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Barack Obama's presidency

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George W. Bush's presidency since 2007

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George W. Bush's presidency from 2005-06

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The Cheney Channel

By David Swanson
May 23, 2009

Editor’s Note: Amid the angry rhetoric of Dick Cheney and his family resides the question of whether their outrage might be a cover for fear about possible prosecutions against those responsible for criminal torture, as David Swanson of suggests in this guest essay:

An association representing top advertisers on broadcast and cable television has proposed the creation of a new Cheney Channel dedicated exclusively to the Cheney family, the primary motivation apparently being to get Dick and Liz off all the other channels where their presence seems to be hurting the sales of advertised products.

OK, not really, but it wouldn't surprise me. One of the products that Liz Cheney seems to be hurting is in fact Dick. 

Ray McGovern just pointed out to me that with Lynne and Liz having probably replaced David Addington as Dick Cheney's editors, some big gaffes have slipped through. For example, in Thursday's speech Cheney listed U.S. support for Israel as one of the "true sources of resentment" for terrorists. True enough, but did Dick mean to say that? [See’s “Cheney Goofs on Israel.”]

Then there was the interview that Liz just gave in which she blew the whole bluff routine.

Think back to when the RNC in the Spring of 2006 was screaming about how badly it wanted the Democrats to try to impeach Bush, how good that would be for Republicans in elections. Imagine if Liz Cheney had blurted out that the motivation for that baseless BS was fear that the Democrats actually might attempt impeachment.

In other words, what if the bluff had been exposed? Would Nancy Pelosi have been as quick to pledge allegiance?

Well, Liz just went on TV and said that her father began the We-Love-Torture tour because he was concerned that the Justice Department might prosecute people for torture. The bluff is now exposed.

Are you listening, Mr. Holder? President Obama? They're afraid of YOU. You don't have to be afraid of them.

In the same interview, Liz Cheney claimed that the torture memos allow terrorists to prepare for U.S. torture because they now know exactly how many times a particular technique will be applied. How horrible! 

No doubt Liz will be thrilled if someone points out to her that the evildoing media consumers have also been informed that in no known instance did U.S. torturers abide by the limitations of the torture memos, that in fact we waterboarded one guy 183 times and tortured others to death.

Liz will thank you with all of her heart, assuming she has one, if you fill her in, and I'm sure she'll want to shout this news from the rooftops just to keep the Muslims on their toes.

Also in the same interview, Liz made clear the importance of releasing photos and videos, because she distinguished all instances of torture by Americans from those we've seen in photographs from Abu Ghraib.

It turns out that if something is photographed, it's a crime, whereas if we aren't allowed to see it, and if our education system does not create a populace capable of responding to the written word, then no crime has been committed. 

Liz has been running her mouth quite a bit in recent weeks, and I hadn't been paying attention. It turns out that she and her father and perhaps her mother too say a lot of useful things if you give them zillions of hours of airtime.

The trouble is that it's mostly such toxic filth that nobody can stand to sit through it. If the Cheneys were given their own channel, however, we could watch the other channels in peace and tranquility, and some masochist preparing to withstand even more enhanced techniques could weed through and tell us the useful things that were said. 

Or, toward the same end, Liz Cheney could be substituted for Michael Steele, and someone who still pays attention to the Republican Party could fill the rest of us in on everything.

David Swanson is the author of the upcoming book Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union. He is co-founder of

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