Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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August 31, 2009

HURTING DICK CHENEY'S FEELINGS.... Dick Cheney offered quite a bit of nonsense on Fox News yesterday, but perhaps the most entertaining thing was hearing him talk about how the Obama White House has hurt his feelings. Apparently, the current president was supposed to seek out the former vice president for advice on national security matters.

"I guess the other thing that offends the hell out of me, frankly, Chris, is we had a track record now of eight years of defending the nation against any further mass casualty attacks from Al Qaeda. The approach of the Obama administration should be to come to those people who were involved in that policy and say, 'How did you do it? What were the keys to keeping this country safe over that period of time?'"

Got that? What Obama really ought to do, according to Dick Cheney, is seek out the former vice president's advice and follow it. After all, Cheney believes he's proven himself on the issue.

I seem to recall the Bush/Cheney era a little differently. Cheney thinks it was a sterling success when it came to national security and counter-terrorism. Perhaps there's something to this. After all, except for the catastrophic events of 9/11, and the anthrax attacks against Americans, and terrorist attacks against U.S. allies, and the terrorist attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Bush's inability to capture those responsible for 9/11, and waging an unnecessary war that inspired more terrorists, and the success terrorists had in exploiting Bush's international unpopularity, the Bush/Cheney record on counter-terrorism was awesome.

After the previous administration established a record like that, President Obama didn't ask Cheney for tips? The nerve.

I am curious about something, though. Terrorists first attacked the World Trade Center in 1993, early on in President Clinton's first year in office. Six people were killed, hundreds more were injured. The Clinton administration caught those responsible, subjected them to the U.S. criminal justice system, and foreign terrorists did not strike again on U.S. soil during Clinton's terms in office.

So, at any point in 2001, did the Bush White House turn to Bill Clinton and Al Gore and ask, "How did you do it? What were the keys to keeping this country safe over that period of time?" I think we can probably guess the answer.

For that matter, did Al Gore find a sympathetic media personality in order to complain about how it "offends the hell" out of him that Bush/Cheney didn't seek the previous administration's guidance? After all, Clinton/Gore had a track record of eight years of defending the nation against any further attacks from foreign terrorists. The approach of the Bush/Cheney administration should have been to go to those people who were involved in that policy, right?

Steve Benen 8:30 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (55)

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Comments

Why not invite Dick to Q&A at the White House
with Richard Clarke, Paul O'Neil, Pat Leahy, Eric Holder And Valarie Plame.

Posted by: apeman on August 31, 2009 at 8:35 AM | PERMALINK

Steve - Awesome take down. Really funny stuff that made me snort my coffee. In the end, we take them too seriously, no?

Posted by: Scott F. on August 31, 2009 at 8:40 AM | PERMALINK

Not to mention, the first WTC bombing, which occurred 6 weeks into Clinton's first term, meant Clinton was unprepared, but 9/11, which occurred over 8 months into Dumbya's first term, meant...Clinton was unprepared.

Hyprocrisy and delusion mean nothing to these people.

Posted by: Stetson Kennedy on August 31, 2009 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

My favorite was the WaPo article itself. They think something from Cheney on Fox Noise is news?

Posted by: Bob Johnson on August 31, 2009 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

Psychopaths have nothing to lose by lying.

Posted by: MissMudd on August 31, 2009 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

The counry would be better off if Mr. Cheney processed his hurt and offense behind closed doors with a qualified therapist instead of on national television with an unqualified interviewer.

You know who is actually behaving with some class? George W. Bush.

Posted by: jpeckjr on August 31, 2009 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

This morning I was treated to the Today Show showing a clip of angry Dick with an announcement that Dick is outraged by Attorney Gen Holder's decision to prosecute CIA interrogators calling it politically motivated, and doing great harm to our security. No rebuttal remarks were given. No democrats say 'this'. I guess the media is now dropping the pretense of even pretending to cover a he said she said story.

Of course, not more than a few minutes later was a clip of Orin Hatch saying about the passing of Kennedy, he was the only democrat capable of getting reform done and compromising on a bill. Again, no rebuttal remarks by a democrat were given. The statement was just left to hang out there as if it were an obvious fact.

Posted by: oh my on August 31, 2009 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney has been quite consistent on one thing -- discrediting anyone who is not 100% with his thoughts or programs. Major league asshole.

