The Republican Party's torture wing may be so powerful that no one wants to cross it, but the torture wing also doesn't want to cross Sarah Palin. While Dick Cheney reportedly said Palin was a "reckless" choice for vice president, his daughter Liz Cheney issued a denial on ABC's This Week on Sunday, saying "it's not accurate".
So Dick Cheney cares so much about U.S. national security that he believes we need to torture people who have never been convicted of a crime and whom we're often holding under dubious circumstances, but he thinks it would be okay to have Palin run the country.
This incident should make it clear -- if it weren't already -- that the GOP's embrace of torture has nothing to do with national security and everything to do with power. The younger Cheney believes that Palin could someday be in a position to determine whether or not she gets a prominent position in the next Republican administration. So even though Palin is dangerously unqualified to be commander-in-chief, Liz can't afford to cross her. Her concern for national security is trumped by her personal political interests. The same can be said for her father, who either doesn't want to scuttle his daughter's chances or doesn't weaken a potential Republican presidential candidate. He is however, completely willing to attack the current president as "weak" on national security in order to protect his own reputation.
The Cheneys' tacit support for Palin lays bare the narrow partisan interests behind making torture part of the Republican Party platform.
-- A. Serwer
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