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Arts and Culture

A Dud From ‘Darth’

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Posted on Sep 8, 2011

By John Dean

“In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir”
A book by Dick Cheney

When I saw Dick Cheney dressed as Darth Vader to promote his new memoir, making a joke of his horrific behavior as vice president, all I could think about was how that video might play at his war crimes trial, if he ever were to undergo one. The prospect is not as farfetched as it might seem, particularly in light of his latest round of boasting about approving the use of “water-boarding” and other so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques.” From time to time I check in with acquaintances who are experts in international law and war crimes. They have long told me that Dick Cheney cannot risk leaving the United States, for there are a number of highly respected prosecutors in other countries who will not hesitate to charge him for his war crimes if they get the opportunity.

Some think Cheney’s in-your-face behavior over his memoir is his pre-emptive effort against the potential of such a prosecution by a foreign prosecutor. (The Obama Justice Department has clearly given him a pass.) Lawrence Wilkerson, the former chief of staff to Bush administration Secretary of State Colin Powell, told ABC News he believes that Cheney has “developed an angst and almost a protective cover, and now he fears being tried as a war criminal so he uses such terminology as ‘exploding heads all over Washington’ because that’s the way someone who’s decided he’s not going to be prosecuted acts: boldly, let’s get out in front of everybody, let’s act like we are not concerned and so forth when in fact they are covering up their own fear that somebody will Pinochet him,” alluding to the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who was arrested for war crimes. A few think that Cheney dressed up as Darth Vader because he’s got a great sense of humor, but those who know him best say that, in fact, he has almost none. (In the end, the Darth Vader character comes out something of a hero in “Star Wars,” so Cheney no doubt identifies with those who go to the dark side to do what they believe is for the greater good.)

 

book cover

 

In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir

 

By Dick Cheney; Liz Cheney

 

Threshold Editions, 576 pages

 

Buy the book

 

After reading Cheney’s new memoir, watching several of his recent interviews about the book and revisiting my research for my three books about the Bush/Cheney presidency—“Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush,” “Conservatives Without Conscience” and “Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branches”—I have a different take on Dick Cheney. The fact is that Cheney just does not get it. He believes what he did as vice president was necessary to protect the country and sees himself as a hero, the steady hand on the tiller during the Bush years when taking the ship of state through the storm.

In truth, his memoir confirms that Cheney is a small-minded man, and a prototypical authoritarian conservative. He is doing what these personalities do, because they just do not understand they might be wrong.

The memoir also reveals that its author is not a man inclined toward any real introspective thinking. Nor is his man-of-few-words style evidence of a great depth of thought; to the contrary, it shows the opposite. Cheney’s memoir is the work of a highly superficial thinker, his explanations are all starved rationalization and his reactions to others suggest he’s incapable of understanding their points of view.

Assisted by his two daughters and wife, who employed their much better cogitative skills while working with researchers and speechwriters, Cheney has produced a thin and deeply flawed narrative history that is most striking for its petty attacks on others. Cheney’s tale of his vice presidency takes cheap shots and settles scores with those who did not share his views, including George W. Bush but more particularly Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, along with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. There is only one person whom Dick Cheney appears to hold in truly high esteem: Dick Cheney, a person he believes is always correct. And he likes his mentor Don Rumsfeld, for whom he always has embarrassing, brown-nose praise. This is the way it is with authoritarian personalities.

To see long excerpts from “In My Time” at Google Books, click here.

The book contains absolutely nothing new about the key historical events of the Bush/Cheney presidency; it glosses over, or simply ignores, material essential to gaining any true understanding of this administration. (Given the fact that Cheney departed the Bush II White House with his vice presidential papers—one of the countless facts he ignores in his book—we may never know what he was really doing, or why, only what he generalizes and is willing to address.) Suffice it to say, his effort to spin history to look favorably on his tenure is not merely weak, it is at times unexpectedly boring. Cheney’s trust-me-I-know-what-I-am-doing tone may have worked with George W. Bush (during their first term, anyway), but in a narrative with no new facts or insights it gets old quickly.