And let no one forget where Cheney/Bush/Rice/Rumsfeld had their eyes planted before 9/11 -- building a missile defense system to thwart an attack by North Korea. They were just begging to be attacked ... with box cutters.

Posted by: lou on August 31, 2009 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

Awww, little Dickie's feelings are hurt. Well, that's just TFB.

Alo, jpeckjr, I think Bush is just keeping a low profile. If (when!) Dickie goes down, he'll be taking Boy George with him, and Bush knows it.

Posted by: azportsider on August 31, 2009 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

Dick's just mad because he knows that the trail Holder is going to follow leads straight to him. It is easy to see why he's unhappy.

Posted by: madstork123 on August 31, 2009 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

President Obama has other priorities dick.

Posted by: SGeorge on August 31, 2009 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

"I guess the other thing that offends the hell out of me, frankly, Chris, is we had a track record now of eight years of defending the nation against any further mass casualty attacks from Al Qaeda."

In Hollywood movies, the "natives" on a Pacific island would throw a virgin into the island's volcano once a year or so to appease the fire gods and keep the rest of the "natives" safe.

What Bush and Cheney did was send thousands of America's bravest halfway around the world to be sacrificed to the 'terrorism gods' at the rate of half a dozen per week.

Bush/Cheney didn't keep Al Qaeda from attacking us. They just saved them the f*ucking plane fare.


Posted by: SteveT on August 31, 2009 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

you write: ' So, at any point in 2001, did the Bush White House turn to Bill Clinton and Al Gore and ask, "How did you do it?" '

My recollection is that early on, "anything but what Clinton did, even if we have no real alternative" was the watchword from the Bushies.

At the NSA Clarke tried to transition existing programs and tell them that their main concern would be AQ, but they deliberately ignored him, that was so Clinton of him. Ditto dealing with North Korea, subsequently leading to the development of some half dozen nukes.

Posted by: worcestergirl on August 31, 2009 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

god damn dick cheney's shit-filled soul to hell.

Posted by: neill on August 31, 2009 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

LOATHSOME and totally disingenuous. Wish he'd go back to his undisclosed location -- forever. He's trying to position himself as noble and statesmanlike, when in fact he represents the worst of US attitudes: moral exceptionalism, utter arrogance, indifference to the suffering of non-white non-Americans, and whiny caviling about all the human suffering and damage done since it was "in the name of freedom." He should be beaten to death with a flashlight and his head put on a pike.

Posted by: CWC on August 31, 2009 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

Remember: If you ignore the thousands dead on 9/11, the Bush administration had an awesome record of anti-terrorism.

Posted by: Rabi on August 31, 2009 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

Frankly, I'd like to see Cheney frankly answer questions in a court of law. Preferably in the Netherlands, frankly. Cause, frankly, he's a fuckin' war criminal. Frankly.

Posted by: bikelib on August 31, 2009 at 9:15 AM | PERMALINK

"...an unnecessary war that inspired more terrorists, and the success terrorists had in exploiting Bush's international unpopularity..."

Hey! No need to stack the deck; that's counting the same thing twice!

Posted by: Grumpy on August 31, 2009 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

There was a 8 1/2 year gap between the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 until the attack on 9/11 in 2001. A similar attack to 9/11 would take as long or lomger to plan and implement so Cheney's boast of keeping us safe is a joke. The only action that Bush/Cheney made to keep our country safe was to leave office.

Posted by: tiredofgreed on August 31, 2009 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

Were there media personalities sympathetic to Al Gore back in 1993? I can't recall any.

Posted by: Old School on August 31, 2009 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

What's frustrating for me is the level of coverage this one interview on Fox has gotten in the press. My RSS feeds of Top stories in the past 24 hours have included at least 5 different AP stories built out of the same interview--with little or no contrast between his claims and evidence to the contrary.

Liberal media my patootie!

Posted by: Paul on August 31, 2009 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

And yet more ways that Darth the Dick Cheney 'kept you safe':


1.Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
2. Disdain for the recognition of Human and Constitutional Rights, and those ‘quaint’ Geneva Conventions.
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying theme to exert force
4. Supremacy of the Military
5. Rampant sexism - Abortion and homosexuality are demonized and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

6. Controlled Mass Media
7. Obsession with National security
8. Religion and Government - intertwined
9. Corporate Power - Protected X10

10. Labor Power - suppressed
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
14. Fraudulent Elections

Gee, thanks Dick. Why didn't Obama just let you choose yourself for VP again? You evil, shit-filled bastard.

