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Cheney is trying to rewrite history

My good friend Doug likes to say that you never need a good memory if you always tell the truth. The March 3 News article describing criticism Dick Cheney made about Condoleezza Rice and her opposition to bombing a Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007 made me think of Doug’s advice. Cheney is quoted as saying, “I thought [destroying the reactor] would reassert the kind of authority and influence we had back in ’03 when we took down Saddam Hussein and eliminated Iraq as a potential source of WMD.” Looking back, the Bush administration did not describe the issue of WMDs in Iraq with anything less than absolute assurance and confidence that Saddam had them, used them and would use them again. These assurances came from Cheney’s own mouth.

Now he’s painting a different picture with the words “potential source of WMD.” Either he is attempting to reframe his account of those events so they more closely match the proven reality of the WMD situation – that none were found – or he has simply “forgotten” what lies he told in order to rush troops into combat.

The lies of the Bush administration on Iraq and WMDs have resulted in the loss of thousands of lives, both military and civilian, and massive destruction to a foreign country. I have an image of Cheney sitting in an overstuffed chair with a glass of cognac in one hand and a Cuban cigar in the other, spinning tales of his time in office and reworking his legacy. He may want us to forget that he lied to the American people, the United Nations and the rest of the world, but it won’t be that easy. Some of us have developed good memories because we are surrounded by liars. Cheney should retire to a hole in the ground and never say another word about the chaos and massive human destruction he helped create.

Dan Bailey

Buffalo