This memoir reads like the work of a retired military figure, rather than a former White House chief of staff, congressman, cabinet officer and vice president. Though Cheney slides over his five draft deferments during Vietnam (claiming he would have loved serving if called), his memoir reveals an endless fascination with war. In high school, he reports, he was reading about the war in Vietnam with great interest. After getting kicked out of Yale and while working as a lineman back home in Wyoming during the days, he says, he read Winston Churchill’s multivolume World War II memoir at nights. In truth, the Cheney book itself is a war memoir, with about 20 percent discussing political wars and 80 percent addressing military wars; he tolerated the former but relishes rehashing the latter from his own point of view.

 


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By lasmog, September 14, 2011 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

What a horrible indictment of the US; for eight years a man as depraved as Cheney ran our government.

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By Jim Shea, September 13, 2011 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I would like nothing better than to see Dick Cheney stand trial in The
Hague, but the US government (democrat or republican) would never allow
that to happen. It would be considered an act of war.

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Gabriel's avatar

By Gabriel, September 13, 2011 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

This article, comments and corresponding book prove just how ignorant the super-rich and ruling class are to the rest of us and rest of life on this planet.

Chaney is a prime example of what is taught to them from birth and rest of their caballistic pompous system.

If we are ever to grow up and surpass such we must boycott them altogether and start our own Just system from scratch. This is exactly what’s being debated now around the world.

We have already gleaned the truth from history and pre-his-story and are ready for the next steps.

Yet there are those that perpetuate such a corrupt elitist system by getting suckered into their politics and rest of masterful deceptions like sheep to a slaughter.

Wake up already! You can’t win at their elitist game. Elites control it and all the parts thereof. You loose by default.

Your only option is to create something new, Just, respectful, ethical and according to laws of the universe. This means learning everything the elites don’t want you to know, everything they have been hiding for 1,000’s of years.

This is the main theme behind every recent disclosure documentary, such as 9/11 truth and Zeitgeist:
1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guXirzknYYE
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gKX9TWRyfs
3. Moving forward http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z9WVZddH9w
From this you will need to expand into rest of truth movement.

A good place to start is Nassim Haramein, explained so a 10 yr old can comprehend:
1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uN3mnZK-l_4
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LdebvvWaxY

I comprehend it’s hard for all you old-farts to learn but it’s the only option. If an old-fart like me can do it, so can you.

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By Arch, September 11, 2011 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you, Mr. Dean.  I did not intend to read the book, but I must thank you for having the courage to read Cheney’s book.  Cheney will host a book signing at a local presidential library.  If I thought that protesting would mean anything to Cheney, I would protest.  His security detail would undoubtedly keep protestors well out of sight, just like it did when he was vice-president.

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By Doubtom, September 11, 2011 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Cheney has the dubious distinction of being the only character (almost wrote
‘person’) that I’d most like to smack in the head with a frozen flounder.

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By John Poole, September 10, 2011 at 5:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

........“this experiment in self governance”...?  One can only try to self govern- a
task fraught with almost impossible odds at getting doing it right. Some will
always seek power over others because of pathological brains. It’s easy to spot
them but almost impossible to keep them from “leading the herd”.  The herd wants
leaders and the outsane (forget the prefix “in”) are there to accommodate the
herd’s infantile needs.

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By surfnow, September 10, 2011 at 5:26 am Link to this comment

The Bush Crime Family could not have perpetrated their treason w/o the cooperation of the Amerikan public. The average Amerikan is cowardly, apathetic,  lazy and addicted to the MSM and idiot TV . They go from their air conditioned suburbs to their airtight suv,s to their selfcontained korporate cubicles and buy every word that comes out of Washington. And if he actually gave a rat’s ass Dick Cheney would like to personally thank all of the sheep for his millions.

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By Don Ross, September 10, 2011 at 4:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dick, by his own lights, is a historic man - but to understand him, you need to
visit his childhood.
This narcissist’s book title says it all. It wasn’t his time, it was our time.

