Who Hijacked Our Country

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Dick Cheney: Shoot the Messenger

Let’s say you’re driving along and suddenly a red warning light on your dashboard starts flashing. Do you: A) pull over and check the engine or the owner’s manual; or B) put some masking tape over the gauge so you won’t have to be bothered by that #^%$#&*! red light?

Or, your doctor gives you some dire health warnings and tells you which lifestyle and diet changes you need to make. Your response is: A) take the warnings seriously, and start following at least some of the doctor’s recommendations; or B) call the doctor a #^%$&!#$#! and go storming out, and look for a doctor who’ll just tell you that whatever you’re doing is AOK.

If your name is Dick Cheney, you answered B) for each of those questions.

Last week, Amnesty International came out with a report condemning American treatment of terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay. Not terrorists — suspects. Remember those quaint notions about innocent until proven guilty and the right to a speedy trial?

For decades, Amnesty International has been a respected watchdog for human rights. Suspected violations at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay have been a hot topic for over a year now. If an international watchdog confirms what many people have suspected, maybe the report should be taken seriously.

It’s one thing to have questions or reservations about this report, but the usual predictable sources have lashed out with kneejerk responses.

Dick Cheney said: “Frankly, I was offended by it. For Amnesty International to suggest that somehow the United States is a violator of human rights, I frankly just don’t take them seriously.”

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Richard Myers called the Amnesty International report “absolutely irresponsible.”

Bush also jumped on the bandwagon: “It’s absurd. It’s an absurd allegation. The United States is a country that promotes freedom around the world.”

Like a doctor’s warning or a flashing red light on the dashboard, this Amnesty International report needs to be taken seriously and investigated.

Or you could just put some tape over that gauge so the flashing red light won’t bother you. And put on some earplugs so you won’t have to listen to that Godawful clanging sound under the hood.


Anonymous chasmyn said...

Excellent analogy.

And of course, not at all surprising.

June 1, 2005 at 12:24 AM  
Blogger ~jay said...


You mean all those people who have testified at Abu Ghraib and pled GUILTY were wrong??

For shame, America.

In all seriousness, this is just another one of those times where our nation's "leaders" have yet again chosen to stick their fingers in their ears and scream "LA LA LA, I'm Not Listening!!"
Excellent post.


June 1, 2005 at 1:45 AM  
Blogger Sparkling said...

Power certainly rises to some peoples heads.

June 1, 2005 at 2:30 AM  
Anonymous JollyRoger said...

Just take anything El Shrubbo (or Crooked Lip) says, and turbn it 180 degrees to divine the actual message.

This is always the deal.

June 1, 2005 at 6:03 AM  
Blogger erinberry said...

Check out this post at Crooks & Liars:


Seems that Dick can't decide whether Amnesty is a reliable source or not.

June 1, 2005 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger Nariel said...

Excellent Post! :0)

Well, it seems to me that had Amnesty Int. would have been fine had they been speaking about any other nation.. we would have sent arms, money, military to them.. but far be it from us to ever lie about anything, or coverup anything.. why no.. this is America after all! *rolling eyes*

Somehow along the way, it would seem that we have become morally pompous in our worldview. We seek to watchdog the world and yet who is watchdogging us? Evidently groups like Amnesty International. ;)

We are not immune to corruption and political rhetorics and lies.. if we have grown so arrogant as to think that somehow because we are "american" that that means we would do no wrong, need no checks and balances and watchdogging.. then we are deluded. I for one am GLAD that there are organizations that are willing to speak up with a voice to the things that some will not speak for going on right here at home.

Its my opinion that we are so busy pursuing our own interests abroad, and watchdogging everyone else's affairs, that there is little time or effort put to watching the interests of America from within.

Agreed.. I think we've just put the ducttape over the gauge and we're hoping that noone will ask why.

Great Article, I"m planning to link it at Ancient Eyes.

June 1, 2005 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger Brother Kenya said...

Great post, Tom. Did you notice how Bush, for example, didn't really deny the report but just called it "absurd." When are we going to get to see the findings of these "transparent" investigations?

June 1, 2005 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger Nariel said...

Tom: this link will take you to Amnesty International USA's retort to Bush/Cheney "absurd" reaction ;)


Also, for those of your readers that are interested.. there is a petition drive with Amnesty International to at last bring the attention and action that is needed.

June 1, 2005 at 10:03 AM  
Anonymous Overseas Will said...

Good post. The Rachel Maddow Show on Air American had something similar about this on Memorial Day.

June 1, 2005 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger Sar said...

There will eventually come a time when the balance of American people will join the rest of the world to see through the lies and recognize the corruption of this administration. For whatever reason, polls indicate people find Bush likeable. However, most everyone agrees that Cheney comes off as an evil grouch. So, perhaps the evil grouch going after Amnesty International will help kickstart the removal of right-sponsored rosy glasses.

June 1, 2005 at 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Chasmyn: Thanks. And no, not a bit surprising.

~jay: Yup, all those people who pled guilty were just trying to slander our government. Charles Graner pled guilty to things he didn't even do; he willingly sacrificed 10 years of his life because he hates America.

And that's just what our "leaders" are doing: sticking their fingers in their ears and going "lalalala."

Sparkling: Yup, it certainly does.

