The Elephant In The Room

As Driftglass pointed out in his weekly Sunday morning post with his take on the weekend talk shows, or the 'Mouse Circus" as he describes them, this segment on Meet the Press discussing former Vice President Dick Cheney's soon to be released memoir
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As Driftglass pointed out in his weekly Sunday morning post with his take on the weekend talk shows, or the 'Mouse Circus" as he describes them, this segment on Meet the Press discussing former Vice President Dick Cheney's soon to be released memoir is yet another demonstration of everything that's wrong with our corporate media.

Here's more from Driftglass:

Two, correctional-facility-based questions bookended the Mouse Circus today: one asked and one unasked.

  • Asked: Why the Hell weren't prisoners being held on Riker's Island evacuated?
  • Unasked: Why the Hell isn't Richard Bruce Cheney and most of the rest of his Republican politico-criminal enterprise rotting away the rest of their lives in federal prison?

Interred beneath the vast, complicit media silence between the implications of these two questions is where you will find most everything that is wrong with the United States in this Year of Our Lord 2011.

Which is why, rather that daring to look Evil in the eye and asking "Why?", everyone instead settled into their comfortable media roles, giggled and whispering uncomfortably about how little regard cyborg and unindicted-war-criminal Cheney had for anyone that stood in his way, and how really, really unapologetic Vice President Sociopath is for anything.

As if this were some kind of surprise.

More at his blog with the rest of his critique of this Sunday's Mouse Circus and warning for anyone not familiar with his site, some of it's not safe for work.

Transcript via NBC below the fold:

MR. GREGORY: Let me turn to Jamie Gangel and talk about your interview and your special coming up on "Dateline," a special tomorrow night. The former vice president, his memoirs coming out, he said in the open, as you asked him, "Heads are going to explode all over Washington." He talks about former Secretary of State Colin Powell, had some pointed words for him. This is from his memoir. "Like the president, I had believed Colin Powell would be an effective secretary of state ..." Cheney writes, "But ... I was particularly disappointed in the way he handled policy differences. Time and again I heard that he was opposed to the war in Iraq. ... But never once in any meeting did I hear him voice objection. It was as though he thought the proper way to express his views was by criticizing administration policy to people outside the government. ... When President Bush accepted Powell's resignation, I thought it was for the best." Scores are going to get settled.

MS. GANGEL: Yes. First we should say that Mr. Cheney says this is not a score-settling book. That said, I think everyone else is going to disagree. He takes on former CIA director George Tenet, said he quit when the going got tough. Goes after John McCain, goes after Powell, and is withering in his criticism of Condi Rice. There are words like a "train wreck" and "utterly misleading." I do think in the end, though, what may be most surprising are the differences that he airs with former President Bush and the fact that he went public at all. Dick Cheney is known as the man who would never write a book. So just the fact there are numerous differences between Bush's account, Cheney's account, private conversations that I think are going to be stunning.

MR. GREGORY: I want to ask, as the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, an historic interview on this program that Tim Russert did with then Vice President Cheney aired September 16, 2001. And Mr. Cheney writes about it. First, I'll play you the exchange and then show you what the vice president wrote about it.

(Videotape, September 16, 2011)

FMR. VICE PRES. CHENEY: We also have to work, though, sort of the, the dark side, if you will. We've got to spend time in the shadows in the, in the intelligence world. A lot of what needs to be done here will have to be done quietly, without any discussion, using sources and methods that are available to our intelligence agencies.

(End videotape)

MR. GREGORY: He writes this then in his memoir, "My comments [on MEET THE PRESS] about the `dark side' have been used by critics over the years to suggest something sinister. I don't see it that way. Only five days earlier we had lost nearly 3,000 Americans. It was true then and remains true today that defending this nation and preventing another attack require efforts that have to be kept secret and work that goes on in the shadows, sometimes with less than upstanding individuals, in order to save American lives."

Katty, we knew he'd be unapologetic about this point, this is really taking on those who have, have a darker assessment of the past 10 years.

MS. KAY: And even more specifically, when asked--when you asked about waterboarding, says, absolutely he agrees that it's still a policy and should be something that Americans are doing. Pressed on whether that's torture, carries on saying, "Yes, this is actually something that we should still be doing against our enemies." It is a remarkably unapologetic account, and he's clearly wanting--I guess it's his legacy moment to say, "The policies I advocated were the right ones. Those who disagreed with me," and it's interesting how many times he puts down people that "disagreed with me--anyone that disagreed with me was wrong." And when it comes to defending America, he's absolutely adamant.

MR. BROOKS: That's part of his problem. I thought some of his judgments were correct. In the book he talks about wanting to bomb the Syrian nuclear reactor and everybody else against it. He was absolutely right about that. Israel happened to save our bacon on that one. But I think part of the problem he had was that he thinks he's part of the national security clerisy. "We--we're serious people, we know what's going on. We don't have to worry about all those little people. They don't, they don't--the rest of the country, they don't understand what we understand." And if you don't bring the people along and if you don't pay attention to public opinion and the press, then you're going to be alone and your policy's going to be isolated, and I think that's what happened. And Condi Rice beat him again and again within the White House, and that's why he's so hostile.

MR. DYSON: And I think ultimately, obviously, that the contrast between working the `dark side' and the Obama administration's approach, I mean the proof is in the pudding, bin Laden is killed under the Obama administration's attempt to extricate information in a reasonable fashion without resort to waterboarding and torture, and the consequences pay off and the dividends pay off hugely vs. those kind of dark side--of which the consequences are still unclear.

MR. GREGORY: Jamie, quickly, there was a light moment in the interview, and I just want to play that exchange.

(Videotape)

MS. GANGEL: During the transition to the Obama White House, you apparently gave some very sage advice to the incoming chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. You told him?

FMR. VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, we, we had a meeting convened by Josh Bolton, our chief of staff, of all the people who had previously held that job. At the meeting, they went around the table and asked each person to give a crucial piece of advice to Rahm, who was about to take over as, as President Obama's chief of staff. And when they got to me, I said, "Look, Rahm, first thing you got to do is make sure you've got your vice president under control," which got a great laugh.

(End videotape)

MR. GREGORY: It's funny, though, Jamie, you know, Vice President Biden has been a pretty strong vice president. Maybe not exactly like Cheney, but pretty strong.

MS. GANGEL: And Dick Cheney likes Joe Biden, by the way.

MR. GREGORY: Right, right.

MS. GANGEL: He goes on to, to say.

MR. GREGORY: Keeping the model up and running.

MS. GANGEL: Absolutely. Absolutely.

MR. GREGORY: All right. We're going to take a quick break here.

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