The appearance of Dick Cheney in the House of Representatives on the anniversary of January 6th helped identify the true villain on the scene…/
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…Remember our Health and Human Services Secretary saying last summer, in advance of a “door-to-door” campaign that was supposedly about urging people toward the jab, that “it absolutely is the government’s business” to know who’s vaccinated and who isn’t? Or, have you noticed the total lack of interest among pundits and politicians in distinguishing between anti-vaxxers and people who merely have anti-mandate or anti-passport attitudes? It’s all the same obstructionism to them.
Where have we seen this style of intentional line-blurring to justify the expansion of executive authority before? From Cheney, who took emergency politics to places even a sober Joe McCarthy could never have dreamed of. On the pretense that new powers were needed to combat the sweeping global threat whose existence 9/11 supposedly proved, Cheney institutionalized executive assassination, torture, mass surveillance, secret prisons, secret budgeting, and the wholesale elimination of congressional oversight over most of his program, turning the world into what one Pentagon adviser who talked to Seymour Hersh back in the day called a “global free-fire zone.”
It was under Cheney’s watch that we turned into a country that snatched people off the streets all over the world, put them in indefinite detention in an archipelago of secret hell-holes, threatened to rape their family members, and resorted to techniques like “rectal feeding” so often that one Guantanamo Bay prisoner had to bring a special pillow to sit in court.
The core principle of Cheney’s politics was protecting his new bureaucracies of murder and open-ended detention from legal challenge. That meant creating structures that were legally invisible. Are you on a watch list? Has the FBI sent out a National Security Letter to your telecom provider? Have you been approved for “lethal action” and put on the “distribution matrix,” a.k.a. the kill list? Courts repeatedly declined to listen to complainants with such questions because the secrecy of the programs made it difficult or impossible to prove they had a cause of action, a perfect Catch-22.
Even members of congress were often unable to find out about whole ranges of programs unless an accident like the Edward Snowden revelations came their way. Cheney built a government inside a government that simply did not recognize the authority of the other branches. It’s no accident this person is now receiving a “warm welcome” from Democrats because that party has for years now been openly worshipful of his secret-hammer model of executive rule, which expanded to a conspicuous degree after he left office…