Did Cheney Lie?

This will probably blow up on the net in a day or two. Here’s a portion of a transcript from an interview Cheney did on the CNBC edition of Capital report. Keep a lookout for the phrase “pretty well confirmed”. I’m not sure how much I trust the following transcript though, because I can’t pull it yet from multiple major sources. However, the link posted is to a site that is clearly biased against the democratic party, so perhaps it’s the next best thing.

BORGER: Well, let’s get to Mohammad Atta for a minute, because you mentioned him as well. You have said in the past that it was, quote, “pretty well confirmed.”

Vice Pres. CHENEY: No, I never said that.


Vice Pres. CHENEY: Never said that.

BORGER: I think that is…

Vice Pres. CHENEY: Absolutely not. What I said was the Czech intelligence service reported after 9/11 that Atta had been in Prague on April 9th of 2001, where he allegedly met with an Iraqi intelligence official. We have never been able to confirm that nor have we been able to knock it down.

BORGER: Well, now this report says it didn’t happen.

Vice Pres. CHENEY: No. This report says they haven’t found any evidence.

BORGER: That it happened.

Vice Pres. CHENEY: Right.

BORGER: But you haven’t found the evidence that it happened either, have you?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: No. All we have is that one report from the Czechs. We just don’t know.

BORGER: So does this put it to rest for you or not on Atta?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: It doesn’t add anything from my perspective. I mean, I still am a skeptic. I can’t refute the Czech plan. I can’t prove the Czech plan. It’s …(unintelligible) the nature of the intelligence (unintelligible)

Now, watch for the phrase below as well. The full transcript is reliable, I got it from whitehouse.gov.

RUSSERT: The plane on the ground in Iraq used to train non-Iraqi hijackers.

Do you still believe there is no evidence that Iraq was involved in September 11?

CHENEY: Well, what we now have that’s developed since you and I last talked, Tim, of course, was that report that’s been pretty well confirmed, that he did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack.

I suppose the argument could be made, that he didn’t recall therefore it wasn’t a lie, more like a mistake. However, looks more like revisionist history to me. The fact that he was forceful in reiterating that he didn’t say it is not in his favor.

I swear, it’s impossible to keep anything straight anymore. Try for instance, deciding if the 9/11 comittee concluded there was no provable operational link between Iraq and al-Qaida. It’s getting played both ways.

—Jun 21, 2004