Thursday, February 07, 2008

Triple Double

Behold the dizzying logos of the Duke of Double Speak himself, Dick Cheney, as excerpted by Spencer Ackerman from today's CPAC event:

The United States is a country that takes human rights seriously. We do not torture. It’s against our laws and against our values. And we expect all those who serve America to conduct themselves accordingly, and we enforce those rules. Some years ago, when abuses were conducted at Abu Ghraib prison, abuses that had nothing to do with the CIA program, abuses that came to light were investigated and those responsible were busted. America is a fair and a decent country. [applause] President Bush has made it clear, both publicly and privately, that our duty to uphold the laws and standards of this nation make no exceptions for wartime. As he put it, we are in a fight for our principles and our first responsibility is to live by them. The war on terror, after all, is more than a contest of arms and more than a test of will. It’s also a war of ideas.

How many instances of extreme duplicity can you spot in that paragraph alone? The last bit is particularly rich - as if this administration hasn't eviscerated our standing on matters of principles and ideas.

I mean, the basic argument is: We don't torture because we took the time to redefine the methods of torture that we use as not being torture any more. It's up to us to decide if what we're doing is torture. And by "us" and "we" I mean the executive branch (as augmented by Cheney's magical Fourth Branch) in a loop of self-authorization, self-oversight and self-regulation.

Now, if we just tell the world - publicly and privately - that this banana republicanism is a principled position, the world will respect us for it. And respect is important!

Can't. Wait. Until. November.

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