Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Dick Cheney, Big Fat Liar…er…Sophist

Dick Cheney, as we all know, is a big fat liar. But he frequently eschews direct lies in favor of subtle—and sometimes not-so-subtle—deception that falls short of lying. The idea, of course, is to maintain some semblance of plausible deniability in case he's called on it.

Last night, as we all know, Edwards challenged Cheney about his lies concerning links between Saddam and al Qaeda. People are freaking out because Cheney responded by saying that he has never asserted a link between Saddam and 9/11. Seems like an outright lie, but it may not be since he distorted Edward’s point by switching the topic from al Qaeda to 9/11. Now, I don’t know whether or not he’s ever asserted a connection between Saddam and 9/11 per se, but that’s irrelevant. Cheney fabricated a link between Saddam and al Qaeda in order to convince people that Saddam was linked to 9/11, and even if he never came right out and asserted that link it’s clear that’s what he was trying to get people to believe. It's certainly what I thought he was saying.

This is the kind of slippery sophism we should expect from Darth Cheney by now. Imagine the outrage on the right if evidence came to light of an operational relationship between Saddam and al Qaeda, but in response Kerry said “well, but Saddam wasn’t linked to 9/11.” Such sophistry would never be tolerated, and it should not be tolerated from Cheney, either.

I’ve got more to say about this, but no time now. I’m sure others have noticed this, but I just had to get it off my chest.

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