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BLITZER'S BLOG: Cheney, Iraq and WMD
September 1st, 2011
03:08 PM ET

BLITZER'S BLOG: Cheney, Iraq and WMD

By CNN's Wolf Blitzer

(CNN) - Former Vice President Dick Cheney is now in an open debate with both of President George W. Bush’s secretaries of state – Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. They sharply dispute what he writes about them in his new book, “In My Time.”

President Bush is taking the high road. He’s simply suggesting that everyone in his administration has his or her own recollections about what happened and that “objective historians” eventually will get to the truth.

I suspect President Bush is right. That’s usually what happens, since memoirs almost always are self-serving.

But beyond all that, Cheney’s book has clearly re-opened the debate over the president’s order to invade Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in March 2003. The reaction that I’ve been getting from readers and viewers has been intense, and most of it centers on whether Cheney “lied” to the American people when he said the following in August 2002:

“Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.”

Those were strong words that in the months leading up to the war were echoed by Bush, Powell, Rice and most of the other senior administration officials. It was the thrust of Powell’s presentation before the U.N. Security Council.

Cheney denies he lied. He says the intelligence was “flawed.” He says the CIA and other intelligence agencies got it wrong.

But he’s still not backing away from the war. He continues to insist that Saddam Hussein was a menace, and that the world is better off without him in power.

Cheney’s critics say the vice president “cherry picked” only the intelligence that pointed to Iraqi WMD. They say he ignored those skeptics inside and outside the government who raised serious questions. Among those skeptics: U.N. chief weapons inspector Hans Blix and International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei.

I will interview Cheney on Tuesday. We will certainly get into this question. You will be able to see the interview on “The Situation Room,” 5-7 p.m. ET.

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Filed under: Dick Cheney • Iraq • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (264 Responses)
  1. Auth

    John – You raise powerful qtsiueons that all of us need to answer. Personally, I think it is long overdue for the Bush/Cheney/McCain war policy to be retired. Nothing will change in the next year of the Bush administration. If McCain is elected, nothing will change in the next 100 years (according to him). Therefore, it is imperative that a Democrat be elected to the POTUS in Nov 2008...

    April 3, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
  2. stevesms

    The fact is Bush and the top cronies have war crime warrants out for their arrest. If they travel outsude the US they are in danger of being arrested for war crimes. The US is now harboring war criminals. Great Hua?

    November 30, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  3. wjm

    Shoot any close friends lately, Cheney? How about that for a "regret"?!!!

    September 7, 2011 at 6:13 am |
    • Brian Runkel

      Dear Wolf: You are by far my favorite anchor/reporter on cable news. In fact, the Situation Room is the ONLY news show I watch regularly because you cover real news (not the entertainment news covered ad nauseum on other cable news shows), and usually in a factual, fair way. That's why I'm shocked that you mischaracterized your interview with Dick Cheney regarding the invasion of Iraq and then made no effort to challenge or question Arwa Damon's heavily biased rant against the invasion based on her personal viewpoints and totally devoid of the reality that faced Iraqis at the time of the invasion.

      First of all, in the part of the interview you showed with Cheney (who by the way, I do not like, and I also did not like Bush or vote for him in 2004), you asked him if he had any regrets in invading Iraq and removing Saddam Hussein from power. He responded that he had no regrets and felt the world was safer without Saddam Hussein in power. If you had gone after him on the WMD issue, that would be a fair criticism. But the part that I saw (shown around 5:45pm EST), focused on the issue of removing Saddam from power. When you then turned to Arwa Damon to get her reaction, you characterized Cheney's response as pertaining to all US policies and actions in the Iraqi invasion. That was an overstatement on your part. Usually, you are extremely careful about exaggerating somebody's statements.

      But even worse, you did not question or challenge Arwa when she ranted that nobody in Iraq was happy that the USA had removed Saddam through invasion, and then when she made the outrageous and factually incorrect statement that all Iraqis would rather have been left alone, because they wanted to remove Saddam from power on their own. Is she clueless about the history of Iraq and how brutal Saddam was toward the Shiite majority? Even after many years of an international sanctions regime against Saddam, he still had total power in Iraq, with the exception of the No Fly Zone in the Kurdish areas. The Shiites' rebellion after Gulf War I had been brutally put down by Saddam, and they had very little chance if any of removing him from power on their own at the time of our invasion of Iraq in 2003. In fact, their chances were zilch to remove him; about the same as the Russian people's chances of removing Stalin from power or the German people's chances of overthrowing Hitler from power. Does Arwa forget how thankful and ecstatic the majority Shiites were when we removed Saddam from power?

      Now, it would be fair to attack the post invasion management of the Iraq War, which is where I also part ways from Bush and Cheney. Or to attack the invasion if you are someone who hates any war. But to say as fact, as Arwa Damon did, that the Iraqis (without limiting her statement to the majority Sunnis in Iraq) didn't favor our removal of Saddam because they wanted to do it on their own, ala the Arab Spring of this year, is to be ridiculous beyond belief. 2011 is light years away from 2003, and anyone who studies the region can see that....

