Does Dick Cheney Dream of Electric Torture?
Last night I had a dream in which google released a new application called google dreams. Using some kind of clever psychic engine (or maybe simply via a USB port in the back of your head) it recorded all of your dreams then wrote them up in dry, factual style, like wikipedia entries. They were all ordered by date and time, and presumably were available online for all and sundry to read. This would of course either lead to a dictatorshop of the subconscious or a wonderful new era of utopian freedom, with people sitting around in togas, free to have wide-ranging discussions about philosophy and science as the darkest and oddest workings of their brain being a matter of public record and were therefore no longer very interesting.
Anyhoos. I wrote another book review for the Morning Star – to read it, click here, or for the unedited version move your eyes slightly downwards.
Angler – The Shadow Presidency of Dick Cheney
During last year’s presidential debate, one tantalizing question kept bubbling to the surface: had McCain died, what on earth would a Palin presidency have looked like? George W Bush failed to die in office, but we still saw what a Dick Cheney presidency would have looked like: not much different. The Washington Post’s Gellman makes it clear how central Cheney was to the Bush years’ worst excesses, redefining and pushing the boundaries of the legitimate scope of Vice Presidential power as he went. He was up hours before Bush, reading CIA briefing, present in all meetings, always ready with the last word to provide policy substance to Bush’s broad brush strokes leadership style.
Gellman’s intensely readable litany of evil reveals Cheney’s fingerprints on everything from Geneva Convention-suspending approvals of torture to lies about weapons of mass destruction. Cheney came into his own after 9/11 – and, in Gellman’s words, “shifted America’s course more than any terrorist could have.”
The most shocking revelation of this account is that Cheney’s motivation came not for money or power for power’s sake, but for sheer ideology: a portrait of a cunning and supremely resourceful man, working tirelessly in the shadows for brain-dead and repugnant principles. Should Palin run in 2012, Cheney ought to be the first man she calls.