I should apologize for being grumpier than usual today during the season's Holiday Magic, but Dick Cheney is fondly defending every incriminating trace of the CIA's uncivilized torture and I, for one, won't let him get away with a word of it. Besides, it confirms my suspicion that he may be the most depraved man in America today.
He blows off complaints about the sadistic Nazi-like treatment of the detainees with the question of whether we should have kissed them on both cheeks. The ex-veep and hawkish draft dodger - the latter exercise a planned escape from duty that remains a lasting default in his John Wayne image - puffed himself up with "I'd do it again in a minute."
Well, now. That's not exactly what we should want the world to know about us from the former No. 2 man in the government that has long sold itself as a model of civilized humanity. Instead, he came down like the ghouls who stick live kittens in Microwave ovens for the hell of it.
He would be a perfect fit for Dr. Caligari's cabinet with a his curled lip, spooky certainties and a taste for the pain or proxy murder of others. The ancient German black-and-white silent film was eerily at the heart of modern torture - a word that Cheney wisely refuses to precisely define.
He should be placed in a military uniform and shipped - mechanical heart and all - to a hot war zone in the Middle East to dismiss doubts that he is more than a lunatic who takes joy in Microwaves.