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Dick Cheney Still Gung Ho For Guantanamo And The Iraq War

Reported by Ellen - August 31, 2011 -

Dick Cheney spent a full hour with Sean Hannity Tuesday night (8/30/11) – and another one is coming Thursday – in which the toughest questions asked were probably about his health. But late in the interview, as Hannity was fishing for attacks on President Obama, Cheney defended Guantanamo Bay prison on the grounds that it’s good for the world to fear the United States. Then Cheney immediately defended Gitmo as “probably a much more friendly environment and a comfortable situation” than any the prisoners would face at home. Later, Cheney boasted about his administration having “taken down” the Iraq terror program. Hannity, of course, didn’t challenge any of the assertions.

CHENEY: I think some people – and there were some in our administration who felt (if we’re nicer to terrorists, they’ll be nicer to us). And I wasn’t one of them. This notion that somehow Guantanamo was a major cause of recruitment, a recruitment tool for Al Qaeda – I just don’t think that’s true. (You can hear Hannity voicing his agreement) …My experience in that part of the world is people are more likely to respond if they respect and/or fear the power of the United States.

But then in his next words, Cheney kinda sorta contradicted himself by defending Gitmo as "friendly" and "comfortable."

CHENEY: And the notion that somehow operating Guantanamo, which is – as you mentioned, probably a much more friendly environment and a comfortable situation for most of those prisoners than would be any facility in their home country.

In fact both General Petraeus and Colin Powell think Guantanamo Bay has harmed our efforts against terrorism. What does “five draft deferments” Cheney know that two generals don’t? Hannity didn’t bring that whole messy subject up.

Near the end, Cheney cheered on the invasion of Iraq and suggested that Saddam Hussein had some kind of weapons of mass destruction after all. After saying that a nuclear weapon or biological agent in the hands of terrorists is “the biggest threat we face,” he continued, “…The people we lost on 9/11 would be only a handful compared to what they could do to us if they had a nuclear weapon or a biological agent of some kind. And I think that’s what we have to guard against. It’s the ultimate threat and we can’t take it for granted that it’s not a problem… I worry, when we get into the proliferation of nuclear weapons, whether it’s North Korea, or Syria or Iran – terror-sponsoring states – people that have relationships with terror: Saddam Hussein, Iraq. Those are the ones we have to really guard against. I think we did a good job during a good part of the administration. Clearly, we took down the Libyan program, we took down the Iraqi program, we took down A. Q. Khan in Pakistan, but there are a lot more out there and we need to keep working it.”

Democracy Now had a fascinating interview earlier in the day with Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Powell’s former chief of staff. Wilkerson called his efforts helping to put together Powell’s now-infamous February 2003 presentation to the UN Security Council about Iraq “probably the biggest mistake of my life… I will regret that to my grave.”

Wilkerson went on to agree with columnist Glenn Greenwald's assessment that Cheney is “profiting off" his "sleazy, sensationalistic, self-serving book, basically profiting from his crimes, and at the same time normalizing the idea that these kind of policies… are perfectly legitimate political choices to make. And I think that’s the really damaging legacy from all of this.”

Wilkerson said, “I’d be willing to testify, and I’d be willing to take any punishment I’m due.”

I’ll bet you won’t find THAT point of view on Fox News anywhere during the Cheney cheerleading. So for that reason, I’m including the video below.



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