Not letting reality get in the way

NOT LETTING REALITY GET IN THE WAY…. Dick Cheney spent eight years making a mockery of the rule of law, so I suppose it’s not too terribly surprising that he still doesn’t understand the federal criminal process.

Dick Cheney has ratcheted up his criticism of President Obama again, calling the decision to try 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in New York a “huge mistake.”

In an interview with Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity, the former vice president said the trial, which isn’t expected to begin for at least a year in Manhattan’s federal district court, will allow KSM an ill-advised showcase to spew his anti-American venom.

“He’ll be able to go in whenever he’s up on the stand and proselytize, if you will, millions of people out there around the world including some of his radical Muslim friends and generate a whole new generation of terrorists,” Cheney said.

“I think it will make Khalid Sheikh Mohammed something of a hero in certain circles, especially in the radical regions of Islam around the world. It will put him on the map. He’ll be as important or more important than Osama Bin Laden, and we will have made it possible.”

Look, I realize that Cheney is almost comically pathetic. He wants to trash the president, and if the facts don’t support his baseless smears, Cheney will just make them up.

But these attacks against the White House don’t make a lick of sense. There’s a nagging detail that even someone of Cheney’s limited intellect should be able to understand: there are no cameras for federal trials.

If KSM was able to use his trial as a platform to spew nonsense — itself a dubious proposition, since federal judges tend to run tight ships — it wouldn’t be seen by “millions of people out there around the world.” It would be seen by the few dozen people who are literally, phyiscally in the room.

To believe Cheney, you have to trust that terrorists around the world would be reading courtroom transcripts after the proceedings, and would find them inspirational. And if you believe that, I have a man-sized safe I’d like to sell you.

Indeed, when the Bush/Cheney Justice Department tried Zacarias Moussaoui in a civilian courtroom not far from the Pentagon, he was not exactly a model of decorum. Remember how embarrassing it was for the United States and our system of justice when the world got to see his antics? It wasn’t embarrassing at all — there is no such video, because there are no cameras in federal courts. His rants were easily ignored.

Cheney — who doesn’t quite have the courage to be interviewed by anyone other than Fox News hacks — proceeded to trash the administration’s economic policies (the ones that are cleaning up the catastrophe Cheney left for Obama) and Afghanistan policies (ditto).

I can’t quite bring myself to rebut the whole thing — the man lies more than any adult I’ve ever seen — but I will quote this recent piece from James Fallows.

The former vice president, Dick Cheney, has brought dishonor to himself, his office, and his country. I am not aware of a case of a former President or Vice President behaving as despicably as Cheney has done in the ten months since leaving power…. Cheney has acted as if utterly unconcerned with the welfare of his country, its armed forces, or the people now trying to make difficult decisions. He has put narrow score-settling interest far, far above national interest.

Dick Cheney is a walking, talking disgrace.