BY EDWIN E. VINEYARD
The Darth Vader of the Empire of the American Galactic Era [otherwise known as the Bush Imperial Administration] has returned. Banished into outer oblivion in the last clash of titans [known as an election], Darth has returned with vengeance. It is almost as if he were Satan arising from the burning pit into which he was tossed.
The evil scowl still present on his countenance, Dick Cheney continues his attempts to frighten the American people who rejected him and his cronies just last November. Frantically he tries to defend the evil that he and his gang perpetrated not only on the American people but also the world.
Can we not rid ourselves of this man? Why are we giving him free air time to spew his venom upon us? Why? Is it “the news media” who seem to like any controversy, the nastier the better. Or, is the answer related to that reasoning which pays Rush Limbaugh millions of dollars to fill us daily with his bilious utterings?
He tells us that we are not as safe now as we were when he and his cabal were in governing power, and that we will become increasingly unsafe if we undo any of his misdeeds which turned the sympathies of a part of the world against us and invoked hatred from the other part.
No, we were never safe with Cheney and Bush in control. They were there on 9/11, ignoring a specific intelligence warning several days before that attack. They were confused and inept, just as during Katrina. Then they bullied their intelligence to give poor Colin Powell some cooked up data to go to the U.N. to justify a war against Iraq.
They could never find the “weapons of mass destruction,” but they resorted to torture of Arab captives to try to come up with a connection some way between Saddam and al-Qaida. Then they cooked up some obfuscating legal memos from underlings to try to make torturing of prisoners legal. Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo became symbols of prisoner abuse to the entire world, and a recruiting poster for terrorist organizations.
Had not the misdeeds of the Bush Administration against prisoners been attached to the reputation of Guantanamo world wide, Mr. Obama would not be faced with the necessity of closing down that facility. Take away its aura of evil, and the encampment at Guantanamo might well be a model solution for holding legally and properly incarcerated prisoners taken in the jihad of terrorists against us and western civilization.
Too many of those now at Guantanamo have been held on false or flimsy charges and little or no evidence. Some of the evidence on perpetrators has been obtained by torture, thus not admissible in any fair court.
It is no credit to the American public that some 35% appear to be swallowing Darth Cheney’s three false premises – that illegal torture was necessary, that it was successful, and that anything is okay if done for a good cause. Cheney is Machiavellian, so watch out for his shotgun! Heaven help us if we sell out our basic values so readily.
Mr. Obama’s revision of the military tribunals, giving prisoners rights previously denied, may be the proper thing for some prisoners. Others for whom we have little or nothing admissible should be returned to authorities in their own nation or region. The Saudis have been effective with such. The hardcore terrorists remaining should be tried and put into our federal maximum security prisons.
It is too bad that the facility was misused and abused by Cheney and his crowd. In the type of world conflict we find ourselves entangled, there is a need for a detention center of that nature for persons taken in combat situations.
Now, could somebody tell Darth Cheney to go back into his undisclosed location under his galactic rock?
– Dr. Edwin E. Vineyard, AKA The Militant Moderate, lives in Enid, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer