As Rachel Maddow points out, Cheney is on his "torture works" tour. There is much speculation as to the effect or reason for Cheney's public re-emergence.
Steve Benen thinks that Cheney might have an eye on the 2012 Presidency.
Maureen Dowd who calls the VP the "Rogue Diva of Doom" says that Cheney's antics will pull the GOP down a "black hole of zealotry."
A “dismayed” Republican remarked: “We’re trying to turn the page and he’s climbing out of the grave to haunt us.”
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) declared that nothing in those memos suggests that torture was the most effective way to gain information:
A former FBI man who interrogated an al-Qaida leader said Wednesday extreme techniques used by the Bush administration were "ineffective, slow and unreliable" and caused the prisoner to stop talking.
Nothing I have seen — including the two documents to which former Vice President Cheney has repeatedly referred — indicates that the torture techniques authorized by the last administration were necessary, or that they were the best way to get information out of detainees. The former vice president is misleading the American people when he says otherwise.
So why is Cheney doing this?
A Time article speculates:
Cheney is clearly troubled both by Obama's rollback of the policies he championed and the buzz on the left that a sitting President might prosecute a predecessor who took those policies too far. [...]Cheney speaks of the Bush Administration successfully defending the nation "for 7 1/2 years" after 9/11. But he forgets that 9/11 happened on the Bush/Cheney watch.
Cheney is "trying to rewrite history," says a Republican consultant who has experience in intelligence matters. [...]
What's quite clear about Cheney's sudden chatty spree is that he wants to refocus the question about waterboarding and other interrogation techniques from whether they were legal to whether they worked. [...]
A far darker explanation for the spring offensive isn't about the past but the future. Obama officials have spied something like a set-up in Cheney's latest gambit. One of the Bush team's biggest talking points in its final days in office was an insistence that its greatest accomplishment was preventing a second attack in the years after Sept. 11. By laying down the charge now that Obama has made the country less safe, the Bush team may be able to point fingers of blame if a second attack ever comes.
Another explanation ties in with the theory that Cheney is "trying to rewrite history." Cheney, Bush and Rove have been masters of presenting an alternative reality. It doesn't matter that a former FBI interrogator states that the Bush interrogation techniques were 'ineffective or unreliable.' It doesn't matter if memos or an investigation shows that Cheney is wrong about torture. Cheney knows that by flooding the airwaves week after week, he has already created his own reality on the issue of enhanced interrogation or torture and there are people who believe him.
By being so insistent that these interrogation techniques work he has created uncertainty.