Liz Cheney's Americans For Torture.

Ben Smith reports today on a new group headed by Liz Cheney called Keep America Safe, which features a number of pro-torture luminaries from the right, including torture cheerleader Bill Kristol and Michael "to wipe out a man's entire family, it's hard to imagine that doesn't give his colleagues at least a moment's pause" Goldfarb:

“The policies being proposed by the Obama administration are so radical across the board,” Cheney said. “Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, you want the nation to be strong and so many steps this president is taking are making the nation weaker.”

The new group will add institutional heft to a scathing critique of Obama articulated first and loudest by Liz Cheney’s father, and fills a void left by a Republican Party made skittish by the Iraq War, and apparently more eager to engage the president on domestic issues like health care. Its formation marks the end of an unusual partisan truce on America’s central national security challenge, Afghanistan, and after a presidential campaign in which Obama and Republican John McCain agreed on many security issues from Central Asia to Guantanamo Bay.

Yes, if ever there was a "void" that needed to be filled, it's the one where Republicans advocate for the policies that made America so strong over the past few years by miring the American military in two wars and eroding U.S. international standing to the point where not being Bush makes you a Nobel Peace Prize contender.

But look, this isn't so much about principle as it is about power. Republicans see a political opportunity in the open advocacy of torture, a chance to "rule" the country again.

I've said this before, but the embrace of one of torture by one of America's major political parties will have serious consequences for the United States in the long run, on our moral standing in the world, on the rule of law, and on our understanding of justice. I'm no fan of Ronald Reagan, but he surely would not have recognized his own pro-torture party, a mere two decades after he signed the convention against torture, which barred its use under all circumstances under penalty of prosecution.

Now, the party that claims Reagan single-handedly won the Cold War has chosen to honor his legacy by lobbying for the kind of behavior that defined the evil he saw himself standing against. But the Cheneys and their allies see everyone else as "radical."

-- A. Serwer

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