There’s nothing like the Foreign Policy Association dinner to call a liar out on his dirty laundry, especially if said liar is former Bush Administration hotshot Dick Cheney. The appropriately named Dick, whose BBQ friend Donald Rumsfeld we had already underlined as being a rogue warlord abiding by rules of his sole knowledge, is now adding another kink in his hall-of-fame steel: he’s now a liar-in-charge, and obviously so in a way Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) could no longer ignore. Outraged by Cheney’s allegation that the interrogation techniques he approved – mainly waterboarding – were not torture and that he was in no way connected to the Abu Ghraib scandal, Levin had no other choice but to say that Cheney “bore false witness“.

Sen. Carl Levin: putting truth back in America

Sen. Carl Levin: putting 'truth' back in 'America'

Levin made those claims “as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee”, as he stressed himself, imbued with the responsibility of his position and the necessity to emphasize Cheney’s gross violations of our collective intelligence. Emphasizing his belief that those interrogation techniques strengthened America’s security and could not be logically tied to several human rights abuses committed by the US Army worldwide, Dick Cheney hammered the nail in his own coffin, in which restlessly lies the decaying remains of his credibility, had he ever had any. The former Vice-President has been fighting a lost cause addressing the nation at the same time President Obama did on the question of national security, swimming against the Guantanamo close-down tide, standing firm in favor of those overly reprehensible decisions despite a climate in which every major decision-maker in US history are now on an ejectable seat should they be found accountable of a head nod regarding torture. If Nancy Pelosi managed to keep her head up during what may soon become one of the biggest political witchhunts ever since the Watergate, Dick Cheney is unlikely to remain unsoiled and forever stays on the International Criminal Court’s blacklist (see: Spanish judge wants to interrogate Cheney on the torture of a spanish Guantanamo detainee).

Not only is America facing itself and its former apathy regarding national security, but it is also facing a world it had long forgotten about, trying to make amends. Levin is just as concerned by America’s new image as Obama seemed to be several months ago, touring Europe and Asia in a bid to reconcile differences and walk on the white-hot ashes of formerly burnt bridges. Levin said: “I do so because if the abusive interrogation techniques that he champions, the face of which were the pictures of abuse at Abu Ghraib, if they are once more seen as representative of America, our security will be severely set back.” Obama said it during his campaign: foreign policy will now follow the path of diplomacy, abide by human rights law, and respect decision of the United Nations – even if it means playing rough with Israel and leaving less room to the CIA for foreplay. Alas, because not everything can change at once, the strong delays affecting Gitmo’s close down are also affecting Obama’s credibility rate in terms of commitment to the international justice talk.

Lest we forget the terrible legacy of one George W. Bush – Barack Obama’s extremely brief (first) stint in the White House might be sanctioned not by implementing change, but by simply cleaning the mess left behind by a former President a little too eager to create mayhem and chaos in a world where chaos and mischief were already two reigning kings assuring dynasties.  Rome wasn’t build in a day, and collective memory takes time to erase, just as much time as it will take for the Hurricane Katrina disaster statistics to fade away from the Congress’ bills. Recent images of human rights abuses and use of torture in several prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan, despite honest attempts by the White House to stop them from circulating, have made the ACLU and every single true patriot scream in horror and crumble under the pain of their breaking consciences: is that how low we’ve stooped in the name of our ideal of freedom? Is this really what we are now exporting under the terrifying pretense of “bringing democracy”? Is that who we have now become as a population, that of tyrans and murderers? Many blamed the ACLU for going too far in subjecting a mass audience to such sensitive material – but an electroshock may be what it takes to finally realise that no matter the rhetoric put forward by Cheney, no matter his alleged arguments in favor of stress-and-duress, there are limits to the load one soldier, one army, one country can take, and that this limit is now so far behind us, it might take more than four years to find our compass again.

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