Washington, DC–Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid released the following statement on Vice President Cheney’s unwillingness to shoot straight on Iraq and President Bush’s failure to change course. A fact sheet on Vice President Cheney’s state of denial follows.
“The Vice President is still not shooting straight. He’s about as credible today as he was when he claimed to have irrefutable evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, or that the Iraqi insurgency was in its last throes. Today’s report from the U.S. Central Command indicates that Iraq is headed toward chaos, but the Vice President is not talking about that. Yesterday, the Bush Administration allowed the Iraqi Prime Minister to put the interests of Iraqi extremists ahead of the safety of U.S. troops, but the Vice President is not talking about that either. Instead, all we hear is the same old Bush politics of fear and smear.
“It’s time for the President and Vice President to start leveling with the American people, and stop attacking brave veterans like John Kerry who have dared to question the White House’s flawed decision to stay the course in Iraq. Every day they attack Democrats instead of reaching out to find a new way forward is another day our security suffers and our troops go without the political leadership they need to succeed.
“It’s time for a new direction. The President may believe America can afford two more years of Rumsfeld and Cheney, but the American people know the truth. The only way to change direction in Iraq is to change leadership here at home.”
Cheney on the Stump in 2002 – As Incredible Then as He Is Today:
Cheney Says There is “No Doubt” Hussein Has WMD. “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.” [Remarks at VFW 103rd National Convention, 8/26/02]
Cheney Says He is Absolutely Certain Hussein Is Trying to Build a Nuclear Weapon. “[W]e do know, with absolute certainty, that he is using his procurement system to acquire the equipment he needs in order to enrich uranium to build a nuclear weapon.” [NBC, Meet the Press, 9/8/02]
Cheney’s Attempts to Blame Democrats Ignore the Facts:
FACT: It’s Bush Republicans Who Aren’t Addressing the Challenges in Iraq. U.S. Central Command says Iraq is headed toward chaos.
FACT: For Bush Republicans, “Supporting the Troops” Means Allowing the Iraqi Prime Minister to End the Security Blockade Designed to Recover a Missing American. “Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered U.S. and Iraqi security forces to lift a five-day-old blockade of the Shiite slum of Sadr City on Tuesday, while militia fighters forced the closure of schools, shops and businesses in the slum to protest the U.S.-led blockade.” [Washington Post, 10/31/06]
FACT: Bush Republicans Allow the Iraqi Government to Cave In to Terrorists. “Maliki’s decision exposed the growing divergence between the U.S. and Iraqi administrations on some of the most critical issues facing the country, especially the burgeoning strength of Shiite militias. The militias are allied with the Shiite religious parties that form Maliki’s coalition government, and they are accused by Sunni Arab Iraqis and by Americans of kidnapping and killing countless Sunnis in the soaring violence between Iraq’s Shiite majority and Sunni minority.” [Washington Post, 11/1/06]