Wednesday, December 30, 2009

How Much Do the Cheneys Pay Mike Allen of Politico To Be Their Spokesman?

Politico's "reporter" Mike Allen has been the go-to guy for former Vice President Dick Cheney whenever he feels the need to spout off about the man elected to correct all of the mistakes of the past administration. I put "reporter" in quotes because Allen does little more than give Cheney a platform to spew all of his misinformation and personal attacks against President Obama. Allen does not correct Cheney's misstatements, nor does he point out any contradiction between what Cheney said while Vice President and what he says now as an unemployed curmudgeon.

Case in point (though there are numerous examples) is the current attack on President Obama from Mr. Cheney where Cheney claims that the president is "trying to pretend" we are not at war with Al Qeada. Really? Not at war? So, that's why the president has been launching more drone attacks into Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia (where Al Qeada actually exists) than the previous administration, and has ordered nearly 50,000 additional troops into Afghanistan. That is pretending we are not at war? This from the same man who lied to the American people repeatedly about Saddam Hussein being involved with 9/11, faked intelligence about WMD in Iraq, and outed a CIA operative in retaliation for her spouse's accurate editorial about the bogus claim made by former President Bush about Iraq purchasing nuclear material from "Africa."?! Did Mike Allen point out any of this? Of course not.

Nor did Mr. Allen point out that when ranking Republican House member on the Homeland Security committee, Peter King (R-NY) said that “I think that the administration has made a mistake by treating this terrorist as a common criminal, by putting him into the criminal-justice system. I wish they had put him into a military tribunal so we could get as much intelligence and information out of him as we could,” that the exact same procedure was followed by the Bush Administration at the end of 2001 when the shoe bomber, Richard Reid, was interrogated by the FBI and prosecuted in the US, as the Obama Administration is doing with the attacker on flight 253 last week! Why was it okay to try a failed bomber in US courts in 2002, but not in 2009? Oh, right, because when a Democrat does it, it is wrong. Allen does not address this.

In Allen's feeble attempt to be "fair and balanced," he allowed a one sentence quote from an anonymous Democrat to combat Cheney's entire statement, "It’s telling that in attacking the president and the administration, that Vice President Cheney did not condemn the attack against our nation on Christmas Day.” Good quote, but that's it. That's all that he wrote.

Perhaps Mr. Allen is hoping to get a job at Fox News. Perhaps he is trying to get on Cheney's good side so he will cooperate on a book he hopes to write. Who knows. But whenever Mr. Cheney comes out with another sleazy, factually inaccurate attack on the president (which from Jan 01-Jan 09 was considered un-patriotic and anti-troops), it is Mike Allen with the scoop.

Folks in the media, like Allen, just can't seem to let go of their Republican biases. He is not alone. Do you know who the two most frequent guests were on Meet the Press in 2009? Newt Gingrich and John McCain. How many times, for example, did the current Speaker of the House appear on the show? None. Why is Gingrich, who has not held political office in over a decade, more relevant to today's news than the current Speaker? Bias is the only reasonable answer.

And I think it's fairly safe to say that unemployed Facebook poster Sarah Palin has received more media attention in 2009 than the President of the United States. That's not Mike Allen's doing, but I thought it deserved mention.


T. Paine said...

It would see some of your "facts" are in error here, Splash. What is your source for saying that Cheney claimed Iraq/Saddam was responsible or behind 9/11? Daily Kos? Huffpo?

Further, Joe Wilson has been thoroughly discredited and had anything he said been true in being linked to Cheney, special prosecuter Fitzgerald would have nailed him in his witch hunt. Instead he had to settle for Scooter Libby on some bogus perjury charge.

Sounds to me like the charges you place on Mike Allen are the exact same ones that ABC, CBS, NBC, PMSNBC, CNN, NY Times, Newsweek, Time etc ARE actually guilty of as part of the state run media in regurgitating the Obama administration talking points.

Dave Splash said...

On June 18, 2004, on CNN, Cheney said that media reports arguing that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11 were "irresponsible." He then went on to spiel the same lie he had been using for the previous two years. He kept arguing that, "There clearly was a relationship. It's been testified to. The evidence is overwhelming. It goes back to the early '90s. It involves a whole series of contacts, high-level contacts with Osama bin Laden and Iraqi intelligence officials."

That, of course, has been definitively dis-proven, and even former President Bush said so. Iraq had NOTHING to do with 9/11 or with Al Qeada. These are facts.

