You can add a new appellation to Dick Cheney's name. In addition to dictator wannabe, dungeon master, serial liar and chicken hawk there is traitor. That is a powerfully negative descriptor, but after the former vice president's antics this week that shoe more than fits.
Cheney, should you have missed it (I wish I had and resisted the temptation to blog on it for two whole days) took to the airways earlier on the day of President Obama's Afghanistan speech at West Point and later to accuse him of giving comfort and aid to the Taliban and Al Qaeda by deliberating long and hard about how to salvage an all-but-hopeless situation dumped in his lap by he and George Bush. Cheney also jumped in Obama's spit for devising an exit strategy contingent on the Kabul regime playing some serious hardball. That in the former veep's view will only encourage more Afghanis to side with the Taliban and AQ.
Then there is former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, who seems to have forgotten that the American troop level in Afghanistan was a miserly 37,000 at the beginning of 2008 and that the Bush administration rejected a request from Army General David McKiernan, who then led American forces in Afghanistan, for 20,000 addition troops but was rebuffed because of Iraq.
"We didn’t have them because they were pushed to Iraq. That was the priority of the president," is how Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff put it in responding to a question from a House subcommittee.
Then there is John McCain, who bought the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld claim hook, line and stinker that Iraq was the center for the war on terrorism, not Afghanistan, and didn't call for more troops there until nearly a year after Obama. Which of course makes his own bloviating about an exit strategy schedule . . . uh, laughable.
Then there is Richard Armitage, the deputy secretary of state during Bush's first term who unhelpfully (for the Bushies) now says that the president and his war cabinet (you know, Uncles Dick and Don and so on) never formally considered whether to invade Iraq. They just sort of did it.