PoliticsNation | March 06, 2013
>>> simpbly stated u there is no doubt that he's using the ining against our friends, against our allies and against us.
>> and that's how it all began. dick cheney misleading america into the iraq war . a costly, bloody, shamefully unnecessary war. now, ten years later, the former vice president is speaking out in a new documentary. and chen oh, y hasn't changed.
>> what do you consider your main fault?
>> my main fault. well, i don't spend a lot of time thinking about my faults, i guess would be the answer.
>> the american people spend time thinking about his faults. america spent clearly too much for that war. $60 billion spent on reconstruction efforts alone. that's $15 million a day over the past 10 years. that's why this comment is so shocking.
>> this was a wartime situation. it was more important to be successful than it was to be loved. if i had to do it over again, i'd do it in a minute.
>> joining me now, cynthia tucker and joe conoson. thanks for being here tonight.
>> good to be here, rev.
>> good to be with you.
>> joe , let me start with you. you wrote books about the bush- cheney white house . despite all the evidence the country was misled, how can dick cheney not think about any of his faults?
>> well, he must have always been very good at that, rev. he has many faults. and the biggest fault is his inability to perceive reality, apparently. or to express it correctly to the american people . i mean, what is on the record now but what they did in iraq is so devastatingly bad. you know, the 60 billion is a tiny fraction of what we spent there. economists like joe stiglus, estimate that we spent $3 trillion on that war. $60 billion is 2% of that. little enough for the iraqi people and it didn't help them anyway.
>> and he still thinks he's right. i mean, 4,409 people dead. american soldiers dead. 31,925 wounded. and he still think he's right, joe .
>> well, the question i would like to ask him, and i've been able to do that, what do you think this war achieved? the only beneficiary of this war, so far as i can tell, is iran . iran has gained immeasurably. we spent $3 trillion to make iran more powerful in the middle east than they were before.
>> now, cynthia , cheney hammers at former secretary of state condoleezza rice to destroy a nuclear reactor under construction in syria in 2007 . listen to.
>> i strongly recommended that we ought to take it out.
>> cheney was just a voice alone saying we have to attack and destroy this reactor.
>> and i thought it would sort of, again, reassert the kind of authority and influence we had back in '03 when we took down sadham hussein.
>> now, he attacks or makes the statement that former secretary rice was on the wrong side of all of these issues. but, cynthia , wasn't going into iraq at all on the wrong side of the issue for him?
>> devastatingly wrong. you know u i stand in awe of dick cheney . and i don't mean that in an admiring way. he's a man with no shame. he's a man with no conscious who, even today, ten years later, says everybody else was wrong and he was right. and given the tremendous amount of influence he had in the white house , he was running national security and foreign policy , effectively running the president, george w. bush , it's a wonder we weren't dragged into even more wars. it's clear. he wanted to bomb syria . happily, by that time, bush had begun to give condoleezza rice a little more power and a little more authority. and she said no to that madness. try to imagine what desperate shape the u.s. would be in now if we had gauged in -- engaged in, yet, another war in the middle east . it would have been awful.
>> you know, joe , when she -- cynthi aur cynthia talks about what the influence cheney had in the white house , it was interesting. she wrote a scathing piece today titled "repent dick cheney . and she responded by saying they're going to say you're a misguided power mo eer monger, who, in a paranoid spasm, led this nation into an unthinkable calamity. that's a line. and then she goes on the right about how cheney manipulated bush to go into iraq . he was also goosing up "w"'s insecurity to make his costly detour from osama to sadham and cherry pick his face leading iraq . he played on w's fear of being lampooned.
>> the point that makes that comment so interesting was cheney was supposed to be the wiseman who is going to help the inexperienced bush, who had no world experience, do what needed to be done as president. he had been in a realist administration under bush's father, the first bush president. and, therefore, people thought oh, we can have some confidence in this. of course, the opposite was the case. the arrogance of cheney that is shown in that film clip and that we now see exposed is the same arrogance that told him we don't need to go to the united nations . we can defie the united nations on iraq , syria . that is really bad state craft . i its's terrible. it has cost us untold amounts of treasure, blood and a big part of our future.
>> do you think, cynthia , that when people see this documentary, it will only remind them of how insensitive and in denial the bush administration was, and, in particular, vice president cheney ?
>> absolutely. ten yearings out, there have been a number of conservatives to the war who have come out and said they were wrong about this. some other conservatives don't want to think about it. they want to act as if that period never took place. all that awful stuff that happened under george w. bush , they don't want to think about. but this documentary is going to force people to think about it once again. and let me say one more thing about cheney that i think is just unforgivable. you know, cheney never served in the military. he was a draft dodger in vietnam. he said he had other priorities. he managed to get out of the war. but he didn't have any hesitation about pushing other people's sons and daughters out on the front lines. and i just think that's absolutely unforgive b.
>> i'm going to have to leave it there. thanks for your time tonight. justice scalia is not the only one with dubious views on the voting rights act . he's in