14 March 2012

Whose Afraid Of A Few Canadians?

Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney was making headlines Tuesday after canceling an appearance in Toronto, his spokesperson said that Cheney and his daughter "decided it was better for their personal safety they stay out of Canada."

From a March 13, 2012 story in the Los Angeles Times. Hat Tip to Colorado Pols.

Canada, of course, is famous for having far less crime than any of its neighbors to the South, and is not known for being a hotbed of terrorist activity. A lawsuit by a Canadian citizen faulting the Canadian government for cooperating in the Cheney devised policy of extraordinary rendition that caused their citizen to be tortured abroad has caused major headlines there.

The bottom line is that while Cheney always talked tough while in office, he now looks like a cowardly wimp.

A recent appearance by Cheney in Vancouver brought out fierce protests from usually docile Canadians that required police intervention.

Cheney also faces a 2010 felony indictment in Nigeria related to bribery his company, Haliburton, allegedly engaged in there while he was his CEO which Canada might extradict him upon, since Canada respects internationally legal arrangements and voluntarily participates in them much more so than the United States.

Cheney was the chief architect of an aggressive and constitutionally questionable set of tactics to deal with terrorism, and was a war hawk pushed for war with Iraq based on what turned out to be false pretenses related to weapons of mass destruction and a non-existent connection to the 9-11 attacks, during the administration of George W. Bush. Lawsuits against him in the United States based upon his alleged war crimes and civil rights violations have been dismissed on procedural grounds and under doctrines designed to protect senior political officials from liability for national security decision making.

His companies, which provide private security services in war zones, have also been criticized for creating an unaccountable legion of mercenaries who harmed local Iraqis with impunity and damaged U.S. diplomatic interests while enriching him and his shareholders.

In Cheney's recent memoir, which his trip was probably intended to promote to some extent, he was unapologetic.

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