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June 3, 2009

Cheney Accidentally Admits to Lying About Connection Between 9/11 and Iraq

By Steven Leser

The problem for the former administration is that the truth is going to come out regarding some of the things they have done and those revelations are going to be devastating.

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I have said in the past that I think that as time passes, historians, and the American people will have a progressively worse opinion of the Bush/Cheney administration (yes, it can get worse, it can go from 20% favorable to zero). This is the opposite of what several Republican pundits have tried to assert. The problem for the former administration is that the truth is going to come out regarding some of the things they have done and those revelations are going to be devastating.

Yesterday, Cheney inadvertently outed himself as a liar regarding a connection between 9/11 and Iraq. Taking us back to 2002 and 2003, in order to sell the Iraq war, one will recall that there were claims of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, pilot-less drones that Iraq could use to fly those weapons to the US, and claims that Iraq was in league with Al Qaeda to attack us on 9/11. Cheney weighed in on the reported link between 9/11, Al Qaeda and Iraq several times, yesterday being the most recent and revealing episode. As reported here, http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0609/23228.html in an Andy Barr article in Politico:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney says there was “never any evidence” that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq played any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

“On the question of whether or not Iraq was involved in 9/11, there was never any evidence to prove that,” Cheney said during an interview Monday night with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren.
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The video of this interview can be seen at http://www.politico.com/singletitlevideo.html?bcpid=1155201977&bctid=25026448001
Barr’s article goes on to point out that this directly contradicts what then Vice President Cheney said in a 2003 Meet the Press Interview on NBC when Cheney said:

“the Czechs alleged that Mohamed Atta, the lead attacker, met in Prague with a senior Iraqi intelligence official five months before the attack.”

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But there is even more evidence that Barr missed. Consider the 2004 interview Cheney had on CNBC as reported here at CNN, http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/06/18/cheney.iraq.al.qaeda/ when Cheney said:

"There clearly was a relationship. It's been testified to. The evidence is overwhelming "It goes back to the early '90s. It involves a whole series of contacts, high-level contacts with Osama bin Laden and Iraqi intelligence officials."
"The press, with all due respect, (is) often times lazy, often times simply reports what somebody else in the press said without doing their homework."
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Well, I have a response for Dick Cheney on his last point. I’ve done my homework concerning his statements on Iraq and 9/11 and here are the videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJiNtpIpD6k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RytxVNM0llQ

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Cheney repeatedly made assertions that there were high-level connections between Iraq and Al Qaeda and, through asserting a meeting happened between Iraq officials and Mohammed Atta six months before 9/11, insinuated that there was a connection between Iraq and 9/11. Cheney was so effective in this insinuation that 40% of the American people believed Iraq had a role in 9/11 as recently as 2007.

If the lying on this point wasn’t enough, in the interview Cheney sought to blame the CIA for various security & defense failures of the administration including 9/11, saying:

“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.”

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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).

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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.



Submitters Website: http://www.ibtimes.com/blog/steven-leser_103/bio/

Submitters Bio:

A political blogger for the International Business Times, Steve Leser is a hot national political pundit. He has appeared on MSNBC's Coundown with Keith Olbermann, Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Russia Today's (RT) Crosstalk with Peter Lavelle. But, Leser is most known for his work as commentator and the progressive counterpoint on the very conservative FOX News cable network. Steve Leser has been frequently featured on Your World with Neil Cavuto, Bulls & Bears, and Cashing In against such FOX notables as Neil Cavuto and Stuart Varney. Leser gave the stirring live commentary on FOX as news broke of the resignation of Sarah Palin as Governor of Alaska. Steve Leser is in demand in New York as keynote speaker for his authority on the power and machinations of Republican think tanks, the economy, health care reform and various other political topics. Leser is also a political organizer and has held positions within the Democratic Party including District Chair and Public Relations Chair within county organizations.

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