“She was secretary of state at the time that it happened,” Cheney told Fox’s Chris Wallace. “She was one of the first in Washington to know about it. I think she clearly bears responsibility for whatever the State Department did or didn’t do with respect to that crisis.”
“I do think it’s a major issue,” he added. “I don’t think we’ve heard the last of it yet, and I expect that she will be held accountable during the course of the campaign.”
The attack in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012, killed ambassador Christopher Stevens, a Foreign Service Information Management Officer and two CIA operatives.
Cheney’s remarks are extraordinary considering the role he played in the invasion and occupation of Iraq which ultimately led to the death of over a million Iraqis. In October, Cheney rationalized the invasion by telling Fox News the war prevented Saddam Hussein from gaining weapons of mass destruction.
“What we gain and my concern was then and it remains today is that the biggest threat we face is the possibility of terrorist groups like al Qaeda equipped with weapons of mass destruction, with nukes, bugs or gas. That was the threat after 9/11 and when we took down Saddam Hussein we eliminated Iraq as a potential source of that,” Cheney told Bill O’Reilly.
O’Reilly did not challenge Cheney’s historical distortion.
No weapons of mass destruction were discovered in Iraq and Congress found that “members of the Bush Administration misstated, overstated, and manipulated intelligence with regards to linkages between Iraq and Al Qaeda; the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iraq; the acquisition of aluminum tubes to be used as uranium centrifuges; and the acquisition of uranium from Niger.”
Moreover, the congressional report found that “[b]eyond making false and misleading statements about Iraq’s attempt to acquire nuclear weapons, the record shows the Bush Administration must have known these statements conflicted with known international and domestic intelligence at the time.”
Despite evidence to contrary, prior to the invasion Cheney stated Saddam Hussein “aids and protects terrorists, including members of al-Qaeda.” In addition, he fear-mongered a vastly exaggerated threat by Iraq, a country decimated by a previous invasion and more than a decade of hard medieval economic sanctions that resulted in the death of more than 500,000 Iraqi children.
Several months before the invasion, Cheney insisted Saddam Hussein represented a serious threat. “Armed with an arsenal of these weapons of terror and seated atop 10 percent of the world’s oil reserves, Saddam Hussein could then be expected to seek domination of the entire Middle East, take control of a great portion of the world’s energy supplies, directly threaten America’s friends throughout the region and subject the United States or any other nation to nuclear blackmail,” he said.
The Bush administration mindset, shaped largely by a coterie of warmongering neocons, was summed up by their leader, George W. Bush, when he said: “Fuck Saddam. We’re taking him out.”
Hillary Clinton undoubtedly bears responsibility as Secretary of State for the incident in Benghazi. On the other hand, Dick Cheney and the neocons ensconced in the Pentagon at the time of the Iraq invasion and occupation should be tried and convicted of war crimes. The Iraq invasion with its immense toll in human life and the destruction of what was considered an advanced Arab country prior to Bush Senior’s invasion makes the Benghazi incident pale by way of comparison.
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– CIA agents were told to ‘stand down’ in Benghazi
– Petraeus’ resignation will stop him from testifying about Benghazi
– Benghazi a premeditated terrorist attack say whistleblowers, government caught in cover up
– State Department misplaces $6b worth of contracts under Hillary Clinton