Cheney doesn’t want to talk about ‘what happened 11 or 12 years ago’

tags: Iraq, Cheney

Steve Benen is a producer for MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" and an MSNBC contributor.

It was discouraging last week when discredited conservatives, who failed spectacularly on U.S. policy in Iraq, were given a media platform to talk about U.S. policy in Iraq. Last week’s Sunday shows alone, featuring the likes of Paul Wolfowitz and Bill Kristol, led James Fallows to argue, “In the circumstances, they might have the decency to shut the hell up on this particular topic for a while. They helped create the disaster Iraqis and others are now dealing with. They have earned the right not to be listened to.” 

And yet, these discredited voices remain ubiquitous. Kenneth Pollack, for example, was on CNN yesterday, presented to viewers as a credible expert. Elliott Abrams, who pleaded guilty to withholding information from Congress during the Iran-Contra scandal, and went on serve on the Bush/Cheney National Security Council as head of the Mideast bureau, had a lengthy piece in Politico yesterday describing President Obama as “the man who broke the Middle East.”  

And then there was ABC’s “This Week,” which welcomed Dick Cheney for his third Sunday show appearance since March. It went about as expected, though I was struck by the failed former vice president’s response to some of his catastrophic errors of fact and judgment.

“With all due respect, Jon, I was a strong supporter then of going into Iraq, I’m a strong supporter now. Everybody knows what my position is. There’s nothing to be argued about there. 
“But if we spend our time debating what happened 11 or 12 years ago, we’re going to miss the threat that is growing and that we do face.”
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