Obama vs. Cheney On National Security

President Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney both gave national security speeches today, with Cheney’s speech coming exactly two minutes after the end of the Obama speech.

Obama defended his decisions to ban torture and close Guantanamo as a base for holding of terrorists.  He also made clear the need to keep the constitutional guarantees given to us in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, as he delivered his nearly 50 minute speech at the National Archives, the repository of these sacred documents, along with the Declaration of Independence.  He also asserted that the Bush-Cheney policies did not make the country safer, alienated our allies in the world, put our soldiers who might be captured under greater threat, and undermined our moral standing, and that torture had not and could not gain information that was crucial to our safety.  As usual, Obama delivered a convincing and articulate speech, and I think gained more backing from the American people for his approach to the issue of national security.

Cheney made the usual arguments favoring torture and keeping Guantanomo open in his 36 minute speech,  and continues to make the connection between Al Qaeda terrorists and Saddam Hussein.  He distorts reality and uses the Big Lie technique, which is that the more you repeat something, the more people will believe it.  Thankfully, only a minority of the American people, and not a large one, believes that Cheney is legitimate in his arguments and reasoning.  But the battle continues for public opinion over the issue of how best to preserve national security.  It will not end anytime soon.

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