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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Dick Cheney is so dumb

If we have learned anything in the last 25 years -- from Beirut, to Somalia, to the USS Cole -- it is that terrorist attacks are not caused by the projection of force; they are invited by the perception of weakness.
That's from the Veep from the Deep's harangue at the Heritage Foundation yesterday. Let's look at his three examples:
  • Beirut: In 1983, 241 American servicemen, mostly Marines, were killed by a truck bomb at Beirut International Airport. What were they doing at Beirut International Airport? Projecting force.
  • Somalia: In 1993, 18 American soldiers were killed in the streets of Mogadishu. They were there projecting force.
  • USS Cole: In October 2000, the destroyer USS Cole was attacked in the harbor of Aden, Yemen by suicide bombers in a small boat. Seventeen sailors died and 39 were injured. They were in Aden projecting force.

And, in a followup to yesterday's post about Useless Dick's talk, here's what UD said about the NSA spying:
There are no communications more important to the safety of the United States than those related to al Qaeda that have one end in the United States. If we'd been able to do this before 9/11, we might have been able to pick up on two hijackers who subsequently flew a jet into the Pentagon. They were in the United States, communicating with al Qaeda associates overseas. But we did not know they were here plotting until it was too late.
Boy, I sure wish we had real journalists who would cross examine him on that last sentence, which was obviously carefully worded. Just hearing it, one might think that the US government didn't know they were here, which isn't true. Well maybe we knew they were here, but didn't know they were plotting. Well, their ties to al Qaeda were known, and we knew what they were saying in phone calls in e-mails (see yesterday's post). In fact, the only hope that sentence has of having any truth to it by including "until it was too late," which again a casual listener might interpret as "until after 9/11." But that too would be wrong, which is why Cheney said "too late." Because they knew this stuff by January 2001. The dots were there; they weren't connected. If the relief effort in New Orleans had been planned with one-tenth the care of that one deceptive sentence, a lot of lives might have been saved.

Fearmaster Cheney goes on, lying through his smirk:
If you recall, the report of the 9/11 Commission focused criticism on our inability to cover links between terrorists at home and terrorists abroad. The authorization the President made after September 11th helped address that problem in a manner that is fully consistent with the constitutional responsibilities and legal authority of the President and with the civil liberties of the American people. The activities conducted under this authorization have helped to detect and prevent possible terrorist attacks against the American people. As such, this program is critical to the national security of the United States.

It's important to note that leaders of Congress have been briefed more than a dozen times on the President's authorization, and on activities conducted under it. I have personally presided over most of those briefings. In addition, the entire program undergoes a thorough review within the executive branch approximately every 45 days. After each review, the President determines whether to reauthorize the program. He has done so more than 30 times since September 11th -- and he has indicated his intent to do so as long as our nation faces a continuing threat from al Qaeda and similar organizations.
Pretty much every point in these two paragraphs has been thoroughly refuted in the past couple of weeks. Then again, I think "the insurgency is in its last throes" has been pretty soundly refuted in the past couple of days.

Cheney: Liar or halucinatory psychopath? No need to decide; he's both.