A US Veteran Savages Cheney’s Lies


This wonderful condemnation of Dick Cheney’s hypocrisy and lies was posted as a comment on my site yesterday, in response to the speeches delivered by Barack Obama and the former Vice President on Thursday, and I liked it so much that I asked the author, a Vietnam vet from a military family, for permission to re-post it here.

There’s a wall in my house

There’s a wall in my house that my children and grandchildren call the military wall. At the top of this wall hangs the picture of my father, a WWII veteran, below his picture hangs the flag that covered his coffin. To the left of that flag hangs a picture of myself, a Vietnam era vet. To the right of the flag hangs a picture of my son, a Desert Storm vet. Below the flag hangs the picture of my three brothers, all veterans during some conflict or other in our nation’s history. I tell you this because the other day my grandson called me and informed me that he was going into the Army and that he would be sending me a picture for that wall. My heart sank down to the very pit of my stomach. You see so far my family has been very lucky, everyone on that wall has come home; now once more my government is going to place one of my own in harm’s way.

The reason I wrote this is because yesterday I watched the President and the former Vice President give their speeches on our country’s security. I heard from the President that which I joined the service to defend: the rule of law, the personal freedoms and rights that we should all hold dear, because they come at a high price. What I heard from the former Vice President was the same bullshit that I heard all eight years that he and his former boss were in office. What really bothers me is that there are people out there who believe this crap. They don’t understand that it is being peddled by people who didn’t even have the intestinal fortitude to fight for the country they claim to be trying to protect. The former Vice President got several deferments to keep out of the military during Vietnam, the former President joined the National Guard and then was too drunk half the time to even show up at his meetings. These are the people who have placed your children and grand-children in harm’s way.

When the former President of these United States condoned the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques”, as they wish to called them — I prefer their real name, TORTURE — they shamed this country, they shamed every man and woman in uniform and they shamed every soldier who has died to defend this country, our beliefs and what it is we stand for and have always stood for in the world. If we were at war with a country who did these things to our people we would put them on trial for war crimes and either put them in prison or execute them. So, Mr. President, this is the United States of America. The home of the free and the land of the brave. Do we all live by the law or do we all live by the law except the Executive Branch?

Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK). To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed, and also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, published in March 2009.

13 Responses

  1. Paul Ward says...

    Found this site from link on excellent article at http://www.fff.org/comment/com0904i.asp

    Congratulations on a very well researched and very well written piece. Assuming the rest of the articles on your site are of a similar high standard, it’s a shame that I can’t actually read them too easily — your site isn’t IE6 friendly (or a few other older browsers, still in widespread use). That aside, keep up the good work: there are far too few journalists with the courage or the energy (or, alas, the principles) to produce such work.

  2. Connie L. Nash says...

    There are many bridges today if we look for them – many in the US military who also want a just, honest, dignified US without torture & imprisonment of so many without charges nor fair trial. Thanx for sharing this comment, Andy. Although war looks like hell to me from everything I’ve seen and read and heard others tell – I know there are good folk who have meant only the best with their military experiences. We can be bridges for one another and hold each others’ children in the light.

  3. F Joy says...

    Thank you so much for this letter. Cheney is gaining support with his message of fear. I too worry about those who believe in him.
    He deceived us about the war in the first place. Why can’t people see that? He has placed a larger weight on President Obama than what was already humanly possible. As long as there are terrorists, there is a threat to the US. He has twisted that into an ideology that if we are attacked, it is because we are less safe. He also seems to forget that we were actually attacked under his watch. He is making the country less safe by his constant lack of support of this country and it’s president. What message is he really delivering? I personally think he is frightening and dangerous. Now we know who was really running the country for the previous 8 years. He ran us into the wrong war that cost billions and thousands of American lives, not to mention all the Iraq casualties. And he took our country to the brink of economic disaster that we have not recovered from. Please people, do not listen to Cheney!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. F Joy says...

