We were struck by one excerpt from Cheney’s speech:
This might explain why President Obama has reserved unto himself the right to order the use of enhanced interrogation should he deem it appropriate. What value remains to that authority is debatable, given that the enemy now knows exactly what interrogation methods to train against, and which ones not to worry about. Yet having reserved for himself the authority to order enhanced interrogation after an emergency, you would think that President Obama would be less disdainful of what his predecessor authorized after 9/11. It’s almost gone unnoticed that the president has retained the power to order the same methods in the same circumstances. When they talk about interrogations, he and his administration speak as if they have resolved some great moral dilemma in how to extract critical information from terrorists. Instead they have put the decision off, while assigning a presumption of moral superiority to any decision they make in the future.
What is the former veep talking about there? Where has Obama reserved himself the right to order enhanced interrogation techniques?
Could Cheney have been basing that on recent comments by Senator Kit Bond, played up in a recent New Republic story?
But this week, in announcing his plans to vote to confirm Panetta, Republican Senator Kit Bond said that he was supporting the nominee in part because he had “committed to … exploring the use of enhanced interrogation techniques on high-value detainees that may warrant going beyond the Army Field Manual in certain situations.”
Did Cheney take that nugget of information conveyed by Bond about Panetta, and use it to spin a whole paragraph about Obama reserving the right to order such techniques? It’s unclear, but we wouldn’t put it past him.
If you have other ideas as to what Cheney was talking about there, let us know in comments.