement from opposite ends of the spectrum. If liberals are unhappy about some decisions, and conservatives are unhappy about other decisions, then it may seem to them that the President is on the path of sensible compromise. But in the fight against terrorism, there is no middle ground, and half-measures keep you half exposed…There is never a good time to compromise when the lives and safety of the American people are in the balance.

The administration has found that it's easy to receive applause in Europe for closing Guantanamo…I think the President will find, upon reflection, that to bring the worst of the worst terrorists inside the United States would be cause for great danger and regret in the years to come.

Mr. Cheney, in his ever nuanced & subtle style, then smacks Mr. O & his Main Stream Media co-conspirators right between the eyes:

In the category of euphemism, the prizewinning entry would be a recent editorial in a familiar newspaper that referred to terrorists we've captured as, quote, "abducted." Here we have ruthless enemies of this country, stopped in their tracks by brave operatives…& a major editorial page makes them sound like they were kidnap victims, picked up at random on their way to the movies…

For all that we've lost in this conflict, the United States has never lost its moral bearings. And when the moral reckoning turns to the men known as high-value terrorists, I can assure you they were neither innocent nor victims. As for those who asked them questions and got answers: they did the right thing, they made our country safer, and a lot of Americans are alive today because of them.”

In his evenhanded, no-nonsense way, & after thanking many fine Americans for their service, Mr. Cheney thus called the meeting adjourned. His speech was targeted, measured & delivered with the weight & seriousness that its subject requires.

Based on observances Mr. Obama, heretofore, fancies himself too cool & wise, too sophisticated for the lessons that the Bush Years could teach him. He has glared & stomped, huffed & sighed; & has proceeded to make egregious posturing errors in his first 100 days, belying the suave, seasoned exterior he has so carefully cobbled & crafted these bygone years.

In matters of Defense & Foreign Policy, this nascent President & his slew of media sycophants would be wise to listen to the reproaches & lessons this wise parent has offered. Because in this area, I’m sure the parent cares for the his well-being & growth, but I’m absolutely certain that the lessons were delivered for the greater love of the Whole Family.

What will the Obamanation do with the lessons enumerated for them today? Like a rebellious adolescent, they could ignore it, & get themselves (& us) into a dark & dangerous snare. Or, they could let it sink in, allow it to dismantle ignorance, & foster growth which leads to the solid path. Let’s hope, for the good of the Family, they choose the latter.
~~~

11 comments:

bluepitbull said...

Or...#3:

You can look at all of the facts shining like a supernova with a light-enhancing scope, and still conclude that GWB needs to be impeached, and that no attacks will happen on our soil, ever.

I truly believe that is what some of these politicians think. And then they probably go smoke a bowl or something followed by a bag of cheetoes.

Susannah said...

Bluepit! HA! Love it. Cheney took it to 'em didn't he?

OweMe1Cannoli said...

Excellent post, Suz!

Years ago, there was a painting -- or drawing circulating the web -- of the Statue Of Liberty with a baby in her arms and a gun in her hand. Don't see much of that picture any more do we? Perhaps if the ridiculous liberals and their happy-face spokesman, Obama, would think about the lengths to which a mother would go in order to protect her children ... eventually they could take something away from Mr. Cheney's scolding. The point was well made: Sometimes the gummit must take strong actions to protect its people. That too, is in the Constitution somewhere.

Sandy said...

Thank the Lord for Dick Cheney!

Reminds me of Les Mis....
Do you hear the people sing,
Singing the songs of angry men?
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again.
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums,
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!

My heart was feeling the drums during Cheney's speech! (And I will join in the parade so that our banner may advance - but enough of this metaphor). GREAT post!

USA_Admiral said...

Great post. I wish Cheney was the head of the RNC.

Susannah said...

OweMe1~ Thanks for the note. You're very encouraging! "Perhaps if the ridiculous liberals and their happy-face spokesman, Obama, would think about the lengths to which a mother would go in order to protect her children..." Amen!

Sandy! I've had Les Mis blaring in my car & in my head ever since I read your comment! PERFECT analogy/metaphor, whatever!

"Will you join in my crusade? Who will be strong & stand with me?..." (...I just started it up on my media player...)

USA~ Thanks! and me too...the thing about Cheney/RNC

Z said...

Sandy and Susannah..I've blogged the video of DO YOU HEAR THE PEOPLE SING? at least twice and will continue to do so every few months..it REALLY applies to today, who'd have THOUGHT that could happen in America!?

Very good post, Susannah..obama seems the preschooler and Cheney the professor at the university. And still obama doesn't hear. And, doesn't his get more and more severe and haughty with each speech..odd.

Bryan said...

Cheney said, "And whatever choices he makes concerning the defense of this country, those choices should not be based on slogans and campaign rhetoric, but on a truthful telling of history."

Ouch!

Cheney said, "But in the fight against terrorism, there is no middle ground, and half-measures keep you half exposed…There is never a good time to compromise when the lives and safety of the American people are in the balance."

To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual ways of preserving peace. --Washington.

Susannah said, "Based on observances Mr. Obama, heretofore, fancies himself too cool & wise, too sophisticated for the lessons that the Bush Years could teach him."

Pride breakfasted with plenty, dined with poverty, and supped with infamy. --Franklin.

Susannah said, "What will the Obamanation do with the lessons enumerated for them today? Like a rebellious adolescent, they could ignore it, & get themselves (& us) into a dark & dangerous snare."

If only each man's ignorance affected himself and himself alone.

Keep pressing on!

Susannah said...

Z~ Thanks SO much for the inspiration - you gave me the start of Saturday's post! Yes, Mr. Obama is seeming to get a wee bit defensive, isn't he. (I think he's just now realizing: this ain't the campaign anymore...)

Bryan~ I wish I knew famous quotes better! I love it when somebody pulls those out...ouch, indeed!

IMHO said...

God Bless Cheney. He and Rush are the only ones that have the balls to take it to 'em

Susannah said...

Absolutely!

Colin Powell Republican?
...as if...