With renewed energy from his March 24, 2012 heart transplant, 72-year-old former Vice President Dick Cheney praised the Tea Party for rebelling against the “most radical operator” to grace the Oval Office in President Barack Obama. Cheney rarely looks at how “radical” he ran the office of Vice President, once instructing his former Chief of Staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby to out, through Deputy Defense Secretary Richard Armitage, former CIA covert operative Valerie Plame. Cheney retaliated for her husband former Iraq Amb. Joseph Wilson’s July 6, 2003 New York Times oped that Saddam Hussein never sought yellowcake uranium from Niger. Only three months after starting the Iraq War March 20, 2003 and fibbing in former President George W. Bush’s Jan. 29, 2003 State-of-the-Union , Cheney had it in for Wilson daring to embarrass Bush about the phony pretext for the Iraq War.
Silenced since leaving the White House Jan. 20, 2009, primarily due to complications from heart failure, Cheney’s now back in the news defending Ted Cruz and the Tea Party. Speaking on NBC’s “Today Show,” Cheney praised the Tea Party for raising important issues about what he calls a “radical operative” in the White House. When Cheney refers to Obama as a “radical” he’s referring to his socialist ways signing Obamacare into law March 21, 2010. “They raised issues Americans care about,” said Cheney about the expected whopping cost of Obamacare to the federal Treasury. Cheney forgets backing Dec.8, 2003 Bush signing Medicare Part D into law, costing the Treasury about $100 billion a year. Giving Medicare recipients drug coverage was the largest government entitlement since President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare into law July 30, 1965.
Cheney’s the best vice president propagandist in U.S. history. Forcing Libby to fall on his sword to shield himself, Cheney couldn’t contain his ire when Bush ignored pardon requests at the end of his term. “We have a terrible track record with respect to federal spending. Nobody seems to be able to solve the problem. It’s an uprising, in part, and it’s taken place with the Republican Party . . . “ said Cheney, not admitting the role he and Bush played massively expanding government spending with the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. When Cheney added the Iraq War only a few months after passing Medicare Part D, it was a fait accompli before the economy went broke in 2007. “I’m not a card-carrying member,” said Cheney, denying Tea Party membership but agreeing with the group’s opposition to government spending: Opposing entitlements but not defense spending.
Calling the Tea Party “loyal and patriotic,” Cheney saved his ire for Obama, not Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) more than willing to default the U.S. government to stop Obamacare. Like the Tea Party, Cheney, a former CEO of the oil giant Halliburton [2005-09], has no problem giving oil and defense contractors as blank check with taxpayer money. While backing the costly Medicare Part D, Cheney now says he agrees with the Tea Party over the need to slash government spending, just not on the defense and energy industries. “These are Americans. They’re loyal, they’re patriotic, and taxpayers and fed up with what is happening in Washington . . .” said Cheney, agreeing with Cruz that defaulting the government would have been the right move. Cheney’s renewed health has given him a second chance to rewrite history, especially about his administration’s economic failures.
Revealing his paranoia, Cheney admitted he feared cyber assassination since receiving an Implanted Cardiac Defibrillator June 20, 2001. “I found it credible,” said Cheney referring to a possible medical device cyber assassination raised on CBS’s “60 Minutes.” “I was aware of the danger, if you will, that existed,” said Cheney, who helped orchestrate the nation’s most invasive surveillance laws after Sept. 11 in the so-called “Patriot Act.” Calling former CIA contractor and U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden a “traitor,” Cheney was instrumental in forging new surveillance laws under Homeland Security in a post-Sept. 11-world. Worrying about cyber assassination with his ICD shows how far Cheney has gone over the deep end. “[The risks] are based on theoretical, in-lab experiments as opposed to happenings in the real world, if that at all comforting,” said medical device security expert and Univ. of Michigan Prof. Kevin Fu.
Getting back on camera, Cheney’s more than willing to hazard his opinions especially when it comes to ripping Obama. “I was an independent thinker,” Cheney insisted, explaining he took the VP job in 2000 only because Bush promised to let him be Cheney. “We had differences. He promised when he made me part of his administration I’d have the opportunity to present my view and I did. I was more influential in the first term,” admitted Cheney, making to reference to pushing the Iraq War. Following Cheney on Iraq, Bush eventually destroyed the highest approval ratings in the modern presidency following Sept. 11. After refusing to pardon Libby at the end of his term, Bush had one of the lowest approval ratings in history, mirroring the Iraq War’s disastrous effect on the U.S. economy. Cheney has no regrets digging Obama a deep hole that he’s still having trouble climbing out of.
About the Author
John M. Curtis writes politically neutral commentary analyzing spin in national and global news. He’s editor of OnlineColumnist.com and author of Dodging The Bullet and Operation Charisma.