As I formulate this argument, I realize that I disagree with Cheney on the two great issues he confronted as vice president. The first was his conception of executive power. The second concerns the tactics the United States should employ in the war on terror. So let me be clear in saying that what I would like to defend is Dick Cheney's character.His theory is that the events of 9/11, particularly Cheney's authorization to the Air Force to shoot down Flight 93 -- even though it wasn't carried out -- profoundly affected him.
Dick Cheney resolved to do whatever it would take to protect this country, regardless of the cost to his reputation or popularity. I respect him for that, and I empathize with him.Cannon is one of the few people writing in the media who disagrees with Cheney on executive power, the role of the vice president, torture, and probably other issues as well, yet doesn't assume bad motives. As he writes,
we definitely do damage to ourselves when we substitute political debate with name-calling and ad-hominem attacks. I think Dick Cheney is wrong on important matters. I also think he is a patriot. And I hate to think that we have lost the ability to hold two such opinions in our heads at one time.I'll second that.