President Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney will both be giving speeches on the topic of anti-terrorism and national security later this morning and the corporate media are eating this up, portraying this as if it were a championship fight between two heavyweight boxers.
"Obama vs. Cheney" reads this headline on MSNBC and Politico has a headline entitled, "Barack Obama, Dick Cheney plan dueling speeches". My how the media loves a good political speech-off! So much so, that CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News all plan to carrying Dick Cheney's speech in its entirety and predictably, will debate both speeches as if they carry equal weight.
I, for one, would like to see analysis of these speeches given in the following context. President Obama's speech, which will reportedly focus on Guantanamo Bay and the issues surrounding the closure of the base, actually has meaning considering that Obama is the President. Dick Cheney's speech, which will reportedly focus on how torture is a necessary tool in combating terror, are the words of a man who is not only making torture a partisan issue, but has been on a media tour trying to justify the lawless legacy that the Bush Administration has left behind.
This is only a "duel" because the corporate media are presenting it that way. What we really have is one speech by the President of the United States and another speech by a former Vice President who is desperate to defend the lawless legacy that he has left behind and in doing so, will rely on his continued strategy of defending torture and using fearmongering to claim we are "less safe" under Obama.
More thoughts and reactions on this after the two speeches.