The ironically-named ‘Keep America Safe’ gets to work

THE IRONICALLY-NAMED ‘KEEP AMERICA SAFE’ GETS TO WORK…. Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol have created a new right-wing political organization. What could possibly go wrong?

Former Vice President Dick Cheney’s eldest daughter Liz will launch a new group aimed at rallying opposition to the “radical” foreign policy of the Obama administration which it says has succeeded only in undermining the nation’s security.

The new group, Keep America Safe, will make the case against President Barack Obama’s moves to wrench America away from Bush era foreign policy on issues from detaining alleged terrorists at Guantanamo Bay to building a missile shield in Eastern Europe.

“The policies being proposed by the Obama administration are so radical across the board,” Cheney said. “Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, you want the nation to be strong and so many steps this president is taking are making the nation weaker.”

Liz Cheney, whose role in American politics has become strikingly poisonous, will head the group with none other than Weekly Standard editor William Kristol. They’ll be joined by Debra Burlingame, the sister of a pilot killed in the September 11 attacks. Michael Goldfarb will be an adviser to the group.

Kristol, unashamed of his humiliating record and comically-flawed judgment, said, “The Left has dozens of organizations and tens of millions of dollars dedicated to undercutting the war on terror. The good guys need some help too.”

Liz Cheney added that the group would defend and promote Bush-era policies: “There’s no turning away from that legacy at all.”

That’s not unexpected — self-reflection is not one of the neocons’ strengths — but it does offer an opportunity to remind the Cheney/Kristol crowd that we tried it their way, and it was a spectacular failure. “Keep America Safe” looks back at the Bush era and sees a national security record to be proud of. Except for the catastrophic events of 9/11, and the anthrax attacks against Americans, and terrorist attacks against U.S. allies, and the terrorist attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Bush’s inability to capture those responsible for 9/11, and waging an unnecessary war that inspired more terrorists, and the success terrorists had in exploiting Bush’s international unpopularity, they may have a point.

The truth is, Cheney/Kristol had their day. They got to do exactly what they wanted to do — torture, preemptive war, abandoning the rule of law, abandoning democratic norms, alienating allies, ignoring the concept of international cooperation — and they failed anyway.

In contrast, President Obama is playing by the rules and having great success in counter-terrorism. The administration isn’t relying on torture, and is nevertheless stopping, catching, and killing the bad guys — all while improving the United States’ standing in the world and reclaiming America’s role as a global leader.

Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol have become clownish figures, so blinded by their ideology that they can’t even see the dangerous ineptitude of their agenda. I don’t doubt that wealthy right-wing financiers will be delighted to throw some checks at “Keep America Safe.” Likewise, I can only assume that news outlets will continue to pretend that Cheney has some shred of credibility on these issues, and will have her on national television every day for the next year.

But that doesn’t make this endeavor any less ridiculous.