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7/02/2004

Cheney Avoiding Accountability

I understand that the press has a role in reporting what our officials are saying - that something can be news because of who is saying it. But this sort of reporting is simply misleading, if not faithfully followed up with legitimate analyis. Carol Giacomo of Reuters summarizes Cheney's speech yesterday, and provides a little insight into his intentions.

In a speech meant to build positive election-year momentum from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Cheney implicitly blamed the former administration of Bill Clinton for failing to act against mounting terrorism in the 1990s.
Although not mentioning Clinton or the current presumptive Democratic candidate John Kerry by name, Cheney declared that in the 1990s extremists had "struck America with little cost or consequence."

Among examples cited were the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, the 1996 attack on Khobar Towers military barracks in Saudi Arabia, the bombing of U.S. embassies in 1998 and the attack on the USS Cole in the port of Yemen in 2000.

"Our enemies took lessons from this experience. They concluded our country was soft," he said.
Cheney claims that the Bush White House has put them on the run, that the handover of sovereignty in Iraq was an "essential victor[y] in the war on terrorism." There hasn't been enough analysis of this speech, enough effort to determine the veracity of Cheney's positions. We still have a tendency to trust our politicians - when they are wiling to lie so blithely, and the media dutifully reports their words, misconceptions spread.

 

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