Thomas Paine:

“Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.”

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Emperor's New Clothes: Cheney Finally Tells the Truth

In the beginning, Cheney draped himself in lies. For example, on August 26, 2002, he said, "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."

More lies came later. In September 2003, Cheney said the Iraqis were "providing bomb-making expertise and advice to the Al Qaeda organization." In October 2003, He said, "Saddam had an established relationship with Al Qaeda, providing training to Al Qaeda members in the areas of poisons, gases, making conventional weapons."

Later still, more lies. On June 14, 2004, he said Saddam "had long established ties with Al Qaeda."

To many of us, these were transparent lies. We could see the emperor had no clothes. We could also see the purpose of those lies—to manufacture consent, as Noam Chompsky has described the manipulation of populations via propaganda. Cheney, back then, still had to consider We the People; he was still operating within a democratic frame, where he needed public opinion to be favorable to his aims, where the public could be as driven by fear as he was by greed, power-lust, folly and self-delusion.

Then came the election of 2006, Nancy Pelosi and her declaration that impeachment was “off the table,” and the gradual realization, ending in today’s sickening reality that the thugs were going to get away with it—nothing would ever be done to stop them.

Cheney hasn’t missed the message either. He sees he is immune from impeachment, immune from prosecution; immune from censure of any kind. He is safe from the normal checks and balances built into the Constitution of our once lively democratic republic. Thus, he now can tell the truth. He can unveil himself in all his sloppy, corrupt nakedness. He is now free to ignore We the People and expose his utter disdain for democratic rule. Thus we see his smirk, as he smugly responds to the reporter’s question— “So?”

The American people want an end to the war? So? The Iraqi people want us to leave? So? We torture human beings? So? “Listen up,” he is saying, “the people are irrelevant. The people are powerless. Only We the Rich, We the Elite, We the Corporations, We the Criminals have the power.” He might as well have said, “Eat S_ _ _ _ and die!”

Instead, we have Dick Cheney’s truth, as clear and concise as it could possibly be. So?

Speech by Robert Byrd on The Emperor's New Clothes.
Cheney to Martha Raddatz of ABC News.

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