Monday, March 16, 2009

The question John King didn't ask

By J. Thomas Duffy

The blogosphere was all aflame yesterday with the big interview by CNN's John King with the former shadow president, VP Dick Cheney (go to Memeoradum, now, or earlier today).

Cheney dissed President Obama, stuck to the script on his disastrous record, and pissed-and-moaned about how Scooter Libby is innocent and a really great guy.

Most of the posts (we'll have a cavalcade of them below) were, of course, slapping Cheney upside-the-head, as he included, in defending the financial meltdown of the country, stating with a "so" attitude, the Rumsfeldian gem of "stuff happens."

There was one exception, naturally, from the Politico's Mike Allen, who achieved the remarkable feat of licking Cheney's boots from miles away, with not one, but two posts on it.

But, since CNN reminds us, about every five seconds, that they have "the best political team on television," how is that King, without his customary magic board, blew it, missed the BIG GET, and did not ask the former shadow president about the death squads he was (and maybe still is) running?

I mean, that dropped on us this past week (mixed in with other torture news of The Bush Grindhouse) with, despite the evil we already know about, the mushroom cloud The Commander Guy's keeper used to gush about all the time.

Storied journalist says Cheney oversaw "executive assassination ring"

Cheney’s Assassination Squads

Hersh: 'Executive assassination ring' reported directly to Cheney

Robert Stein at Connecting The Dots posited:

Until now, President Obama has been discouraging retrospective investigations of Bush lawbreaking by Sen. Patrick Leahy, but Hersh has opened an ugly can of worms that can't be resealed.

Stopping the operation of American death squads, as the Commander-in-Chief has just apparently done, is one thing. But now that news about them has been made public by the most respected investigative reporter of our time, it's unthinkable that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney will not be called to answer for possible war crimes.

It is very likely, had King asked the question, that Cheney would have huffed it off as "garbage," but if King didn't cower (I suppose, he did have to think about, like, if his car brakes would work on the way home, or whether his house would have an "accidental" gas leak and blow up), it would have been fascinating to hear what Cheney would have said.

Would he have gone off on a tangent about how he and the other cronies had the task to keep us safe, and about how you don't do that by playing tiddlywinks?

King could have gotten, for the record, the first public response to the question of whether a sitting vice president was running death squads.

How could he have let that one go by?

There he was, the glob of molten evil, sitting right in front of him, and he babbles on about Cheney having a BlackBerry, and about Cheney driving himself around now, bemoaning how he doesn't get his cooked intelligence reports anymore (over-easy, sunny-lies up).

I am fairly certain that the "best political team on television" would have asked the question.

I guess we'll have to wait for the war crimes trial to get the dirt.


Bonus Darth Vader Speaks! Riffs

CNN Video: Cheney says Obama's policies 'raise the risk' of U.S. terror attack

Faiz Shakir: Cheney’s Excuse For Economic Failures Under His Watch: ‘Stuff Happens’

Jon Perr: Cheney's "Stuff Happens" Defense of Republican Failure

DownWithTyranny: The Cheney Quartet For The Future Of The GOP: Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, Rob Portman & Mark Sanford

Ron Chusid: Dick Cheney Still Does Not Understand How To Prevent Terrorist Attacks

Matthew Yglesias: The Cheney Factor

Taylor Marsh: Dick Cheney Ignores that 9/11 Happened on Their Watch

MediaMatters: John King cites Human Events headline, asks Cheney, "Is the president of the United States trying to brazenly deceive the American people?"

(Cross-posted at The Garlic.)

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