Monday, February 22, 2010

Darth Cheney smacked down by Petraeus and Powell

Posted By on Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 1:27 PM

Dick Cheney made headlines last week at CPAC, the big ultra-conservative fiesta in Washington, by claiming that the Obama administration has made the U.S. less safe by halting the practice of torture and wanting to try the Underwear Bomber in civilian court. Sunday, Cheney got smacked around pretty good on the political talk shows by Colin Powell and Gen. David Petraeus.

Powell was asked by Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation about Cheney's claims that Obama has hurt national security, and replied quickly that, "I don't know where the claim comes [from]." He went on to strongly defend the use of civilian courts to try terrorists (as every other civilized country does, by the way — and effectively), and essentially called Cheney a liar, saying of the former VP's charges, "I don't think that's borne out by the facts."

What I'd like to know is how anyone can take seriously anything Cheney says about national security or foreign policy, especially considering that the guy was wrong about nearly everything during the Iraq disaster (anyone remember "we'll be greeted as liberators," "the insurgency is in its last throes," "waterboarding is a no-brainer," and on and on and on?)

Petraeus, the leader of U.S. Central Command, appearing on Meet The Press, said he continues to be against using torture in interrogations, as he has publicly stated since 2003. "I think that whenever we've taken expedient measures, they've turned around and bitten us in the backside," Petraeus explained. He then reiterated that the interrogation methods in the Army field manual actually work, whereas torture-induced "confessions" have usually proven to be worthless. In addition, Petraeus made it clear that he still supports closing down Guantanamo.

In short, Powell (Mr. Desert Storm), and Petraeus, George W. Bush's favorite general - guys who actually know a lot about the military and counterterrorism - think Cheney's ideas are terrible. Here's my question: What does it say about the current state of the far-right that the CPAC crowd roared and cheered Cheney's B.S., and even urged him to run for President? Answer: It means, as we've been saying here for months, that they have genuinely gone off the political deep end. Here's Powell on Face The Nation:

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