Thursday, May 21, 2009

The gloves are off – Obama vs. Cheney


"To the very end of our administration, we kept Al-Queda terrorists busy with other problems. We focused on getting their secrets, instead of sharing ours with them. And on our watch, they never hit this country again." Dick Cheney.

Dick Cheney was scheduled to speak weeks in advance at the American Enterprise Institute this morning in defense of the Bush Administration's policies war on terror. But after the Senate in a 90-6 vote refused to grant Obama the funds to close Guantanamo, because he remains clueless as to what to do with the prisoners, Obama decided to make a guest appearance and make a speech at the American Enterprise Institute also. I could imagine what must have been going through his mind, "Why did the senate reject my closing of Guantanamo? Don't they know I campaigned on this? Yes I know I don't know what to do with the terrorists? But why would they reject me? I am the messiah. I know, I will go and speak in front of the American Enterprise Institute before Cheney speaks, this way it will look like Cheney is giving a rebuttal to my speech." Obama still gave no specific plan as to what to do with the detainees, but he did manage to once again malign Bush's policies for keeping us safe. – give me a break.

Now, I have to hand it to Barack Obama. When he fails in his policies, he appears in front of the cameras to try and defend his position. If former President Bush had done this, we may not have had this buffoon who appears to have just graduated from Daniel Ortega's school of Marxism trying to defend the indefensible. I wish there were more voices out there than just Dick Cheney's voice. But at least, Dick is giving powerful and cogent arguments that even the far-left has a hard time refuting. Obama may have given his speech first, but he was sure on the defense.

Obama - too often – our government made decisions based upon fear rather than foresight, and all too often trimmed facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions

While I believe that Obama sincerely believes that waterboarding is torture, I also believe that it was political posturing when he came out to sign the executive order to close Guantanamo Bay with no strategy as to what to do with the prisoners. Was it not the left who said Bush went into Iraq with no exit strategy? It was also political posturing when Barack released the CIA memos in the guise of transparency while blacking out entire portions of these same memos which showed the efficacy of these enhanced interrogation methods. Barack Obama reminds me of Good Samaritans like Lisa Torti who lifts a co-worker out of a wrecked vehicle, fearing it would catch fire or "blow up." The co-worker then sues Torti because she causes injury to her spinal cord. A rash of these types of incidents required Good Samaritan Laws. Maybe we need laws to protect American CIA agents who use the law to protect American citizens, but then have to worry about politically-motivated administrations who take power with vengeance on their mind not against the terrorists but against the very Americans who kept the rest of us safe. It was political posturing when Obama was going to release photos of detainee abuse knowing full well that these photographs were taken by the military for the purpose of prosecuting certain individuals who did abuse to prisoners for the purpose of prosecution, some of whom are in jail now, and it was political posturing to change his mind not to release the photos when he saw the polls were against him.

Barack Obama said that Gitmo alienated us from the world, but yet the world refuses to take the detainees. This is a recruitment tool Obama says – says who? - The terrorists who are trying to kill us. In fact, just today, a terrorist plot was foiled by the New York FBI while Obama is giving a speech about closing Gitmo. If it were a recruitment tool, why are there continuing attacks against the United States? Barack Obama's rhetoric goes against the face of reality.

Obama - sets back the willingness of our allies to work with us in fighting an enemy that operates in scores of countries. By any measure, the costs of keeping it open far exceed the complications involved in closing it. That is why I argued that it should be closed throughout my campaign. And that is why I ordered it closed within one year.

Where does he get this stuff? How would he even know that? So releasing the CIA memos somehow made us a stronger nation? He can't even come up with an argument that makes sense. So what again is the rational for closing Guantanamo? I have yet to see a valid argument. Are we going to put them in our prison population so they can radicalize the rest of the prison population? We already know this is happening. In fact, the New York plot that was just foiled was planned by four Muslims who converted to Islam in prison. Where is the press on that one? Are we going to provide them with ACLU attorneys who will make every effort to make sure they walk free on some technicality? We don't have to worry about disclosing secrets during trials, because Barack Obama has already showed a propensity for doing just that. Barack Obama tells us he will make sure that the detainees will be scrutinized and no prisoner will be let go who will kill Americans. He argues that Bush let 2/3rds of the detainees go under his watch. He is right. Bush did the same meticulous investigative work that Obama proposes yet we have confirmed that 61 of these detainees returned to the battlefield, some of whom have killed Americans again. If we know 61 have returned, there are probably many more we don't know of who have returned to the battlefield.

Obama's speech was the usual flowery rhetoric of which we have become accustomed, but which lacked specifics and the basic ingredient of common sense.

Then the person who was originally scheduled to give a speech at the American Enterprise Institute enters. It is so much easier to defend a position with sound reasoning than what Obama delivered.

I am glad Dick Cheney has come in defense of Bush's policies that were working. Since Cheney has come in defense of the Bush policies, his approval ratings are up 8 points according to a CNN poll. What is interesting is Bush was elected to a second term because the American people recognized his policies were working. Isn't it refreshing to see a politician say something like this?

