Thursday, May 21, 2009


Holy Paranoia Batman! Take a look at the fear-drenched nonsense that Dick Cheney just presented to the Republican Party’s “research” arm, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Here's the first problem: setting.

Dick Cheney can no longer go to applaud-guaranteed military bases to make scare-mongering speeches. So he has to go to places like AEI to make presentations that would, in all likelihood, be mocked and jeered in just about any other public setting. But we'll leave this one alone for the moment.

If you decide to take the time to read Dick Cheney’s extraordinarily long and self-serving speech what you will find is (1) a man who is focused on reliving 9/11 through eternity, and (2) a man who has no problem lying and leaving out key points that undermine the Bush administration’s claims, especially as they apply to national security. In a few words, Dick Cheney is a liar (see his WMD and al-Qaeda/Saddam-links comments) and a coward (five deferments when it was his turn to serve tells us this).

For me, this Cheney comment tells us what the former Vice-President has to say is baseless and drenched in self-serving hypocrisy …

"Releasing the interrogation memos was flatly contrary to the national security interest of the United States. The harm done only begins with top secret information now in the hands of the terrorists, who have just received a lengthy insert for their training manual. Across the world, governments that have helped us capture terrorists will fear that sensitive joint operations will be compromised. And at the CIA, operatives are left to wonder if they can depend on the White House or Congress to back them up when the going gets tough."
Look, once the Bush administration – through Dick Cheney’s office – released the name of CIA asset Valerie Plame to teach her husband (Ambassador Joe Wilson) and others a lesson about what would happen if they crossed the administration Dick Cheney lost all moral standing when it comes to judging the actions of others in the area of national security. This is especially the case when the Obama administration is charged with trying to clean up the Bush administration’s mess caused by their unethical and illegal behavior.

Then we have this nonsense from Dick Cheney ...

"That attack itself was, of course, the most devastating strike in a series of terrorist plots carried out against Americans at home and abroad. In 1993, terrorists bombed the World Trade Center, hoping to bring down the towers with a blast from below. The attacks continued in 1995, with the bombing of U.S. facilities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; the killing of servicemen at Khobar Towers in 1996; the attack on our embassies in East Africa in 1998; the murder of American sailors on the USS Cole in 2000; and then the hijackings of 9/11, and all the grief and loss we suffered on that day."
Where do I begin? The simplest response here is that the Bush administration didn’t do anything after they were briefed by outgoing National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger, and Counterterrorism Czar, Richard Clarke (who served Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton) made it clear that al Qaeda "would be your number one priority" during their tenure in office. They even ignored Richard Clarke, who was running around Washington DC during summer 2001 telling agency heads to cancel summer vacations because "something big" was going to happen. Then we have George W. Bush ignoring the CIA briefing titled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack U.S." ...

The Bush administration had ample warning. They blew it. We were attacked on their watch in spite of their knowledge that "a series of terrorist plots" had occurred and top officials had told them that another one was coming. Saying we had to get tough because an attack occurred on their watch is akin to saying, "We need everyone to be afraid so they forget that we blew it."

There's more. Much more. But going through all Dick Cheney's nauseatingly long "let's-all-be-afraid-because-we-were-afraid" speech is a bloodletting experience we don't need to run through. The fact is, Dick Cheney has a history of cowardice and getting things wrong.

Cheney had his chance, and he helped make America weaker with his actions. He needs to let the adults clean up his mess.

- Mark

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