      Also, Saddam Hussein's record of mass murdering tens of thousands of his own people before 2003, as well as invading 2 sovereign countries, makes the brutal regimes of of Mubarak, Assad and Qadafi pale in comparison..that's why he represented a unique threat to world peace; he was a mini-Hitler. No one within Iraq represented any kind of threat to his rule. He would never have been overthrown by his people, and the Iraqi Shiites and Kurds knew that then, and have expressed that over the years – including today.

      Who is Arwa interviewing? Her anti-Americanfriends, who have no clue how the real world works and would have been the first to die if they had tried to rebel against Saddam in 2003? I've always thought Arwa was biased towards the Arab point of view versus her home country...and now that is confirmed. But Wolf, you have always shown yourself to be fair and measured, and to not allow such biased diatribes to go failed today in adhering to that high standard that I've come to expect from you. And Arwa needs to be kept to fact-based reporting, not expressing her personal viewpoints or making outrageously false statements that the Iraqi Shiites could have removed Saddam on their own or didn't want the USA to finish the job we should have finished at the end of Gulf War I. She needs to stay on CNN International or go to BBC America, both of which have proven themselves over the years to be blatantly anti-American. I watch them all the time when traveling overseas, and their bias is as bad as Fox News' bias in the other direction. So, let her work over there...keep your show fair and fact-based...quit letting biased reporters like Arwa Damon rant her anti-American diatribes. Thanks for your consideration, and hopefully today was a rare aberration from your usual highly ethical level of journalism.

      September 7, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  4. Rance Lanier

    I find it unbelievably disappointing that your organization would give this arrogant, deceitful, lying, individual any airtime to continue publicizing his nonsense!! He pretends to know more than the public but cannot reveal it because of national security. Hogwash!! In reality, he is dirty in the worst sense of the word!! And yet CNN panders to him in the name of ratings. You will claim that you are asking pertinent questions. But pertinent to whom when the facts invalidate his answers as fabrications with no supporting basis, both now and when he was in office!! CNN & you are now complicit in this sham on the public that you pretend to serve. Cheney is an arrogant, unimportant, small individual who took advantage of his power position to our country's detriment and now can't figure out any self-respect for himself. Where is your organization's sense of self-respect and integrity?? You and CNN are not a choice I'm going to watch anymore.

    September 6, 2011 at 11:23 am |
  5. Bill Clement

    I want him to explain to us how is it that the last three Republican presidents debt amounts to about 8 and a quarter
    trillion dollars but yet itis all Obama to blame? Really!

    September 6, 2011 at 11:08 am |
  6. Robert Pike

    I want to hear Cheney's response to the claim by former CIA head of operations in Europe, Tyler Drumheller, that Tenet told, Bush, Cheney & Rice in the White House, way before the invasion that Iraq did not have WMD. That the White House reponse was that this was no longer about WMD but regime change. (1) Why after this briefing did the Bush administration continue its scare campaign and tell both the American people and Congress this was about WMD?

    Given the history of U.S. oil corporations operations in Iraq as part owners in the Iraqi Petroleum Company, which were booted out when Iraq nationalized the nations oil industry due to specific contractual non-compliance and that Saddam was in the process of awarding oil and infastructure contracts to energy firms from foreign nations, coupled with the reality that many members and appointees of the Bush adminstration were former employees of the U.S. Oil Industry, the motive for the invasion seems clear. I want to hear Cheney explain these facts.

    It is also necessary for Cheney to answer up on his vists to the CIA and Defense Department, which under the managment of both Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, set up the Office of Special Plans (OSP), run by Feith and Luti, who hired the Iraqi National Congress headed by Ahmed Chalabi to recruit "Curveball". (2) (3)

    This events are not a considence but a carefully crafted top secret op to deceive both Congress and the American people to rally support for the invasion and occuaption of Iraq to gain control of its 215 billion barrels of oil. (4)

    (1). A Spy Speaks Out by Daniel Schorn CBS Sixty Minutes. February 11, 2009
    (2). Curveball: Spies, Lies, And the Con Man Who Caused a War by Bob DroginRandom House, New York 2007
    (3). The New Pentegon Paper by Karen Kwiatkowski. Salon March 10, 2004
    (4). Iraqi Oil: More Plentiful Than Thought by Vivienne Walt. Time Magazine. April 24, 2007

    September 5, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
  7. Anthony

    Not sure if this is the right place to post the question I'd like asked but here it goes:

    How does it make you feel when people say you are a war criminal and should be tried as such?

    I hope this gets asked, I'm curious about how Cheney would respond.

    September 4, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • JohnG

      no reason to be curious aboit how Dick Cheney would react to a question like that Anthony. He'd give his condencending smirk to indicate that he really isn't bothered by what the "little" people think. Of course he would go on to completely ignore the fact that he was dead wrong on just about every estmate that he made regarding the war in Iraq. From the timeline of the war to the cost of the war both monetarily and in human lives. The fact that his book is gaining any attention is nothing short of shamefully tragic.

