Cheney Speech Reportedly Refers to 9/11 25 Times
Former Vice President Dick Cheney continued his unprecedented attack on a young presidential administration Wednesday.
Cheney’s speech at the American Enterprise Institute entitled “Keeping America Safe” – which began after President Obama’s speech ended though it was scheduled before – is garnering live coverage on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News Channel.
At Washington Independent, David Weigel reports that the speech will refer to 9/11 25 times. The former administration faced a lot of criticism from the left for pulling the “9/11 card” out anytime it found itself in a jam.
Weigel writes, “Cheney talks about the run-up to 9/11, the events of 9/11, where he was on 9/11 (’I’ll freely admit that watching a coordinated, devastating attack on our country from an underground bunker at the White House can affect how you view your responsibilities’), the aftermath of 9/11 (’We could count on almost universal support back then, because everyone understood the environment we were in’), the temporary patriotism of the media (’After 9/11, the Times had spent months publishing the pictures and the stories of everyone killed by al-Qaeda on 9/11′), the threat of a ‘9/11 with nuclear weapons,’ and how the administration prevented another 9/11. In all, he mentions ‘September 11′ or ‘9/11′ 25 times.”
Highlights from Cheney’s speech selected from transcript of prepared remarks. >>>
U.S. President Barack Obama Thursday aimed to grab back the initiative in a riotous debate unleashed by his order to shut Guantanamo Bay, under political fire from critics and allies alike.
The president referred to the controversial prison facility as “a mess” which has “set back the moral authority that is America’s strongest currency in the world.”
“I believe with every fiber of my being that in the long run we also cannot keep this country safe unless we enlist the power of our most fundamental values,” Obama said. >>>
The Guantanamo Bay detention camp, at a U.S. military base in Cuba, has been used to hold suspects that the U.S. thinks were involved with terrorists. Since 2001, an estimated 775 prisoners have moved through the facility, informally known as Gitmo. Of that group, about 420 have been released without charges and at least 70 were transferred to other nations.
The prison became a worldwide symbol of opposition to Bush administration policies and its use of coercive interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, which simulates drowning. In addition, some detainees were tried under a military commission system, which defense lawyers and others called a violation of due process.
On Wednesday, the Obama administration appeared poised to bring one detainee to New York for trial. >>>
Spanish lawmakers have passed a resolution which would obstruct attempts by rights activists to demand Spanish courts to launch probes into war crimes.
The resolution was passed after protests by Israel over the Spanish High Court’s decision to launch a probe into the massacre of 14 civilians by Israeli forces in a 2002 attack in the Gaza Strip.
The case involved seven Israeli officials, including former defense minister, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer.
Based on the motion, Spanish courts would have jurisdiction only in cases in which the accused is in Spain or the victims are Spaniards.
If the resolution changes into law, it will also block attempts by rights activists to launch an investigation into torture in the Guantanamo Bay detention center, a move opposed by the U.S. President, Barack Obama.
The resolution, however, has drawn criticism by rights groups. “There will be fewer places a victim can turn when he does not find justice in his own country,” said Reed Brody, Spokesman for Human Rights Watch. “There’s no doubt that the diplomatic heavyweights were throwing their weight around”.
President Barack Obama today defended his decision to close the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and promptly raised more serious concerns for civil libertarians. In his speech, Obama announced that the country’s “moral authority” demanded closure but then said that his lawyers were working new policies to hold certain detainees indefinitely without trial.
Obama broke the detainees into five categories. >>>
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- AUDIO – Detainees Tortured to Link Saddam to al-Qa’ida (6 May 09)
- AUDIO/VIDEO — President Obama ‘Morphing Into His Predecessor’ Blocking Transparency and Prosecution of Torture (14 May 09)
- Rights Groups Slam Obama’s Restart of Guantanamo Military Commissions (15 May 09)