In his speech last night to the Center for Security Policy, former vice president Cheney blew the whistle on some egregious dishonesty by the Obama administration:
Recently, President Obama’s advisors have decided that it’s easier to blame the Bush Administration than support our troops. This weekend they leveled a charge that cannot go unanswered. The President’s chief of staff claimed that the Bush Administration hadn’t asked any tough questions about Afghanistan, and he complained that the Obama Administration had to start from scratch to put together a strategy.
In the fall of 2008, fully aware of the need to meet new challenges being posed by the Taliban, we dug into every aspect of Afghanistan policy, assembling a team that repeatedly went into the country, 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 they embraced in March, with a focus on counterinsurgency and an increase in the numbers of troops, bears a striking resemblance to the strategy we passed to them. They made a decision – a good one, I think – and sent a commander into the field to implement it. Now they seem to be pulling back and blaming others for their failure to implement the strategy they embraced . . .
In short, the Obama administration falsely claimed that the Bush administration had done no planning or analysis regarding the worsening situation in Afghanistan, even though it (1) knew this was false, (2) had asked the Bush administration not to disclose its work, and (3) relied in part on the same work it claimed the Bush administration had not performed.
We’ve known for some time that Obama and his operatives have no class. This is apparent, for example, from the fact that Obama has never been able to say a positive word about his predecessor. George W. Bush, by contrast, was quite gracious towards Bill Clinton as, indeed, Clinton was towards George H.W. Bush.
But what Cheney described last night goes well beyond lack of class. One typically exhibits class by doing small, gracious things beyond the minimum that is expected. Class, in another words, is a plus. It’s a very good thing to have, but its absence is not really a negative and certainly does not pose any danger.
But the rank, opportunistic dishonesty described by Cheney demonstrates an affirmatively bad character. And an administration craven enough to engage in it is a dangerous, potentially thuggish administration — the kind that probably would think nothing of developing and acting upon an enemies list, for example.
One wonders what the limits of this administration’s bad character are. So far it’s not clear that any exist.