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Jun 25 14 12:37 AM
Jun 25 14 5:32 AM
“Look at what they [Republicans] value, and look at their budget. And look what they're proposing. [Romney] said in the first 100 days, he's going to let the big banks write their own rules -- unchain Wall Street. They're going to put y'all back in chains." --Joe Biden, speaking to a largely African-American audience in Danville, Va., Aug. 14, 2012
Jun 25 14 12:40 PM
Ogami wrote:must be poorer than the Clintons claim to be!
Jun 25 14 1:58 PM
Ogami wrote:It occurs to me that when Bush decided to invade Afghanistan, and a year later, invade Iraq, he knew the risks, he knew the pitfalls, he knew the political consequences to himself and his party. He acted because it was the right thing to do, as a leader. And this is key: Bush did not act because it was the right thing to do, politically.
June 24 - Glenn Beck has acknowledged that Democratic doves were correct to oppose the 2003 U.S. military invasion of Iraq. Liberals “said we couldn’t force freedom on people,” the conservative political commentator said at the beginning of his June 17 radio show. “Let me lead with my mistakes. You were right. Liberals, you were right, we shouldn’t have.”
His new stance is a significant transition from the position he maintained in 2007, when he claimed that withdrawing from Iraq would be “America’s most shameful act of immorality since slavery.”
Ignoring his conclusion that Iraq did not become a democracy because its people “don’t understand” or “even really want” freedom, the surge in unrest in Iraq has caused Beck — like so many others — to change his opinion on what was one of the most important foreign policy issues the United States has faced in decades. In the end, Beck is a political pundit and not a politician, but commentators play a huge role in driving the national conversation and shaping public opinion.
The politicization of the Iraq war made it a mainstay of conservative radio talk shows like Beck’s. And there is no doubt that political commentary by pundits like Beck has played a role in informing the debate surrounding the invasion of Iraq, especially in the early days, when the successful exportation of American democracy seemed more reachable. His admission that the invasion was a mistake is a key moment in the political debate.
In his radio segment, Beck explained that in 2002, he believed that Saddam Hussein had been backing terrorism targeting the United States, and for that reason he supported the 2003 invasion. “In spite of the things I felt at the time when we went into war, liberals said, ‘We shouldn’t get involved, we shouldn’t nation-build’ and [that] there was no indication the people of Iraq had the will to be free,” Beck said. “I thought that was insulting at the time. Everybody wants to be free.” But now he has said that assumption was incorrect.
For years, Beck was adamant that intervention in Iraq was absolutely necessary:2006: Beck argued that the news media had failed to cover the positive impact of the U.S. presence in Iraq, and to back up that claim, he cited vaccinations, improved school infrastructure, and the training of the Iraqi Special Police force. “Maybe, there’s another side of the story,” Beck said on CNN. “A side the media doesn’t talk about because the headlines just aren’t as sensational as death and destruction.”2006: Beck criticized former Secretary of State Colin Powell after he said the world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of the United States’ fight against terrorism. “Who cares what the rest of the world thinks?” he said.2007: Beck criticized politicians who had changed their position on the Iraq invasion. “What is surprising is how many people are changing their position on fighting the war,” he said in an extended segment, pointing to Hillary Clinton in particular.2012: Beck argued that the American people, whose perception of the United States’ success in spreading democracy to the Middle East had started to decline, were wrong. During a segment on his former show Headline Prime, Beck cited a poll in which 64 percent of Americans were found to believe the costs of continued involvement in Iraq outweighed the benefits. He called the public clueless, comparing the opinion of the American people to a 1940 Gallup poll that showed 77 percent of Americans thought the U.S. should not enter the war in Europe if Germany appeared to winning.
Jun 25 14 4:18 PM
Jun 25 14 5:26 PM
Jun 25 14 6:45 PM
Jun 25 14 7:50 PM
Jun 26 14 1:56 AM
Jul 18 14 8:33 AM
Does Dick Cheney believe his lies?
