RUSH: Dick Cheney, last night in Washington at the 20th anniversary of the Center for Security Policy dinner, the annual Keeper of the Flame award, we have some sound bites from the vice president’s remarks.
CHENEY: Having announced his Afghanistan strategy in March, President Obama now seems afraid to make a decision and unable to provide his commander on the ground with the troops he needs to complete the mission. It’s time for President Obama to make good on his promise. The White House must stop dithering while America’s armed forces are in danger. (applause) Make no mistake, signals of indecision out of Washington hurt our allies and embolden our adversaries. Waffling while our troops on the ground face an emboldened enemy endangers them and hurts our cause.
RUSH: Another sound bite from the former vice president.
CHENEY: The president’s chief of staff claimed that the Bush administration had not asked any tough questions about Afghanistan, and he complained that the Obama administration had to start from scratch to put together a strategy. We dug into every aspect of Afghanistan policy, reviewing options and recommendations and briefing President-elect Obama’s team. They asked us not to announce our findings publicly, and we agreed, giving them the benefit of our work and the benefit of the doubt. The new strategy that they embraced in March ,with a focus on counterinsurgency and an increase in the number of troops, bears a striking resemblance to the strategy we passed to them.
RUSH: And yet this little man now runs around like a baby, blaming the Bush administration. He sends Rahm Emanuel out on television Sunday to blame the Bush administration once again for having no battle plan in Afghanistan, for leaving poor old Obama with no direction, nowhere to go, whoa is us, oh, it’s so sad, our brilliant president was really let down by former President Bush and Vice President Cheney. (crying) Cry, cry, cry. And now we learn that they presented them a plan, and the Obama people said, ‘By the way, don’t go public with this.’ Cheney said, ‘Okay, fine.’ And they used the plan in March as though it was their own, and now they’re abandoning the plan.
Cheney says we can win if we have courage.
CHENEY: Now they seem to be pulling back and blaming others for their failure to implement the strategy that they embraced last March. It’s time for President Obama to do what it takes to win a war he has repeatedly and rightly called a war of necessity. (applause) And the success of our mission in Afghanistan is not only essential; it is entirely achievable with enough troops and enough political courage.
RUSH: Taking it to them. You know, Cheney is a great man. I love Dick Cheney. I love his family, and this is very courageous for him to do. Is there an elected Republican speaking up like this? I don’t think so. The Republican Party is full of a bunch of moderates, I guess, now. Well, Mike Pence, great guy, there’s some of them, don’t misunderstand, but I don’t see anybody speaking up like this. By the way, the applause was raucous. We have simply edited the applause that Cheney got for time constraints. This is great. I love this one, too. In this bite, Cheney accuses the Obama administration of libel.
CHENEY: To call enhanced interrogation a program of torture is not only to disregard the program’s legal underpinnings and safeguards, such accusations are a libel against dedicated professionals who acted honorably and well. Intelligence officers who acted in the service of this country find themselves hounded with a zeal that should be reserved for America’s enemies. The Justice Department is set on a political mission to discredit, disbar, or otherwise persecute the very people who helped protect our nation in the years after 9/11.
RUSH: Exactly right. And it’s being done on purpose. And furthermore, in his final line, Vice President Cheney last night in Washington knocks Obama for talking down the United States.
CHENEY: We cannot protect this country by putting politics over security and turning the guns on our own guys. We cannot hope to win a war by talking down our country and those who do its hardest work, the men and women of our military and intelligence services. They are, after all, the true keepers of the flame. (applause)
RUSH: ‘We can’t hope to accomplish anything by talking down our country and attacking those who do its hardest work.’ It’s not just the military that Obama’s selling out. It’s all of us. It’s all of us who are being assaulted, attacked. Our private sector, which produces our jobs, our livelihood, it’s where our dreams and ambitions meet with either our success our failure. It’s all being co-opted and taken over by the government.
RUSH: The White House, ladies and gentlemen, has fired back at Dick Cheney. Robert Gibbs, the press secretary, ‘was asked about Cheney’s comments today and said that Cheney failed Afghanistan. ‘What Vice President Cheney calls ‘dithering’ President Obama calls his solemn responsibility of the men and women in uniform,’ Gibbs said Thursday. ‘I think we’ve all seen what happened when somebody doesn’t take that responsibility seriously.’ Calling Cheney’s comments ‘curious,’ Gibbs attacked the Bush administration for allegedly taking years to provide the support necessary for the war effort in Afghanistan.
”I think it’s pretty safe to say,’ Gibbs said, ‘that vice president was for seven years not focused on Afghanistan, even more curious given the fact that an increase in troops sat on desks in this White House including the vice president’s for more than eight months.’ So the White House fires back. But when they fire back, we hit back twice as hard.
I went back, ladies and gentlemen, to our news archives because I think it’s important that everybody remember there were plenty of mainstream media news stories about the unprecedented briefings from Bush to Obama. Here’s just one. New York Times’ Peter Baker, December 16th of 2008:
‘The White House has prepared more than a dozen contingency plans to help guide President-elect Barack Obama if an international crisis erupts in the opening days of his administration, part of an elaborate operation devised to smooth the first transition of power since Sept. 11, 2001. ‘The memorandums envision a variety of volatile possibilities… ‘This is very unusual,’ said Roger Cressey, a former Clinton White House counterterrorism official who was held over under Mr. Bush. ‘We certainly did not do that,” with the Clinton years. ”When the transition happened from Clinton to Bush, remember it was a totally different world. You had some documents given that gave them a flavor of where things were at. But now you’ve got two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a hot war against Al Qaeda.” The media went out of its way, Gibbs, to point out how Bush was briefing Obama! It was ‘unprecedented.’
Now, the real reason the press did this? Don’t be fooled. Everybody knew that Obama had no clue what he was doing in foreign policy. The reason the press talked about all of the cooperation between Bush and Obama on foreign policy during the transition was to create the impression that Bush saw the Obama people as worthy and responsible successors. It was all… The purpose of these stories was not to praise Bush. The purpose of all these stories was to elevate Obama to a position of credibility and stature as president-elect. So Gibbs is up there, ‘Cheney failed Afghanistan. Cheney (muttering).’