MSNBC's Chris Hayes and blogger Glenn Greenwald joined forces on Thursday's "Last Word" to condemn American society for welcoming Dick Cheney back into its life with relatively open arms--and President Obama for, in their view, sanctioning Cheney's currently comfortable status.
Cheney's new memoir is set to be released on Aug. 30, but the former vice president's publicity tour has already begun, with clips from an exclusive NBC News interview blanketing all of that network's shows. Cheney will then go on a media blitz, appearing everywhere from "Fox and Friends" to "The View" in support of the book.
Hayes, filling in for Lawrence O'Donnell, said he found the entire thing distasteful and offensive. After playing a clip of Cheney saying he has "no regrets" about using waterboarding on detainees, Hayes expressed his disgust.
"What's so troubling is the fact that he has managed to escape not only legal sanction for advocating and overseeing the implementation of the war crime that is torture, but that he has appeared to manage to escape social sanction as well," Hayes said. "Everyone is now going to treat him as just another memoirist with a book to sell...what would someone in power have to do to put themselves outside the bounds of polite society?"
Hayes then brought Greenwald on. Not surprisingly, Greenwald was equally outraged. He said that Cheney was guilty of "among the most serious and egregious crimes committed over the last decade...and yet we...treat him like a celebrity and reward him for it."
Hayes asked Greenwald how much he thought the Obama administration's firm policy of "looking forward" when it came to the Bush administration had contributed to Cheney's current ease. Greenwald said he thought it was "easily the biggest factor," and that Obama "has continued this evisceration of the rule of law for political elites at the same time that ordinary Americans are imprisoned by the same government...at rates greater than any country in the entire world."