The good news is that Dick Cheney is not our Vice President anymore. The bad news is that he continues to say evil, blatantly false things to the press. We didn’t appreciate his opinions when he was in the White House, and we certainly don’t appreciate them any better now. Here are six more recent quotations that leave us wishing Cheney would just shut up altogether:
“Some people call it torture. It wasn’t torture. We were very careful in all respects to abide by the law.”
Preferring to use the euphemism “enhanced interrogation program,” Cheney’s continued insistence that torturing terrorism suspects is somehow not real torture is not only frustrating, it’s inconsistent. In one interview, he acknowledged that some of the tactics went “beyond the specific legal authorization” (which is hardly “being careful to abide by the law”) yet maintained that he saw no problem with this overreach. The overwhelming evidence that suggests the Bush administration encouraged out-and-out torture just makes Cheney’s words even more aggravating.
2. Iraq War
“The biggest threat we face is the possibility of terrorist groups like al Qaeda equipped with weapons of mass destruction, with nukes, bugs, or gas. That was the threat after 9/11 and when we took down Saddam Hussein, we eliminated Iraq as a potential source of that.”
Since rallying the country’s support for a war under false pretenses, even Cheney has had to admit that Iraq had no connection to 9/11, nor did it possess WMDs. Clearly, however, that doesn’t stop him from reinventing history in this quote. At least attacking Iraq with little justification proved to us that they didn’t have weapons of mass destruction, right? If national security means destroying every country that may have arms, we’ve got almost a couple hundred more to go!
3. The NSA
“[The notion] that we have created in the National Security Agency this monster bureaucracy that’s reading everybody’s mail, listening to everybody’s phone calls, infringing upon our civil liberties and civil rights: hogwash!”
After delivering this line, Cheney was even so bold as to claim that there was not a single incident of the NSA abusing its power. It’s Cheney’s claim that’s actually hogwash considering the leaked documents that showed widespread corruption and abuse by the unchecked powers of the NSA.
4. Edward Snowden
“I think [Snowden] is a traitor… I think he has committed crimes.”
Cheney’s take on this matter is particularly rich. How does a man who has faced countless accusations of war crimes have any business calling someone else out as a traitor?
For the record, Snowden isn’t sweating Cheney’s allegations. “Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American,” Snowden responded, taking the opinion that being on Cheney’s bad side means you must be doing something right.
5. Food Stamps
“[Obama] would much rather spend the money on food stamps than he would on a strong military or support for our troops.”
Not only does Cheney view any cut in spending on the military to be detrimental, but all money that is directed anywhere other than “defense” is a sign of a weak country. Why feed hungry people when we could be bombing more foreigners?
Of course, as the Huffington Post pointed out, military families relied on more than $100 million in food stamps in 2013 alone. If feeding military families is not considered “supporting the troops,” what is?
6. Organ Donation
“The way I think of it from a psychological standpoint is that it’s my new heart, not someone else’s old heart… I don’t spend time wondering who had it, what they’d done, what kind of person [they were].”
Cheney, a five-time heart attack survivor, was fortunate enough to receive a new heart from a donor, but – in his own words – he’s not that grateful. Heck, it’s probably that lack of empathy and concern for fellow humans that enabled him to order attacks on innocent populations.
Photo Credit: Kevin Rutherford