Friday, June 5, 2009
Dan Rather Says Cheney Detests Obama
Because of my busy schedule, it wasn't until today that I came across an interesting Dan Rather interview which aired on Tuesday on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show." My DVR saved the day, because this was an interview worth watching, especially for a Dan Rather fan like myself. Although the former CBS anchor is known for his eccentric and sometimes biased reporting - he was forced off of the CBS anchor desk for reporting as news, then pathetically defending beyond all reason, clearly forged documents pertaining to George W. Bush - Rather sometimes speaks the truth. He spoke about his upcoming interview with a Guantanamo prisoner who says he was tortured for years before being released two weeks ago. The interview will air on "Dan Rather Reports" on HD Net next Tuesday. The prisoner, Lakhdar Boumediene, described how he was forced to run with shackles on his legs until they were bloody in order to soften him up. He told Rather he continued to be tortured even after Barack Obama became president. "They tortured me in the Obama time more than Bush," he said. Maddow asked Rather how credible he found Boumadiene's allegations. With Rather's spotty record as to what is true and what is not, that was a good question, especially when you're talking about a disgruntled ex-Guantanamo detainee. Rather told Maddow that "he seems believable," but he added, however, that the admiral in charge of Guantanamo for the last year denies the allegations. So whether the allegations are true or not, they keep the debate going as to what to do with the Guantanamo detainees. Maddow asked Rather whether he thinks the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan is taking Guantanamo's place. Rather said there is "a school of thought which believes this to be the case." He pointed out that prisoners have been brought to Bagram from other countries and that "some of the contentions that were made about Guantanamo are starting to be made about Bagram." He went on to say: "The critical thing is, there is no transparency." Bagram or not, a recent USA/Gallup poll shows that 65% of Americans don't want Guantanamo closed. Rather calls it a "not in my neighborhood" mentality, as many Americans feel that terrorists would be released near them if not convicted of anything. "It gives Vice President Cheney some traction," he said. Dick Cheney is being joined by his daughter Liz on the "We Used Enhanced Interrogation Techniques Because They Worked" tour. Maddow asked Rather what he believes is motivating Cheney in his whirlwind torture tour. Rather cited four reasons, saying they were in no particular order. First, he cited Cheney's concern for the Bush Administration's legacy: "He knows the outlook as to how the Bush-Cheney Administration will be seen in history books is not good." Rather said the second thing was that "Cheney seeks to solidify and play to the Republican base, what some might call the most right-wing part of the Republican Party that stuck with him and President Bush all the way through." Rather continued: "Number three, I think he really believes what he's saying. I don't think he's posturing." Then Rather let out what is probably the most accurate assessment of the situation. "The fourth thing, and I could be wrong about this - I think he really detests President Obama, his policies, and everything he stands for." No, Dan, you've been wrong before, but this time you're not.