Here's why. After shrugging off again the bad poll numbers that continue to haunt the whole of the W, Rove and Co, Larry asks yet again (the context here is that Cheney actually has the chutzpah to compare his administration with Lincoln and the other great leaders of our nation again):
Q But in all cases they did question themselves. In all cases they said, well, let's look at it this way. Don't you? I mean, the question is don't you ever say maybe I'm wrong?Well, no - you don't do you Mr. Cheney. When admittedly, you actually were wrong (remember WMD),and then don't question if you were right...you see the reason for my first two points at the top of this post.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: No, I think what we do is we look at it in terms of trying to decide what's the right thing to do, and weigh the evidence. And there's a lot of debate and discussion. We went through the exercise at the beginning of this year. You may remember when the President decided to put more forces into Baghdad. That's a time when we evaluated a whole range of options, when we talked to a wide number of people with a variety of viewpoints, met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, talked to outside military experts, as well as the politicos on the ground and made a judgment, the President made a decision then. And I think it was the right decision, felt it was the one to go into Iraq.
Q In retrospect you would still go into Iraq?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes, sir.
Q So those 3,000-plus lives have not died in vain?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: No, sir. Larry, you worry about every single casualty and --
Even caught with his pants down, hand in the cookie jar, and trying on the his Emperor's new clothes in the forbidden torture chamber we are not supposed know about, the Big Dick lies to us and to himself. He should be saying, "Whoops, you know what? We screwed pooch on the WMD thing, perhaps we were wrong, but now we are in there and we have to do right by Iraq. When you break the items in the china shop, you bought them."
Well, of course, we get none of that out of the Big Dick. He's too much in denial to understand that he may have assisted in the "Greatest Mistake" our country has ever collectively made, which was ironically made by a whole collection of republican baby "boomers" who lay claim on the moniker "The Greatest Generation."
And he continues to shovel the rhetoric to get us to try and by the snake oil:
...And I firmly believe, Larry, that the decisions we've made with respect to Iraq and Afghanistan have been absolutely the sound ones in terms of the overall strategy.But simply because you say it is, doesn't make it so either Mr. Cheney.
Q Although there were mistakes.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Oh, sure. Yes, there are always things in war that happen that nobody anticipated; surprises, things that don't go exactly as planned. That's the nature of warfare. But that doesn't mean the strategy isn't the correct strategy, that the objective isn't the right objective.
Here's the good news:
We walk out of here on January 20th of '09, and I think we'll be able to hold our heads high knowing we did the best we could for the country.Really?
The real test is whether or not the strategy that was put in place for this year will in fact produce the desired results.But that is not what the President is saying, is he?
Q Will those results be in place on that day in '09 when you leave?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I believe so.
Q You don't know what to expect, though, do you? Or do you?I see, back to that artificial deadline of 15 September....we wait, but I'm not confident that the people who led us into this Iraqi problem are the ones who can get us out.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I think it's going to show that we will have made significant progress. The reports I'm hearing from people whose views I respect indicate that indeed the Petraeus plan is in fact producing results.
Now, admittedly, I've been on one side of this argument from the very beginning. I urge people to have an open mind, to listen to General Petraeus when he comes back, but also look at what others have to say.
But what of this General Petraeus?
Q By the way, is General Petraeus the be-all and end-all?...He's a scapegoat in training/waiting.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: General Petraeus is a very impressive officer. I know him. I've watched him over the years when he commanded the 101st, when we first launched into Iraq four years ago. And I spent some time with him out at Fort Leavenworth when he had the command out there. He is a very, very highly regarded officer, for good reason. He's a great soldier, and he's also something of a scholar -- a Ph.D. from Princeton. He's a man who's a very thoughtful advocate of counterinsurgency doctrine. He's really the author, if you will, of the current counterinsurgency doctrine in the U.S. Army, who's having a chance to put in practice what he has believed and developed over the years.
I don't want to put the whole burden on him. He's --
Of course there are other issues facing the Veep - where does he hang his political hat and how do we hold him accountable:
Q We have an op-ed piece by Walter Mondale, former Vice President, held your job. And at that time -- I guess up to that time, he would be considered the most powerful Vice President. He wrote that after 9/11, "Cheney set out to create a largely independent power center in the office of the Vice President. He was an unprecedented attempt not only to shape administration policy but, alarmingly, to limit the policy options sent to the President." He also accused you of having a "near total aversion to the notion of accountability." How would you respond to this?What about the American People? Isn't the Veep, an elected official, beholden to the American People? We always knew that he placed us on the secondary back burner when it came to accruing power and asserting authority. This just cements it.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I think Walter obviously doesn't know or understand or chooses not to know how I, in fact, have operated. That's just not the case. Fact is, my job has been to serve the President. I've been very clear about that from the beginning to the extent that I've got staff working for me or that I'm actively involved in the processes to pursue his agenda. I've never had a separate agenda. I don't operate -- I don't freelance. In terms of accountability, I'm accountable to him.
Oh, and what about the AG Gonzales? Is he lying to us too?
Q Moving on to other areas. Alberto Gonzales -- do you stand by him?That figures. When a person's integrity augers well with your own, be it ethical or unethical, you will no doubt support that man.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I do. Al is a good man, a good friend, in a difficult assignment.
Q Are you troubled by what appears to have happened -- the appearance of him not telling the truth?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I don't want to get into the specifics with respect to his testimony and the questions that were asked. I know Al on a personal and professional basis, and I hold him in high regard.
