I’m sure not many fathers think about whether their children will defend them one day from accusations that they ordered torture. Dick Cheney would probably be one of the few who has–and how nice that he got that lucky. Since her father left office, Liz Cheney has been his most visible and effective advocate. She’s given speeches at conservative gatherings, written op-eds for publications like the Wall Street Journal and made dozens of television appearances, all aimed at defending her father’s record and carrying his standard. And occasionally she finds herself having to claim that a technique developed by torturers as a method of torture (waterboarding) was not really torture when her father approved it.
To a lesser extent than his daughter, but still at an unprecedented level for a former vice president, Dick Cheney has also taken a highly public role, popping up regularly to attack the Obama administration’s national security decisions. This past May, explaining her father’s inordinately high profile, Liz said on MSNBC, "I don’t think he planned to be doing this, you know, when they left office in January," but the administration’s policy shifts, as well as the concern that "perhaps [Obama] would even be prosecuting former members of the Bush administration," had necessitated the former VP’s re-emergence. During this period, the Washington Monthly‘s Steve Benen counted "12 appearances, in nine and a half days, spanning four networks" for the younger Cheney.
The right’s most famous father-daughter act has also been active behind the scenes. Liz has allied with neoconservative mover Bill Kristol to found Keep America Safe, infamous of late for its ads attacking as traitorous Justice Department lawyers who once "represented or advocated for terrorist detainees." The ad was so scurrilous that even Republican lawyers and Bush administration officials like former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and former Solicitor General Ted Olson condemned it. But whatever blowback the neocon attack machine may suffer for this particular overreach, the "Department of Jihad" smear is nonetheless a startling declaration that they just don’t give a damn. (After all, what’s a bit of rank dishonesty in an effort to head off almost certain Islamofascist doom?) With the Cheneys on board, neocons have become increasingly brazen in their accusations that President Obama is "inviting the next attack" by not sufficiently embracing the fact that "we are at war."