Speaking Of Swearing
(White House photo by Susan Sterner. From left: Vice President Dick Cheney, Lynne Cheney, Mary Cheney, Liz Cheney, and President George Bush.)
…Even if all those things were true, there could be no less effective spokesman for American concern or for the interests of international order than Cheney. This is the man who has refused to answer to his own public for — well, for anything. For his insistence that everything has gone just as planned in Iraq. For his claim before the war that “There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.” For his claim after the war that the Iraqi insurgency was in its “last throes.” For his role, as described in prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s closing statement, as the central, unindicted malefactor in the Scooter Libby case. Even for shooting his friend in the face. Say what you will about Al Gore’s wooden “no controlling legal authority” rationalization when he was asked to explain campaign donations he received. At least he acknowledged some duty to explain things to the American public.
Dick Cheney, the man who is accountable for nothing, is the person who will tell other countries what is “consistent” with a peaceful image in the world?
If you haven’t spent a lot of time outside the United States recently, you may not have been made aware in a painful, humiliating way of how grievously America’s moral standing has suffered because of Guantanamo, Abu Grahib, and the general carnage in Iraq. It’s hard in general to get non-Americans to listen to lectures about seemly behavior these days. It’s hardest of all when the lectures come from the man who, to the rest of the world, personifies America’s squandering of the qualities that made it special.
Gee, you have to wonder, don't you, what the purpose of sending Dick Cheney out of the country for non-existent non-diplomacy is this week, don't you? I mean, other than the fact that his entire family is working on the government dole in one form or another, to keep an eye on all those interests that Dick Cheney finds useful to his agenda, what exactly is the man doing to bolster the US?
Or perhaps, I keep asking myself, there was something going on over the last week that Dick Cheney was hoping to miss out on altogether. Hmmm…let's see. It's not Easter yet. Maybe he's got a hatred of Mardi Gras or something. Hoping to miss the last festive celebrations of Black History Month at the Bush White House? Not likely.
Oh, wait, let's look over here…Libby trial avoidance, anyone? I am so ready for some accountability. Any accountability.
Here's a thought: how about starting with a follow-up on the great questions that Froomkin asks today regarding Cheney's backtrack on his quagmire prediction on Iraq from way back in 1991?
On Friday, I marveled at the logic: "So if I read this correctly, Cheney is saying: Yes, it's a quagmire. But after 9/11 we needed to prove that we weren't weak."
But it's more than that, and reporters should follow up on this issue because it is hugely important.
Is Cheney really acknowledging that he always knew that the occupation of Iraq would be a quagmire?
In that case, wasn't it deceitful of him to repeatedly suggest that the invasion would be easy — including his famous prewar statement that "we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators."
I know I'd love some answers to those questions. How about you guys?