Saturday, June 24, 2006

Dick Cheney has his feelings hurt

This just in from the New York Times:
WASHINGTON, June 23 — Vice President Dick Cheney on Friday vigorously defended a secret program that examines banking records of Americans and others in a vast international database, and harshly criticized the news media for disclosing an operation he said was legal and “absolutely essential” to fighting terrorism.

“What I find most disturbing about these stories is the fact that some of the news media take it upon themselves to disclose vital national security programs, thereby making it more difficult for us to prevent future attacks against the American people,” Mr. Cheney said, in impromptu remarks at a fund-raising luncheon for a Republican Congressional candidate in Chicago. “That offends me.”
Memo to Dick Cheney: Get over it.

This administration has enjoyed the biggest free pass from the press since before the days of Peter Zenger. Indeed, King George and Fearless Dick Cheney owe their jobs to the lapdog somnambulance of the press. Consider:
  • In 2000, the press bought into the meme that Bush was a man of character, a successful businessman, ignored his military record and at the same time echoed the ‘Gore is a liar’ storyline.

  • After 9/11, the New York Times consciously decided to bury the story that Gore won the recount in Florida.

  • Before the election of 2004, the New York Times made a deliberate decision to bury the story about the illegal wiretaps until after election day. (Given the closeness of the election, it could have easily tipped the balance.)

  • Dick got a free pass on shooting his friend in the face, which was clearly a felony.
  • And now, Dick Cheney has the chutzpah to complain that the press is hurting his feelings?

    Listen, Dick. You have abused the trust of the American people for a period of 6 years. You have to expect that at some point, nobody is going to take you seriously when you say, “This is a matter of national security.” You have sold us a phony war on that slogan. You and Karl Rove have scared the American people into ‘electing’ you a second time, as it were.

    Now you expect us to believe that the country is going to be made vulnerable because Al Quaeda is suddenly tipped off to the idea that we are trying to track their financial transactions. One would think that they pretty much had that figured out after the conviction of Yemeni cleric Mohammed Ali Hassan al-Moayad. By the way, there is a vast informal banking network throughout the Islamic world. It is the rule, rather than the exception, that terrorists would circumvent the banking system.

    Maybe this is just wishful thinking on my part, but it looks like from now on, the press is going to be a little circumspect when the administration tries to silence it by claiming a threat to national security.

    “… and tell ’em Big Mitch sent ya!”

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