Dick Cheney: Still a Pathological Liar

As Dick Cheney makes the rounds of all the talk shows, including Meet the Press (where Chuck Todd probably had really difficult questions ready for him like “Why are you so awesome?”), he continues to spew lie after lie. Politifact took his Meet the Press performance — and that’s what it was — and found virtually everything he said to be false.

“We got to the point where we were very concerned about the possible linkage between terrorists on the one hand and weapons of mass destruction on the other,” Cheney said. “Saddam Hussein had previously had twice nuclear programs going. He produced and used weapons of mass destruction. And he had a 10-year relationship with al-Qaida.”

Cheney is relying on some thin evidence to tie Hussein to al-Qaida. His claim rates False.

This shows just how much of a liar Cheney is. More than a decade later, he’s still pretending that Iraq had something to do with Al Qaeda and 9/11. PolitiFact rightly points out:

The 9-11 Commission, an independent, bipartisan body created by Congress and Bush, had the job of writing a complete account of the circumstances surrounding the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Among its tasks: Examine the ties between al-Qaida and Hussein’s regime.

The commission found isolated contacts over the years between Iraq and al-Qaida terrorists but nothing more.

“To date we have seen no evidence that these or the earlier contacts ever developed into a collaborative operational relationship,” the report, released in 2004, said. “Nor have we seen evidence indicating that Iraq cooperated with al-Qaida in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States.”

In 2007, the Institute for Defense Analyses, a nonprofit research branch of the Pentagon’s Joint Forces Command, completed its assessment based on over half-a-million captured Iraqi documents.

That study “found no ‘smoking gun’ (i.e., direct connection) between Saddam’s Iraq and al-Qaida,” the analysts wrote.

When it suited their goals, both the Hussein regime and al-Qaida leaders might support the same third-party militant groups in different countries, but the researchers said the two parties had little else in common.

“To the fundamentalist leadership of al-Qaida, Saddam represented the worst kind of ‘apostate’ regime,” they wrote. “A secular police state well practiced in suppressing internal challenges.”

Al-Qaida had good reason to mistrust Hussein. In the mid 1990s, the Iraqi government cracked down and arrested religious extremists who it saw as a threat to Hussein’s power.

But rule #1 on the right wing is this: No lie that is useful will ever cease to be repeated.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Michael Heath

    The Sunday morning news shows are a pathetic joke, that’s in no way funny.

  • cptdoom

    I’d just love for one of the alleged “reporters” we have working in TV news to look straight at Cheney’s face and say “do you actually believe these lies you tell, or it is just something you have to say to sleep at night?” Or “what do you say to the families of 4,000 service members killed needlessly in your war with Iraq?” Or how about, “Mr. Cheney have you ever calculated how much money you made off of your Haliburton stock during the Iraq war?”

    Granted, their career would be over immediately, but the look on Cheney’s face would totally be worth it.

  • Mr Ed

    I remember taking American History in high school. The chapters of the book were each a different era with sections on facts and events but mostly focusing on the cause and effect of actions. When we looked back over time actions that might have seen reasonable at the time had the result of causing major events in the future. At the time who knew that a half baked plot to kill some duke would shape the next century.

    I look at some of the issues we are dealing with today, a destabilized middle east and ISIS and I see the havoc Cheney caused. My grandchildren will have a section in their books about how 9-11 fear mas manipulated and the long term effects.

  • daved

    At the time who knew that a half baked plot to kill some duke would shape the next century.

    Barbara Tuchman’s book “The March of Folly” considers this kind of thing. In particular, she looks at various historical events, and asks whether their effects could reasonably have been foreseen at the time. Iraq, for example, was entirely foreseeable, and many people did warn about it. Unfortunately, they were ignored and drowned out by the chickenhawks in the Dubya administration.

  • caseloweraz

    Cptdoom: I’d just love for one of the alleged “reporters” we have working in TV news to look straight at Cheney’s face and say “do you actually believe these lies you tell, or it is just something you have to say to sleep at night?” Or “what do you say to the families of 4,000 service members killed needlessly in your war with Iraq?” Or how about, “Mr. Cheney have you ever calculated how much money you made off of your Halliburton stock during the Iraq war?”

    Oddly enough, the only similar case in my recent memory was a woman on Fox News. She actually asked something like that of a guest whose name I’ve forgotten.

    Of course, there was David Brinkley’s on-air denunciation of “damn nonsense.” But that was years ago.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    (where Chuck Todd probably had really difficult questions ready for him like “Why are you so awesome?”)

