Cheney and the Federal Prosecutor

Cheney and the Federal Prosecutor

Even after being in office, former Vice President Dick Cheney is garnering headlines. In the end, politics is all about power- who makes the decisions, and even above that, who controls which decisions are going to be made- in a sense, who sets the agenda. During the 2000’s while George W. Bush was president, Cheney had a strong presence in setting the agenda not only for the nation as a whole but for the direction of foreign policy, and certainly for the administration.

He made a habit of being out in front of issues, of having the first and often what became the defining word on issues, and I would argue that that is his strong suit as a politician. When you start the conversation, you can control it if you stay on your game. In the military and policy endeavors after Septemer 11th, Cheney and the Bush administration did just that- calling things preemptive strikes or cloaking major legislative changes and initiatives under the title of “Patriot Act.” Whatever you think about either of these major acts or the thousands of minor ones, the Bush-Cheney administration started a lot of international conversations and largely led those conversations through to the 2008 presidential campaign, when many of them, in spirit and in rhetoric, came crashing down.

Recent accusations that Cheney more or less masterminded secret CIA actions come as no surprise to his opponents from the Bush era. What they do come as is a surprise to Cheney himself, at least from where I stand. Seeing him try to react in a way that protects himself to all of these accusations reveals just how uncomfortable he is in the reactive, responsive format. His preference is to say something, let it be out there and debated, but stick to his story and don’t ask questions, thank you.

Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General, named a special prosecutor to dig into interrogation techniques used by the CIA during the Bush era. Cheney, in kind, is highly critical of such an investigation. He said, in fact, that he might refuse to speak with a federal prosecutor.

Refuse? Mr. Cheney, with all due respect, you can’t refuse to speak with a federal prosecutor. That’s what a federal prosecutor is- the one who can ask anyone anything and you have to answer. You can’t decide whether you want to talk to them or not. You are not in power anymore, Mr. Cheney.

Reuters reports that he replied to a question form Fox News Sunday’s John Durham about whether he would talk to the federal prosecutor:

"It will depend on the circumstances and what I think their activities are really involved in. I've been very outspoken in my views on this matter."

"I'm very proud of what we did in terms of defending the nation for the past eight years, successfully,

And it won't take a prosecutor to find out what I think. I've already expressed those views,” said Cheney.

Um, Mr. Cheney- a prosecutor is not interested in your views. They are only interested in the truth and the legality of that truth.