The New York Times reports that Liz Cheney's star is rising in the party of torture:
“Mr. President, in a ticking time-bomb scenario, with American lives at stake,” she said, “are you really unwilling to subject a terrorist to enhanced interrogation to get information that would prevent an attack?”
By speech’s end, the crowd was standing, and the former vice president’s daughter was being mobbed for photos and hounded to run for office.
For the GOP, torture is no longer a "necessary evil." It is a rally cry, a "values" issue like same-sex marriage or abortion. They don't "grudgingly" support torture, they applaud it. They celebrate it. Liz Cheney's unequivocal support for torture methods gleaned from communist China has people begging her to run for office.
The reason Cheney sounds so much like her father, Mary Cheney told the New York Times, is "not because she’s been indoctrinated. It’s because he’s right.”
Over the past couple of months, events have conspired to prove the Cheneys wrong. The recently released documents Dick Cheney said would unequivocally prove that torture saved American lives did not. While professional interrogators and military leaders have argued against torture, the apologists have had to rely on anonymous pleadings filtered through the same people who brought us Saddam Hussein's connection to al-Qaeda. A scientific survey recently proved that torture is counterproductive. Despite the fact that Cheney and his daughter have been claiming the Obama administration's abandonment of torture has made America less safe, the past month or so has seen the U.S. eliminate al-Qaeda leader Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan in Somalia and Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud in Afghanistan. In the past week alone, the FBI foiled three bombings, one of which appears to have been a very serious threat.
Reality, it seems, is a nemesis not only for the former vice president but for the entire Cheney family. But because torture is now a "values" issue for the right, it is, like abstinence-only sex education, unmoored from the necessities of proving its usefulness in the real world, which is why someone like Liz Cheney is finding herself where she is. Unfortunately, the consequences of one of the two major parties in America embracing torture will affect us all in the long run.
-- A. Serwer
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