Monday, March 20, 2006

Kennedy Blasts Cheney on Latest Iraq War Assertions

Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) responded quickly to Vice President Dick Cheney’s appearance on CBS’s Face The Nation yesterday in which Cheney repeated his lies about the lead-up to the Iraq war and what has happened since.

“I would not look to Ted Kennedy for guidance and leadership on how we ought to manage national security,” said Cheney to host Bob Schieffer. “I think what Senator Kennedy reflects is sort of the pre-9/11 mentality about how we ought to deal with the world and that part of the world.”

Kennedy’s office blasted Cheney, saying in a statement, “The Vice President used his usual line of personal attacks by claiming that ‘what Senator Kennedy reflects is sort of the pre-9/11 mentality.’ He contended that his past assertions that Americans would be greeted as liberators and that the insurgency was in its last throes ‘were basically accurate and reflect reality.’ Senator Kennedy was the first senator to outline a comprehensive argument against the war and has consistently challenged the Administration's policies. Today, Vice President Cheney said that ‘Ted Kennedy has been wrong from the beginning.’”

Kennedy is then quoted as personally responding to Cheney‘s well-documented tendency to follow one lie with another when it comes to defending the Bush administration’s actions in Iraq.

"Vice President Cheney has been consistently wrong about the war in Iraq. He's called the shots on a dangerously incompetent strategy,” said Kennedy. “He was wrong about the link between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. He was wrong about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. He was wrong about America being greeted as liberators. He was wrong about the insurgency being in its last throes. Now he rejects the idea of civil war.”

“The American people understand the clear lessons of 9-11. Al Qaeda is the greatest threat to our national security. The war in Iraq has increased support for Al Qaeda and made America more hated in the world. America is less safe because the Bush Administration lost its focus and waged a war in Iraq we never should have fought."

Kennedy’s office then gives a fact sheet, called “Cheney: Wrong on Iraq,” that details the vice president's total lack of credibility on the war:
  • Link between Iraq and Al-Qaeda: "We know that he [Saddam Hussein] has a long-standing relationship with various terrorist groups, including the al-Qaeda organization." Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction: "But we now know that Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. Among other sources, we've gotten this from the firsthand testimony of defectors -- including Saddam's own son-in-law, who was subsequently murdered at Saddam's direction. Many of us are convinced that Saddam will acquire nuclear weapons fairly soon." Veterans of Foreign Wars, August 26,2002
  • U.S. will be greeted as Liberators: "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. … There is no question but what they want to the get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come to do that." Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
  • Last Throes: "The level of activity that we see today from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline. I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency." Larry King Live, May 30, 2005
I don’t know about you, but I think it was rather gentlemanly of Kennedy to stop with only a tiny fraction of the lies Cheney has told since taking office – but it’s enough, isn’t it?