- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 16, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

COMMENTARY:

Dick Cheney is unleashed! After eight years of being nearly invisible to the media, the former vice president has come forth bearing wrath. He is a man on a mission, an angry messenger. Very simply, Mr. Cheney thinks the Obama administration is putting the United States in danger by dismantling the Bush anti-terror programs.

And Mr. Cheney has one very large point. Since the sneak attack on Sept. 11, 2001, America has not suffered another violent terrorist episode on its soil. That is not in dispute, and the former vice president is convinced tough interrogations and aggressive anti-terror moves were the cornerstones of the shield.

Mr. Cheney also has two big bullets in his rhetorical arsenal. First, the Obama administration recently released classified interrogation memos but did not release the follow-up reports detailing what was gleaned by waterboarding and other rough stuff. Mr. Cheney wants those memos out.

Second, there is no doubt that Democrats such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi knew all about waterboarding and went along with the interrogation program because the CIA told them it was vitally important for national security.



So, believing the truth is on his side, Mr. Cheney has launched a one-man jihad against the Obama administration for canceling what he says are life-protecting anti-terror strategies.

The reaction on the left has been just short of hysterical, with personal attacks on Mr. Cheney all day long. At the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner last week, comedian Wanda Sykes said she advised her kids to get in a car with strangers rather than with Mr. Cheney.

Writing for the New York Times, Maureen Dowd spoke for many liberals when she called Mr. Cheney, among other things, “batty” and “jejune” (lacking value). Miss Dowd’s disdain poured out as she described the former vice president’s “Genghis Khan side,” his “numbskull ideas” and his “nasty campaign of fear and loathing.”

The only thing missing from Miss Dowd’s column was holding Mr. Cheney responsible for swine flu.

As best I can tell, the left is growing desperate because it is losing. This week, President Obama announced he will fight the American Civil Liberties Union over releasing pictures of captives hurt by the U.S. military, rightly saying those pictures were part of criminal investigations, some of which led to the conviction and punishment of the American perpetrators. Even though the vile ACLU doesn’t care a wit, Mr. Obama understands that any damaging photos would put U.S. forces in the field in even more danger.

The president also has no heart for a witch hunt against those who ordered tough interrogations of al Qaeda big shots. Again, this would damage America. Mr. Obama understands his own party would be hurt as well, as Mrs. Pelosi and others would have to testify under oath about what they knew.

So the vengeance-minded far left is bereft. It wants to “get” former President George W. Bush and Mr. Cheney, but their dreams of revenge show trials are vanishing quicker than MSNBC’s ratings.

To make matters even worse, Mr. Cheney may be the one getting revenge.

Bill O’Reilly is host of the Fox News show “The O’Reilly Factor” and author of the book “Who’s Looking Out For You?”

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