STICK IT IN A TIME CAPSULE…. Watching Dick Cheney’s latest “exit interview” with PBS’s Jim Lehrer last night, it was hard not to marvel at the man’s shameless, almost pathological, dishonesty. It was like seeing a master criminal at work — you’re offended by the conduct, but almost impressed by the skill.
In an exit interview with PBS’s Jim Lehrer for the “NewsHour” airing tonight, Vice President Cheney repeats claims that Saddam Hussein worked with al-Qaeda. Asked if he made any mistakes in his eight years as V.P., Cheney only mentions underestimating the psychological harm Saddam had done to his own people. He said his administration bore no blame for the economic problem: “I think we had good economic policies, especially in the early years.” And the terror threat was inherited because of the poor handling by previous presidents.
On polls showing he is overwhelmingly unpopular among the American people: “I don’t buy that.”
And he shrugged off a critical statement today by a key figure, who used to work under him — she called the handling of one terror suspect as clear “torture.”
I mean, really. What can one say to describe such spectacular mendacity? I could try to fact-check the interview, but when nearly every response to every question is either false or misleading, where does one begin? My friend Blue Girl said, “Not a single word of the interview had any basis in reality,” which is about right.
We’re talking about a vice president who still wants Americans to believe Saddam Hussein had “a relationship with al Qaeda.”
The administration didn’t torture; it overestimated the capacity of the Iraqi people; it received bad intelligence; Saddam had “access to weapons of mass destruction”; we “brought down” and “routed” the Taliban; the economic crisis has nothing to do with Bush’s policies; Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Democrats are the real culprits; and Joe Lieberman is a great “Democrat.”
There’s our reality, and there’s Dick Cheney’s reality. They bear few similarities.