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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Duty, Honor, Country

by digby

Steve Benen found this gem in Dick Cheney's speech at West Point:

"As Army officers on duty in the war on terror, you will now face enemies who oppose and despise everything you know to be right, every notion of upright conduct and character, and every belief you consider worth fighting for and living for. Capture one of these killers, and he'll be quick to demand the protections of the Geneva Convention and the Constitution of the United States. Yet when they wage attacks or take captives, their delicate sensibilities seem to fall away."

Benen wryly observes that it would be nice if Cheney referred to the "protections of the Geneva Conventions and the US Constitution as a good thing, perhaps protections that he's proud of?"

No kidding. He talks about such things as if they are some sort of anachronistic nicety that everyone agress is completely ridiculous. But, it's actually worse than that. He's explicitly saying that only a bunch of girly-men with "delicate sensibilities" need the protections of the Geneva Conventions or the Constitution of the United States. He isn't proud of them. He thinks they make the US weak and it's obvious that he'd be thrilled to take a match to both the treaty and the constitution.

I hope all those new officers at the US Military Academy got the message. Real men don't need those silly protections. When the Vice President of the United States openly derides the Geneva Conventions and the US Constitution at West Point by snidely describing those who demand their protections as "delicate" I think you can assume they are no longer operative. If any of these newly minted officers ever have the misfortune to be captured, they'd better hope they can be blasted out because they surely won't be able to leverage any kind of reciprocation or make any kind of an agreement. You are on your own boys, no "delicate sensibilities" allowed.

I'm sure the enemy understands that. We've got people being tortured and locked up forever because Dick Cheney and his hand puppet unilaterally decided they were guilty of terrorism and therefore they have no rights. Let's hope those two soldiers who are being held captive right now were given the opportunity to hear the Vice President's speech on CNN. I'm sure it made them feel terrific to be led by such a manly man as he. And I hope it clarifies for them what the rules are.

I continue to be impressed with the dignity and gravity of the Republican leadership when they speak publicly about such matters while people are dying in ever larger numbers and our own soldiers are being captured and held by terrorists. It's so helpful for the leader of our country to appear on television and dare the enemy to torture and kill them. Cheney might as well have said, "bring it on -- we have!"

One more thing: the West Point honor code says, "a cadet will not lie, cheat or steal or tolerate those who do." How in the world did they justify having Dick Cheney speak at the commencement?