Regarding Joe Wilson, he has not been discredited in the least. Scooter Libby was convicted of perjury in the matter. Remember? He wasn't lying about something inconsequential, it wasn't "bogus" (though the right knows about bogus charges, see: impeachment of Bill Clinton). Wilson was vindicated, and the Bush/Cheney Administration showed their disdain for the CIA by outing an undercover agent. The CIA - even under Bush's direction - said Valerie Plame was an undercover agent. Only Rush LImbaugh and Sean Hannity still dispute this.

T. Paine said...

There WERE indeed al Qaida training camps within the Iraq territorial boundaries in the 90's. This has even been reconciled by evidence obtained from Saddam's own administrative government files. Further, Saddam obviously would only have let those training camps exist if he condoned it. Even British intelligence confirms intelligence contacts between Iraqi and al Qaida operatives back then. Cheney was correct in that statement and this has been corroborated!

Now I certainly don't think Saddam had any substantial part in 9/11, but he was quite sympathetic to their cause at the very least. Remember the huge mural our soldiers found of him standing in front of the twin towers as the planes flew into them?

Valerie Plame, while perhaps technically undercover, did so with the full knowledge of the D.C. cocktail circuit with all of the parties attended where people were aware of who her employer was. That was part of the argument used against her "undercover status".

Again, Joe Wilson was thoroughly debunked in all of his findings. Hell, the British to this very day still confirm that Iraqi agents had tried to acquire yellow-cake uranium from north African sources, something Wilson emphatically claimed did not happen. I think I will side with official British intell over a biased disgruntled bureacrat with an agenda against a Republican adminstration on this one.

Finally, I agree that the impeachment charges against Clinton were foolish considering some of the truly egregious items that actually did warrant his impeachment that they could have used.

That being said, he still did commit perjury, tamper with witnesses, and hide subpoeaned evidence in that foolish debacle. It was bad enough that he was disbarred from practicing law in Arkansas for his perjury in front of Judge Holloway, if you will recall. The members of the Senate simply did not have the balls to act on the articles of impeachment presented to them by Henry Hyde and the House.

Dave Splash said...

On this one, I'll use a familiar refrain...LMAO. We'll have to agree to disagree.

A lot of information has come to light since 2002. The same old, vague "connections" argument doesn't hold weight anymore. Saddam Hussein's Iraq had an (essentially) secular government that had little tolerance for jihadists. Bin Laden hated Saddam Hussein and that is well documented. They would not have worked together for any reason. Experts on the Middle East understand this to be true, as the two have competing goals.

Just because they are both anti-American does not mean they would work together. Same as Iran and Al Qeada. Remember when Iran offered to help track down runaway Taliban and Al Qeada for us after 9/11. Remember how they turned fugitives over to us? They didn't necessarily do that because they love America, but because they hate the Taliban more.

The 9/11 plotters made their plans in Germany and Florida. Does that mean the state of Florida and the country of Germany are in any way "connected" to Al Qeada? Of course not. Yet that is all the so-called connection between Saddam and Bin Laden is, yet the right keeps trumping it up.

RE: Wilson and yellow cake. The CIA had the bogus story removed from a number of Bush speeches, and had it officially retracted from the State of the Union. Try and find that sentence in the WH archives. It's gone. If it were, in fact, a true assertion, they would be proudly be showing it off. To me that is all the proof I need that Wilson was right, and the Bushies were wrong.

And while you're quoting British intelligence sources and holding them up as unassailable truth, why then don't you take seriously the Downing Street Memos. You know the ones where the British government asserted, on the record, that the Iraq War was planned a year before it was presented as a "response" to 9/11? The ones that said Bush was trying to fit the facts into a narrative he wanted to tell. Following the British may get some tenuous connection between some random jihadist in Iraq, but it also shows Bush and Cheney to be habitual liars who decided to go to war first, and then cooked up a rationale after the fact.

T. Paine said...

Splash, you ironically make my point regarding al Qaida and Iraq.

Just as you say that Iran cooperated with us against the Taliban despite Iran not liking us, the same was absolutely true of al Qaida working with Saddam's Iraq against a common enemy... the United States.

If you will recall, the previously secular Saddam even started cloaking himself in more sectarian Islamic rhetoric as we drew closer to war with him in order to attract the religious militants to him in their fight against the U.S. Christian crusaders.

