Keep America Safe
By Scott Horton
October 14, 2009 "Harpers" -- If you enjoy fear-mongering, here’s a not-for-profit organization for you: Keep America Safe. William Kristol and Liz Cheney are the dynamic duo behind it. Cheney is just off a Sunday talk show appearance in which she explained that awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the president of the United States—a decision that coincides with new polls showing America suddenly resurgent as the most admired nation in the world—actually reflects the loss of American leadership and a disdain for America. That was just a taste of the Bizarro World that also appears in a video issued by Keep America Safe. It appears to be stitched together from segments broadcast by Fox News, few of which stand up to fact-checking. (For instance, it suggests that Obama has stripped the defense budget, when in fact this year’s budget is $40 billion larger than last year’s. Charles Krauthammer tells us Obama hasn’t decided what to do about Afghanistan. In fact, Obama has already rejected the idea of a draw-down, so the only question that his team is deliberating is how large the new contingent of troops will be. That contrasts with the Bush-Cheney team, which received a comparable appeal for more troops from its Afghanistan commanders in April 2008, and decided to ignore it.) So, considering that the major departures Obama has made from Bush strategy actually involve more robust use of the military—especially in Afghanistan and in the Pakistani border region—what is it that Obama has done that makes America unsafe?
I’d reduce the real purpose of Keep America Safe to this: “Please don’t prosecute my father!” It’s increasingly clear that Dick Cheney was the author of the Bush-era torture policies, and my hunch is that when the Justice Department releases the OPR report on the torture memos, we’re going to find more evidence of the invisible hand of Dick Cheney behind the whole project. Any fair-minded federal prosecutor looking into the matter would shortly be preparing to do what Patrick Fitzgerald probably wishes now he had done: indict Dick Cheney.