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Dick Cheney’s Greatest Hits

Here's a pretty old post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 15 years ago, in 2009, on the World Wide Web.

So this week we learned that Vice President Dick Cheney created a CIA hit squad taking orders directly from his office — a little factoid which he happened to keep secret throughout the remainder of the Bush Administration. From Reuters:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The CIA withheld information from the U.S. Congress about a secret counterterrorism program on orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney, a senator said on Sunday as Democrats called for an investigation. … The still-secret program, which The New York Times said never became operational, began after the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001.

The Wall Street Journal said the secret initiative terminated by Panetta was an effort to carry out a 2001 authorization by then Republican President George W. Bush to capture or kill al Qaeda operatives.

— Reuters (2009-07-12): Cheney hid CIA program from Congress: senator

Let’s get some reactions from arch-liberal power-brokers Patrick Leahy and Diane Feinstein:

Feinstein and Democrat Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, insisted no one should go outside the law.

Asked about Cheney’s alleged involvement, Leahy told the CBS program Face the Nation: I’d like to know if it’s true or not. I mean, nobody in this country is above the law … You can’t have somebody say, well, if you’re vice president, you don’t have to obey the law.

Feinstein said Congress should have been told.

This is a big problem, because the law is very clear. And I understand the need of the day, which was when America was in shock after September 11, she said on Fox. But … I think you weaken your case when you go outside of the law.

— Reuters (2009-07-12): Cheney hid CIA program from Congress: senator

Oh, well. It was wrong because it wasn’t The Law.

So, just so we’re clear, if Cheney and Bush had gotten Congress to change the federal laws so that it would be perfectly legal for the Vice President of the United States to create unaccountable secret international death squads that take orders from, and report only to the highest levels of, Executive power, would that have somehow made it alright?


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3 replies to Dick Cheney’s Greatest Hits Use a feed to Follow replies to this article · TrackBack URI

  1. Kelly W. Patterson

    Being that the solution to “fix” the illegal wiretapping program was simply to pass laws making it legal, I don’t think there is much doubt that this is what they believe. More often than not, things are judged not on actual merit and value, but on whether someone has permission to do it. That is why you often hear the excuse that, while something might have been wrong or immoral, it wasn’t illegal, therefore there’s nothing that can be done about it. Which is yet another way that Government actually undermines morality and order.

  2. Discussed at ohsiam.com

    Rad Geek People's Daily 2009-07-17 – Dick Cheney's Greatest Hits | news ohsiam:

    […] View post: Rad Geek People's Daily 2009-07-17 – Dick Cheney's Greatest Hits […]

  3. Gabriel

    Funny how things that favor those with power are all right but things they oppose are “violations of the law”. Incidentally have you read that interesting essay by Hasnas? It’s about how the “law” is just naked power, and how no society (libertarian or otherwise) can have a neutral, just law.

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