Q You're going to stand by him?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes, sir.
Q No doubt about that?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Correct.
If nothing else, Gonzales is a good role model for answering questions you don't want to be asked or held accountable for:
Q In that regard, The New York Times -- which, as you said, is not your favorite -- reports it was you who dispatched Gonzales and Andy Card to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft's hospital in 2004 to push Ashcroft to certify the President's intelligence-gathering program. Was it you?But let's mince some words here.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I don't recall -- first of all, I haven't seen the story. And I don't recall that I gave instructions to that effect.
Q So you didn't send them to get permission.That's some mighty fine line drawing isn't it? If he wasn't the one to tell them directly, he's off the hook. But what if he told Libby to tell them to do it? Is that the same thing? A conscience is such as his is easy to assuage in such a way.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I don't recall that I was the one who sent them to the hospital.
But Libby's off the hook and feeling good:
Q I haven't seen him; I know him. How is he doing?Don't worry about Libby - he's got a lot of pals working on paying those steep bills, Mr. Cheney. He won't be out of work long. I wouldn't employ the man, though.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, he's doing well. He obviously went through a very, very difficult time, very hard for him and for his family. I think having the commutation of sentence decided has been a huge relief for him, but he still has a very difficult road. He's got -- obviously he needs to find work. He's got legal bills. He carries the burden of having been convicted. All those are not easy problems. But he's clearly in -- he's in good spirits and getting on with his life.
Q Do you keep in touch with him?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes.
Q Did you call him after the verdict?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I've seen him, had dinner with him.
And, what of Uncle Karl?
Q The Senate Judiciary Committee is subpoenaing Karl Rove in connection with the firing of federal prosecutors. Why shouldn't he appear?Sounds awful squirrelly to me.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: There is a strong tradition that the President of the United States is entitled to have people around him who advise him who do not then have to go before the Congress and testify with respect to the advice they gave the President.
It's different for a Cabinet member, for example. If you're Secretary of Defense, you are confirmed by the Senate, you testify before the Senate, you have some accountability to the Senate or to the Congress for testimony. But when you're a senior advisor to the President, as Karl Rove has been, then you are not traditionally required to go testify before the Congress. So that element of executive privilege, confidentiality of communications between the President and his senior people is a very important one, and it shouldn't be violated. And I don't believe it will be in this case.
Q But the public might say, what have you got to hide? And that would be logical, what have you got to hide?Nice of Larry to set the Veep up for this reply:
THE VICE PRESIDENT: First of all, there's no charge. What's the allegation of the wrongdoing here? Frankly, there isn't anything. With respect to the U.S. attorneys, there's been, I think, a bit of a witch hunt on Capitol Hill, as they keep rolling over rocks hoping they can find something. But there really hasn't been anything come up that would suggest there was any wrongdoing of any kind. And in the meantime, the President feels strongly, and I do too -- I agree with him -- that it's important for us to pass on these offices we occupy to our successors in as good a shape as we found them. And that means protecting and preserving the integrity of those processes.Sounds good if you can get it. Wouldn't you like to have the same kind of privilege if you were in some kind of trouble? But really, off the record like this really opens up the whole charade to all kinds of different interpretation.
Q So he will not appear?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I think an offer has been made to work out an arrangement that, in fact, the senior officials would meet with members of Congress, but not under oath, not in public, no transcript, to discuss these issues, and the committee has rejected that.
Wouldn't you rather have it on record so that every thing is on the up and up? If it was, they would, wouldn't they? This bull shit about executive privilege is all a hoax to keep us from peeling back the curtain to discover the Emperor has no clothes and the Wizard is really a powerless man.
But now, how about some saber rattling toward Iran:
Q Would you make an overt move on Iran?Well, I'm worried and certainly don't trust this Administration to know any thing for certain as a basis of going to war with another country - remember WMD once again.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: For what reason?
Q For reasons of information you have that we don't.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: No, I'm not going to speculate about prospective operations.
Q How worried are you?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I'm concerned about Iran.
And what about Gitmo?
Q General Powell says he would close Guantanamo yesterday. Would you?But here's a concern:
THE VICE PRESIDENT: No. No,
Q Do you have to torture them when they're there?I don't buy it, do you? Where there's rendition, there's torture. Simply because you turn a blind eye to it doesn't mean we don't do it.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: We don't do torture.
Q How come in the past, though, there's been a question on that? Have you ever said we support certain methods of physical harm?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: We support the ability of certain agencies of the federal government to have the capacity to use enhanced techniques for interrogation. We have authorization that we got from the Congress, to in fact do that. And they do it under very careful safeguards and very stringent safeguards. We're careful not to torture. We're not in the business of torturing people. That would not be --
Q What does "enhanced" mean?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: We don't discuss specific techniques because the last thing you want to do is tell your potential adversary what your techniques are, because that would allow them to train and practice to resist them.
Finally, do you trust a man who answer this relatively benign question thusly?
Q What are you going to do in February '09?I don't. As one of the heads of state that perpetrated what will go down in history as America's Greatest Mistake, I don't think that they will be able to walk out of the Whitehouse in January 2009 and hold their heads high. And it will partially be because they will be pasted with cream pies and rotten fruit.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I have no idea. I haven't given it any thought.
[tags]Cheney, Hypocrisy, Liar, America's Greatest Mistake, WMD, Larry King[/tags]