      September 6, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  8. Lang Reynolds

    Congress and the previous administrations have spent our Social Security and Medicare on these UNFUNDED wars and likely doubled the cost of the war by using unnecessary contractors. (Not to mention waste and fraud) Even more unforgivable is the pay of these individual contractors, which is thousands of dollars more each year to the individual contractor than the individual soldiers they serve. This situation serves to demoralize our troops and compromise the effectiveness of our forces. AND it adds considerably to the deficit. That's a big number over ten years. Now those same Congressman want the American people to pay for their liberality to Pentagon contractors. Well, I suppose we have come to expect nothing less. Shame on us and SHAME on our Congressional "leaders".

    September 4, 2011 at 9:44 am |
  9. laser

    why we invaded Iraq:

    September 2, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
  10. Walker

    The congressmen that just refused to attend the joint session called by Obama next week should be ejected from his seat. I didn't see the entire interview, but I wish Wolf would have asked him if he would refuse to go if the session was called by a Republican President. It is just politics as usual and I am embarassed by all of them.

    September 2, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  11. joshua

    Democrats seem to forget that the yellow cake uranium was found in Iraq and sent to Canada to be stored in isolation. That story is discussed by the main stream media. This was the bulk of the testimony that was used to support the facts that Sadam was trying to get uranium to build a nuclear bomb. Knowing that he would set his own oil fields on fire, it was urgent that he be stopped before he had the capability to detonate a nuclear device on his enemies in the middle east. He wasn't just an enemy of the US, he was also an enemy of Turkey, Iran, Isreal, Kuwait, etc. He was a dangerous, loose cannon in a volitile, hostile corner of the world. We had tried negotiating with him for twenty years and it didn't work. Blame Bush, call him a murderer, baby killer whatever, we did the right thing getting rid of a man who used murder, rape and torture to keep his own people under control and was sending money to families of suicide bombers who killed Americans.

    September 2, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • JohnG

      Robert Mugabe, Omar al-Bashir, Than Shwe, Islam Karimov, Teodoro Obiang Nguema .......just a few of the brutal dictators that still remain in power. Are we going after them next? I'll bet if they sat on massive oil reserves the answer would be yes. Cheney had no problem sending other peoples fathers, mothers, children etc. off to war to die for oil. If Sadaam were going to be a threat to Turkey, Iran, Israel, Kuwait, etc. let them handle Sadaam! Instead we just went over and delivered Iraq to the Iranians who, oddly enough, are the next country that the neo-cons want to attack! It's insane!! Ron Paul 2012!!!

      September 6, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  12. calaurore9

    Cheney has the audacity to assert that he pushed to go into Iraq after 9/11. He was obsessed with invading Iraq long long before that. As soon as he got into Bush's admin, that was his goal. Most people forget that. I don't.

    September 2, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  13. rudy cope

    Dick Cheney is a hero. Thank God there have been people like him through the years to make difficult decisions – regardless of whether they were popular with John Q. California.. I would remind you haters that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney won re-election in 2004 by roughly 51% to 48%.. Also, let me point this out.. Bush and Cheney's war is no longer Bush and Cheney's war.. After three years, it's Barry's war - and it's Barry's economy. He needs to own it. Oh, one more thing: CNN disgusts me.

    September 2, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • Hinhanska

      John Q. California is not the only one against the NEO-REAGANITES. 51% to 48% is a civil conflict in it's own right. Mr. Obama is still trying to clean up the mess that Reagan( deregulation,housing market crash), Bush( war, trillions of dollars wasted) caused.

      September 2, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • newsreel

      Another straight-face LIE. Geez, what is it with replub ? They lie without any shame, just to support their argument. Liek master, like slave, you behave just like your master. Gore won popular vote in 2000 ( 48.38% vs Bush at 47.87%). Bush had 271 electoral vote, 5 more than Gore 266.But Florida has 25 vote which were all given to Bush by the supreme court. We all know dirty trick in Florida to prevent blacks from voting. Why do you people lie so easily and without any shame ? Desperate ?

      September 2, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Nootoop

      You're just trying to instigate the intelligent people on this board, aren't you?? That's a clever tactic. Reverse-psychology it's called. Say stuff that's obviously not true, in hopes that the backlash to those remarks will be strong and will utterly prove your point!! I like the way you're thinking. 😉

      September 11, 2011 at 4:36 am |
  14. Nunya

    Yes, the intelligence was flawed. It was flawed at his direction, and to anyone who was paying attention it was glaringly obvious even at the time that this was the case. So while that makes him technically correct in saying that it was due to flawed intelligence, it also makes that an indictment rather than an excuse to let him off.

    September 2, 2011 at 8:57 am |
  15. Reddog9500

    There is a Country that has the largest stockpile of WMD in the world, a failed economy, a disfunctional government, and uses its military might to wage war on any other country that threatens it or is perceived of being a threat. Its government routinely lies to the people. This Country is a threat to world peace. It's name is America.

    September 2, 2011 at 7:50 am |
  16. Common Sense

    Simply put, anyone who thinks the Bush administration did NOT lie to get us into Iraq is blind, stupid, or both.

