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Dick Cheney Is a Liar « The Washington Independent

Barely two weeks out of office and former Vice President Dick Cheney is already mongering fear. Unsurprisingly, it’s about Guantanamo Bay, where he says that generic Democrats — he intimates that he means President Obama, but he’s too much of a coward to say the man’s name — are “more concerned about reading the rights to an Al Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to kill Americans.” Get used to this sort of thing.

All this comes in an interview with Politico’s Mike Allen, John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei, and for a good reason: they’re not going to challenge a single word Cheney says. For instance, take this paragraph:

Citing intelligence reports, Cheney said at least 61 of the inmates who were released from Guantanamo during the Bush administration—“that’s about 11 or 12 percent”—have “gone back into the business of being terrorists.”

The “61 detainees on the battlefield” figure has been debunked by a widely-read Seton Hall University study. And just last week, Defense Secretary Bob Gates — who served with Cheney in the Bush administration, remember — said only “four or five percent” of released Guantanamo detainees have been involved in post-GTMO extremist activities. Three reporters on the Cheney interview and not so much as a single Google search among them.

Nor do Harris, VandeHei and Allen remind their readers that Cheney has a long history of deceit about national security. To reduce things to the facile partisan terminology that Politico relishes, even former House GOP leader Dick Armey says Cheney lied to him about Saddam Hussein’s nuclear capabilities ahead of the 2002 Iraq War vote in order to preempt inconvenient House GOP skepticism.

I should be fair. Politico knows how to get to the real beating heart of a story, like so:

If Cheney’s language was dramatic, the setting for the comments was almost bizarrely pedestrian. His office is in a non-descript suburban office building in McLean, in a suite that could just as easily house a dental clinic.

Get used to this sort of thing. Cheney needs to spread this sort of nonsense. Every day that the Obama administration rolls back his legacy and the United States isn’t attacked is another day in which Cheney’s contentions that the United States needed to embrace torture, preventive war and illegal surveillance in order to be safe is debunked. He has little choice but to spread the counternarrative that we’re actually just another day closer to another attack. That isn’t surprising. Cheney is what he is. What’s worth watching is how many media organizations, in order to secure the Newsmaker Interview, let him get away with it unchallenged.

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