By Paul Begala
updated 3:44 PM EDT, Thu July 17, 2014
Editor's note: Paul Begala, a Democratic strategist and CNN political commentator, was a political consultant for Bill Clinton's presidential campaign in 1992 and was counselor to Clinton in the White House. He is a consultant to the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
(CNN) -- As an American, I am appalled by Dick Cheney and his relentless, pathetic and ultimately doomed effort to revise the history of his failures.
But as a Democrat, I am thrilled that an incompetent, dishonest and reviled figure is hell-bent on making himself the face of the Republican Party, hogging the spotlight from rising stars like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio -- and eclipsing more honorable Republicans from the Bush era, like Colin Powell.
Cheney's endless media appearances, including this remarkable interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, reveal a nearly sociopathic refusal to admit any error, express any remorse, apologize for any mistake.
And so let us review the Cheney record: No vice president has done more damage to our country, not even Vice President Aaron Burr, who shot and killed Alexander Hamilton 210 years ago.
In the first months of the Bush-Cheney administration, Cheney was ordered to convene a task force on terrorism. Instead, he ignored the problem, the Cheney terror task force never met, and the warnings about an impending terrorist attack were ignored.
Later, instead of apologizing, Cheney cravenly blamed the White House counterterrorism czar (PDF), Dick Clarke, who had tried to warn anyone who would listen that an attack was coming.
"Richard Clarke was the head of the counterterrorism program in the run up to 9/11," Cheney said. "He obviously missed it." Blaming the guy who did his job when you're the one who didn't do yours.
From there, it was off to the races, as Cheney did and said anything to drag America into a war with Iraq. The good folks at the Washington Post's Vox have compiled a damning indictment of Cheney's deep dishonesty about Iraq. In the interest of brevity, let me focus on a few lowlights:
He said the lead 9/11 hijacker "did go to Prague, and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service ... several months before the attack." Wrong, according to a Senate Intelligence Committee report.
He said Saddam had "an established relationship with al Qaeda." Wrong (PDF).
Cheney claimed there was "irrefutable evidence" Saddam had reconstituted his nuclear program. Wrong.
He said Saddam "had an established relationship with al Qaeda, providing training to al Qaeda members in areas of poisons, gases and conventional bombs." Wrong (PDF).
He said there was "overwhelming" evidence of ties between al Qaeda and Iraq. Wrong.
He said that we'd be "greeted as liberators" and that the insurgency was in its "last throes" nine years ago. Wrong and wrong.
And that's just on Iraq. Need I mention that, as CEO of Halliburton, Cheney opposed President Clinton's sanctions on the terrorist regime in Iran, calling the Clinton administration "sanctions-happy"? And he breezily defended doing business with the terrorists in Tehran -- through an overseas-based subsidiary -- explaining that "the good Lord didn't see fit to always put oil and gas resources where there are democratic governments."
Need I mention he told Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill that "deficits don't matter"?
One can debate whether Cheney's misstatements were the result of willful mendacity or incompetence. I believe the former. But at a deeper level, it does not matter. Regardless of whether Cheney is a liar or a fool, thousands of heroic American troops are dead. Tens of thousands are injured. Iraq is a disaster -- and will be for years to come. And America is weaker and poorer because of Cheney.
I know that powerful people don't like admitting error. But Hillary Clinton did so in her new book, candidly admitting that in voting for the Bush-Cheney war in Iraq, "I got it wrong. Plain and simple."
Cheney, however, has no room for such candid introspection. When he turned 70, he was asked his greatest regret. He did not mention the death and devastation he brought to Iraq or that he and others ignored the terror threat before 9/11. He didn't mention his votes in Congress against banning plastic guns or opposing the release of Nelson Mandela.
He said, "My misspent youth." Seriously. A three-word oblique reference to a couple of drunken driving incidents a half century ago are the biggest regrets of this man's life. Other than that, Cheney sees his life as a flawless, virtuous existence.
Were it not for the tragedies of 9/11 and Iraq, perhaps the thing Cheney would be remembered for was that he was the second vice president to shoot a man, albeit Cheney's was in a hunting accident and Harry Whittington, thank God, survived.
