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August 18, 2004
Chris Matthews: 9/11 Dick Cheney's Fault

Has anyone ever seen a media hack self-implode the way Chris Matthews has over the past week? First he comes unglued all over John O'Neill and can't keep from interrupting him every time O'Neill says something Matthews can't refute. Next he shouts down Matthew Dowd for supporting George Bush. Last Friday he put on his tinfoil hat and blamed 9/11 not on the terrorists, not on foreign-policy and intelligence failures, but on one man -- the left's favorite example of eeeeeeeevil Republicanism, Vice President Dick Cheney:

MATTHEWS: MSNBCs Felix Schein is on the campaign trail with John Kerry up in Portland, Oregon. And MSNBCs Priya David has been on the campaign trail with Vice President Dick Cheney. Let me go to Priya, sitting with me right now. Priya, what is this argument over the word sensitive? Whats wrong with that?

PRIYA DAVID, MSNBC POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, according to John Kerry, nothing. He released a statement today...

MATTHEWS: Well, according to anybody, whats it mean?

DAVID: ... saying, you know, Dont worry about it...

MATTHEWS: Whats the word choice?

DAVID: Well, you know, what theyre trying to do is frame that John Kerry is weak. Thats the message that theyve had all along.

MATTHEWS: OK, lets get some...

DAVID: Its a very typical message.

MATTHEWS: ... straightDick Cheney is probably the man most responsible for the fact weve had troops in Saudi Arabia for 10 years. Thats what drove the terrorists to attack the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. They were angry that their own holy lands were besmirchedbasically, dumped on by the United States for 10 years.

That sensitivity might have saved us a horror, knowing how angry those people would be about us putting our troops, 10,000 troops in the holy land near Mecca and Medina. Why is it stupid to be sensitive to those kinds of insults to a country?

Don't you think that it's possible that the man most responsible for having troops in Saudi Arabia for ten years might have been the president which had them in place for eight of them -- Bill Clinton? Or perhaps the man who they were designed to contain -- Saddam Hussein? Dick Cheney was the Secretary of Defense when American troops arrived in Saudi Arabia as part of the coalition the first Bush put together to force Iraq out of Kuwait. That would have been in late 1990. Cheney was defense secretary for two years after that. Cheney again enters the picture in January 2001 as Vice-President in January 2001, and less than eight months later, we are attacked on 9/11. That adds up to a little less than three years of involvement.

On the other hand, those troops -- which were supposed to ensure Saddam's compliance with the terms of the cease-fire and the variety of UNSC resolutions -- sat there for eight years under the auspices of Bill Clinton while Saddam defied the world and stuffed his pockets. They should have been used in 1998 to invade Iraq as soon as Saddam kicked the inspectors out, the most egregious (though far from only) violation of the cease-fire and UNSC resolutions.

I've long since stopped watching Hardball because Matthews had descended into lunacy. Thankfully, CNBC's other viewer, CQ reader Wolff, pointed this one out to me.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 18, 2004 4:13 AM

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The Captain has a story about Chris Matthews blaming 9/11 on Dick Cheney. That would be Vice President of the United States of America Richard Cheney. If you are as offended as I am (though, Lord knows I rarely watch [Read More]

Tracked on August 18, 2004 7:22 AM

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