    September 2, 2011 at 7:44 am |
  17. Mac

    The blatant lies told by Cheney and Rummy are so monstrous it makes one throw up.He is responsible for the deaths of 6000 young, barely out of teens, innocent American soldiers, over 100,000 young American soldiers maimed for life, trillions of dollars looted from the US treasury and pilfered by his cronies at Haliburton and other armaments manufacturers. Plus, millions of innocent Iraqi/Afghan civilians killed. His rendition program where people were picked up and tortured in foreign countries, he has killed more innocents than any time in US history. All this purported to get Bin Laden who was hiding in plain sight.

    And the training camps??? There were none. The 9/11 hijackers got their training in flight schools of Arizona, they had legitimate US visas. Clearly, the invasions and wars were implemented for only one purpose which was to use the US treasury to enrich Cheney's crones, nothing else. There are no terrorists anywhere, the people who hijacked the planes killed themselves in the attacks. The War on Terror is a political ploy to keep the public spending trillions on the military industry.

    September 2, 2011 at 6:26 am |
  18. newsreel

    Hmm, hundreds of posts and I have not seen a single repub defending him ? Hiding in shame of one of their own ? They have big mouth when criticizing Obama, but they should be aware that the country debt and all its economic troubles endured now is due to Repub hawks like Cheney who dragged the country down with his wars, and the puppet Bush who is too stupid and lazy, and allowed it to happen.

    September 2, 2011 at 6:06 am |
  19. badcafe

    Dick Chaney makes Lon Chaney (look it up!) look benign, while Sarah Palin makes Michael Palin look serious 🙂 🙂

    September 2, 2011 at 4:56 am |
  20. peanut brittle

    Abu Ghraib still has room in it for Lick Cheney, Don Runsfeild, and George "I've never run a successful business" Bush!

    September 2, 2011 at 12:35 am |
  21. History Buff

    "Tell a lie often enough, loud enough, and long enough, and people will believe you." George W. Bush
    "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." Winston Churchill
    "History is written by the victors.." Winston Churchill
    "History will be kind to me for I intend to write it." Winston Churchill
    "There's nothing so absurd that if you repeat it often enough, people will believe it." – William James (1842-1910) The father of modern Psychology
    "...concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it." Adolf Hitler
    "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” Adolf Hitler diatribe
    "...the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation." The Big Lie technique , Adolf Hitler , Mein Kampf, vol. I, ch. X

    September 2, 2011 at 12:20 am |
  22. rudedog

    Did Bush say let us err on the side of war or on the side of life?

    September 2, 2011 at 12:11 am |
  23. Tim

    Hi I'm Tim from California. I am in fifth grade. I just want to know 1 question. Everybody seems unanymous that cheney should be arsted for war crimes. I just want to know, who would make that decision? Where would it come from? Thanks!

    September 2, 2011 at 12:00 am |
  24. John/kc

    I have heard stories that Bush and Cheney will not travel outside the United States for fear of being arrested as war criminals. I wonder if there is any truth to this rumor?

    September 1, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
  25. Mark

    Cheney is a damn liar...he lied in the past and he lies now.

    He didn't make speeches using Sadam and Bin Laden in the same sentence or paragraph for news sake, he used them together to get the ignorant morons who supported W and his gang of liars to think they were one in the same.

    September 1, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
  26. lineman

    Cheney's continuing attempts at explaining the Iraq war the way the Bush administration originally explained it are totally expected. There is no more logic, no more real facts, no more military strategy and no more commom sense now than then. The only conclusion to be drawn is that the true reasons for attacking Irag remain the same. The first was to control the oil and the second was to provide a market for Halliburton's and others war goods and services. In Cheney's eyes it was just good business. He follows a self-serving philosophy of unlimited free enterprise and America is just now realizing the real ramifications of this policy.

    September 1, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
    • shadmin

      I agree. Cheney has re-opened a sore spot with a lot of us. I had been a steady Republican voter since 1955, but he and Bush made me an Independent. The US ought to join the Hague Tribunal, so that it can go after Cheney. This country will never prosecute him, and he ought to be branded a war criminal. His book demonstrates his arrogance, and Bush is right in saying that history will judge both him and Cheney is right. Some respected historian should use Cheney's "memoir" to start the judging process now, while his misstatements are fresh off of the press.

      September 2, 2011 at 6:11 am |
  27. felton

    As long as interviewers like u wolf, people like cheney will continue to go un punished.
    Cheney was part of the U.S. gov. that put saddam in office, and if the Intellegence was flawed, "someone should have gone to jail".
    And to diminish the fact that we went to "WAR" for a reasoning of, the world is a better place without saddam does not suffice when lives were lost.

    It's CNN's approach to interviews or subjects that really matter that leads to the propaganda of wrong information.

    Wolf, you use the mals of our government to make a check every two weeks, so to talk about the shrinking with any passion is un genuine because you get a check and you read from a script, or you really don't care about the subjects that you talk about because you get a check.
    Bush & Cheney uses your forum to say things to the ignorant knowing that they don't read. So to CNN, your helping the wrong people, who are eventually going lead to the fall of the U.S.. Who will you interview then?

