Our nation enters this conflict reluctantly, yet our purpose is sure. The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder.
We will meet that threat now with our Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines, so that we do not have to meet it later with armies of firefighters and police and doctors on the streets of our cities.
Now that conflict has come, the only way to limit its duration is to apply decisive force. And I assure you, this will not be a campaign of half measures and we will accept no outcome but victory.
– George W. Bush, U.S. President, announcing the beginning of the wrong-headed Iraq War in 2003.
“I got on the telephone with the president, who was in Florida, and told him not to be at one location where we could both be taken out.” Cheney kept W. flying aimlessly in the air on 9/11 while he and Lynn left on a helicopter for a secure undisclosed location, leaving Washington in a bleak, scared silence, with no one reassuring the nation in those first terrifying hours.
“I gave the instructions that we’d authorize our pilots to take it out,” he says, referring to the jet headed to Washington that crashed in a Pennsylvania field. He adds: “After I’d given the order, it was pretty quiet. Everybody had heard it, and it was obviously a significant moment.”
– Maureen Dowd, quoting Dick Cheney from a Showtime documentary on Showtime titled “The World According to Dick Cheney.” By the way, the 9/11 Commission found no documentary evidence that George W. Bush ever authorized Cheney to shoot down commercial airlines.
Cheney is trying, in short, to draw us back into the same tiresome debate over the efficacy of torture, which is about as compelling as a debate about the efficacy of slavery or Jim Crow laws. Only fools debate whether patently illegal programs “work”—only fools or those who have been legally implicated in designing the programs in the first place. … Cheney gets away with saying torture is “legal” even though it isn’t because if it were truly illegal, he and those who devised the torture regime would have faced legal consequences—somewhere, somehow. That’s the meaning of the “rule of law.”
If Dick Cheney really believes that authorizing torture is legal, let’s see him travel to Europe, or virtually anywhere else in the world. It won’t happen because he almost certainly would be immediately arrested.
I kept the president fully and completely informed about every in and out of the negotiations with the North Koreans. You can talk about policy differences without suggesting that your colleague somehow misled the president. You know, I don’t appreciate the attack on my integrity that that implies.
– Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State in the George Bush administration, striking back on Dick Cheney’s attack on her character in his memoir. Don’t worry Condi, there are damned few people who believe anything this serial liar says.
Conor Friedersdorf, writing in The Atlantic, describes, in great detail and with ample citations exactly why Dick Cheney is loathed by so many. Lies about WMD, lies about an Iraq/Al-Qaeda connection, impassioned support for torture, and on and on.
Well worth a full read to remind yourself just how bad he was.
Despite these questions and uncertainties, and having full awareness of them, the vice president nevertheless proceeded to misrepresent the facts in his public statements [leading up to the Iraq War], claiming that there was no doubt about the existence of chemical and biological weapons in Iraq and that a full-scale nuclear program was known to exist, including: (a) March 17, 2002: “We know they have biological and chemical weapons.” (b) March 19, 2002: “We know they are pursuing nuclear weapons.” (c) March 24, 2002: “He is actively pursuing nuclear weapons.” (d) May 19, 2002: “We know he’s got chemical and biological…we know he’s working on nuclear.” (e) August 26, 2002: “We now know that Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons… Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt that he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.” (f) March 16, 2003: “We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.”
Five hundred and sixty five pages and a simple apology would have been in order in some of them. Which is to say, the great fact of those eight years is we went to war—big war, costly war—under false pretenses. And…to write a memoir in which you say essentially nothing seriously went wrong…if I wrote a memoir of my last week, I would have things to apologize for.
– George Will, stunned by Dick Cheney’s failure to apologize for the Iraq and inflated claims about WMD.
– Dick Cheney, affirming a proposal to convert Medicare to a voucher system, covering less of the cost of senior healthcare. He was speaking at the KPMG Global Energy Institute. Nothing Cheney likes better than oil, unless it is screwing seniors.
There is a reason why a lot of diplomacy is conducted in secret. There are good reasons for there to be confidentiality in some of those communications. And I think President Mubarak needs to be treated as he deserved over the years, because he has been a good friend.
– Dick Cheney, former Vice President of the United States.