Still, as a longtime quail hunter, I have no doubt Cheney was in the wrong. Every hunter is responsible for knowing where his buddies are. And Cheney violated a cardinal rule: He was drinking before he picked up the gun. (He claims to have had only one beer, but even one is too many when you're hunting.)
But here's the thing: Even after Cheney shot him in the face, there's no indication he ever apologized to Harry Whittington. I suppose being a sociopath means never having to say you're sorry.
On Saturday, February 11, 2006, at approximately 5:30 p.m., Whittington was accidentally shot by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney during a quail hunting trip, at a ranch in south Texas owned by Katharine Armstrong. Most of the damage from the shotgun blast was to the right side of his body, including damage to his face, chest, and neck. He was taken to Corpus Christi Memorial Hospital by ambulance. The accident was not announced in the news media until the White House confirmed the incident to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times approximately 12 hours after the incident.Whittington was the first person to be shot by a sitting Vice President since Alexander Hamilton.On February 14, some of the lead birdshot lodged in Whittington's heart caused a minor heart attack. Doctors did not plan to remove all the pellets from Whittington's body. They estimated that there were "less than 150 or 200" pellets lodged in his body immediately after the shooting, and about 30 pieces of shot will remain inside him for the rest of his life.On February 17, Whittington made a public statement that "We all assume certain risks in whatever we do. Whatever activities we pursue and regardless of how experienced, careful and dedicated we are, accidents do and will happen." After being released from the hospital, he apologized to the Vice President and his family: "My family and I are deeply sorry for all that Vice President Cheney and his family have had to go through this week."Following the incident, Whittington returned to private life and refused many media offers for interviews. In an October 2010 issue of the Washington Post, he broke his silence about the shooting. Whittington told the paper that although many media outlets had described Cheney and him as "good friends", the pair had only met one another three times in 30 years, and had never been hunting before. The Washington Post article also claimed that Cheney had violated "two basic rules of hunting safety": he failed to ensure that he had a clear shot before firing, and fired without being able to see blue sky beneath his target. The paper also reported that Cheney has still neither publicly nor privately apologized to Whittington for the shooting. [ link ]
Jul 18 14 11:01 AM
BlameThe Bush administration laid blame on the CIA, criticizing its officials for "failing to investigate" doubts about Curveball, which emerged after an October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate.In May 2004, over a year after the invasion of Iraq, the CIA concluded formally that Curveball's information was fabricated. Furthermore, on June 26, 2006, The Washington Post reported that "the CIA acknowledged that Curveball was a con artist who drove a taxi in Iraq and spun his engineering knowledge into a fantastic but plausible tale about secret bioweapons factories on wheels."On April 8, 2005, CIA Director Porter Goss ordered an internal review of the CIA in order to determine why doubts about Curveball's reliability were not forwarded to policy makers. Former CIA Director George Tenet and his former deputy, John E. McLaughlin, announced that they were not aware of doubts about Curveball's veracity before the war. However, Tyler Drumheller, the former chief of the CIA's European division, told the Los Angeles Times that "everyone in the chain of command knew exactly what was happening."
Tyler Drumheller is the former chief of the CIA covert operations in Europe, who has said that the CIA had credible sources discounting some weapons of mass destruction claims before the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. He received and discounted documents central to the Niger yellowcake forgery prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He has also stated that senior White House officials dismissed intelligence information from his agency which reported Saddam Hussein had no WMD program.According to Drumheller, the CIA, with the help of a friendly intelligence service, recruited Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri in Europe during the late summer of 2002. Sabri told the CIA in September that Saddam had no major active weapons of mass destruction programs; they had no fissile material and biological weapons were almost non-existent, although he claimed that there were chemical weapons. This information was then transmitted to the White House, but it was ignored in favor of the information coming from a source known as Curveball.On September 6, 2007, Sidney Blumenthal, reporting at Salon.com, supported Drumheller's account: "Now two former senior CIA officers have confirmed Drumheller's account to me and provided the background to the story of how the information that might have stopped the invasion of Iraq was twisted in order to justify it."Drumheller retired from the CIA in 2005 after a 26-year career there.
Jul 19 14 3:14 AM
Jul 19 14 4:56 PM
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