Being the first vice president who had also served as secretary of defense, naturally my duties tended toward national security. I focused on those challenges day to day, mostly free from the usual political distractions. I had the advantage of being a vice president content with the responsibilities I had, and going about my work with no higher ambition. Today, I'm an even freer man. Your kind invitation brings me here as a private citizen – a career in politics behind me, no elections to win or lose, and no favor to seek.

Every time I have heard Cheney speak, his arguments have been forceful, on point, and reassuring. I can't say this about either Obama or gaff-prone Biden. Of course, now your tax dollars will have to go to build another bunker for the vice president since Biden disclosed where the Vice President goes when we are under attack. So, who do you really feel safer under?

When President Obama makes wise decisions, as I believe he has done in some respects on Afghanistan, and in reversing his plan to release incendiary photos, he deserves our support. And when he faults or mischaracterizes the national security decisions we made in the Bush years, he deserves an answer. The point is not to look backward. Now and for years to come, a lot rides on our President's understanding of the security policies that preceded him. And whatever choices he makes concerning the defense of this country, those choices should not be based on slogans and campaign rhetoric, but on a truthful telling of history.

This is so true. Obama does deserve an answer. For almost eight years, the Bush administration kept us safe, and Barack Obama is out there trying to tell us it's not true. He is trying to tell us, we were operating out of fear. He is trying to say what the Bush administration did was not effective. Why does he not go back to community organizing with the corrupt organization ACORN and the corrupt political machine of Chicago where he can bask in the anti-American rhetoric of Reverend Wright as he teaches his Liberation Theology and leave the war on terror or as Obama would say the Overseas Contingency Operationto the adults? He operates better there. Only an idiot would think to change the name to Overseas Contingency Operation.

That attack itself was, of course, the most devastating strike in a series of terrorist plots carried out against Americans at home and abroad. In 1993, they bombed the World Trade Center, hoping to bring down the towers with a blast from below. The attacks continued in 1995, with the bombing of U.S. facilities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; the killing of servicemen at Khobar Towers in 1996; the attack on our embassies in East Africa in 1998; the murder of American sailors on the USS Cole in 2000; and then the hijackings of 9/11, and all the grief and loss we suffered on that day.

    Nine-eleven caused everyone to take a serious second look at threats that had been gathering for a while, and enemies whose plans were     getting bolder and more sophisticated. Throughout the 90s, America had responded to these attacks, if at all, on an ad hoc basis. The first     attack     on the World Trade Center was treated as a law enforcement problem, with everything handled after the fact – crime scene, arrests,     indictments, convictions, prison sentences, case closed.

We know of the attacks before 9/11, and we know of the thwarted attacks after 9/11, but somehow the left doesn't feel Bush should be given credit for the almost eight years we had no attacks. And, the Bush administration is second guessed on preserving American life saying that information could have been retrieved by other means in lieu of waterboarding. Has this world gone completely insane?

Everyone expected a follow-on attack, and our job was to stop it. We didn't know what was coming next, but everything we did know in that autumn of 2001 looked bad. This was the world in which al-Qaeda was seeking nuclear technology, and A. Q. Khan was selling nuclear technology on the black market. We had the anthrax attack from an unknown source. We had the training camps of Afghanistan, and dictators like Saddam Hussein with known ties to Mideast terrorists.


Who is A.Q.Khan you might ask? If you don't know, you should find out. This man presented the greatest threat to the proliferation of nuclear technology to terrorist groups than any other man. He was the founder of Pakistan's nuclear technology. He was involved with selling nuclear technology to North Korea, Iran and other rogue states. Anyone with money could purchase the technology from Khan. But no worry, let's not waterboard, let's just use the Army Field Manual and yell at the detainees.

To make certain our nation country never again faced such a day of horror, we developed a comprehensive strategy, beginning with far greater homeland security to make the United States a harder target. But since wars cannot be won on the defensive, we moved decisively against the terrorists in their hideouts and sanctuaries, and committed to using every asset to take down their networks. We decided, as well, to confront the regimes that sponsored terrorists, and to go after those who provide sanctuary, funding, and weapons to enemies of the United States. We turned special attention to regimes that had the capacity to build weapons of mass destruction, and might transfer such weapons to terrorists.

We did all of these things, and with bipartisan support put all these policies in place. It has resulted in serious blows against enemy operations … the take-down of the A.Q. Khan network … and the dismantling of Libya's nuclear program. It's required the commitment of many thousands of troops in two theaters of war, with high points and some low points in both Iraq and Afghanistan – and at every turn, the people of our military carried the heaviest burden. Well over seven years into the effort, one thing we know is that the enemy has spent most of this time on the defensive – and every attempt to strike inside the United States has failed.


There couldn't have been a more stark contrast between the two speeches. Dick Cheney is finally making the case to the American people and as Bill Sammon, the Washington Managing editor says, "Liberals will redouble their efforts to destroy Cheney." But Cheney is not Obama, he will not waver with the polls, he will continue and defend his position preventing at the same time history revisionism. Instead of vilifying the Bush administration, we should be thanking the administration for keeping us safe. If there is ever a nuclear attack on U.S. soil, life as we know it will change forever. Liberals will emerge from their theoretical utopian world that doesn't exist and say, "I wish we had done everything possible to prevent an attack including waterboarding" or maybe not. But, by then, it will be too late.


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