AS unpopular as the departing administration was at its end, the legacy addresses from Bush and Cheney were predictably repulsive in their vain attempts to raise and right their shipwreck of state from it's long submersion in political slime. We've let them drone on, for a time, with their fairytale revisionism and their celebrations of success, secure in the prospects of change from the new Democratic presidency.
No one expected the administration who had allowed over 4000 of our nation's defenders to perish for their stubborn refusal to abandon their war of opportunity to openly admit to their deliberate negligence - their autocratic prosecution of an open-ended occupation based on a charade of 'spreading democracy' and buttressed by a Potemkin regime propped-up by the sacrifices and violence of our nation's soldiers.
No one expected Bush and Cheney to abandon their swaggering delusions that they were somehow heroic in their flailing of our military forces against the predictable resistance their own opportunistic militarism. It was galling to hear their congratulatory benedictions to their petty reign, set against the emerging transition and seating of the repudiating instrument of the public's scorn . . . but we tolerated them.
Indeed, the former vice president thought it was appropriate Tuesday to brag on the anti-democratic, anti-constitutional cave-ins his administration made to a once-petty band of thugs; like intrusive and arresting provisions in the Patriot Act and electronic domestic snooping which he promotes as a defense against future attacks on the nation.
In an interview with Politico, Dick Cheney warned of the 'high probability' of another attack - another 'mushroom-cloud' alarm - IF we undo his administration's opportunistic surrenders to individuals (like the 9-11 suspects) who would disrupt our democracy with acts of violence.
Cheney said “the ultimate threat to the country” is “a 9/11-type event where the terrorists are armed with something much more dangerous than an airline ticket and a box cutter – a nuclear weapon or a biological agent of some kind” that is deployed in the middle of an American city.
“That’s the one that would involve the deaths of perhaps hundreds of thousands of people, and the one you have to spend a hell of a lot of time guarding against,” he said.
“I think there’s a high probability of such an attempt. Whether or not they can pull it off depends whether or not we keep in place policies that have allowed us to defeat all further attempts, since 9/11, to launch mass-casualty attacks against the United States.”
There are important things that the two former autocrats should be made to realize, from the public and from the new administration: It is the Bush/Cheney presidency which is saddled with the failure to heed and take action on their own intelligence reports to ward off the devastating attacks on our nation.
It is the Bush/Cheney presidency which is saddled with their deliberate lying and autocratic exercise of our military forces to overthrow a sovereign regime and install a new one behind the sacrifices of life and livelihood of our nation's defenders.
It is the Bush/Cheney presidency which is saddled with the increasing numbers, across the board, of individuals abroad bent on violent resistance to the U.S., our interests, and our allies. In Afghanistan alone, violence in 2008 rose to the highest levels since the initial invasion. The U.N. is reporting a 40% rise in civilian deaths there, a numbing percentage of those inflicted by our own occupying forces.
It is the Bush/Cheney presidency which is saddled with their own intelligence reports concluding that the Iraq conflict had become a "cause celebre" for Muslim jihadists. Likewise, in Afghanistan, a new NATO assessment, obtained by CNN, reportedly shows that "some of the main reasons for the increase in violence is more U.S. troops on the ground and an increase in operational Afghan forces hitting insurgent targets around the country . . ."
What Cheney is celebrating and defending is their flimsy, flailing domestic response to the escalating effects of his administration's reckless, destabilizing, enduring military deployments abroad. There is little evidence that any of their anti-democratic, anti-constitutional constructions actually prevented any attack on our nation. Yet, it has become tragically clear that Bush/Cheney's military posture and their self-righteous directing of 'shock and awe' across sovereign borders has had the effect of fostering more individuals resorted to violent expressions of the self-determination and sovereignty the administration postured to promote and defend.