Spock vs. Rambo

06/21/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Watching President Obama and former Vice President Cheney duel on terror suspects: can Spock replace Rambo in the approach to Gitmo? Does logic ever trump emotion on terror? Obama (Spock the Star Trek logician) set up an extreme contrast between transparency versus anything goes with himself in the middle. Cheney (Rambo the movie mercenary) set up a contrast between those who see every day as 9/11 and those who say it's an outlier with himself in the former camp.

Obama wants a balance and Cheney calls that triangulation. Obama says we must close Gitmo to be consistent with our values and Cheney says they hate our values - and giving them lawyers won't change that. (He departed from the terror risk to oppose tax dollars spent on prisoners here in the USA but we pay for "3 hots and a cot" in room and board in Cuba so that is not really an issue).

On declassification of torture memos and documents, Obama balances notes versus photos, questions versus answers. Cheney claims to know what happened in CIA briefings he never attended (though there is not evidence that they were recorded) and pushes for declassification of the results of interrogations. Neither Obama or Cheney discussed the pre-9/11 intelligence reports that Osama bin Laden was determine to attack inside the US and use planes as weapons. Oddly enough, neither Obama or Cheney discussed the war in Iraq or Cheney's many attacks on the CIA during his vice presidency.

So where are the American people? With Spock or Rambo? Unfortunately, both Obama and Cheney seem to agree that we should not have a truth commission to look into all these contrasts, Obama because he wants to focus on his agenda, and Cheney because he insists his side was right and should not be prosecuted. We heard this before when the Bush administration opposed the creation of a 9/11 Commission for well over a year Ultimately, though, it may well be the only venue to address these issues.