A couple of friends recommend that I read Jane Mayer‘s book The Dark Side: the inside story of how the war on terror turned into a war on American ideals. You should be warned that I watch CNN and MSNBC and do not watch FOX.
I’m still not very far into The Dark Side, now reading the chapter “Men of Zeal,” which has led me to see Dick Cheney’s motives in an entirely different way. Mayer does an excellent job of describing Cheney’s former legal counsel, David Addington‘s character formation, how he and Dick Cheney met and railed against the post-Watergate executive branch restrictions, how active they both were in supporting the Iran-Contra affair, and how they brought this mindset and mission forward into the “W.” presidency. It makes all these recent Cheney news appearances much clearer. Not that I fully understand why he is doing these particular things, which seem rather ill-advised to me. Rather, I now see how committed he is to the beliefs that we live in an extremely dangerous world which is out to get us, and how fervently he believes that a weak congress and a strong presidency (resembling a monarchy) is our only hope for defense in such a situation. It also makes me hypothesize that Cheney calculated and planned to break the law (Geneva Convention, etc.) with cold fervor, and that he totally believed that it was justified and necessary, and that he will never give up nor agree that he was out of line, regardless of the findings of any committee (especially not a congressional committee) or court.