Cheney Unplugged


I’ve said it often, written it: “How do they sleep at night?” Seriously, I’m sure I posed the question in plenty of articles during the Cheney-Bush reign and then after Barack Obama took the oath. How incredibly naïve I was.

After a year of “seeing” a sociopath, a man who charmed and lied his way into and through my life, I now know that those who lack empathy sleep just fine—unless they’re worried about their own interests. Totally self-focused, they have an insatiable need for attention. Conversations that veer away from them, towards anyone or anything else, must be redirected back to the center of the universe—the sociopath. For them, it’s “me, me, me, me, me.”

Consider Dick Cheney. Wherever he went, his mobile hospital followed. He must’ve loved all that assistance, service, sustenance. I can recall examples like this about my personality disordered “friend”. The time he slipped, fell, and cut his chin. The stitches. You’d have thought he’d survived a shark attack. Then when he got that bee sting, went into anaphylactic shock, and drove himself to the hospital, just in time. He loved talking about his troubles, his health, texting to report his blood glucose level most mornings. Whoa, it just occurred to me that these illustrations might have been fabrications. The man is incapable of honesty.

But back to Cheney, the architect of the War of Terror, enhanced interrogation (such an inventive euphemism), and NSA wiretapping—he’s been in the news this week. I admit to feeling a little satisfaction in knowing Cheney didn’t sleep well for a while in 2007. When he had the realization that someone, a “terrorist” perhaps might possibly tinker with his ticker. Might use a remote-control gadget on the defibrillator implanted in his chest, the little computer capable of shocking his cold, faltering heart to its proper rhythm if necessary. Yes, Cheney was aware that someone could reprogram the device, zap him. He’d seen it on TV, an episode of Homeland. It makes sense that he was frightened. Understanding that this could be executed and why are not incompatible with an appreciation of and enthusiasm for torture, Cheney’s specialty—hypothermia, stress positions, waterboarding. “I signed off on it,” he’d said, about the “alternative set of procedures”—another euphemism.

Imagine the perspiration. Imagine the furtive glances, the hand, reaching up to pat the flaccid flesh concealing the apparatus. Could he trust anyone? Even his entourage? He’d shot Harry Whittington, an attorney who accompanied him on a quail hunt, for god’s sake. So many enemies, even in red states.

Cheney made a decision—to have the wireless feature disabled. Of course, this was risky. The wireless feature has a function. It alerts the doctor that something’s wrong, broken.

The probability of a security breach was blaring red though. I’m sure Cheney could feel it, like a thunderclap headache. He opted to disable the wireless, a decision the ordinary, well-liked individual never would have to make. Cheney wasn’t Mr. Popularity. Hell-bent on basking in his legacy of carnage, he HAD to eliminate the risk of a terror attack on his defibrillator. It was “me, me, me, the neocons/Zionists need me.” He’d profited handsomely from war and knew he’d be at the top of the heart transplant list with the snap of a threat. Color would return to his cheeks. He’d be himself again, snarling power. And he’d use this power to criticize Obama’s presidency even though he knew it would align with his/Bush’s. Eventually, he’d praise Obama for his drone program, one sociopath giving a nod to another.

Missy Comley Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Baltimore. Email: missybeat@gmail.com.

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

November 25, 2015
Jeff Taylor
Bob Dylan and Christian Zionism
Dana E. Abizaid
Provoking Russia
Oliver Tickell
Syria’s Cauldron of Fire: a Downed Russian Jet and the Battle of Two Pipelines
Patrick Cockburn
Trigger Happy: Will Turkey’s Downing of Russian Jet Backfire on NATO?
Robert Fisk
The Soothsayers of Eternal War
Russell Mokhiber
The Coming Boycott of Nike
Ted Rall
Like Father Like Son: George W. Bush Was Bad, His Father May Have Been Worse
Matt Peppe
Bad Policy, Bad Ethics: U.S. Military Bases Abroad
Martha Rosenberg
Pfizer Too Big (and Slippery) to Fail
Yorgos Mitralias
Bernie Sanders, Mr. Voutsis and the Truth Commission on Greek Public Debt
Jorge Vilches
Too Big for Fed: Have Central Banks Lost Control?
Sam Husseini
Why Trump is Wrong About Waterboarding — It’s Probably Not What You Think
Binoy Kampmark
The Perils of Certainty: Obama and the Assad Regime
Roger Annis
State of Emergency in Crimea
Soud Sharabani
ISIS in Lebanon: An Interview with Andre Vltchek
Thomas Knapp
NATO: This Deal is a Turkey
November 24, 2015
Dave Lindorff
An Invisible US Hand Leading to War? Turkey’s Downing of a Russian Jet was an Act of Madness
Mike Whitney
Turkey Downs Russian Fighter to Draw NATO and US Deeper into Syrian Quagmire
Walter Clemens
Who Created This Monster?
Patrick Graham
Bombing ISIS Will Not Work
Lida Maxwell
Who Gets to Demand Safety?
Eric Draitser
Refugees as Weapons in a Propaganda War
David Rosen
Trump’s Enemies List: a Trial Balloon for More Repression?
Eric Mann
Playing Politics While the Planet Sizzles
Chris Gilbert
“Why Socialism?” Revisited: Reflections Inspired by Einstein’s Article
Charles Davis
NSA Spies on Venezuela’s Oil Company
Michael Barker
Democracy vs. Political Policing
Barry Lando
Shocked by Trump? Churchill Wanted to “Collar Them All”
Cal Winslow
When Workers Fight: the National Union of Healthcare Workers Wins Battle with Kaiser
Norman Pollack
Where Does It End?: Left Political Correctness
David Macaray
Companies Continue to Profit by Playing Dumb
Binoy Kampmark
Animals in Conflict: Diesel, Dobrynya and Sentimental Security
Dave Welsh
Defiant Haiti: “We Won’t Let You Steal These Elections!”
November 23, 2015
Vijay Prashad
The Doctrine of 9/11 Anti-Immigration
John Wight
After Paris: Hypocrisy and Mendacity Writ Large
Joseph G. Ramsey
No Excuses, No Exceptions: the Moral Imperative to Offer Refuge
Patrick Cockburn
ISIS Thrives on the Disunity of Its Enemies
Andrew Moss
The Message of Montgomery: 60 Years Later
Jim Green
James Hansen’s Nuclear Fantasies
Robert Koehler
The Absence of History in the Aftermath of Paris
Dave Lindorff
The US Media and Propaganda
Dave Randle
France and Martial Law
Gilbert Mercier
If We Are at War, Let’s Bring Back the Draft!
Alexey Malashenko
Putin’s Syrian Gambit
Binoy Kampmark
Closing the Door: US Politics and the Refugee Debate