    September 1, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
  28. Martin

    Didn't he have his own intelligence office? If I recall correctly in the lead up to the Iraq war the intelligence agencies were not giving him the right answers about Iraq so instead of listening to them the Administration used this office to provide the information it needed and put out a lot of propaganda dissing organizations like the CIA.

    Blaming flawed decisions on faulty intelligence and neglecting to admit that it was the intelligence they bought and paid for is disingenuous to say the least.

    September 1, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  29. Hinhanska

    This man along with all the neo-Reaganites including a so called President Bush. Illegally. went to war against the Constitution of the U.S.. We were not attacked. As well. No concrete proof of any pending attack, or any weapons of mass destruction. If we did not have the capability to defend against other nations coming to secure the Bush administration for trial in the world court. The Bush administration would be tried for crimes against humanity.

    We would have been more resolute in Afghanistan. Our Federal monetary situation would have been much better. The true defense capability of this nation would be stronger!!!

    September 1, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
  30. Harold

    If Mr Cheney is looking for absolution from "objective historians" he is likely be out of luck. History is what it is. Mr. Cheney's record is one of unrepentent obstinance. Wrong as he was about nearly everything, he insists in wrapping himself in the red, white and blue. Historians will have none of that, in the same way they would have none of it with robert McNamara.

    September 1, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
  31. Chris

    I honestly urge everyone modestly interested in this to watch the PBS Frontline documentary Bush's War. It is by far the best documentary done in recent time detailing how Cheney and the other snake Rumsfeld bamboozled Bush and sold Rice and Powell down the river along with the US intelligence community. They cite first hand sources and many second hand sources from so many angles. This documentary literally change nearly many of my opinions about what had happened and my view towards the war and related issues.

    September 1, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
    • shadmin

      Thanks for the link. I trust PBS more than this snake to provide an objective review of the past. I hope that the hubris that caused him to write this book, will bring him down.

      September 2, 2011 at 6:15 am |
    • rudy cope

      Whose war is it now? – three years into barry's administration? Is it Barry's war now?? Is there a documentary called "Barry's War"? Oh, no. It's Bush's war still, right?

      September 2, 2011 at 11:31 am |
      • Ietege

        Are YOU saying that the pliocy of the American military is to specifically target innocent civilians of other nations?If so, then you are apparently divorced from reality, as the American military goes to extraordinary extremes to AVOID civilian casualties, whereas regimes like Saddam's Iraq, PRK, IRI, Hamas, Hezbollah, etc, etc, go out of their way to CAUSE civilian casualties.Are you saying that Saddam Hussien's ambitions and the goals of Islamic Fascism are more important than innocent Iraqi civilians? The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Except for ending slavery, fascism, and communism, War has never solved anything.

        August 1, 2012 at 8:57 am |
  32. Mike smith

    Why does Wolf even indulge the idea of a substantive debate about military policy between rival draft dodgers. How can anyone entertain discussing the subject of war with two individuals who successfully because of status and income evaded serving their own country when called to duty. I will grant you that there is a picture of Bush in a jet albeit all the military records for the coward miraculously are now lost except for a visit to a dentist at the t
    ime. How many also believe in Santa?
    Why don't you get two child molesters to debate the issue of child safety?

    September 1, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
  33. bigwilliestyles

    @ 1stsgt: so because you claim to be in the military, we should take your version over the lack of evidence? If they had found ANY evidence to support Darth Cheney's deceit, it would have been displayed, front and center. Maybe you're some robot that will support any excursion, I'm not. Your attempt at argument through condescension fails miserably.

    September 1, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
  34. RESET21776

    Cheney new what was going on in Iraq. He lied about many things. We should have never gone in and he knows it. The new memoir he wrote is a joke, like GWB's. Want proof here you go:

    He could have at least prevented us from going into that country and losing so many lives. For what. "To spread Democracy"...

    September 1, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • Texan

      Weel ahl be corn-tootin' Dick, why ya tryin ta give us away like that! I taught ya ppreciated me pickin ya as VP. I guess not, ya fat flabby sack-of-lard! I showda been better off pickin that broad palin over ya.

      September 2, 2011 at 12:33 am |
    • Chicas

      But Cheney who has gobs of money gets so much as a pimple on his teendr fat ass, the American taxpayers foot the bill ( for life) so that a legion of doctors can trip all over themselves tending to his every discomfort. I'm hoping for the day when the Grim Reaper becomes his attending physician.

