Liz Cheney Confuses Me: Release More! No Wait, Release Less!
Playing second-fiddle to her dad’s disagreeable defenses of his time as VP, Liz Cheney has been making the conservative media rounds accusing the Obamas of siding with terrorists.
Absurd and slanderous on its face? Sure. But her reasoning is where it gets really weird. She claims that the Obama folks are making quite an “effort to show [the troops] in a negative light” by releasing photos and documents concerning the abuse of prisoners in US military custody during the course of the Iraq War.
To begin with, this charge isn’t particularly accurate: the release of the photos was mandated a 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals that’s headed up by a Bush appointee (and with half its membership Republican appointees). So there’s little evidence of that the administration made an any special effort to release the photos: what they did was decide not to appeal the decision any further, ostensibly after determining that the Supreme Court was unlikely to hear the case. I suppose Cheney might cry “ha, a likely cover story!” but failing to fight a losing battle is still not the same thing as making the story of crusading effort she implies.
Then of course there’s the little matter of claiming that government officials can’t both completely respect servicemen and women while obeying court rulings and releasing information (again, these images are not fabrications: they document real abuses that the public has a right to know about). Cheney doesn’t actually know that Obama’s motives are different from what he claims they are. And her suspicions are based on her theory of what the release of the photos will and won’t accomplish. One that she knows Obama and plenty of legal experts on the right and the left don’t even share.
So, misinformed and incredibly nasty: all pretty predictable. But what makes it truly baffling is when Cheney then turns around and echoes her father’s call for MORE disclosure when it comes the memos her father used to inch the country towards legitimizing the use of torture “techniques.”
That means that she thinks that full disclosure is necessary in one case to get an accurate picture or reality: in other, she thinks it gives people an inaccurate picture of things. Put it all together and it seems as if Liz’s position is that the American people have a right to know what the government is doing that’s entirely dependent on whether she personally expects it will make particular people look good or bad.
Update: Looks like Obama folks have determined that they want to fight the court order after all, on the grounds that more pictures would inflame “theaters of war”. Unfortunately, that’s the exact reasoning that the 2nd Circuit ultimately rejected in the first place. In any case, what happened to the idea that making the troops look bad was paramount on Obama’s mind?