    Oh, please. This is Chuck Todd we’re talking about. His is “Here’s a toughish question that you’ll dodge, I’ll push back mildly, you’ll dodge again, I’ll change tact, move on to the next question and won’t follow up.” And even with the interviewer deficit, he still got Cheney to basically state that the USA will obey no rule, no law, no court and no treaty to “accomplish the objective”, where, among other things, torture is not just good and necessary, but no number of innocents accidentally drawn in and tortured is too many (and, like Obama and drone Collateral Damage after him, innocents, or “all military-age males in a strike zone” are really terrorists anyway).

    So, by his own 1% strategy, the rest of the world has no choice but to invade and occupy the USA. Sorry, America, it’s for our own protection.

  • garnetstar

    The trouble with lies like that is that you start to believe them yourself. It’s too difficult to hold the details of all the lies you’ve told in your head, so you start to believe them. And, the more you repeat them, the more you believe them, because everyone likes to be right, and eventually you believe that you are.

    And then, the best way to sound sincere is to *be* sincere. It’s much easier to convince people if you believe what you’re saying yourself.

    And look where it leads, we see examples all around us. Cheny, for example, was once probably a fairly ordinary human. Now look at him.

  • colnago80

    I recall an interview with Lawrence Wilkerson, who was Colin Powell’s deputy, on Rachael Maddow’s MSMBCand had occasion to observe Cheney after 9/11 and he opined that the latter was absolutely terrified over the attack and seemed to be looking for terrorists under the bed.

  • scienceavenger

    I’ve been ignoring most of the torture discussion in the media – lots of repetition – but when I saw Cheney was going to be on with Chuck Todd, I thought “OK, let’s see what you have to say”. The very first thing out of Cheney’s mouth was something like “Well, my definition of torture is burning to death in the twin towers on 9/11”, to which I responded “Fuck you, you spineless equivocating bastard, how can you be so intellectually dishonest?” I mean shit, you want to defend torture as legitimate action, fine, have at it, maybe I can be convinced. But that? Insult me no more Mr. Has Been.

  • colnago80

    Re #8

    Hit the post button prematurely. The comment should have read as follows.

    I recall an interview with Lawrence Wilkerson, who was Secretary of State Colin Powell’s deputy, on Rachael Maddow’s MSNBC program. He observed that that Cheney, after 9/11, appeared to be absolutely terrified over the attack and seemed to be looking for terrorists under the bed.

  • daved

    I don’t agree that Cheney is a “pathological liar.” I think he is a deliberate and calculated liar, who is perfectly capable of controlling himself. I would suggest that he is also a complete sociopath; his comments this past weekend that he basically had no regrets over the innocent detainees who were tortured or killed is sufficient evidence.

  • colnago80

    Re daved @ #11

    I am surprised that he didn’t take the tack of the late and unlamented Dominick Dunne who opined that defendants wrongly convicted of crimes they didn’t commit were probably guilty of equivalent crimes that they did commit but the authorities were unable to prosecute them because of insufficient evidence.

  • http://www.facebook.com/den.wilson d.c.wilson

    More and more, Dick Cheney reminds me of Jack Nicholson’s character in “A Few Good Men.” He’s convinced himself that everything he’s done was justified and did indeed save lives. Just as Nathan Jessup couldn’t see any alternatives besides beating Private Santiago and completely surrendering GITMO to Cubans, Cheney thinks that the only choices were torture us some Muslims or prepare for another 9/11-scale attack. And while we made find his actions grotesque, he would prefer we just thank him for doing what was necessary. You can see it in the way he chafes at having to use euphemisms like “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques.” He really just wants to shout “You’re goddamn right we tortured people to death!”

  • jonmoles

    @daved #11

    I think the term you’re looking for is ‘psychopathological liar’. If there is anyone who has forfeited due process and could be executed by drone attack it’s Dick Cheney.

  • Nick Gotts

    At the time who knew that a half baked plot to kill some duke would shape the next century. – Mr. Ed

    Well, Franz Ferdinand wasn’t just “some duke”: he was heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The “half baked plot” was put together by Colonel Dragutin Dimitrijević, chief of Serbian Military Intelligence, and as “Apis”, head of the terrorist group Ujedinjenje ili smrt (“Unity orDeath”), the aim of which was to destroy that empire and create a united Yugoslavia – which, at enormous cost, the assassination did. It was immediately apparent that the assassination threatened war between Austria and Serbia, which could pull in other powers.

  • Nick Gotts

    The majority of Americans seem to agree with Cheney on most of the substantive points. Specifically, they support torture. Of the demographic groups listed, only among liberals, Democrats and the non-religious do majorities oppose it. I’d be interested in seeing comparable polls for other countries.

  • Nick Gotts

    Me@16,

    Sorry: Hispanics too came out marginally against torture.