Is Cheney “Rooting” for Another Attack on the U.S.?
First, it was Frank Rich.
In a recent New York Times column, “Who Is to Blame for the Next Attack?”, in which Rich rightly condemns Cheney’s ongoing attempts to once again “using lies and fear… rewrite history and escape accountability for the failed Bush presidency…”, he also bemoans the incessant and groundless Republican attacks that the Obama administration is making our country “less safe,” that Obama’s “half measures” are leaving Americans “half exposed,” that Obama is unraveling “the very policies that kept our people safe since 9/11,” and the G.O.P. implication that “In other words, when the next attack comes, it will be all Obama’s fault.”
And, referring to Cheney’s recent, famous “no middle ground” speech on torture, Rich writes:
The speech itself, with 20 mentions of 9/11, struck the same cynical note as the ads, as if the G.O.P. was almost rooting for a terrorist attack on Obama’s watch.
Now it is CIA Director, Leon Panetta.
As reported in Joe Gandelman’s post today, “Leon Panetta: Cheney Almost ‘Wishing’ That This Country Would Be Attacked Again,” the CIA Director made the following comments on Cheney during an interview for a June 22 issue of The New Yorker:
I think [Cheney] smells some blood in the water on the national-security issue. It’s almost, a little bit, gallows politics. When you read behind it, it’s almost as if he’s wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point. I think that’s dangerous politics.
Strong words by Frank Rich: “…as if the G.O.P. was almost rooting for a terrorist attack on Obama’s watch.”
Even stronger and more direct words by Leon Panetta, referring to Cheney: “…it’s almost as if he’s wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point.”
Panetta adds, “I think that’s dangerous politics.”
While I do think that Cheney is lying, fear mongering and trying to rewrite history, I would not go as far as to say that he and the G.O.P. are rooting or wishing for another attack on our country.
Not only because I really don’t know Cheney’s motives, but also because, as Panetta has said about Cheney, “I think that’s dangerous politics.”
But perhaps even more important, and I’ll paraphrase what I said when discussing Rich’s original comments, because:
As we remember all too well, Democrats who opposed the war in Iraq, were shamelessly and ceaselessly accused by the Bush administration and its followers of not supporting the troops and, worse, of wanting America to fail—to lose the war.
We must not ourselves stoop to such levels now.
Just as Americans would never wish their country to fail militarily for political purposes, I do not believe Americans—even Dick Cheney—would “root” or “wish” for another terrorist attack…just to make a political point.
I am sure that Mr. Panetta will “clarify” his remarks.
Here’s a “clarification” just reported by CNN.com:
A CIA spokesman is sharply downplaying Director Leon Panetta ‘s recent comments that appear to question whether former Vice President Dick Cheney is hoping for another terrorist attack against the United States.
“The Director does not believe the former Vice President wants an attack,” CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said in a statement to CNN. “He did not say that. He was simply expressing his profound disagreement with the assertion that President Obama’s security policies have made our country less safe. Nor did he question anyone’s motives.”