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It’s Now a ‘Duel’ Over Torture?


The cable news channels have decided to ignore the election. That’s right. It’s 2008 all over again, pre-election day. They seem to have forgotten that the voters spoke and Democrats won, President Obama trouncing the Republican Pro Torture Party, whose own nominee was against torture. It’s a blast to the past for the Grand Old Party. Also forgotten is that whatever the newly leaked Pentagon study reveals, the detainees who turned back to militantism or terrorism were all incarcerated, tortured and released under Bush-Cheney’s nose. Whether the data is correct is another story.

But today, as Obama delivers his speech, there is a Obama v. Cheney tableau being set up. As if Dick Cheney matters in this debate at all. Mr. Cheney only matters if the traditional media give him the space to matter, wiping out an historic election that handed Mr. Obama the stage.

It’s the same thing that happened recently with Speaker Pelosi. Because Republicans started pointing fingers, like dogs to a bone the traditional media and the cable talking heads dutifully followed the Republicans, focusing on Mrs. Pelosi instead of the people who concocted and approved Bush-Cheney torture policies.

So today we have “Obama vs. Cheney” headlines on MSNBC, “dueling terrorism speeches,” the pr goes.

The most disturbing outcome of all this is that the traditional media, with the help of Cheney’s daughter Liz, who’s been given massive amounts of airtime, especially on MSNBC, has helped rehabilitate the former vice president with some. Cheney’s approval numbers going up 8%.

It proves why George W. Bush won two terms. The American people would rather see someone stand firm in the face of criticism and even if wrong, than someone who ducks a fight.

President Obama, in refusing to investigate the Bush-Cheney torture policies, including those who broke U.S. law to write them, has legitimized what the former Administration did. With the help of Dick Cheney’s media tour, that is, which has been televised as if Cheney and the Bush administration hadn’t lost all credibility through those policies.

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