Thursday, November 17, 2005

Cheney: Stop Rewriting History

As reported by Reuters/Yahoo:
In the sharpest White House attack yet on critics of the Iraq war, Vice President Dick Cheney said on Wednesday that accusations the Bush administration manipulated intelligence to justify the war were a "dishonest and reprehensible" political ploy.

Cheney repeated Bush's charge that Democratic critics were rewriting history by questioning prewar intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction even though many Senate Democrats voted in October 2002 to authorize the invasion.

"The president and I cannot prevent certain politicians from losing their memory, or their backbone -- but we're not going to sit by and let them rewrite history," said Cheney, a principal architect of the war and a focus of Democratic allegations the administration misrepresented intelligence on Iraq's weapons program.

Cheney said the suggestion Bush or any member of the administration misled Americans before the war "is one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city."
Yet it was Cheney who was rewriting his own 2001 history in 2004 (quoting here from an az.general newsgroup posting I made on June 24, 2004):
Here's another recent example of a lie from Dick Cheney (both are on video, and were shown on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" night before last)--this text is quoted from
During the CNBC interview, Cheney also dissembled in the following exchange about Mohammed Atta, an Al Qaeda member who was allegedly involved in the September 11 attacks (a witness claimed that Atta met with an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague in the spring of 2001, a heavily disputed assertion that the FBI and CIA have questioned):
BORGER: Well, let's get to Mohamed Atta for a minute because you mentioned him as well. You have said in the past that it was, quote, "pretty well confirmed."
CHENEY: No, I never said that.
CHENEY: I never said that.
BORGER: I think that is...
CHENEY: Absolutely not. What I said was the Czech intelligence service reported after 9/11 that Atta had been in Prague on April 9 of 2001, where he allegedly met with an Iraqi intelligence official. We have never been able to confirm that nor have we been able to knock it down, we just don't know.
But as a White House transcript demonstrates, Cheney said in a December 9, 2001 interview on "Meet the Press" that, "Well, what we now have that's developed since you and I last talked, Tim, of course, was that report that's been *pretty well confirmed*, that [Atta] did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack." (our emphasis)
So in December 2001 he said the Atta/Iraqi meeting in Prague was "pretty well confirmed," but in 2004 he says he never said that, and that "we have never been able to confirm that nor have we been able to knock it down."

So he was lying in December 2001 when he said it was pretty well confirmed, and lying again in 2004 when he said he never said that it was pretty well confirmed.
On "Meet the Press" on November 14, 2003, Cheney stated that "I have not suggested there's a connection between Iraq and 9/11." What else could he have meant when he claimed a "pretty well confirmed" Mohammed Atta link to Iraq?

In the same Usenet posting, I pointed out that the Bush administration was denying that the techniques used in Abu Ghraib had any approval from their administration:
BTW, up until very recently the Bush administration was denying the content of Seymour Hersh's story in the New Yorker which was the first report of Rumsfeld's memo approving these techniques. They were lying.

E.g., look at the quotes attributed to "The Pentagon" and Condoleezza Rice in this USA Today article from May 15:

I think the most blatant evidence of dishonesty by the Bush administration is found by just comparing their own statements over time, and watching them contradict themselves.
In that USA Today story, the Bush administration response to Hersh's charges, now confirmed, was:
The Pentagon said that story was "filled with error and anonymous conjecture" and called it "outlandish, conspiratorial." National security adviser Condoleezza Rice, in a German television interview, said of The New Yorker report, "As far as we can tell, there's really nothing to the story."
In the Washington Post, May 17, 2004:
CIA spokesman Bill Harlow called the Hersh story "fundamentally wrong" in its assertion that there was a "DOD/CIA program to abuse and humiliate Iraqi prisoners." Harlow added, "Despite what is alleged in the article, I am aware of no CIA official who would have or possibly could have confirmed the details of the New Yorker's inaccurate account."
Compare what's in the news these days (Washington Post, November 1, 2005) about CIA prisons to what was said in May 2004:
On Friday, the Pentagon announced that the U.S. military will not use certain prisoner interrogation procedures in Iraq and Afghanistan, including sleep and sensory deprivation, as a result of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.
It remains unclear whether the ban applies to accused Taliban and al Qaeda detainees held by the U.S. military in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Nor is it clear whether the ban applies to secret prisons in other countries...

- - -

Some other Cheney rewriting of history... during the Vice Presidential debate with John Edwards, Cheney claimed "Now, in my capacity as vice president, I am the president of Senate, the presiding officer. I'm up in the Senate most Tuesdays when they're in session." In fact, he was absent all but two times, and has not presided at the Senate since 2002.

He told Edwards that "The first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight." In fact, Cheney met Edwards on February 1, 2001 at the National Prayer Breakfast and addressed Edwards by name, personally, in his speech and was photographed standing next to Edwards at the buffet. In his speech, he stated: "Thank you. Thank you very much. Congressman Watts, Senator Edwards, friends from across America and distinguished visitors to our country from all over the world, Lynne and I honored to be with you all this morning."

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