Cheney wants to protect the right of the CIA to torture detainees, according to this NYT article,“White House Is Seeking Exception in Detainee Abuse Ban”.
Last weekend I read two reviews of a new Mao biography, Mao: The Unknown Story, one in the NYT book review and a far better one in The New York Review of Books, (You have to buy the issue or buy the article on line). Both reviews presented a Mao who had little real talents beyond a keen sense of which way the wind was blowing and how to change direction to go with it, and an ability to keep his head down and navigate upward through the bureaucracy. He also excelled at sadistic torture and had the willingness to slaughter rivals, real and imagined. The NYB reviewer cited his laziness (He traveled the Long March carried, comfortably reclining) and his apparent complete lack of empathy for others. He was willing to kill millions of his own people to advance his agenda.
While reading the reviews I was reminded of Cheney and to a lesser degree Bush and reminded also of how rare it is for gifted and compassionate individuals to gain political power. Mostly, we are stuck with twisted, Cheney like mediocrities who come to power by avoiding risk, by shuffling minutiae, by scheming in the shadows and by opportunistically attaching to the coattails of rising stars. Once arrived their bitterness (at choosing to eat so much shit to get there) and insecurity cause them to take offense at the smallest slights, and then to work single mindedly, not for the benefit of the governed, but instead to carry out vengeful schemes concocted in the darkness of long nights making lists of enemies. Election victory is about the opportunity to get even.
Damn right Cheney wants torture to be legal and not just for foreigners either.