    Can someone tell me why Cheney would get even billing with the President of the US?
    I wonder how he would do being waterboarded for the real truth of what happened in the last 8 years?
    Does he have any sons to die in this war? He has never served in military service so it is easy for him
    to sit in judgement. Cheney has no integrity. He is secretive and dangerous. After all, he did manage to shoot his friend and he nearly killed him in a so called hunting accident. Cheney is the one the country should be worried about!
    If he does not stop this rant, he needs to be prosecuted for war crimes. He does not love this country. He has taken advantage of this country and the freedom that it offers.

  5. Frances Madeson says...

    At this point I’m all for organizing some mock trials; show the adminstration how easy it would be to get it done. Every single day that Dick Cheney remains a free man is a day that justice is perverted.

  6. janet says...

    i am so proud of your patriotic family, and agree with your thoughts completely. we need more familys just like you. wish the whole world would read your message.

  7. David says...

    I think your all wacko. you voted for an illegal allian for president. Better get scared because your kids might get drafted. whoops oh your the kids ? OK

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    In response to Paul Ward:
    Thanks for the comments and welcome to the site.
    I’m sorry to hear about your technical issues. I’ve only had one or two complaints before, but will try and look into it.

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    In response to Connie Nash:
    I couldn’t agree more, Connie, and it’s why it’s so crucial to hear from serving and former military personnel who are disgusted by the lies peddled by Cheney and his associates.

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    In response to F Joy:
    Thank you for your comments, which cut to the heart of the extraordinarily dangerous lies that Dick Cheney told for eight years, and that caused so much damage to the economy and the reputation of the US — and led to the deaths of over 4,000 US soldiers and countless civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    I really hope that more people realize that they should not be listening to him — though I’d also like broadcasters to stop giving him so much airtime! — but when it comes to your comment about war crimes, I believe he should be prosecuted regardless of whether or not he shuts up!

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    In response to Frances Madeson:
    “Mock trials” sound like a great idea, Frances. You should set something up, film it and put it out on YouTube!

    I reckon you’d get a lot of viewers for “The Trial of Dick Cheney.”

  12. Rob French says...

    I totally agree Andy, I too am a veteran but of the Korean War. My 18 year old buddy who I enlisted with died in North Korea on November 30, 1950. I come from a long line of veterans dating back the French and Indian War. It seemed each generation of my family spent time in the military service for our beloved country. I was one of the lucky ones who was never wounded.

    Cheney constantly lies trying to cover up his and Bush’s wrong doings. He should be put on trial and have to account them. They stole the election in 2000 and took it away from the people who’s votes were never counted. I know that we are supposed to forgive persons for their wrong doings however it is hard to in this case as there have been so many of our soldiers, both male and female who have been killed, wounded or disabled, not to mention the inocent people who’s live have been destroyed.

    They lied to us to get into Bush’s War and we have alienated every Arab nation along with falling out of favor with most of our European Allies. It will take a very long time to right this situation.

    I thank you for your article and the guts to speak out.

    R. French

  13. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks for the comments, Rob. They are much appreciated. I’m always encouraged by the comments I receive from former military personnel regarding the lies and deceptions put forward by the senior officials of the Bush administration. I don’t regard myself as requiring “guts” to do this, as I believe it is simply a matter of pursuing a just cause, and one that is intended to restore the values that the US military would like to uphold.

    What distresses me is how much airtime Cheney is given to pursue his lies, and how much of the mainstream media has decided that, in its endless search for ratings, it is worth creating a “Battle of the Titans,” even though that particular hyped-up battle is between the President and a man who is no longer in office, and who, instead of being treated as though he is some kind of official rival to Barack Obama, should be left to stew in silence, as an independent prosecutor is put in place to analyze his actual record — sending thousands of US soldiers to their deaths for no good reason, torturing prisoners to secure false confessions to justify an illegal war, showing an arrogant disregard for US and international laws, and, as you put it, “alienat[ing] every Arab nation along with falling out of favor with most of our European Allies.”

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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