As for Bush and Cheney, I agree that the war on Iraq was planned at least a year before 9/11, but it was not used as a response against it, by the way. That is a left-wing talking point that is preposterous and bogus as even President Bush specifically stated that Iraq did not attack us on 9/11.

That was not the cause for us going to war with them. Pull up Colin Powell's speech to the UN with our reasons for going to war with Iraq. Nothing regarding retaliation for 9/11 was ever mentioned, and appropriately so.

I guarantee that any prudent administration has specific and constantly updated plans for war against any and every potential foe of our country. That is part of the job of Commander in Chief and certainly the job of the Secretary of Defense and DOD.

Dave Splash said...

I don't agree, obviously. The situation between Iran and the US after 9/11 was not a collaboration. They had no shared goals, no shared agenda, and did nothing together. Iran didn't want a bunch of Sunni jihadists coming into their country.

You stated that the "relationship" between Iraq and Al Qeada was a collaboration, which implies shared goals and a shared agenda. They had completely different agendas and ideologies, and proximity (even if it were true) does not make a collaboration.

And, sorry, but you have to be pretty naive if you don't think the idea of payback for 9/11 was used as the primary rationale to sell the war to the American people. Why else would they cling to such a pathetic argument that some guy in Saddam's government "met" a member of Al Qeada once many years before if they weren't trying to make a connection, and therefore confuse the American people.

Bush's statement that Iraq did not attack us on 9/11 came after years of implying the opposite. Cheney did not concede that point until 2009. 2009!?

T. Paine said...

As I recall, the primary impetus for invading Iraq was the fact that Saddam refused to provide evidence of all of his WMD's destruction nor to allow UN weapon's inspectors back in to similarly verify this fact, which was in direct violation of numerous UN resolutions.

The authorization of force if necessary to gain his compliance was voted upon in the congress. Remember Hillary even voted to allow President Bush to use such means if Saddam continued to violate these resolutions?

The fear was, after 9/11, that Saddam with WMD's could be a threat to us or the Middle East region if not contained.

Dave Splash said...

That was a BS argument when it was initially made in 2002, and it still is. Nice to see after all these years that the Bush/Cheney kool-aid still affects you.

T. Paine said...

I guess Hillary and a fair amount of Democratic Senators also drank that same Kool-aid then, not to mention Britain, Australia, Poland, and a large coalition of other countries that helped with putting some teeth behind the UN resolutions that Saddam continued to ignore up to that point.

Dave Splash said...

Fair point, but the difference is that all of those other people/countries that you cited have all realized they were conned by Bush and Cheney and have changed their minds.

The fact is, we are no safer after the death of Saddam Hussein than we were before. So, the trillions of dollars spent, the thousands of lives lost, and the damage the war did to US credibility was for naught. The country, in poll after poll after poll, agrees on that central point. If we had never taken our eye off the ball of the real terrorists who attacked us and diverted our resources to Iraq, we would be a helluva lot better off today.

T. Paine said...

Would we have been better off? Or did our doing this avert a regional or possible global war?

How do you know that many of the still-unaccounted for weapons wouldn't be used in a overt or covert attack against Israel or perhaps another one of our embassies?

Prior to the war in Iraq, Saddam had the means, the motive, and the abbility to do just that. He was already paying bounties to the families of homicide bombers that murdered innocents in Israel.

What was to stop him from upping the ante should he be able to deliver a chemical, biological, or nuclear tipped missile against Israel or another of our allies? He certainly had no qualms about gassing the Iranians, let alone his own people.

We obviously won't ever know for sure, but I strongly suspect the world is much safer and Iraq a better place because the free world did what it did in this instance. I know a majority of Iraqis would overwhelmingly agree with me!

Dave Splash said...

Or, the Bush Administration had ulterior motives for starting the war, and used American's fears after 9/11 as cover to invade a country they wanted to invade no matter what.

I'll never side with you on this one because I find it unforgivable that the Bush Administration abandoned the fight against Al Qeada and let Osama Bin Laden and Mulla Omar get away. Add that to the fact that Iran is in a much stronger strategic position because of the war than they were beforehand.

And lastly, American foreign policy is supposed to be for the benefit of America. Frankly, I don't care what the Iraqis think. But considering more than 1 million have been displaced, hundreds of thousands have been killed or maimed, and their country was engaged in a violent civil war that made them less safe, I'm not sure they would agree with you.