The new lie currently being given flight by Dick Cheney is that President Obama does not believe we are at war. To paraphrase Mark Twain, a lie can travel halfway around the world before truth can even get its shoes on. Well, the professionals in charge of protecting our nation, including individuals who have worked in the Bush administration have stepped forward to attest to the fact that Dick Cheney is a liar.
Here is Cheney’s spin on the President:
As I watch the events of the last few days it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war. He seems to think if he has a low-key response to an attempt to blow up an airliner and kill hundreds of people, we won’t be at war.... He seems to think if we bring the mastermind of September 11 to New York, give him a lawyer and trial in civil court, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if he closes Guantanamo and releases the hard-core Al Qaeda-trained terrorists still there, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if he gets rid of the words, "war on terror," we won’t be at war. But we are at war, and when President Obama pretends we aren’t, it makes us less safe.
This morning on MSNBC’s Meet the Press with David Gregory, John Brennan, Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, was asked about the former Vice President’s comment. It should be noted that Brennan was interim director of the National Counterterrorism Center at its inception in 2004 through 2005.
I’m very disappointed in the Vice President’s comments. I’m neither a Republican nor Democrat; I’ve worked for the past five administrations. And either the Vice President is willfully mischaracterizing this President’s position, both in terms of language he uses and the actions he’s taken, or he’s ignorant of the facts, and in either case it doesn’t speak well for what the Vice President is doing. The clear evidence is that this President has been very very strong. In his inaugural address he said, "We’re at war with this international network of terrorist. " We continue to say we’re at war with Al Qaeda, and we’ve take the fight to them.
Over the past year, we have all come to accept the former Vice President’s misrepresentations as routine, but to have a Deputy National Security Advisor of the United States suggests in public that the former Vice President is either ignorant or lying is, in my estimation, still a noteworthy occurance. Now, is President Obama unaware that he is involved in a war against Al Qaeda terrorists? Is this more than just a bit silly? Silly or not, the media is giving credance to Cheney's remarks.
General Michael Hayden, who has also worked in the Bush administration and was director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2006-2009, and director of the National Security Agency from 1999 to 2005, also appeared on the program and addressed this issue head-on:
I’m not going to comment on the current President or the former Vice President...But I will offer you a professional’s view on the current atmosphere, the highly charged atmosphere, in Washington. I would ask on behalf of the community, of which I used to be a part, for everyone to calm down a little bit; stop hyperventilating.
Gregory: Do you believe the President is adequately confronting this threat of terrorism?
I am heartened by the fact that the President has consistently said "we are at war with Al Qaeda and its affiliates."
And what say Michael Chertoff, the Bush administration's Secretary of Homeland Security from 2005-2009? Despite disagreeing with the Obama administration’s intention to bring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to the United States for trial, the former Homeland Security head appeared on the program and testified that he too has heard the President mentioned the term "war with Al Qaeda."
Here I have to say that I agree with Mike and I agree with John. I think the President has repeatedly articulated his belief that we’re at war.
Finally, a question was asked about the current Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano.
Gregory: Do you have confidence in your successor, Secretary Napolitano?
I do, I’ve known her a long time. She’s got good skills set, she’s got great experience; her heart is in the right place, and I heartily endorse her.
The Right Wingers are busily searching for something to buoy their chances in the next two election cycles. As we all know, they will lie and do whatever it takes to improve their position, unfortunately the media will be lending them a helpful hand every step along the way. Small events will become catastrophic and big events will become apocalyptic. I have no doubt that his allies will continue to push this ridiculous meme about President Obama, but at least this morning Cheney’s lies became a big fail.
Meet the Press link: