Cole in Salon: The Hidden Hand of Dick Cheney

My column for Salon.com, “The hidden hand of Dick Cheney” is now out.

Excerpt:

‘ don’t dismiss Dick Cheney as a fading punch line, or as tragedy reprised as comedy. While the Obama administration has adopted large numbers of policies that directly contradict Cheney’s positions, it would be a mistake to overlook Cheney’s continued influence on the executive branch through the precedents set by the Bush administration. Among the former vice-president’s most important legacies is increased government secrecy. Obama’s Department of Justice continues to rely on an alleged “state secrets” privilege. It has thus tried to block lawsuits by victims who alleged they were kidnapped and tortured by U.S. intelligence even though they were innocent of wrongdoing, on the grounds that such trials would reveal state secrets. The same state secrets doctrine was used by Obama’s DOJ in an attempt to block investigations of Bush-Cheney warrantless wiretaps. Likewise, the DOJ has attempted to block lawsuits seeking the release of Bush-era e-mails and to prevent prisoners held at Bagram air base in Afghanistan from appearing before a judge to challenge their imprisonment. ‘

Read the whole thing.

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