"The administration seems to pride itself on searching for some kind of middle ground in policies addressing terrorism... But in the fight against terrorism, there is no middle ground, and half-measures keep you half exposed," added the former vice president."
There are some folks out there who may harbor interesting opinions regarding the definition of 'torture.' There may be some folks out there who harbor thoughts that even something considered torture is 'justified' in the pursuit of information.
But to hear the architect of our current national dilemma and international embarassment say that it is the Obama administration using 'half-measures' and 'middle-ground' is preposterous. Cheney is a key figure in the Bush administration that gave us the ultimate half-measure: the legally and linguistically challenged term "enemy combatant."
Traditionally, any enemy we fight falls into one of two camps. They are either 'criminals' who are dealt with in courts of law or they are 'prisoners of war' who can be held until the cessation of hostilities. Both distinctions have a long and proven history of use, and have entire legalities built around them, dealing with them, extracting information from them and seeking justice against them. We even have legal mechanisms for dealing with individuals who commit crimes in the commission of war. Those distinctions and definitions are how our society is thought and is supposed to pursue justice and common defense.
Bush and Cheney did not want to deal with these individuals either way, so they created their own half-measure, their own middle ground, and began creating a seperate set of legalities and terminoligies that went with it. That muddying of the water has allowed too much confusion on the questions of terrorism and torture, and that is the 'mess' Obama speaks of cleaning up.