      April 4, 2012 at 11:52 am |
      • Ble

        Again, let me make clear I am not defending the deciison to invade Iraq. I am trying to describe how we got there and the simple point that there would have been more chaos had we left immediately after Saddam's fall. I fear Dan E may be correct that in the end they may have to pass through a full fledged civil war before they make it to the other side.I don't endorse Karl Rove's wanting to use the war on terror in a Machiavellian way for political purposes. I also do not think that is why the Iraq war was thrust upon us. None of the anti-Bush expose books revealing the inner workings of how the war came about even mention this as a significant factor. I did see an Op-ed piece in the LA Times about it. Maybe that's where you got your talking points.Yes. Reconciliation is a critical piece. Again the incoherence issue. Are you saying that reconciliation would have been more likely over the past few years had we not been there after Saddam's fall?Well Powell's comment you quoted sure didn't sound like his UN speech (or the many other statements he made before the war) or the DIA, CIA, NIC, State pre-war assessments of Saddam's WMD program. Kind of sounds like you're cherrypicking the statements you like (kind of ironic!) Again, I'm not trying to say the war was justified. I am simply saying Bush believed Saddam likely had bad stuff that could be shared with bad people and he was worried about it. I think this was one of his primary motivations. I'm not saying I would have reached the same conclusion to go to war about it (especially in hindsight) if I was in his shoes.It sounds like when someone points out an aspect of the WMD Commission that you don't like, you emphasize that it was written by, bye2€a6.wait for ite2€a6..the US government!!! yes sir, the US big brother and when someone points out that it was anti-Bush, you say, that's because of the Democrats on the Commission. Kind of strange.

        November 13, 2012 at 12:48 am |
  35. skk

    he and all his buddies should get live in prison in an iraqi jail maybe abu graib. i would gladly pay for his plainticket to get him there.

    September 1, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
  36. Dave A.

    Bush says "objective historian" .. I dont believe that exists.. Just another hunk of lip service from the worst president in US history. The republiCONS are bringing the end to the USA under the name of patriotism.

    September 1, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • shadmin

      I disagree. I think that this book and the bad memories it stirs up will contribute strongly to the death or irrelevance of today's Republican party. Remember something like 70% of voters polled did not support the "no new taxes" line in the sand the Republican House took as a firm stand and blocking approach to the recent debt limit negotiations, and was the major reason that S&P felt uncertainty about the Congress' ability to come up with a long term solution to the continuing negative cash flow the country has, most of which is due to commitments made by Bush 43's administration, for which we are now paying. If the RNC doesn't disavow the TP and ATR stance on a small central government and "no new taxes", the GOP is going to get swamped with the kind of massive rejection that voters applied to Goldwater.

      September 2, 2011 at 6:34 am |
  37. Omar

    If this person and his boss are not put on a trial the entire country will be put on trial by history. Iraq not only didn't have WMD's at the time, but the world has become terribly worse than the way it was before the war. The west is struggling to regain credibility, the ME regional power balance is disturbed in favor of theocratic regimes, terrorism is spreading all over the place, and loss of lives have been the worse since WWII. The funny thing is when Chaney was himself asked in 1991 for the reason to avoid invading Baghdad he replied, it was to avoid a quagmire, oh well, he seems to defend his quagmire now!

    September 1, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • shadmin

      I agree. This is the time that the US ought to join the Hague tribunal, so that Bush and Cheney can be brought to trial. Halliburton received several massive contracts without going through the normal competitive process for DOD procurement. I don't think we have to wait for "history" to judge these arrogant hypocrites. It would be ironic if Cheney's selective memory was the driving force that brought these two snakes to justice. And joining the Tribunal would send a message to the rest of the world that we don't think we're above the law.

      September 2, 2011 at 6:47 am |
  38. Janice Smith

    The day we declared war in Iraq I turned to my husband and said "I can hear the big sucking noise as they bleed us dry". They have and it's all the fault of GW Bush and his father's administration cronies who tried to run the WH. they lied the whole time and they tried to drag everyone who objected (colin Powell) down. I can't believe the things he's saying like there isn't any record of the truth. Wolf, don't give him room to make you look stupid. Hold his feet to the fire. You should know better...but we will see just how much of a "good journalist" you are. Don't be mesmerized ask good question...please.

    September 1, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
  39. jonhnson

    well, if the intelligence were flawed....who got fired???..

    September 1, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
  40. yuppp

    Time for the liberal media (CNN) to refocus people on something old to get their attention off Osucka. Cheney – nobody likes him – WMDs we all remember those. Time for some 7 year old news!

    September 1, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
    • Inglourious

      Seven year old news? We are still paying for the Iraq mistake today.

      September 1, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
    • Carl

      You know this huge budget deficit everyone is up in arms about? What do you think caused it? How about two unfunded wars including the one you think is old news.

      September 1, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
    • shadmin

      Wow! The ostrich approach. It's not 7 year old news; we're paying right now for the commitments and tax cuts that were put in place by Bush 43. Military personnel are still dying almost every day in Iraq. The NY times reports the deaths daily, and that's current news that was caused by Bush and Cheney.

      September 2, 2011 at 6:54 am |
  41. Robrob

    “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.”

    Not a word of which was true. And predictibly, Cheney refuses to accept it.

