Since the news flashed Saturday night on my iPad that former US Vice President and former Halliburton CEO, Dick Cheney received a donor heart transplant at age 71, I have sat with an uncharacteristic, seething rage.
Never wishing to begrudge anyone a chance at life via a medical miracle, this story bothered me because this organ recipient has confessed to ordering and condoning torture. He should legitimately be sitting in a jail cell in The Hague awaiting trial for crimes against humanity.
He and his cohorts routinely used 9-11, the fear, fear, fear card and “pressure to find other ‘terrorists’ before they strike us again,” as justification for waterboarding Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (and others) 83 times, despite being told there was no more information to gain.
The torture of KSM and others damaged the ability to prosecute, increased the likelihood that captured Allied and US Forces would receive the same treatment and removed ALL US moral authority. Our credibility and all global sympathy was lost when proved we were just as savage as those who committed the acts that brought down the Twin Towers. We were once a better nation and people than this. We used to be able to hold our heads high and say no matter what, we are not like that. Well, no more, and this man is largely the architect of those policies.
It also began a steady slide into increased government powers in the name of unknown hiding terrorist… over there, no there… no THERE!! And this fear and xenophobia were used to pass and extend the despicable Patriot Act – using fear to eliminate basic constitutional rights including habeas corpus, search & seizure, self-incrimination and probable cause.
When Cheney said on global television he recommended and approved of torture, he became a self-admitted war criminal. It is no coincidence that Cheney, Bush, former AG Gonzalez and others ruled that ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ such as waterboarding were legal and NOT torture. It is also no coincidence they all now routinely cancel trips abroad for fear of arrest by another government that takes the Geneva Convention on torture seriously. Ask former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet how life has been since he decided to have surgery in Spain and was invited to stay for almost three decades inside their prison system.
We make a serious effort to play stories down the middle here at UK Progressive. It keeps our viewer numbers lower than those who scream bloody murder. We’re known more for depth and reliability. And… having lived with and covered the blatant lies of Bush-Cheney over war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the embarrassment of Cheney on global television admitting guilt and saying he would do it again, the inability of the US House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-NY) to see white hate groups in the US as terrorists and instead focusing like a laser on alienating and targeting Muslim for fear of alienating HIS political base… Dick Cheney and the GOP have become global symbols of torture.
The sheer arrogance of also rigging the fracking system in 2005 so his former company would exclusively benefit because no Halliburton fracking fluid chemicals are ever analysed or inspected by the EPA, has led to contaminated water supplies around the globe by the 100s of undisclosed carcinogenic chemicals protecting the world’s largest producer of those fracking fluids. Cheney’s systematic abuses of the government contracting process, began when he was in the Nixon Administration, then White House Chief of Staff to Gerald Ford, Secretary of Defence under Papa Bush 41, Congressman/GOP Whip and an oil and defence services baron at Halliburton before becoming VPOTUS.
He now has a donor heart beating in his chest that many argue should have gone to younger person with the chance to live a longer life. A donor heart has gone to a 71-year-old man on the far outer edges of eligibility (indeed he himself said in an NBC interview months before he was “too old” and a transplant was not likely) and yet everyone in the medical community is busily bending over backwards to say he did not receive any special treatment, FOX and other RW news outlets are deathly silent on the issue and EVERYONE insists it is impossible to game the national donor list system? As Queen Gertrude said to Hamlet when he asked her about a character in a play they were watching, “the lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
This man received a $36 million dollar going away bonus present from Halliburton when he won the Vice Presidency. He is the poster child for the 2% (Romney is the 1%’s king) and are we really to believe that Cheney’s money, power and connections had zero influence in the decision for him to receive a donor heart at age 71?
I, like many, was born at night, just not last night.