05/27/2009 02:55 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Cheney Doesn't Want Us to Ask Questions

Former Minnesota Governor, Jesse Ventura is in demand on the interview circuit these days because of his new bestseller book. I interviewed him last week, and he opened the discussion with the topic of torture. He told me that he could get Dick Cheney to confess to murder if he could get Cheney on a waterboard for a couple of minutes. It became clear that Ventura feels true repulsion toward people like Cheney, Sean Hannity, and all the other war pimps who talk tough but stay clear of real combat. Ventura earned the right to humiliate the right wing tough talkers because unlike them, he spent his early years enlisted as a Navy SEAL on active duty in Vietnam.

He explained that he had experienced waterboarding unlike the war sissies he criticizes. Given the chance, I'm certain that Ventura could at least get Cheney to come clean over many of the questions people have about the scandals and criminal activity that developed during Cheney's watch. You've probably noticed that Cheney has come out of his secluded bunker after hiding for eight years. Think back to the number of times when the media was asking "Where is Cheney?" Like the time he hid in his private bunker after 9-11. Or the times no one could find him after Katrina, and after he shot his friend in the head during a bird hunt.

Cheney's handlers were skillful in keeping Cheney away from the public eye. They recognized that his public approval was just about equal to that of the Taliban. But do we really need to put Cheney in a room with Ventura and a waterboard to figure out why Cheney is everywhere in the media these days looking like Richard Nixon right before Nixon was busted for Watergate? With every Cheney interview, you expect him to break into one of those Nixon-like speeches where he says, "I am not a crook."

Cheney wants us to quit asking questions. Not just questions about Gitmo. He wants us to stop wondering about his role in domestic spying on journalists, peace activists, and political opponents. The once reclusive Cheney is urging us to stop asking those pesky questions about how he rigged the intelligence process to gin up an unnecessary war in Iraq. According to Cheney, it is inappropriate for Americans to ask about how many billions of dollars disappeared in Halliburton contract fraud.

In the last few weeks, Ventura has been in attack mode telling Americans just the opposite. Ventura's philosophy is that Americans need to kick over the rotting logs left behind by Cheney. According to Ventura, we need to prosecute the creatures that have been hiding there. Ventura's advice is good. Unless we continue to dig deeper we will never know how much damage our democracy sustained. We won't be in a position to make repairs unless we fully explore the wreckage that Cheney created. A decision to do nothing will be an open invitation for tomorrow's Cheneys and Nixons to disable democracy again. I don't doubt that Dick Cheney wants us to look ahead and ignore his past conduct. Nixon would have wanted us to do the same with his Watergate years.