Dick Cheney, former vice president under the worst president in my lifetime, appeared on Sean Hannity’s program Wednesday evening to attack the Obama administration. For eleven minutes, Dick Cheney and Sean Hannity gleefully insulted President Obama, while ignoring what happened to this country during the Bush administration. It was nauseating, it was rage-inspiring, and it gave me an insight into how conservatives think.
Hannity began by pointing out the “scandals” that have hit the Obama administration recently: accidentally publishing the name of a CIA station chief, the VA, and zero troops in Afghanistan by 2016. Yes, Sean Hannity and Dick Cheney think getting our men and women in uniform out of Afghanistan is a scandal. Cheney told Hannity he had “spoken” to his “friends” in the Middle East, and they told him the United States is viewed as “weak” under President Obama. Cheney didn’t share the names of these “friends;” my guess is, they are defense contractors (think Blackwater), who are angry they only have a few more years to make more money, and shoot civilians.
But let’s look at the CIA station chief scandal. From the Washington Post:
The CIA’s top officer in Kabul was exposed Saturday by the White House when his name was inadvertently included on a list provided to news organizations of senior U.S. officials participating in President Obama’s surprise visit with U.S. troops.
Huffington Post’s headline on this reads:
White House Accidentally Blows CIA Official’s Cover
White House Mistakenly Blows Cover Of CIA Officer In Afghanistan
And from The Guardian:
White House to investigate mistaken release of CIA official’s name
Inadvertently. Mistaken. Accidentally. Note those words. Now, here’s the headline from The Daily Caller, a website Hannity referenced during Dick Cheney’s appearance:
Surprise! Obama Administration Outs Kabul CIA Chief During Obama’s Afghanistan Visit
Notice the word(s) missing. In order to appeal to the fringe base that now makes up the GOP, that headline purposely leaves out any reference to the fact that this was an accident. Unlike another administration’s outing of a CIA operative.
In 2003, Valerie Plame was purposely outed by the Bush administration as a covert CIA operative to the New York Times. Plame’s husband, Joe Wilson, traveled to Niger in 2002 to find proof Iraq had obtained materials used to create nuclear weapons, the “WMDs” being used to defend the Iraqi invasion. Mr. Wilson’s article for The New York Times begins with:
Did the Bush administration manipulate intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs to justify an invasion of Iraq?
Based on my experience with the administration in the months leading up to the war, I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq’s nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.
He then goes on to detail his trip, and his meeting with the US ambassador:
The next morning, I met with Ambassador Owens-Kirkpatrick at the embassy. For reasons that are understandable, the embassy staff has always kept a close eye on Niger’s uranium business. I was not surprised, then, when the ambassador told me that she knew about the allegations of uranium sales to Iraq — and that she felt she had already debunked them in her reports to Washington. Nevertheless, she and I agreed that my time would be best spent interviewing people who had been in government when the deal supposedly took place, which was before her arrival.
I spent the next eight days drinking sweet mint tea and meeting with dozens of people: current government officials, former government officials, people associated with the country’s uranium business. It did not take long to conclude that it was highly doubtful that any such transaction had ever taken place.
Wilson returned to the US, compiled his notes into a brief, submitted it, and believed the matter was settled. He was understandably shocked when:
Then, in January, President Bush, citing the British dossier, repeated the charges about Iraqi efforts to buy uranium from Africa.
That British dossier was a “white paper” that cited Iraq’s attempts to buy uranium from an African country. Again, Joe Wilson:
The next day, I reminded a friend at the State Department of my trip and suggested that if the president had been referring to Niger, then his conclusion was not borne out by the facts as I understood them. He replied that perhaps the president was speaking about one of the other three African countries that produce uranium: Gabon, South Africa or Namibia. At the time, I accepted the explanation. I didn’t know that in December, a month before the president’s address, the State Department had published a fact sheet that mentioned the Niger case.
In retaliation for Wilson’s piece in the New York Times, (and his unwillingness to go along with the lies being spun by, among others, Dick Cheney) his wife, Valerie Plame was outed as a covert CIA operative to the media. She was outed by Scooter Libby, a top aide to none other than Dick Cheney. According to Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame, Dick Cheney has never apologized for his role in destroying Plame’s career.
President Obama seems weak to Dick Cheney because President Obama isn’t willing to intentionally out covert CIA operatives, or increase our military footprint. Hannity and Cheney both believe President Obama wasn’t “in it to win it” regarding Iraq and Afghanistan, and Cheney went so far as to state:
We would have won in Iraq.
In Dick Cheney’s world, the United States would have troops in every country, we would use war as the first and only option, and we would bully anyone with whom we do not agree. Saddam Hussein was a monster, a monster our government was more than happy to “pal around with,” until he started using the chemical weapons we sold him to murder his own people. But he had absolutely nothing to do with the attacks of September 11, 2001. And when he tried to tell the Bush administration that, Joe Wilson’s wife was outed by one of Dick Cheney’s top aides.
Dick Cheney attacked John Kerry’s military record during the 2004 presidential election. Dick Cheney, a man who received five deferments during the Vietnam war, attacked John Kerry, a decorated veteran of that war. And now, Dick Cheney, again not caring about the blatant hypocrisy, is attacking the Obama administration for being “weak.” Mr. Cheney, weak is when a president reads a security memo entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US,” and does nothing about it.