    September 1, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
  42. Nick

    Wolf, you have a great opportunity here to ask him some powerful questions!
    -does he feel any remorse for the the young American soldiers who died thinking they were fighting against the 9/11 perpetrators, when they were in fact misled and died in vain in Iraq?
    -does he feel any remorse for the billions and billions of dollars spent on Iraq as our own infrastructure crumbled and American schools slipped further to the back of the pack?
    -does he feel any remorse for the fact that he comes from an industry that profited to the tune of billions of dollars (defense contractors) literally on the blood of American soldiers and Iraqi civilians?

    September 1, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
  43. krm1007

    Iraq Afghanistan issues need to be tried in courts. These issues are not going to go away and will haunt humanity for generations.

    September 1, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
  44. laurielee

    Least we not forget, Dick Cheney was the Secretary of Defense under the first George Bush – President George H. W. Bush. There is no doubt in my mind that Cheney always felt that leaving Saddam in power was a job left undone during his years as Defense Secretary. He wanted Saddam out of power at any cost even if it included lying to the American people and that is exactly what he did. He lied about WMDs to push his agenda. Cheney should keep his big mouth shut and thank God that he wasn't impeached and tried for war crimes.

    September 1, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • Carl

      I agree with you, but I think it was equal parts Cheney and Bush. I think George Jr. was gunning for Saddam because Saddam made his daddy look bad so Georgie Boy had to go get him as revenge. I think Cheney was the one smart enough to invent an excuse to do it.

      September 1, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
  45. stephen sivonda

    I always suspecte that Cheney was the "shadow president" . Also I was always curious why Paul Oneill who was Dubya's first Secty. of the Treasury, left the White House at what seemed an unusual time. So I got the book by Suskind, " The Price of Loyalty" about the drafting of O'neill for Bush's cabinet, and the subsequent events that led up to O'neill's resignation. ( Barnes & Noble- online- inexpensive). So, if you read that will see with great clarity what went on in the Bush White House.Also remember that the Prez and V-prez have a big oil background. I sense a person who is a calculating bully. Dare to argue with you think that "friend" of his that he "accidentally" shot while out hunting a couple of years back pissed him off...maybe?

    September 1, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
  46. Eric M

    Cheney is right and if he is lying prove it or shut up…. Every reputable intelligence agency in the world believed the Iraqis’ had WMD’s including but not limited to Russia, Britain, France, Germany etc…..Many of Saddam’s generals thought he had WMD’s. When put in front of congress the majority also voted in favor on taking action against Sadam including Hilary Clinton, and John Kerry. Guess what….They read the same intelligence reports…..Saddam kept it a secret not wanting the Iranians to know that his country got rid of them (FBI interview on 60 minutes) leaving his country vulnerable (he had used WMD’s on the Iranians) The cards were laid on the table and these guys played them they way the should have. Left unchecked it would have delayed the inevitable.

    September 1, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
    • shadmin

      Cheney is lying, and the US ought to join the Hague Tribunal and let that venue get to the truth.

      September 2, 2011 at 6:58 am |
    • shadmin

      What does "delayed the inevitable" mean to you? And, what do you think was "inevitable", and why do you think "it" was inevitable?

      Sometimes it's good tactics to "delay what some people think is inevitable". If you read the history of the Revolutionary War, you will find that is what George Washington did to the British,and their almost universal opinion that America's defeat was inevitable, because the lobsterbacks were reputed to be the best trained fighting machine in the world in the mid to late 1700's. They believed their own press, and for a long time, it seemed that they were right, as we suffered defeat after defeat, until Washington crossed the Delaware River.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:14 am |
    • rudy cope

      true dat

      September 2, 2011 at 11:33 am |
  47. Bill B

    Nobody ever talks about the sleight of hand that made Cheney's claim work. We KNEW that Saddam had WMD because we sold them to him. Specifically chemical weapons. The sleight of hand is that the evidence of WMD pointed to residual chemical weapons stockpiles or programs but by lumping chemical, biological and nuclear weapons together as WMD, they could peddle the fact that Saddam still had a few chemical weapons as though he was a nuclear threat. The evidence was primarily about unaccounted for chemical weapons (WMD) but the imagery used to sell the war was mushroom clouds. Without the mushroom cloud imagery the American public never would have gotten behind this completely optional, unrelated and unnecessary war.

    September 1, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
  48. Voiceinthewind

    As Rummy can be put on trial now the Son of Satan is trying to cover his azz. He needs to be put in Prison with The Shrub and the redt of the crew and return alll the money they stold and then we can pay off the National debt and buy every citizen a bottle of Chanpagne to celebrate thier finally being imprisoned and that day being declared a National Holiday. Put the Son of Satan in PRISON instaed of promoting his book of lies.

    September 1, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
  49. PuzzledInPeoria

    Mr. Blitzer,

    Please ask Mr. Cheney why he repeatedly went to CIA HQ at Langley and badgered employees about the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq. Employees there say he threatened their jobs if the NIE did not support his position that the U.S. had to invade Iraq because of WMDs.

    If the intel was cooked, as Mr. Cheney claims, it was at his orders. Unfortunately, nothing will be done with him to make him answer for the abuses he perpetrated while in office.