Posted by: In what respect, Charlie? on August 31, 2009 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

[T]he terrorist attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq . . . .

Sometimes it's anal to insist on precise definitions of words, and sometimes it's not. Dishonest use of the words fascist and socialist has robbed the terms of all useful meaning in American political discourse, and the propagandistic habit of calling guerillas terrorists pushes this once useful word in the same direction.

Only an attack on civilians is an act of terrorism. An attack on soldiers is not. It matters not if the attackers are Muslims, Arab nationalists, or even if their side in a war has used terrorism. Least of all does it matter if the soldiers under attack are American.

Were the 911 attackers morally and legally distinguishable from irregulars who ambush soldiers? Not if you call them both terrorists.

Posted by: Win Pollard on August 31, 2009 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

Although it is good politics to say that the Clinton administration prevented any terrorist attacks in the US after WTC 1 it isn't really true. There was OKC, the Olympic Park bombing, and some others by Eric Robert Rudolph and other domestic right wing terrorists. The most significant terrorist threat in the USA is domestic and from the political right. That has been true in every decade since the Civil War.

Posted by: rk on August 31, 2009 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

Obama isn't interested in advice from craven, lawbreaking scumbags.
Another reason I'm glad I voted for him.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on August 31, 2009 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

Although it is good politics to say that the Clinton administration prevented any terrorist attacks in the US after WTC 1 it isn't really true.

He said attacks by foreign terrorists. We're all well aware of the domestic terrorism.
Just using the same sort of selective analysis that Bush and Cheney have used to make a point about their lack of consultation with Clinton and Gore.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on August 31, 2009 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

"Donald Rumsfeld is the greatest Secretary of Defense in the history of the United States."

- Dick Cheney

Posted by: crossdotcurve on August 31, 2009 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

This is the thing that really chafed me. Watch the video. The last seconds are the punchline.
http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/08/chris-wallace-torture-defender.html

Posted by: Kevin Ray on August 31, 2009 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, you all must be really young. Terrorism and war have been with us for a long time. The only time I recall people feeling justified for entering a war was after Pearl Harbor. If you ask the average Joe, he or she always will feel bad about sending young men to fight. As for terrorism against Americans, that's happened a lot too both inside and outside of our country. What makes me scratch my head is why we have the pridefulness to say that anyone can prevent such things. To think that is true of any administration is just silly and we are kidding ourselves. I guess you have to be old to see that. As for Dick Cheney, he is just another of a long line of politicians who often say and do stupid things. The whole lot of them are responsible for the mess we're in. Even those senators and representative who duck and hide when people start pointing fingers. The truth is that most of them have been there longer than any president and probably they've done more damage over the long haul than any one president. So folks, if you canj try to see things over time, study your history, and try not to repeat the mistakes. No one ever listens to us old folks, but maybe it would be good to start.

Posted by: db on August 31, 2009 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

Andrew Sullivan, the repentant neocon, really ripped into Chris Wallace yesterday for his beyond-softball performance in that interview with Cheney. He compared Wallace to "a teenaged girl interviewing the Jonas brothers." Don't miss it!

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/08/chris-wallace-a-teenage-girl-interviewing-the-jonas-brothers.html

Posted by: T-Rex on August 31, 2009 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

Ditto Win Pollard.

"terrorist attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan,"

Is no attack against US armed forces considered fair engagement of combat? How can we tell which ones? Not every act of violence we dislike is terrorism. Helping to muddy these waters is exceptionally dangerous after 8 years of neo-conservatism. Let's not help fascists brainwash our country.

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on August 31, 2009 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

You quote Dick Cheney: "The approach of the Obama administration should be to come to those people who were involved in that policy and say, 'How did you do it?'"

Uh, remind me again just who is was that Obama appointed as Secretary of Defense.

If I may quote some more, "I guess the other thing that offends the hell out of me, frankly," DICK, is that you and your boy Dubya blew off the experiences and the warnings passed on to you by the Clinton administration, that you were put in charge of a terrorism task force and did absolutely nothing, and that you ignored a CIA briefing entitled -- what was it, DICK? -- something like "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US"?

Posted by: CMcC on August 31, 2009 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

Obama doesn't need to go ask anyone for advice because, by and large, the same people who protected the country during the Bush Administration are protecting it now. The same people work at the CIA, the same people work at the FBI, the same people work at the NSA and in military intelligence. Local police departments have the same personnel.

