“They (the CIA) misread Saddam Hussein's intent when he invaded Kuwait in 1990,” Cheney said. “They underestimated the extent of the Iraqi program to try to acquire nuclear capability back in '90 and '91. They missed 9/11.”
Let it be said that no one throws people under the bus like Dick Cheney. What’s worse is that he is lying on both points, unfairly blaming the CIA in both cases and he knows it. In the George H. W. Bush administration when Cheney was Secretary of Defense, the US Ambassador to Iraq accidentally gave the green light for Iraq to invade Kuwait. Wikipedia explains here, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_invasion_of_Kuwait , that a NY Times article of September 23, 1990 said:
On Wednesday July 25, 1990, the U.S. Ambassador in Iraq, April Glaspie, asked the Iraqi high command to explain the military preparations in progress, including the massing of Iraqi troops near the border. The American ambassador declared to her Iraqi interlocutor that Washington, “inspired by the friendship and not by confrontation, does not have an opinion” on the disagreement which opposes Kuwait to Iraq, stating "we have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts". She also let Saddam Hussein know that the U.S. did not intend "to start an economic war against Iraq". These statements may have caused Saddam to believe he had received a diplomatic green light from the United States to invade Kuwait (New York Times, September 23, 1990).
We can see that the CIA did not miss the buildup to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. The US Ambassador to Iraq clearly knew enough about the buildup to ask Iraq about it, and Cheney as Defense Secretary would have known this. This is Cheney Big Lie #2 in the interview.
And regarding “Missing 9/11”, that is an unfair lie and slur on the CIA if I have ever heard one. CIA Director George Tenet and his deputy warned then National Security Advisor three times in the months leading up to 9/11 that they were worried Al Qaeda would attack the US. Bob Woodward reports in his book “State of Denial – Bush at War Part III” that Rice found their repeated warning annoying, she ignored them and there is a believable rumor that Rice had Tenet and his deputy removed from her office the third time he tried to warn her. As Vice President, I am sure Cheney was aware of this as well and if he didn’t know it at the time back in 2001, this all came out in the 9/11 commission report so Cheney HAS to know about it. Color that Cheney Big Lie #3 from the interview.
In this interview, Cheney shows several of the reasons why he is one of the most unpopular politicians in America. He knowingly lied three times regarding some of the biggest national security issues in the last 20 years, he attempted to blame others for the failures of administrations to which he belonged, and takes no responsibility for anything. Not only does that sentence sum up Dick Cheney well, it does a good job summing up the Republicans in power for the last eight years, lying, blaming others and no responsibility. I hope the American people never forget it.
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