Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dick Cheney should be quiet...

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was a guest on Fox News's Hannity program this week and made some statements about the Benghazi situation that are worth looking at.

"It’s one of the worst .. incidents in frankly that I can recall in my career. It put the whole... capability claiming the terrorist problem is solved once we got Bin Laden that Al Qaeda was over with. If they had told the truth about Benghazi that it was a terrorist attack by an Al-Qaeda affiliated group it would have destroyed the false image of competence that was the basis of his campaign for re-election. Well they lied!" 

The death of four Americans working to advance the goals of the United States is not something we should dismiss lightly. Does it really compare to all the deaths, injuries, damage to Iraq, Afghanistan, national reputation, etc? I don't know. Strictly speaking on the issue of scale, perhaps not. Probably not. But viewed in a different light, its surely still pretty bad. Without assigning blame, I can safely say that preparations for Ambassador Steven's safety were lacking. I'm not prepared to suggest how, but its hard for me to accept a premise that everything that could've been done had been, and that sorry, it was just his and three other's time. Blame the CIA, State, the Administration, Congress, etc. in varying doses if you please, but I'll mostly defer to the report Admiral Mike Mullins and former ambassador Thomas Pickering released last December citing issues at State which produced, "Systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies resulted in a security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place."

Mr. Cheney felt compelled to suggest that "they" assuming he means the Obama Administration, claimed that the "terrorist problem is solved once we got Bin Laden, that Al Qaeda was over with." Why he felt compelled to make such a statement is beyond me, because those claims were never said by the Obama Administration. The Obama Administration DID say things like "Al Qaeda is on the run," "Al Qaeda is decimated," "...on the path to defeat." Which is quite different than suggesting that the terrorist problem was "solved" or that Al Qaeda was "over."

Mr. Cheney shows no hesitation when it comes to criticizing Mr. Obama or this Administration.Which is fine for talk show hosts and entertainers like Sean Hannity to do, but not so much for former Vice Presidents who have decades of public and elected service experience. Mr. Cheney's legacy will be determined by smarter writers than me, to be sure. Cheney is a polarizing figure, not unlike President Obama in some ways. Some find him to be a brave and faithful patriot who has served this country well, others find him to be a self serving, cold-hearted opportunist who has done tangible harm to the reputation of the United States around the globe. The truth, is, probably somewhere in the middle, and time and the wisdom of historians will decide where Mr. Cheney really falls on the conduct continuum.

Its unbecoming for Mr. Cheney to appear in these forums like the Hannity shows, and behave the way he does. It would be difficult for anyone to convince me that he has improved his reputation or legacy by his repeated appearances. Nor do I think he would've condoned this sort of conduct from a former sitting Vice President to a current Administration. Former VP Al Gore even showed restraint on criticizing the sitting POTUS/VP....

I could be wrong, but I think Mr. Cheney would've been better served by taking the approach his former boss, George W. Bush has taken, which has been to avoid publicly criticizing President Obama and Administration.





1 comment:

  1. Isn’t old crow Cheney one of the most vile and despicable excuses for a human being ever to set foot in the White House? He’s a vulture and a war-profiteer whose effigy should be lit afire in the streets every day he still walks around a free man. See some art and words defining his role in architecting a Society of Fear at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2010/04/inside-job.html