Vice President Dick Cheney spent the second half of November ranting against Administration critics who dare accuse him of lying the United States into a disastrous war with Iraq. Speaking on Nov. 21 at the American Enterprise Institute, Cheney snarled that anyone making such accusations is "reprehensible" and practically guilty of high treason. His scheduled 90-minute appearance at the primo neo-con think-tank in Washington, where his wife Lynne is a resident fellow, lasted a total of 19 minutes. Cheney came, he ranted, and he departed, without taking a single question.
The Vice President is a man with something to hide. The simple truth is: Cheney did lie, repeatedly, to bludgeon the U.S. Congress into approving an unnecessary and disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq. According to several eyewitness accounts, Cheney personally lied to scores of members of the U.S. Senate, claiming that the White House had rock-solid proof that Saddam Hussein was close to building a nuclear bomb, and that war was the only option. No such evidence existedand Cheney knew it.
Cheney's favorite Iraqi liar, Dr. Ahmed Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), now a deputy prime minister, all but gloated over his and Cheney's war-by-deception scam in an infamous Feb. 19, 2004 interview with the Daily Telegraph. Confronted on the piles of INC-fabricated intelligence that helped lead the United States to war in Iraq, Chalabi shrugged his shoulders, and said, "We are heroes in error. As far as we're concerned, we've been entirely successful. That tyrant Saddam is gone and the Americans are in Baghdad. What was said before is not important."
Not so. Now, despite Cheney's campaign of obstruction, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) is scheduled to produce a Phase II report on the role of policymakers, starting with the Vice President, in the so-called "intelligence failures" leading up to the Iraq invasion. No doubt, there were some significant intelligence failuresnotably, failures of nerve by senior intelligence community bureaucrats, to resist White House pressure to "spin" the intelligence to justify invasion. But the overriding factor in the rush to war was a campaign of lies by Cheney, and by what Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (USA-ret.), former Secretary of State Colin Powell's former chief of staff, dubbed the "Cheney-Rumsfeld Cabal."...
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