Oopsie, I guess we really can't count this as a mark for "out of the mouth of babes", but Liz Cheney, perhaps inadvertently, admitted that part of t
May 23, 2009

Oopsie, I guess we really can't count this as a mark for "out of the mouth of babes", but Liz Cheney, perhaps inadvertently, admitted that part of the reason we've seen Dick Cheney more in the last two months than we did in the eight years of the Bush administration is that he is very nervous that there will be investigations and prosecutions in his future:

(M)any in the media have asked why Cheney — someone who had avoided the media at all costs during his eight years as vice president — would be airing his opinions in such a forceful and public way. Indeed, Cheney himself has answered this question, claiming he is speaking out because he believes that torture and other Bush administration anti-terror policies — many of which Obama is abandoning — were “exactly the right thing to do” and that “there isn’t anybody there on the other side to tell the truth.”

In turn, media figures have answered the question in much the same way. “I think he genuinely believes we are threatened now more because of what Obama is doing,” MSNBC’s Pat Buchanan has said. CNN’s David Gergen said, “I think Dick Cheney almost has a Churchillian view of this, and that is somebody has got to stand up and be the voice in the wilderness.” But while the narrative of Cheney’s motives focuses mainly on the righteous, it has all but ignored the selfish — that Cheney is trying to muddle the public debate with the goal of reducing public support for a criminal inquiry into the torture regime that he authorized.

Last night on CNN, however, Cheney’s daughter Liz revealed that fear of prosecution is indeed a motivating factor in the former vice president’s current media campaign:

L. CHENEY: I don’t think he planned to be doing this, you know, when they left office in January. But I think, as it became clear that President Obama was not only going to be stopping some of these policies, that he was going to be doing things like releasing the — the techniques themselves, so that the terrorists could now train to them, that he was suggesting that perhaps we would even be prosecuting former members of the Bush administration.

Sad that this "Get Daddy Out Of Jail Free" ploy seems to have all the news outlets lapping it up with nary a word on what the motives might be for a former Vice President to break with protocol and criticize a sitting President (and by doing so, implicitly admitting that Cheney--not Bush--was in charge). Can you imagine how the right wing noise machine would have gone into overdrive if Clinton had started criticizing Bush for not taking the al Qaeda threat seriously at the beginning of his presidency? By all reports, that's what happened. Richard Clarke was demoted, his reports ignored, and then 9/11 happened on their watch. And now terrorism has increased worldwide four-fold. However, even with this miserable track record (kept from the public by these media outlets eager for a Cheney appearance), Cheney thinks his opinion has any value to the discussion?

Heather has put up the larger Anderson Cooper interview at VideoCafe.

Steve Benen wonders if there isn't a more pecuniary motive to Cheney's sudden appearances (twelve in nine and a half days over four networks). Of course, Liz Cheney may also be trying to establish herself as a credible candidate in 2012 too:

The hottest Republican property out there isn't former Vice President Dick Cheney but his daughter Liz, who has taken to the airwaves to defend her dad and the whole Bush administration on national security and Guantánamo Bay issues. Liz Cheney, who followed the former veep's hard-hitting speech criticizing President Obama's policies with a CNN appearance, is becoming so popular in conservative circles that some want her to run for office. "She's awesome. Everyone wants her to run," said a close friend.

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