To the extent you're willing to credit hard work for the lack of attacks since 2001 as opposed to dumb luck, it wasn't Dick Cheney's hard work. It was the hard work of a lot of anonymous people doing their jobs in the trenches. Cheney needs to shut up and stop trying to steal other people's credit.

Posted by: Steve on August 31, 2009 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

In wingnut world, the rumors from a reliable source will soon be flying about how Bush/Cheney sought out advice from the Clintonistas, tried it, and 9-11 happened.

Posted by: Michael7843853 on August 31, 2009 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

It isn't just the great job the Bush/Cheney team did in keeping American soil safe from foreign terrorists. What about the great job they did in protecting US interests overseas. They've managed to concentrate all the terrorist attacks on Americans in just two countries over the past 8 years, with less than 5,000 deaths (if you don't count contractors). No embassy bombings though.

I feel so much safer for having had Bush/Cheney in charge those past 8 years...because they told me so and I don't need no stinkin facts.

Posted by: majun on August 31, 2009 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

The approach of the Obama administration should be to come to those people who were involved in that policy and say, 'How did you do it? What were the keys to keeping this country safe over that period of time?'"

Of course, if the Bush administration had taken that approach, they might not have had to defend the country agaisnt any further catastrophic al Qaeda attacks.

What a jackass.

Posted by: Gregory on August 31, 2009 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Just to pick a nit:

"foreign terrorists did not strike again on U.S. soil during Clinton's terms in office"

is incorrect. US embassies are generally considered "US soil." Islamist terrorists bombed the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

Posted by: Thomas L. Knapp on August 31, 2009 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

The only Q&A that the Obama administration should be involved with as far as Cheney is concerned, is during a deposition arising from charges of treason and war crimes.

Posted by: D-Texas on August 31, 2009 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Only an attack on civilians is an act of terrorism. An attack on soldiers is not.

I'm not sure it is so clear cut.

An attack by US citizens on US military intended to attain political goals: terrorism? rebellion?

An attack by German citizens (like the Bader-Meinhof gang) on US military stationed in Germany, intended to attain political goals: not rebellion, certainly. terrorism? simply a criminal act?

I agree that an attack by irregular forces in an occupied country, against occupying forces, is not terrorism. But I think that there are certainly cases where attacks against soldiers could be terrorism.

Posted by: Wapiti on August 31, 2009 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Well, Al Gore was dumb enough not to commit any war crimes. Maybe that's why he couldn't find any sympathetic media personality to complain to.

Posted by: Blind Willie McTell on August 31, 2009 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

It is like George Costanza: if your every instinct is wrong, just do the exact opposite of what you think you should do.

We should ask Dick Cheney because we know it will give us insight into what not to do.

As long as Cheney is upset, we are on the right track.

Posted by: tomj on August 31, 2009 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

Cut the big Dick some slack. He's just got his panties in a bit twist cause they wouldn't let him keep his own personnal anti-aircraft missile battery like he had when he was V.P.

Posted by: J. Frank Parnell on August 31, 2009 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder if hurting the morale of the CIA occured to Dick Cheney when he was going up to Langley everyday trying to force them to find evidence for his offensive war against Iraq or his creating a new Intelligence Agency in the DoD to undercut their analyses?

Posted by: Lance on August 31, 2009 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

My mom went to high school with Mike Wallace, father of Chris and one of of the great journalists of the last 50 years. (Both statements are true).

I can't imagine the shame Mike must be feeling at the Murdoch/GOP shill his son has become.

What a shame.

Posted by: efgoldman on August 31, 2009 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Excellent piece, Steve. Dick Cheney was surely the worst Vice President ever, and a war criminal who should be behind bars for the rest of his evil life. So Cheney wants Obama to apologize to him, just like the guy who Cheney shot in the face did? Get real.

Posted by: Frederick on August 31, 2009 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

what matters is that this "man" brings out the worst in all persons, as evidenced by the comments. He is not worthy of their ire. He is a very sad soul who was mistakenly empowered for a period of time. He no longer is, and that is a very good thing for this country.

Posted by: yankee candle on August 31, 2009 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

So appropriately named "Dick"...kudos to the mama Cheney.

