Sometimes Up is Up
First, Dick Cheney spends much of last Sunday lying. Finally the press wakes up and decides to write a few articles that point out the lies (e.g., this). And there actually was a bit of a backlash.
Then Don Rumsfeld actually tells the truth:
“I’ve not seen any indication that would lead me to believe that I could say that [Saddam Hussein had a role in 9/11]
Now Bush is telling the truth too:
“We’ve had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with Sept. 11,” Bush said.
It would be nuts to predict a Cheney resignation is impending (and I’m not doing so), but both the Bush and Rumsfeld statements really do make the Vice President look like a fool, a liar, or both.
UPDATE: Atrios offers a clue to what’s going on here:
They’re just trying to defuse the pack mentality of the press – once it’s cool to pile on, they’ll keep doing it.
Cheney made the usual lies and exagerrations, but they followed on the heels of declining satisfaction with the war and an unpopular request for $87b. Smelling the wind, members of the press started calling him on it–Cheney didn’t do anything different, the Press did. As we saw with Gore, once members of the press get an idea stuck in their head, they’ll run with it, facts to the contrary notwithstanding. Gore Lies. Bush Stupid. Blather, Write, Rewrite. So, to prevent a “Bush lies about the war” meme from really getting locked into the mind of the press, Cheney had to take the fall. We’ll see if it worked.
UPDATE 2: Oops, Josh Marshall had this story yesterday.
UPDATE 3: And for a little more context–and to see that the conflation of Saddam and 9/11 predated Dick Cheney’s Sunday MTP appearance–check out this September 6th post by Angry Bear’s Friday blogger, Kash.