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By GJS, September 10, 2011 at 12:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is a shame that some have made this purely political, it is about time ALL of us got rid of this illogcal lifelong loyalty many give one political party, even when they do pitifully they know many will just vote for them again, hardly a way of insuring a conscientious effort is it ? When will we all understand that BOTH parties have caused this horrid time in history & will continue to until we grow up & vote against these two parties where lies, deceit & greed are the only way to do business, how can we have a decent society when the people who lead us & set the example are dishonest, inept & conceited. Vote out BOTH main parties, they’ve shown you they have no intention of changing, we URGENTLY need Political reform in all the western countries & the only way we’ll get it is to vote for unaligned independents & the smaller parties who want Gov reform as well just like the vast majority of people do.
Unless of course you just want to see the entire western world implode, we truly are not that far away, do you really want to pass this whole mess & debt onto your kids & grandkids ? surely not, that is if we & them survive. We can’t expect to just do as we like & not face any retaliation, please correct me if I’m wrong.
We must act at the next election as after that we may not have the privilege again for a long time. Democracy was fought for, it is not a god given right, we must treasure it & fight to keep it.
My best to you all, I hope you give it some thought.
Cheers

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prisnersdilema's avatar

By prisnersdilema, September 9, 2011 at 9:30 pm Link to this comment

And Dead eye Dick was also psychic….

http://morphcity.com/home/105-national-energy-policy-the-cheney-law-massacre

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By CanDoJack, September 9, 2011 at 8:43 pm Link to this comment

First I compliment Gerard on the comment about the
book being better put, ideally, as Doing My Time.
Precious!

If I had reviewed the book (without my head
exploding) I would have said what John Dean said. I
might have added that Cheney seems to think like a
cultist but maybe that would owe too much to my
current work on a novel entitled Nine Elevens. Is it
coincidence the number of times 9-11 comes up in US
history of the last couple centuries and is always
relative to a cult and always the cult with which
Darth is affiliated.

As research continues I am, even I the arch skeptic,
constantly overwhelmed at the ease with which dots
can be connected because evil is always more simple
than we imagine.

Now, who would like to chip in on a gift ticket to
Dick (which means thick and stout auf Deutsch)? The
ticket would be to a really posh resort somewhere in
Spain, say perhaps Marbella, or wherever Pinochet
himself was apprehended.

Finally, because as many errors exist in the “inside
job” theory of nine eleven as exist in “moslems did
it” theory that does not mean it was not an inside
job. No more than the idea that the quizzical school
room look on Bush’s face was due to his fresh
realization that he was to go down in that whole
event leaving Cheney to be POTUS.

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caped amigo's avatar

By caped amigo, September 9, 2011 at 5:06 pm Link to this comment

I sure hope he comes to my town on a book tour. Oh, I won’t harm him. I’ll just
shower him with skunk juice and then stand my ground and hope he comes at me.
We’re about the same age. It’d be a fair fight except for the Secret Service agents.
Be worth it.

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By GJS, September 9, 2011 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m a big believer in what goes around comes around !

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By agelbert, September 9, 2011 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Tobysgirl has the correct picture of our lamentable situation.

As to Cheney, I want to add that he is a serial liar AND a propagandist. Like Rumsfield, propagandists work as a team with an echo chamber. Notice that Rumsfield has a “book” out too. The substance of the pack of self serving lies these two war criminals have just emitted is not important. We know they lie constantly.

And by the way, if both traitors have the same publisher, we should put that publisher on notice that we won’t buy any books from them.

Getting back to the propaganda purpose of these books, I think the timing of the release is what is important to them. With all the 9/11 10th anniversary noise going on, these reptiles are trying to hitch a ride on the public unconscious as heroes of 9/11. The fact that a significant amount of people in this country have figured out that 9/11 was a massive war profiteering scam to benefit weapons manufacturers, no-bid logistics contractors and Israeli Middle East expansionist ambitions does not seem to occur to Rumsfield and Cheney.

Good. When the entire nation finally gets on board with the true monsters behind 9/11, it will be delicious irony that Rumsfield and Cheney will already be tied to the public mind by their own Luntz propaganda attempt.

Considering that both Rumsfield and Cheney, along with the Mossad Zionists are the prime suspects for 9/11, it is appropriate that people continue to tie them to that event.

Finally, as a retired ATC radar controller, I can tell you that cast iron, irrefutable proof of US military involvement in the pentagon attack is on a disk somewhere. The DC area is wall to wall radar. ALL radar tracking data shows velocity.

Nobody but the US military can lob a missle in the continental US. Besides the fact that missles fly about a thousand miles per hour FASTER than an airliner, missiles have a DIFFERENT radar signature thatn aircraft, get it?
Don’t buy the bullshit about the FAA “accidentally destroying” the 9/11 voice and radar data from 9/11. It’s still there. Our government is lying.

