Some say Cheney 'feeling the heat' over potential probes
Rachel Oswald
Published: Friday March 20, 2009

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While the rest of the mainstream press has largely reacted to former Vice President Dick Cheney's harsh critique of the Obama administration in last Sunday's interview on CNN as business as usual for the man, several observers have a different theory - that Cheney is nervous about calls for investigations into the Bush adminstration and is going on the offensive.

Bobby Ghosh writes for Time, "Several observers think Cheney may be starting to feel the heat from Democrats' efforts to investigate the Bush Administration's counterterrorism policies - policies Cheney advocated, and for which his proteges allegedly provided the legal basis. But if he was trying to deflect attention from Bush-era policies, Cheney's aggression will likely have the opposite effect."

"If his goal was to tamp down talk of a truth commission, he has probably exacerbated the problem," a veteran Republican told Time.

The recent release of controversial Office of Legal Counsel memos, which authorized harsh interrogation tactics for detainees and made the case for doing away with protected civil liberties under the Fourth Amendment, when taken with investigative reporter Seymour Hersh's allegations of an "executive assassination ring" operating under the direction of the former veep, may have prompted the normally very private Cheney to think that an interview on a large media platform, like CNN, was in order to strengthen his public image.

But it may be too late. Just as his interview was airing on Sunday, a leaked Red Cross report was published in The New York Review of Books. The report outlined in graphic detail the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay and specifically used the word "torture" to refer to some of the interrogation tactics and called other tactics "degrading" and 'inhumane."

Ghosh reports that, "pressure is also growing on the [Justice] department to release the report of an internal ethics probe into the actions of [former OLC attorney John] Yoo and two other OLC lawyers. Many Democrats would like to see Yoo and Cheney's own lawyer, David Addington, investigated for their role in creating the Bush Administration's so-called torture doctrine. "

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