Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Lawrence Wilkerson's reaction to Dick Cheney's memoir is getting some attention:

In no uncertain terms. Cheney, Wilkerson told ABC News, "was president for all practical purposes for the first term of the Bush administration" and "fears being tried as a war criminal."

The first part of that just seems self-evident; the second part, if it's true, seems like a domestic version of the One Percent Doctrine:

The One Percent Doctrine ... is a nonfiction book by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Ron Suskind about America's hunt for terrorists since September 11th....

The title comes from a story within the book in which Vice President Dick Cheney describes the Bush administration's doctrine on dealing with terrorism:

"If there's a 1% chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al-Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response. It's not about our analysis ... It's about our response."

Try Cheney as a war criminal? I don't think it's just an unusually Obamaesque level of timidity that's preventing that -- I don't think any Democrat who sought the nomination other than Kucinich would have pursued Cheney legally or allowed any international or overseas court to try him. The Village would howl if such a thing were allowed.

Cheney should know that -- he should know that only one side plays hardball (I don't believe Republicans will hesitate to throw ex-President Obama to the legal dogs if there's any pretext) -- and yet I see him as operating from the same kind of odds-ignoring fear, because he likes believing he's a target of people who want to destroy him.

I thought his and Liz's joint Going On Offense Tour in the early days of the Obama administration was an attempt to ward off indictment. He needn't have bothered.

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