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I Stood Up Against Dick Cheney Back Then ... and I Stand Beside Liz Cheney Now

“The primary question that has arisen at GITMO is whether torture based confessions are admissible,” said Guiora. “The clear ‘line in the sand’ was drawn by my good friend, COL (RET) Moe Davis who was the Chief Military Prosecutor in GITMO who told his superiors, ‘if ordered to submit as evidence torture based confessions I will resign my commission’ … when so ordered, he indeed resigned. Moe saved the day for American decency and integrity,” said Guiora.


I'm grateful to Professor Amos Guiora for the kind words he had to say about me in the article he wrote marking the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.


I've thought about this several times recently in the context of Representative Liz Cheney. I've never had the power or prestige she's had, but I have at times served in positions of responsibility.


I've found that when times are good and you’re in the spotlight, you’re surrounded by people anxious to embrace you, slap you on the back, and position themselves to be seen in the same frame as you. But when you draw the line and stand up for what’s right and refuse to bend to those in power who’ll do everything they can to destroy you for refusing to toe the party line, you find yourself standing pretty much all alone. You quickly discover who are your true friends and who are just freeloaders who latched on to you because they thought it benefitted them and cost them nothing, but then ran for the hills when they believed there might be consequences for associating with you. It’s a disappointing discovery and one that causes you to take a more jaundiced view of those who want to be around you.

I suspect Liz Cheney has had some of those same thoughts recently. She voted with Trump more often than Elise Stefanik who was tapped to fill Cheney’s leadership role in the Republican House after Cheney was ostracized and then fired for having the audacity to say her country was more important than her party and refusing to ignore reality and pretend an insurrection to subvert the peaceful transfer of power was no big deal. Liz Cheney put her loyalty to America ahead of blind allegiance to a demagogue. I hope that in the end everything works out just fine for her and she gets the credit she deserves for telling the want-a-be dictator that he’s butt-neked and morally bankrupt while all of the freeloaders around him praise his imaginary luxurious suit and his non-existent virtue.

Regardless of the short-term consequences, I hope Liz Cheney knows that in the long run she’ll sleep soundly with the peace of mind that comes when you choose to save the day for American decency and integrity. I hope she knows the wounds will eventually heal and she can someday look at the scars with pride. I hope decent people, including those who disagree with her on nearly every policy position, will give her the credit and support she deserves for standing up tall when so many others found it easier to just bend over and oblige.

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