Dick Cheney on Sunday (from the Washington Post):
“If we’re successful in Iraq . . . then we will have struck a major blow right at the heart of the base, if you will, the geographic base of the terrorists who had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11,” he said in an hour-long interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Iraq was the “geographic base” for 9/11? Here’s another rather egregious statement:
Asked about his earlier dismissal of Gen. Eric K. Shinseki’s prewar view that an occupation force would have to be “on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers,” Cheney replied: “I still remain convinced that the judgment that we will need, quote, ‘several hundred thousand for several years,’ is not valid.
In fact, Shinseki had not mentioned “several years” in his testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Feb. 25.
But wait, there’s more. After speculating for a while about Iraq/al Qaeda links, Cheney refused to speculate about Saudi Arabia:
“I don’t want to speculate,” he said, adding that Sept. 11 is “over with now, it’s done, it’s history and we can put it behind us.”
Also, this exchange did not make the Washington Post story, but it’s in the transcript of the Russert interview:
MR. RUSSERT: Democrats have written you letters and are suggesting profiteering by your former company Halliburton and this is how it was reported: “Halliburton, the company formerly headed by Vice President Cheney, has won contrast worth more than $1.7 billion under Operation Iraqi Freedom and stands to make hundreds of millions more dollars under a no-bid contract awarded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, …Were you involved in any way in the awarding of those contracts?
VICE PRES. CHENEY: Of course not, Tim. Tim, … when I ran Halliburton for five years and they were doing work for the Defense Department, which frankly they’ve been doing for 60 or 70 years, I never went near the Defense Department. I never lobbied the Defense Department on behalf of Halliburton. … And since I left Halliburton to become George Bush’s vice president, I’ve severed all my ties with the company, gotten rid of all my financial interests. I have no financial interest in Halliburton of any kind and haven’t had now for over three years. And as vice president, I have absolutely no influence of, involvement of, knowledge of in any way, shape or form of contracts led by the Corps of Engineers or anybody else in the federal government…
UPDATE: To see the president in action, click here.