Cross-posted at Eclectablog.
Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, has a guest post at The Washington Note this week that could probably be seen as a very public Covering of One's Ass. Diarists halcyon and Valtin point in that direction, for sure.
But there's a bit at the end that I particularly liked, obvious though it may be:
Cheney and his like are the evil people...
Yes. Yes, they are.
Here's the full quote:
As for the fear-mongering: "When we get people who are more interested in reading the rights to an Al Qaeda (sic) terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to kill Americans, then I worry," Cheney said. Who in the Obama administration has insisted on reading any al-Qa'ida terrorist his rights? More to the point, who in that administration is not interested in protecting the United States--a clear implication of Cheney's remarks.
But far worse is the unmistakable stoking of the 20 million listeners of Rush Limbaugh, half of whom we could label, judiciously, as half-baked nuts. Such remarks as those of the former vice president's are like waving a red flag in front of an incensed bull. And Cheney of course knows that.
Cheney went on to say in his McLean interview that "Protecting the country's security is a tough, mean, dirty, nasty business. These are evil people and we are not going to win this fight by turning the other cheek." I have to agree but the other way around. Cheney and his like are the evil people and we certainly are not going to prevail in the struggle with radical religion if we listen to people such as he.
[...] But al-Qa'ida will be back. Iraq, GITMO, Abu Ghraib, heavily-biased U.S. support for Israel, and a host of other strategic errors have insured al-Qa'ida's resilience, staying power and motivation. How we deal with the future attacks of this organization and its cohorts could well seal our fate, for good or bad. Osama bin Laden and his brain trust, Aman al-Zawahiri, are counting on us to produce the bad. With people such as Cheney assisting them, they are far more likely to succeed.
This, to me, represents a changing of the tide. It is, afterall, one thing for "left-wing whackos" like us Kossacks to spew "He's EEEEEEVILLLL!!!" venom across the internets. We can put up Photoshopped .jpgs of Cheney with devil horns all day and all night and nobody is surprised.
And nobody really listens.
But when someone who was a fixture in the previous administration's structure, a Chief of Staff to a Secretary of State, says something like that, suddenly people's ears perk up. No, we'll never get the Freepers and the Red Staters to change their tunes. And probably many Average Joes and Josephines will never hear/see Wilkerson's words. But plenty of independent-thinking folks across the country may begin to hear a little voice in the back of their head whispering "Hmmmm...maybe those liberal-types were right...maybe Bush & Cheney were bad..."
But it's not Wilkerson's direct voice that may be the most important impact on Joe and Josephine. By speaking out with such a direct characterization of evil, perhaps Wilkerson's essay will embolden others with more mainstream personas to begin to voice their opinions. When former Bush administration members begin to pop up like prairie dogs from their prarie holes, blinking in the bright sunshine, and see other prarie dog heads across the landscape, they may find they have a spine and a voice and a nation eager to hear Truth about the past eight long, sad, evil years.
"Hey, there's Scott McClellan!" they might shout.
"Hey, there's Lawrence Wilkerson!" they may say.
"Hey, they're right! Bush and Cheney and their neocon cabal were evil and they were self-serving and they did torture people and they were turning over the keys of the nation to their Military Industrialist partners. I need to say something!"
When this litany grows and it's not a litany coming from the "left-wing liberal whackos", the anti-Bush Democrats or from members of the Obama administration itself, the American public may shake off the blinkers that keep them from seeing the Truth of what the Bush and Cheney regime really were about and what they have done to our country.
So, yeah, Wilkerson was surely covering his ass (and his former boss's ass) in his essay. And it is, at its core, "a clever mea culpa" as Valtin put it. But it has the potential to be the beginning of something more important: a change in the public perception, particularly among conservatives, as people realize that they can stop trying to find something good in everything the Bush administration did to justify electing them TWICE. When they come to this conclusion and admit to themselves that they were duped by evil men and women, perhaps, just maybe, they'll have their eyes a bit wider open the next time the Republicans come knocking on their door for support of something the rest of the world knows is wrong.
That, to me, would be a triumph of good over evil.
I'm just sayin'...