“There is nothing more important than the right of people to express their opinions,” Cheney told the crowd who paid $75.00 to hear him. “Their freedom to speak is guaranteed by the Constitution,” he said, after police escorted two women out of the library for voicing their opposition to him according to The Orange County Register News.
Promoting his book, "In My Time," a 352-page memoir, "Cheney spoke about his four decades in government, the Sept. 11 attacks, and his involvement with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq," reported CNN.
Asked if the "current fatality count of more than 4,000 troops in Iraq, coupled with the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on the war, made it a worthy endeavor," the man who led the secret oil talks where plans were drawn to invade Iraq six months before 911, as documented in Josh Tickell's movie, "Fuel", Cheney answered 'yes.'
He congratulated President Barack Obama for killing Osama bin Laden in May, adding the Bush administration also deserves credit for that "success" that UN Human Rights officials had demanded evidence of the said assassination, an ultimate rights violation although more commonly viewed by rights advocates as a psychological operation for Obama's political gain on the heels of a top UN official suggesting the US government may have orchestrated the September 11, 2001 mass murder in New York City. ("UN Human Rights official to US: Hand over Bin Laden details," Dupré, D., Examiner, May 3, 2011)
"A lot of the work we did in the intelligence community and special operations forces in that period of time laid that groundwork for the ultimate capturing and killing of Osama bin Laden," Cheney said.
Rights defenders from across Southern California gathered to protest Cheney’s book tour event.
"Outside, Carol Levers, who calls herself 'the only Democrat in Yorba Linda,' stood along Yorba Linda Boulevard in front of the library holding a sign that called Cheney a war criminal, a reference, she said, to Cheney’s involvement in the U.S. invasion of Iraq, a war she said was started on false pretenses," reported OCR.
IndictBushNow organizers with anti-war activists and military families were on the library grounds chanting and holding signs.
Iraq war veterans held a banner that read: “1 million dead, thousands tortured: Bush and Cheney guilty of war crimes – IndictBushNow.org.”
"The rights group outside chanted through their megaphones and hands, 'Cheney, you can’t hide. We charge you with genocide,” following the voice of Mike Prysner, a former U.S. army soldier," reported the Daily Titan's Susana Cobo.
Prysner, a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). is noted for his historical speech explaining what he did "after finding the enemy," (See: "What an Iraq veteran did after finding the enemy," Dupré, D., Examiner, January 4, 2010)
Countering the crowd of protesters at the library before Cheney spoke, six people demonstrated approval of him and torture he spear-headed according to Cobo.
“I’m one of his biggest fans,” said Cheney supporter, Richard Henderson, wearing a red shirt with a giant "mugshot of Cheney" according to OCR. Before the event, Henderson credited Cheney, former President George W. Bush, and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, with “holding the government together."
"I have total respect for (Cheney). He took all the slings and arrows anybody could possibly throw at him.”
Cheney addressed criticism of “enhanced interrogation techniques” saying that "they were used on a small number of people and yielded “valuable intelligence,” including helping to foil a plot to fly a plane into a Los Angeles skyscraper," according to OCR.
“It was approved by the president of the United States … and sanctioned by the Justice Department,” he said. “My personal view is it was exactly the sort of thing we needed to do” and prevent large terrorist attacks. “We were bound and determined it wasn’t going to happen again.”
"Former Vice President Dick Cheney is guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity and torture. He deserves to be indicted and jailed for his crimes," stated Indict Bush Organization in a written statement released after the event on Thursday.
"Along with Bush and other high-ranking administration officials, Cheney is responsible for the death of more than 1 million people in Iraq and tens of thousands of people in Afghanistan. He is responsible for the over 6,000 U.S. troops who gave their lives, and the tens of thousands more who now suffer life-altering injuries."
Prysner's powerful presentation entitled Amazing Speech by War Veteran is part of the IVAW documentary, "Winter Soldier II," Josh Harvey's shocking documentary and testimony of U.S. soldiers and their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan and is supported at www.snowshoefilms.com. (See embedded Youtube Video on this page left)
With chapters in the U.S. and Canada, IVAW members educate the public about realities of the Iraq war by speaking in communities and to the media about their experiences.
"Our real enemy is not the ones living in a distant land whose names or policies we don't understand," states Prysner.
"The real enemy is a system that wages war when it's profitable, the CEOs who lay us off our jobs when it's profitable, the Insurance Companies who deny us Health care when it's profitable, the Banks who take away our homes when it's profitable."
"Our enemies are not several hundred thousands away. They are right here in front of us."