Jolly Roger: That's as good a way as any to try getting any sense out of him -- just flipping everything 180 degrees.

June 1, 2005 at 11:22 AM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Erinberry: Thanks for that link. And it figures -- they'll quote Amnesty International when they say what we like, and then condemn the same group if they disagree. Great leadership.

Patricia: Thanks. It seems like our overseas prisons are turning into the kind of places that Amnesty International has been reporting on for years. If it's a third world country (whose government we don't like) we're apalled at the brutality. But if it's our own government they're referring to, well, "it's absurd," or "they have a communist agenda," or something. These reports need to be investigated and dealt with, not swept under the rug. Thanks for linking to my post.

And that was a good response from the executive director of Amnesty International.

Brother Kenya: What, we're gonna get to see the findings? Nah. Maybe they'll print occasional bits and pieces of it, but not 'til the next big celebrity gossip item takes over the headlines, and then they'll bury the story at the bottom of page 33.

Overseas Will: Thanks. I'm glad this is getting some reaction on Air America.

Sar: I hope you're right. But for at least 2 years (after it became clear that Iraq wasn't the cakewalk they'd predicted) I've been thinking that any day now the public will start seeing through the Bush/Cheney smoke and mirrors. I hope the 2006 midterm elections go a little to the left, but you never know what Rove is gonna pull out of his hat.

June 1, 2005 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Hammer said...

Myers also said "I mean essentially, they've (ICRC) been there the whole time. And we get good marks for the way we take care of people." This is patently false.

June 1, 2005 at 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Hammer: Thanks for the link. It figures. I know the Red Cross has been thwarted at Abu Ghraib ever since word started leaking out in 2002. Sometimes they'd move certain captives from prison to prison just so the Red Cross wouldn't be able to find them.

It just keeps unraveling.

June 1, 2005 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

The funny thing about Cheney was that he was as bad as Bush regarding the report. He pretty much scoffed it off. Denial of a bad only makes the bad worse and the guilty moreso. Ofcourse, that's nothing to Bush and Company so why worry? It's all at the taxpayers expense in terms of money and reputation so why worry?

June 1, 2005 at 12:39 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

OK Democrat: Cheney and Bush are definitely making things worse by denying this and trying to sweep it under the rug. And taxpayers will happily foot the bill. I remember when Republicans were the party of fiscal restraint and small government.

June 1, 2005 at 1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Suspects, terrorists, what's the difference. People like them ought to be put to sleep.

June 1, 2005 at 1:39 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

The sad truth is people will not care until it is their children who are fighting and dying in Iraq. That is why Bushies are believable on this one item, they won't bring back the draft because it will rile the middle class out of their slumber.

June 1, 2005 at 1:54 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

Frankly, I'm offended by Dick Cheney!

It seems that people in the rest of the world won't have a chance to bring the U.S. to justice. As soon as they try to describe what happened to them they are branded liars. "Oh you know, he's an Arab...they all lie!" KWW

June 1, 2005 at 2:13 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Anonymous: Well, there is a difference. They have to be tried and convicted first; then they're terrorists.

Dan: Yeah, the draft would shatter the cozy arrangement they've got now. Politicians and corporations arrange wars and invasions, and blue-collar sons and daughters go off to fight and die.

Kitchen Window Woman: I agree, Cheney's very offensive. And of course those whining prisoners are all terrorists; you can't listen to them :)

June 1, 2005 at 2:32 PM  
Blogger I.M. Dedd said...

Dick Cheney. The most aptly named politician in America.

June 1, 2005 at 3:42 PM  
Blogger Ken Grandlund said...

No surprise that this administration denies or decries anything that does not fit into their own world view. They can complain and deny all they want. Too many eyes are opening all over the place.
As for Bush's "like-ability"...he may be an okay guy to have a beer with if, but only if he had no real power or control of anything beyond his own lawnmower, and he is definitely NOT a leader, especially of our once great country.

June 1, 2005 at 4:28 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

that damn media...if only they would have done their job with the weapons of mass deception...Cheney, now that a deception...

June 1, 2005 at 5:13 PM  
Blogger profmarcus said...

these guys are so far over the top it's unbelievable... they need to go and the sooner the better... unfortunately, it's going to be up to us to figure out how to tar and feather them and run them out of town on a rail...

June 1, 2005 at 7:54 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

I.M. Dedd: Yeah, that's a great name for him all right.

Ken: I hope you're right that more people are opening their eyes. It seems that way to me, but then I also thought so during the 2002 midterm elections and the 2004 election. Hope '06 and '08 will be better.

Fred Villarreal: Yeah, either the media weren't doing their job, or their new "job" is to march hand in hand with the Bush administration.

Profmarcus: Yup, these guys are way over the top, that's for sure. They've gotta go.

June 1, 2005 at 8:10 PM  
Blogger Benjamin Solah said...

That's a good way to look at it. Figures of power are always too gutless to admit there mistakes...for goodness sakes it might effect their profit margins and their ability to exploit the working class.
btw, notice how the stupid negative responses are always conducted under the name anonymous.

June 1, 2005 at 9:09 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Benjamin Solah: Some of our past presidents were able to own up to their mistakes, but it's rare. You'll never hear Bush or Cheney admitting anything.

June 1, 2005 at 9:58 PM  

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