Yesterday’s post dealt with the issue of arrogance, and the difference between religious faith–which requires a certain suspension of doubt–and the sort of unquestioning certainty that leads to all manner of horrific acts in the name of religion.
Which leads us to a consideration of Dick Cheney.
Not that Cheney’s views appear to be founded in religion; from all appearances, the only person he worships–or respects– is the man he sees in the mirror (and I rather suspect that the man in that mirror is not the one most of us see).
Ever since the Senate released its report on torture, Cheney has been everywhere, defending the indefensible. It’s important to note that, while he has characterized the report as “crap,” he has not suggested that its descriptions of “enhanced interrogation” are inaccurate. He has not denied that 26 innocent people were falsely arrested. He has not denied that one of those innocent people died.
Instead, Cheney defends it all. He has expressed absolutely no remorse for any of it–not even the death of the innocent man. He insists he would “do it again.” Against the evidence of experienced interrogators, he insists that the tactics worked. Against the testimony of men who were themselves tortured, this man who never wore his country’s uniform insists he knows best how to conduct warfare. Against the consensus of the world community, he justifies the use of tactics America has historically condemned.
Because he’s right, and the rest of the world is wrong.
Cheney is a stark reminder of what evil really is–not a Satanic figure intentionally setting out to do harm, but power allied with un-self-aware moral arrogance.