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Chihak: Absolute power corrupts . . . Cheney

By MICHAEL A. CHIHAK, Tucson Citizen

"It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you." – Dick Cheney

Dick Cheney would be only an asterisk on a presidency if he didn't personify what's wrong in the United States today.

He is what's wrong.

Cheney is leader of the pack in the administration's imperialistic and undemocratic efforts to bend and even break the Constitution to suit its interests, and all else be damned.

A commentator once said the vice president's only real job, constitutionally, is to wait.

But Cheney ignores the Constitution, because he isn't waiting. Rather, he is stripping bare individual rights, the power of Congress and the authority of the courts, save for his hunting buddies among the Supremes.

Cheney's own words and deeds are the evidence, including his latest egregious act in declaring that he doesn't have to submit his office's document classification work for review. His argument is the ridiculous claim that as Senate president, he isn't in the executive branch.

Here are other Cheney claims fraught with that same arrogance and corruption of power.
Of what the U.S. invasion of Iraq would result in:

"My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators," Cheney said March 16, 2003.
And June 20, 2005:
"I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."
Of course, he is privy to information we don't have. All we have are the Pentagon's announcements of how many U.S. soldiers are killed each day.
Speaking of which, here's what he had to say about putting himself in harm's way:
"I had other priorities in the '60s than military service."
Let's be fair, though. Cheney, who had five draft deferments back then, made that comment in 1989, long before he knew he would be thrust into the role of Hypocrite in Chief.
At the risk of typecasting, his role as a hypocrite continued in castigating other Western societies thusly:
"Europeans know that their great experiment in building peace, unity and prosperity cannot survive as a privileged enclave, surrounded on its outskirts by breeding grounds of hatred and fanaticism."
Now, read the quote again, but substitute "Europeans" by choosing among the following:
• "We in the Bush administration."
• "We leaders of the neoconservative movement."
• "My business pals and I."
In a moment of pure if unintended prophecy for what we as freedom-loving Americans face at the hands of this public nonservant, he said:
"There comes a time when deceit and defiance must be seen for what they are. At that point, a gathering danger must be directly confronted. At that point, we must show that beyond our resolutions is actual resolve."
We have resolve, and we shall confront the gathering danger to our liberties as Americans. That danger comes in the words and deeds of the deceitful and defiant Dick Cheney.
As for taking our liberty for granted, Dick, we don't, and that ultimately means you cannot take it from us. Reach Michael A. Chihak at 573-4646 or by e-mail to



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