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By GradyLeeHoward, September 9, 2011 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thanks John Dean for reading this book so I won’t have
to. I trust your account.

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By misterfrick, September 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Dean,

Well, duh! Why would you expect anything else?

mf

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By Aarky, September 9, 2011 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I can’t wait for the day I find his books in the $3.00 sections of the book stores. And I still won’t buy!

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James M. Martin's avatar

By James M. Martin, September 9, 2011 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

Cheney simply has an eye to history.  History is rewritten by winners.  Hitler afficionado Henry Ford said “history is bunk,” but even he knew that if you get a chance to rewrite it, history becomes what you say it was.  It is a shame there is no heaven nor hell below us, as Cheney, enjoying his biological amnesty, will simply die.  If there were such a creature, Cheney could find himself having tea with the Devil.  As it is, he will be six feet under by the time his misdeeds are described in some books as necessary evils in combat against terrorism, while other books will tell it like it is: Cheney was a terrorist himself.

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By grumpynyker, September 9, 2011 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Screw a trial.  Handcuff this war criminal, toss him into a MRI or Cat scan room and force to sign documents rolling over his war profiteering money, full details of his meeting with oil,coal, and other polluters, then turn the machine on.

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By fred, September 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you Mr. Dean for this helpful review and for the precautions you took while
preparing it.  I am indeed glad that I do not have to read it myself.

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By Jay Wynne, September 9, 2011 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

John Dean is in the tradition of the great
muckrakers. 

Yet, I imagine that is not his intent. 

However, time after time, book after book, his
thoughtful and responsible assessments of where we
and our politicians have come, so far from his days
of watching and, I daresay, with conscience pangs,
participating in the soul-searing business of doing
politics at the highest levels in America, he
reveals the darkening an, world endangering side of
ourselves that we avoid until we will have run out
of places to hide from our increasingly crippling
national psyche. 

Cassandra-like, Dean warns and warns and
warns…and we, especially the body politic, ignore
his warnings at great peril to us all. 

And what do we risk?

This frayed, ailing, grand and noble experiment at
self-government…

When we read this brief assessment of the arguable
war criminal Cheney, we are left breathless but not
surprised, sad and, sadly helpless.

Keep writing, John Dean, keep the bastards honest,
and if not honest, keep the rest of us from buying
into their psychotic behavior.

JW

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By gerard, September 9, 2011 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

Irony of ironies:  The book might have been called
“Doing My Time” and we might have learned from him first-hand whether waterboarding is torture or not.

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By spktruth200, September 9, 2011 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Throw Ron Paul under the bus too! Posted at Veterans network is Paul in his own words…he denies there is any question on how 911 happened. These freaks are all covering for each other. We need a National Citizens Conference on 911…and let the information, evidence be heard and seen nationally. We have to do it…no demorat or repuke will ever do as long as Bush and cheney are alive.

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Lee Oates's avatar

By Lee Oates, September 9, 2011 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

Chaney is a war criminal, pure and simple. He should face the world court and hopefully be hung, along with Gaddafi and other so called leaders who have betrayed their countries.

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By ron hansing, September 9, 2011 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Interesting article from a convicted felon… who wrote a book about bushII worse than watergate.

Hyperboly… how many americans and vietnamese died because of Nixon’s continuation of a lost cause…

sorry, don’t buy it.

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By PaulMagillSmith, September 9, 2011 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

So Cheney will remain a prisoner/criminal hiding in a
‘spider hole” the rest of his miserable sociopathic life
(albeit one the size of the United States, and in a gated
community cell protected by Secret Service agents paid for
by the same people he betrayed). Does this seem like true
justice to any patriotic American? I for one say
loudly…HELL NO!!!

