Sith Lord Dick Cheney emerged from his homemade bunker today to criticize the Administration for not starting an air war over Iran to go along with the shadow war already in progress:

CHENEY: The right response to that would have been to go in immediately after it had gone down and destroy it. You can do that from the air. You can do that with a quick airstrike, and in effect make it impossible for them to benefit from having captured that drone. I was told that the president had three options on his desk. He rejected all of them. [...]

They all involved sending somebody in to try to recover it, or if you can’t do that, admittedly that would be a difficult operation, you certainly could have gone in and destroyed it on the ground with an airstrike. But he didn’t take any of the options. He asked for them to return it. And they aren’t going to do that.

I like the idea that a “quick airstrike” is somehow less consequential than one of those long, drawn-out airstrikes where you send the payload out of the bombers in slow-motion. Cheney is talking about an offensive bombing campaign over a sovereign country without a declaration of war. Now, that has become a depressingly normal occurrence these days, but in this case, that bombing campaign would be taken up to destroy evidence of a whole other set of covert warmaking activities. So it’s a war to cover up a war, at that point. And surely Iran would oblige this attack on their soil, as long as it was a “quick airstrike.”

As Ben Armbruster points out, we actually don’t have to guess about how the Cheney Administration would have dealt with an analogous situation. In 2001, a manned spy plane crashed into a Chinese jet and came into the possession of the Chinese. Did Cheney order a “quick airstrike” in that case? No, as Armbuster writes: “Instead of bombing the plane, the United States issued a letter of apology saying it was ‘very sorry.’ The Chinese released the American flight crew and returned the plane in pieces three months later.”

What moral cowards the Cheney Administration were! And by the way, this shows you that at least some of the psychopathic tendencies of the Cheneys of the world are merely rhetorical. When push came to shove, he didn’t back up the cowboy talk.

It’s tiresome to even break down the words of Dick Cheney. But the media conducting interviews with him won’t, so someone must.