    September 1, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • NeverForget

      Cheney's CIA visits pressured us: analysts

      June 6 2003

      Multiple visits to the CIA by the United States Vice-President, Dick Cheney, created an environment in which some analysts felt they were being pressured to make their assessments on Iraq fit with Bush Administration policy objectives, intelligence officials said.

      They said Mr Cheney and his chief of staff, "Scooter" Libby, questioned analysts studying Iraq's weapons programs and alleged links to al-Qaeda.

      Mr Cheney took the lead in the Administration last August in advocating military action against Iraq by claiming it had weapons of mass destruction.

      The visits "sent signals, intended or otherwise, that a certain output was desired from here", one agency official said.

      Other officials said they were not influenced by the visits from Mr Cheney's office, and some said they welcomed them.

      But the disclosure of his unusual hands-on role comes on the heels of mounting concern from intelligence officials and members of Congress that the Administration may have exaggerated intelligence it received about Iraq to build a case for war.

      While visits to CIA headquarters by a sitting vice-president are not unknown, they are unusual, intelligence officials said.

      A spokeswoman for Mr Cheney declined to discuss the matter.

      September 1, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
      • NeverForget
        Cheney is accused of pressuring the CIA before war to beef up weapons evidence
        By Rupert Cornwell in Washington
        Friday, 6 June 2003

        Dick Cheney, the Vice-President, and his Chief of Staff Lewis Libby made several visits to the CIA in the months before the Iraq war – which some analysts see as attempts to pressure analysts to bolster calls for military action.

        Dick Cheney, the Vice-President, and his Chief of Staff Lewis Libby made several visits to the CIA in the months before the Iraq war – which some analysts see as attempts to pressure analysts to bolster calls for military action.

        The revelation of Mr Cheney's forays to CIA HQ, revealed by The Washington Post, come as the controversy intensifies over whether intelligence was misrepresented to justify the war.

        Two Senate committees are considering a joint investigation, and Ray McGovern, a former intelligence specialist and member of Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (IPS), said that intelligence used to sell the war "was manipulated, forged or manufactured".

        Mr Bush entered the fray yesterday, vowing to "reveal the truth" about Iraq's WMD programme. "Saddam Hussein's got a big country to hide them. Well, we'll look," he told troops in Qatar, the last stop on a foreign trip before his return to Washington and the mounting controversy.

        The visits by Mr Cheney to the CIA will cement the impression that specialists were left in no doubt that hawks expected findings that bore out their views.

        Last week George Tenet, the CIA director, took the rare step of issuing a public statement defending the quality of his agency's product on Iraq. In an equally unusual appearance before the press, Douglas Feith, the Undersecretary of Defence for Policy, denied that the Pentagon had pressured the CIA to slant its assessments to help the hawks' case.

        Much of the fingerpointing is being directed at the Office of Special Plans, a unit under Mr Feith that was set up to review intelligence after the 11 September terrorist attacks.

        In fact, it appears to have turned into an in-house ginger group, tied to Donald Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary, and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, and focussed on making the case for links between Saddam and al-Qa'ida and for Iraq's active pursuit of nuclear arms.

        Mr Feith has rejected what he called a "goulash of inaccuracies", promising to "lay to rest stories that are not true and are beginning to achieve the status of urban legend".

        However, Mr Feith's theses were publicly undercut last week by Richard Perle, a leading member of the neoconservative group that has been driving Iraq policy under Mr Bush and until recently the chairman of the influential Defence Policy Board.

        Defending the Office of Special Plans, Mr Perle said that a lot of mistakes had been made by intelligence analysts. The new unit's job was to see whether "there were connections... that had been missed in previous examinations. That is not politicisation. That is not pressure. And the fact is they established beyond any doubt connections that had gone unnoticed in previous analysis".

        This argument is flatly rejected by the veteran analysts of IPS, who describe what happened before the war as "an intelligence fiasco of monumental proportions", in which evidence had been manipulated to sway Congress in its crucial resolution last autumn that granted Mr Bush virtual carte blanche to deal with Iraq.

        Even so, the furore here has not reached the proportions it has in Britain. Mr Bush's popularity is high, and as long as it remains so, his party's control of Congress should ensure that hearings do not become too embarrassing. But that could change if Iraq descends into chaos and US forces suffer mounting casualties.

        Query: The Web Go
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        September 1, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • Gary

      I know a guy who works at the CIA who said he heard Dick Cheney come in there roaring going up to various people and yelling at them, demanding that they see things his way. He was harassing them, and threatening them, so much that a couple of the guy's eventually gave in.

      September 2, 2011 at 12:17 am |
  50. Andreea

    We know IRAQ is a huge producer of oil and exporter too.Im not a politician.I understood in that time of the war that USA is helping Iraqian people to bee free and to have a democratic country.Also I understood from our administration that Iraq is gone pay back to USA billlions of dollars spend for the war (help), because Iraq is a rich country.I do have a question WHERE ARE THE MONEY>WHO GOT THE BENEFIT AFTER OUR MILITARIES DIED FOR SUCH NOBLE CAUSE

    September 1, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
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