Biden Says Cheney is Trying to Rewrite History

Vice President Joe Biden appears on Meet the Press this morning. Here's the transcript of his comments about Dick Cheney (no link yet, received from NBC by e-mail), in which he asserts Cheney is attempting to re-write history. As for his motive, Biden says Cheney is either misinformed or misinforming. Why not just call him what he is -- a disingenuous ex-politician.

DAVID GREGORY: Let me ask you about some of the criticism that's been leveled at this Administration by former Vice President Dick Cheney. He has argued that this Administration has failed to treat the fight against terrorists as war. He cites the decision related to Khalid Sheik Muhammad to offer him a civilian trail as one example. Giving the Christmas Day Bomber the privileges of the American criminal justice system is another example. The decision to shut down the Guantanamo Bay prison. What do you say?


VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Let me choose my words carefully here. Dick Cheney's a fine fellow. He's entitled to his own opinion. He's not entitled to rewrite history. He's not entitled to his own facts. The Christmas Day Bomber was treated the exact way that he suggested that the Shoe Bomber was treated. Absolutely the same way. Under the Bush Administration there were three trials in military courts. Two of those people are now walking the streets. They are free.

There were 300 trials of so-called terrorists and those who engage in terror against the United States of America who are in federal prison and have not seen the light of day. Prosecuted under the last Administration. Dick Cheney's a fine fellow, but he is not entitled to rewrite history without it being challenged. I don't know where he has been. Where was he the last four years of the last Administration?

DAVID GREGORY: What about the general proposition that the President according to former Vice President Cheney doesn't consider America to be at war and is essentially soft on terrorism? What do you say about that?

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: I don't think the Vice-- the Former Vice President Dick Cheney listens. The President of the United States said in the State of the Union, "We're at war with Al Qaeda." He stated this-- and by the way, we're pursuing that war with a vigor like it's never been seen before. We've eliminated 12 of their top 20 people. We have taken out 100 of their associates. We are making, we've sent them underground. They are in fact not able to do anything remotely like they were in the past. They are on the run. I don't know where Dick Cheney has been. Look, it's one thing, again, to-- to criticize. It's another thing to sort of rewrite history. What is he talking about?

DAVID GREGORY: You have often said, when I've asked you and others, that you never impugn a man's motives. But why do you think Dick Cheney is speaking out and being so critical of the President and the Administration so publicly?

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: I don't know. I-- I-- I'm not gonna guess about his motive. All I know is he's factually, substantively wrong. On the major criticisms he is asserting. Why he's insisting on that. He either is misinformed or he is misinforming. But the facts are that his assertions are not accurate.

DAVID GREGORY: You would not be this outspoken or critical when you're out of office. Is that fair to say?

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Well, I-- I-- I would hope I-- look, it's one thing to be outspoken. It's another thing to be outspoken in a way that misrepresents the facts. And I-- I guess-- again, I-- it's almost like Dick is trying to rewrite history. I can understand where the-- why that would be-- you know, an impulse. And maybe he isn't-- literally, I'm not being facetious. Maybe he's not fully informed of what's going on. I mean, the progress we have made. There has never been as much emphasis and resources brought against Al Qaeda. The success rate exceeds anything that occurred in the last Administration. And they did their best. I'm not-- I'm not impugning their effort. It's simply not true that the President of the United States is not prosecuting the war against Al Qaeda with a vigor that's never been seen before. It's real. It's deep. It's successful.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Comment disappeared (none / 0) (#1)
    by Andreas on Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 08:12:34 AM EST
    A comment which I left here about the "fine fellow" Richard Cheney disappeared without any explanation.

    it was deleted for the multiple (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 10:16:13 AM EST
    name-calling. You know that's against site policy.

    History Rewritten (none / 0) (#3)
    by dead dancer on Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 10:27:55 AM EST
    or simply just deleted.



    Reformulation (none / 0) (#4)
    by Andreas on Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 10:34:54 AM EST
    There was no "name calling". People who have committed crimes are criminals. But I will reformulate what I wrote.