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By JMD, September 9, 2011 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment

John Dean:                      9/09/2011
    The Shills,the psychologists and
psychiatrists,move in quickly to quell the voice of the
commoner who has been charged with a crime his
political leaders advocated as worthy of committing -
only misunderstood the communique.
    Another lesson taught,without saying a word.
    Thanking you for this opportunity to comment -
    James M. de Laurier

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By spktruth200, September 9, 2011 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I received an email yesterday stating the reason Obama did go after Bush/cheney and their war crimes right after he was elected, was because his advisors and those in the democratic party believed the republicans would launch a coup det tat against Obama. While we have been wondering why Obama would let these war criminals have a pass that story makes sense. Remember the congressman who stated on the Floor of the Congress, they were told to sign the patriot act, or the Bush regime would declare martial law on the american people. 911 was an inside job, and most people know we were told another whopper. go to If Americans knew and see the chronology they have put together by the corporate owned media of how even the media were trying to get the truth out. We will never forget 911, because the Ommission commission left out the details that would prove the police/fireman and others heard bombs go off, before the Planes attacked..we are under martial law right now when it comes to getting correct information. I love me some John Dean…

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By JMD, September 9, 2011 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

John Dean:            9/09/2011
    The shills,the psychologists and psychiatrists,
move in quickly to quell the voice of the commoner,who
has been charged with a crime, one his political leader
advocated worthy of committing - only misunderstood
whom to commit it against.
    Another lesson taught,without saying a word.
    Thanking you for this opportunity to comment -
    James M. de Laurier

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By SarcastiCanuck, September 9, 2011 at 11:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wow,this coming from John(Watergate Coverup)Dean.If anyone knows the dirty workings of Washington offices and minds,he’d have to be near the top of the list.Don’t you just love to watch the Beltway crowd devour each other…

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By Dave L., September 9, 2011 at 11:09 am Link to this comment

Cheney should be tried for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and treason. Then hung from the end of a rope by the neck until dead.

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By MeHere, September 9, 2011 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

Well said, Tobysgirl.

Once people like Cheney - a man of no substance to begin with- find a viable path
to fulfill their career ambitions, they stay on it.  They become desensitized to
questions of conscience because they couldn’t live every day if they allowed
doubts to interfere with their activities.  They manage to create a comfortable
environment around themselves in order to function and they can even be
charming and sentimental.  As the article says, Cheney “does not get it.”

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By dukesman2000, September 9, 2011 at 9:39 am Link to this comment

Isn’t it amazing how a five-times-draft-dodger like Cheney can grow to love to wars so much. I guess it is easier to send someone that go yourself.

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By Amerikagulag, September 9, 2011 at 8:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dick did nothing he wasn’t TOLD to do by his handlers in Israel. He’s been working for the self-chosen for decades.

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By Tobysgirl, September 9, 2011 at 7:43 am Link to this comment

Let’s just face the fact that most people in the ruling portion of our government and most people in our ruling classes are people without conscience. What is a person with no conscience? A person with no conscience is a sociopath.

We need to face the fact that the severely mentally ill are running our nation and the world. Bush and Cheney at least seemed straightforward to me; no one with a brain could possibly think they were decent people. But what about Obama? I think he is just as sick as either of them; he has no ethics, no values, no core, nothing but a love of sucking up to the worst sort of white people.

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By aacme88, September 9, 2011 at 6:19 am Link to this comment

Reagan’s pre-election dealings with the Iranians was a far worse violation of the Logan Act than if Carter was lobbying against the first Iraq war.
And for such a war lover as Cheney to claim he would have served in Vietnam if called is laughable. Without connections, it was almost impossible to get out of serving, and in 1968, in my basic training company, were more misfits and losers than you could imagine, short fat guys, a guy with a balance problem who couldn’t walk in a straight line, a guy with no toes on his right foot, a guy with 4 kids, all, and more, draftees. I was too tall, an inch over the limit. No problem, they measured me 4 inches shorter just to make sure.
On the other hand, I was with a friend from D.C. who got worried about getting drafted and called up the head of Selective Service: “Hi General Hershey, this is Bruce…”. The general assured Bruce he didn’t have to worry.

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By Jimnp72, September 9, 2011 at 5:40 am Link to this comment

This murderous, obnoxious thug is above the law. After wrecking the country, his corrupt fat old ass struts about writing garbage and making tons of money from his idiotic blather.
Imagine if you or I had even committed one of his criminal acts, such as outing a secret agent. We would have been secretly rendered or rotting in solitary with no hope of freedom again.
Justice is not only blind in this country, it is also deaf, dumb and brainless.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, September 9, 2011 at 5:29 am Link to this comment

I would never condone book burning, but in this case…...

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