Friday, August 14, 2009

Chickenhawk Cheney

Former vice-president of the United States, Dick Cheney, once said in a rare and much regretted moment of honesty, “I had other priorities in the ‘60s than military service.” He was explaining to a reporter why he had never volunteered for military service when he had been younger, and while it is true that he told a senate committee during his confirmation hearing as Secretary of Defense for Bush 41 that he, “would have been happy to serve had I been called”, one has to wonder why, when nobody bothered to call he didn’t just pop down to the recruitment office in his hometown of Caspar, Wyoming and sign his own self up. Any of the military services would have been happy to have him, and he has said that he supported the US military involvement in Viet Nam. Would it be churlish to point out, once again, that rather than volunteering when he was not called, that Dick actually go five deferments from the draft so he could avoid serving his country (and here’s a kick in the head: a dozen men from Caspar, Wyoming served and died in Viet Nam during the time that Dick would have been eligible for the draft. When Dick got a deferment someone else was drafted in his place. I wonder if whoever that person was survived the war?) I suppose it comes down to the difference between someone who fights for what he believes in and someone who is a squirting turd of a coward who believes that military service is for other people. They used to call these “other people” “cannon fodder”, but now they are apparently just people who didn’t have other priorities.

The thing of it is, for a guy who would have torn his own fingernails out rather than enter into military service, Dick seems to like using tough-guy military type language. A case in point: a few years back, in July 2003, a fellow named Joseph Wilson, a former diplomat, wrote an article in the New York Times claiming that the Bush administration had lied to the citizens of the US in order to get public support for the invasion of Iraq. Within days Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, was “outed” as an undercover CIA officer by a conservative columnist and it is suspected that this “outing” was ordered by vice-president, DICK Cheney. When there was an investigation into the source of the leak it appears that Dick’s top aide on domestic and foreign policy, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, was obstructing the investigation (to protect Dick?), a charge that Scooter has denied. It came to a trial and Scooters bad memory came back to haunt him (he claimed that any “false statements” he had made to investigators had been due to his bad memory) and on March 6, 2007 he was found guilty of obstructing justice, perjury and lying to investigators. His sentence was 30 months in the klink and a $250,000 (USD) fine. Oh, and he didn’t get to be a lawyer any more.

The Bush administration found the jail-time to be excessive (plus I have heard that Bush thought that Scooter was “too pretty” to go to jail) so that part of the sentence was commuted, but the fine and the guilty verdict were left in place. Dick thought this was still too harsh, after all it was only an undercover CIA officer for gosh-sake, and figured that the out going president Bush should pardon Scooter as part of the traditional end-of-term pardon-fest all presidents take part in. It looks like Bush had finally realized that the advice he had been getting from his vice-president was psychotic crap, and so he decided not to pardon Scooter. Dick, not used to being understood so well, became what in normal people would have been called “bitter”, but which was for Dick just business as usual, and was heard muttering around the halls of the White House that Bush was being dishonourable and, “We don’t want to leave anyone on the battlefield.”

“We don’t want to leave anyone on the battlefield.” Hey, Dick. You had the opportunity to actually see a battlefield back in the 1960s, fighting in a war you say you supported, and you did everything you could to avoid that battlefield. How about we leave the military turns of phrase to those who have actually earned the right to use them? You know, those brave men and women who fight for justice, not those who obstruct it.

Just a thought.

Anyway… Humouroceros

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