    The war on Iraq was a a war of aggression (which is a war crime). One aspect of that war was the mass murder of Iraqi people. A war of aggression also is a terrorist act. A torture regime was installed by the Bush/Cheney regime. All of this is widely known.

    Richard Cheney was one of those who are personally responsible for these crimes. That fact is also widely known.

    Those responsible for these crimes are protected by the Obama administration. That also is widely known.

    That Joe Biden calls Richard Cheney a "fine fellow" (and that Talkleft uncritically reprints this statement) says more about the Obama administration and the Democrats than it says about Richard Cheney.


    "eliminated", "taking out" (none / 0) (#5)
    by Andreas on Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 10:41:13 AM EST

    I forgot to rewrite what I wrote about this part of what Biden said:

    We've eliminated 12 of their top 20 people. We have taken out 100 of their associates.

    That is the language of terrorists. Biden talks about terrorist acts committed by the Obama administration. There is no essential difference between the members of the Bush/Cheney administration and the Obama/Biden administration.

    hmmmmmmmmmm! (none / 0) (#7)
    by cpinva on Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 11:17:01 AM EST
    "re-writing history", or just lying? where is that bright line drawn? providing a different opinion on motives is one thing, historians do it all the time, based on their reading of the actors. asserting as fact, that which is knowingly, historically false is called lying.

    former vp cheney is a lying liar, when he asserts as fact, that which he knows to be false. or, perhaps, he's just a psychopath.

    you make the call.

    Our Liberal Press (none / 0) (#8)
    by squeaky on Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 12:03:34 PM EST

    That Alien larvae (none / 0) (#9)
    by jondee on Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 12:19:30 PM EST
    living in Dick's chest need's love too. It gets cold in there.

    Complex Relationships (none / 0) (#10)
    by squeaky on Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 12:37:23 PM EST
    The relationship of internal parasites to the host is often complex......

    Adults of internal parasites must live and take nourishment in some organ of the host and then find a way to infect other hosts. With few exceptions, the egg once laid, exits the host, hatches in the often hostile environment, then the juvenile larvae must find a way to get inside another host to develop to the adult stage.

    The eggs or larvae of parasites play a passive role in infection. They can't do much else but wait for the right host to come along and ingest it or in the case of the liver fluke miracidium swim around with the hope that the right snail will cross its path. This is a hit-or-miss way of continuing the life process and in natural conditions the odds are against larvae suriving long enough to find the correct host.....

    While we may wish that all internal parasites would vanish to make our and the life of our [liberal press] easier, it does give us something to pause and think about. Considering the obstacles that parasites must overcome to reproduce themselves, in finding new hosts, surviving the harsh environment, then add to that our increasing arsenal of effective anti-parasiticides, it is amazing that they are able to survive and do as well as have.

    feel the love.. poor babies..



    A very fine fellow. (none / 0) (#11)
    by lentinel on Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 01:29:28 PM EST
    Cheney deliberately lied to the American people.
    He is also a war profiteer.

    It would be refreshing if a member of the Obama administration would call him on it.

    Saying that he's rewriting history is not saying much.

    He thinks that Cheney is a "fine fellow".
    He said it twice.

    I think that Cheney is a liar.
    I think he is an evil man responsible for thousands of American casualties.

    If he insists on popping up in the media, he deserves to be directly confronted.

    It would be refreshing (none / 0) (#12)
    by jondee on Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 01:51:14 PM EST
    once in awhile to hear someone mention that "Saddam" isnt the only one who may need to answer on one day for all those Iraqi casualties.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#13)
    by jondee on Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 01:54:22 PM EST
    "those people".

    Hell is other people.


    It came across better than it reads (none / 0) (#14)
    by ruffian on Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 11:20:13 PM EST
    I thought he was good - the 'fine fellow' stuff was said dismissively and the responses to Gregory  were emphatic.  I really thought it was good.

    I have not seen any reports about this appearance but I will make a prediction about what the press will seize on, and it is not in the part quoted here. Gregory asked him flat out whether the Iraq war was 'worth it' and Biden gave a flat out unqualified 'No'.  Cue the hand wringing about 'The VP said our troops died for nothing.' Wait for it, cuz it's coming.