Posted by: yankee on August 31, 2009 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

Steve Benen: "Cheney thinks it was a sterling success when it came to national security and counter-terrorism. Perhaps there's something to this. After all, except for the catastrophic events of 9/11, and the anthrax attacks against Americans, and terrorist attacks against U.S. allies, and the terrorist attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Bush's inability to capture those responsible for 9/11, and waging an unnecessary war that inspired more terrorists, and the success terrorists had in exploiting Bush's international unpopularity, the Bush/Cheney record on counter-terrorism was awesome."

Wow--superior analysis. Awesome summation!

Posted by: far thinker on August 31, 2009 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

Why does Al Qaeda need to attack again? They've gotten the exact reaction they wanted...

I presume Cheney ignored the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the flood of New Orleans--to be sure, a natural disaster (the storm) and criminal negligence (the flood), but wanton destruction and significant loss of life ON THEIR WATCH, and for which particularly Cheney himself demonstrated a "can't be bothered" attitude (if I remember right, he only reluctantly cut short his fly fishing vacation.)

Posted by: Michael on August 31, 2009 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

dick is a hero to all of us down here in the undisclosed location.
the silent, unsung majority. we watched in shock and awe as he worked tirelessly throughout his entire administration.

no, we weren't allowed to read the newspaper down here. there was no time. what with all the cannibalism and sodomy.

but we think dick was a great president. and surprising fast for his size. if you find him, send him down here. we've got lots more A-1 sauce and a pot big enough for even HIM!

we'll tell him it's the undisclosed jacuzzi.

Posted by: john on September 1, 2009 at 2:06 AM | PERMALINK

Thank you, Dick Cheney, for saving the United States of America. But seriously, folks.

It sure is fun watching poor old Dick Cheney stumbling all over the right wing airwaves, desperately trying to poison the jury pool and dodge a VERY long stretch in a federal prison. I only saw clips of his interview with Chris Wallace on FOX Noise on Sunday. Someone described it as a starry-eyed teenage girl interviewing one of the Jonas brothers.

It sure is funny observing the meltdown of Dick and Liz (Cheney not Burton and Taylor). The trillion dollar hammer is about to hit the fan. Theyre like cornered rats. Oh, man! Im lovin this!

Dont take your eye off the Cheneys. For your best entertainment bargain, these two are the show that should not be missed. Were talking essential viewing here!

http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

Tom Degan, Goshen, NY

Posted by: Tom Degan on September 1, 2009 at 7:42 AM | PERMALINK

He is a very sad soul who was mistakenly empowered for a period of time.
You say that as though he has been rendered powerless.
As though he and his philosophy have disappeared entirely from public discourse, his intellectual allies and heirs have been disempowered and his words have no audience or influence.
He is out of office, not out of the limelight. He has earned the ire you mention, in full measure, and furthermore a vociferous rebuttal to whatever garbage utterances he is put on TV to air.
Dismiss him and his influence at all our peril.
Until he is in his grave, or an 8'x6' cell, his mendacity must be addressed.

It's like that old saying (and legal principle):
"Silence implies assent."
Well? Do you agree with Cheney?
I sure as hell don't. If you don't either, you had better speak the fuck up.

Posted by: kenga on September 1, 2009 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK
    "And yet more ways that Darth the Dick Cheney 'kept you safe':

    1.Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
    2. Disdain for the recognition of Human and Constitutional Rights, and those ‘quaint’ Geneva Conventions.
    3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying theme to exert force
    4. Supremacy of the Military
    5. Rampant sexism - Abortion and homosexuality are demonized and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

    6. Controlled Mass Media
    7. Obsession with National security
    8. Religion and Government - intertwined
    9. Corporate Power - Protected X10

    10. Labor Power - suppressed
    11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
    12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment
    13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
    14. Fraudulent Elections"

    - Posted by: In what respect, Charlie? on August 31, 2009 at 9:54 AM

In other words, he's a facist.

Posted by: Marko on September 1, 2009 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

The delusional quality of Cheyney's views is highly evident and his arrogance is breathtaking. Long may he be stung. Perhaps he might just come back to some form of acceptable reality, that is, acceptable to a huge swathe of the global community.

Posted by: zacl on September 3, 2009 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

Somebody, Anybody, PLEASE shoot that stupid fucktard Chaney in the god damn face, PLEASE! I want to take a shit the size of your head on his grave. Promise I'll not only post it on youtube, but I'll use it as a new logo for my company. And I did say PLEASE.

Posted by: Suck My Chaney, Dick! on September 3, 2009 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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