Dick Cheney the Liar

Read Scott Horton's new book Fool's Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan

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March 16, 2003. Does that date mean anything to you? It’s significant.

Fourteen years ago, just days before the forthcoming invasion, Vice President Dick Cheney sat down with Tim Russert on NBC’s Meet the Press to lie about the Bush administration’s preemptive war on Iraq.

The cult of the state has holy days, like other faiths, and it holds regular services on Sunday mornings. This war prayer was facilitated by one of the most compliant high priests and least adversarial television journalists of the time, the late Tim Russert (and therefore he was respected by the political class).

Read through the entire transcript. Cheney’s lies have not aged well:

VICE PRES. CHENEY: …we know he [Saddam Hussein] has, in fact, developed these kinds of capabilities, chemical and biological weapons. We know he’s used chemical weapons. We know he’s reconstituted these programs since the Gulf War. We know he’s out trying once again to produce nuclear weapons and we know that he has a long-standing relationship with various terrorist groups, including the al-Qaeda organization.

Cheney peddled a number of false claims and knee-slappers within that hour-long national call to war fourteen years ago, but he’s remembered for famously saying, “…my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.” Here’s the follow-up to that exchange:

MR. RUSSERT: If your analysis is not correct, and we’re not treated as liberators, but as conquerors, and the Iraqis begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant American casualties?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, I don’t think it’s likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators.

The costly, murderous, unnecessary 2003 war on Iraq was a continuation of George H. W. Bush’s Gulf War and Bill Clinton’s two terms of bombing and sanctions. It is perhaps the worst foreign policy blunder in U.S. history. Having raged throughout the Obama presidency, spread into Syria and now into the Trump era, one must wonder when the U.S. government will finally cut its losses and call the whole thing off.

 

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Jared Labell is the Executive Director of The Libertarian Institute as well as Taxpayers United of America. A native of Texas, Jared is a history major whose work and interviews have been published by dozens of radio, newspaper, and television stations across Illinois and publicized nationally, including such media outlets as the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, WGN, Fox, ABC, NPR, and the Illinois Radio Network, as well as Antiwar.com, the Future of Freedom Foundation, and the Foundation for Economic Education.

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