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Yesterday Dick Cheney, doing his best Dr. Phibes, gave an interview in Politico. The United States, he said, faced the prospect of another attack along the lines of 9/11, though perhaps even more catastrophic. Whether we could avert this, he said, “depends whether or not we keep in place policies that have allowed us to defeat all further attempts.” Meaning that Obama’s decision to ban torture means that the United States will suffer another catastrophic terrorist attack. He also said that the new president and his team were more concerned about reading Al Qaeda prisoners their Miranda rights than defending the country. Odd, as the Obama view is the same as the Bush view: the detainees don’t have Miranda rights.
Ex-Vice Presidents are usually off somewhere sunny, golfing, by now. So what’s got Cheney down? It’s probably a combination of the back injury that put him into a wheelchair at the inauguration and the fact that he was recently snubbed by the star of his favorite television program, Fox’s 24. That show’s gloomy hero, Jack Bauer, is widely viewed as a vindication of the world according to Cheney. But in an interview this week, Kiefer Sutherland, who plays Jack Bauer and claims authorship of the character, made clear that he found Cheney’s attitudes loathsome. To the suggestion that Bauer would vote Republican he responds “not a chance.” That must have hurt. If Jack Bauer’s not a Cheney man, who is?
Joe Klein at Time sums up the general opinion on Cheney’s continual hectoring: “Please go away.”
Let’s leave aside the fact that if Dick Cheney and his alleged boss had been more vigilant–if they had listened to the Clinton appointees like Sandy Berger who warned about Al Qaeda, if they had paid attention to their own intelligence reports (notably the one on August 6, 2001)—the September 11 attacks might never have happened. Actually, I can’t leave that aside… but in any case, it is sleazy in the extreme for Cheney to predict another terrorist attack. For several reasons:
Some sort of terrorist attack is likely, eventually, no matter who is President.
Cheney has done here what the Bush Administration did throughout: he has politicized terror. If another attack happens, it’s Obama’s fault. Disgraceful… and ungrateful, since it’s only Obama’s mercy that stands between Cheney and a really serious war crimes investigation.
Which explains of course why Dick and Lynne can’t take that European vacation they’ve been dreaming of for so long.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”