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Small Potatoes, Added to a Rotting Pile

May 24th, 2009

While George W. Bush is taking the presidential high road and quietly retiring, allowing Obama to have his time, Dick Cheney is doing no such thing. As time goes on, more and more becomes clear about how Cheney was the actual power behind the throne, at least where it mattered. When we get to the key issues, a lot leads back to him. Valerie Plame led back to Cheney’s office. Torture led back to Cheney’s office. Who orchestrated Big Oil’s design of the nation’s energy policy? Cheney. Who had a history of planning the Iraq War even before the 2000 election? Cheney. Halliburton? Cheney. The list goes on. So the fact that Bush is not out there clamoring for attention is not too significant; the real voice of power and influence in the prior administration, namely Dick Cheney, is railing against the current administration–something considered a huge political no-no. But then Cheney is not the type to adhere to standards or worry about insignificant crap like protocol.

In a way, all of this was pretty much what you’d expect from Cheney. His actions have been at the very least questionable, and certainly by many standards riddled with illegality. But as long as it stayed all political and ideological, it was hard to do much more than accuse him of being a criminal on political and ideological grounds. It wasn’t for self-gain. Even his graft was aimed at profiting others, not himself.

But now we hear the news that Cheney is out there trying to sell a book deal for $2 million. Not accepting offers, but actively seeking them. Not even asking a market price, but setting a figure, demanding it. Doesn’t seem too bad in a way, in that many retiring political figures sell book deals–but few actively hawk for them.

What is much more inappropriate about this, however, is the timing. In the past few weeks, Cheney has been more vocal than ever, taking issue with the new president head-on, even to the point of dueling speeches. Direct criticism, attacks, denunciations. Cheney has thrust himself in the spotlight.

Were this purely because Cheney was troubled with the new administration’s policies and actions, that would be one thing, however contrary to political etiquette. But to make this protest, and then at the peak of visibility, to start advertising a book deal–that smacks of agitating for the sake of personal profit.

Again, not a shocker. Frankly, if we discovered that Cheney had imprisoned little children and had them chained to treadmills to power his home, I don’t think many would be very surprised. But the book deal hawking, however insignificant it may seem, is something solid that can be traced directly to the heart of Cheney’s personal corruption, and provides strong doubt as to his integrity when he speaks. That counts for something.

In looking at this however, one gets a fresh tour of all the crime that this man is responsible for, and you have to start asking the question, why is this man not in prison? Seriously. Now, in this country, we have something of a tradition of not arresting or trying presidents. But Cheney was not, at least technically, president. Hell, he himself argued that he was not even in the executive branch of government.

With the Republicans now openly stating that an official prosecution of Nancy Pelosi is something that is acceptable, the door is open for the Democrats to start an official prosecution into the entire torture deal. And that will lead straight back to Cheney and one of his many criminal offenses.

Obama may not want to open the partisan can of worms that would result from revealing Cheney’s crimes, but many others do. And hell, maybe even Republicans would be OK with it if it focused primarily on Cheney–as with Bush, it would allow them to blame many or even most of the party’s evils on one man, so they could claim the rest of the party were innocent bystanders. Not something that should be allowed to pass without challenge, but it might motivate the right-wingers to go along with an official prosecution, removing one of the key obstacles to such a process.

Whatever it takes, let’s frog-march the evil snarling bastard.

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  1. Tim Kane
    May 24th, 2009 at 14:42 | #1

    By my reckoning, Cheney doesn’t need more money. He needs to stay out of jail. Somewhere he’s figured out he’s broken a law, either domestic or international. He’s trying to rally the wingnuts, keep their cohesion, keep their party together long enough so that his being thrown in jail will look politically divisive in the least and unfeasable in the extent.

    His actions actually are quite damning of himself, because he wouldn’t take them if his guilt of some damnable crime was not probable.

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