Because Dick Cheney can go around saying that you're lying when you're not. It's not just Dick Cheney. Amesty International has been widely criticized for using the word "gulag" (which I'm taking as basically the same as the "Hitler argument;" I wrote about the Hilter argument here) in relation to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.
Here, for example, is an excerpt from a critical John Podhoretz piece:
So let's do a few comparisons between Gitmo and the Gulag - the network of Soviet prison camps set up by Stalin in the 1920s.
Number of prisoners at Gitmo: approximately 600.
Number of prisoners in the Gulag: 25 million, according to peerless Gulag historian Anne Applebaum.
Number of camps at Gitmo: 1.
Number of camps in the Gulag: At least 476, according to Applebaum.
Political purpose of Gulag: The suppression of internal dissent inside a totalitarian state.
Political purpose of Gitmo: The suppression of an international terrorist group that had attacked the United States, killing 3,000 people while attempting to decapitate the national government through the hijack of jets.
Now, of course if you thought that Amesty International merely made a blanket comparison, you might think that the Podhoretz's response has some merit. But here's what Amnesty International actually said:
"The detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has become the gulag of our times, entrenching the practice of arbitrary and indefinite detention in violation of international law," Khan writes. "Trials by military commissions have made a mockery of justice and due process."
Which, of course, is correct. The admin has been trying to entrench the practice of arbitrary indefinite detention. Which Stalin did too. So that one point of comparison is correct. The other points of comparison, like killing millions of your own countrymen and providing slave labor, of course, are not correct.
Now, of course, that's not the comparison that Amnesty International was trying to make. But because they used the word "gulag," the story is about the word "gulag" and not about the arbitrary indefinite detention.
So I blame Amnesty International in this case for not foreseeing the consequences of their poor choice of words, despite the basic accurateness of their perception. They should have known that the admin would take any chance it can get to deflect attention from the substance of the report. They should be more careful in the future, for the very sake of the causes they advance. Because of their choice of words, their report will have less impact and less credibility than it otherwise should. And I think we can all learn a lesson from that.
(But Dick Cheney is still a liar.)