Phil Nugent rages again, this time on torture:
"I'm not sure what it says that, six months after an election that established that a significant majority of the electorate thinks we have serious problems that needed to be handed off to a new group of leaders with a different mindset and skills set, the big issue that keeps bubbling to the surface has to do with whether the people who ran this country for the first eight years of the new century happen to be war criminals. On the one hand, it might be seen as a hopeful sign that the media overlords who, not so long ago, were insisting that the country would have a nervous breakdown unless a winner was named in the 2000 election, pronto, and who even more recently eulogized Gerald Ford as a great patriot because he nipped the Watergate prosecution system in the bud, have been proven wrong in their theory that the people have no appetite for discussing whether some effort to call to account those who sanctioned torture is necessary for the country's moral health. On the other hand, it's pretty unsettling that it's the torturers themselves who want to keep the issue alive, not those who might be in a position to hold them accountable (and who, not altogether unreasonably, would rather not spend the next four years talking about the previous eight). It just shows you what we all know: if there's a cult of Dick Cheney, then it's based on the notion that the world's foremost mean old man has no interest whatsoever in what others think of him, and that this is an admirable quality even when it's taken to the point of nihilism. It's this same quality that drives us haters so crazy: unlike Nixon, Cheney not only has no conscience to nag at him but no feelings to be hurt. Or at least that's what we all thought, but watching him out there raging on the heath, it's shocking to see how much he does care, and how much he wants his name to be not just vindicated but celebrated. He wants the schoolchildren of America to be told about the brave old man who, by his willingness to tell others to get medieval on the asses of some insignificant dusky types, saved us from having more than one unprecedented terrorist attack on native soil during his watch. It's kind of touching if you think about, it without thinking too hard."