In a Wall Street Journal oped and a video Cheney released with his daughter Liz announcing the creation of The Alliance for a Strong America, Cheney comes across like a grumpy man waking from an unsatisfying nap. Devoid of specific suggestions or coherent criticisms, his diatribe has the heft of a confused growl.
To check Cheney’s facts is to enjoy a target-rich environment. In the video, Cheney accused Obama of lying about Benghazi a day after we learned that the administration was right all along. Cheney snarls that Obama withdrew U.S. troops “with no leave-behind agreement” even though George W. Bush signed the treaty to pull out by 2011. And to grouse that “our enemies no longer fear us” conveniently ignores the deaths of Osama bin Laden and 14 other leaders of al Qaeda and the arrest of Benghazi terrorist Ahmed Abu Khatallah.
After yellowcake uranium, aluminum tubes, Curveball, WMDs, and linking Saddam Hussein to9/11, we should be embarrassed to consider fact-checking Cheney to be worth our time. Offering a policy prescription to solve the crises in Iraq, Egypt, and Syria isn’t what Cheney’s after, either. Cheney’s not even trying to rehabilitate his support for invading Iraq in the first place, a decision his WSJ column and video completely ignore.
The funniest thing about Cheney is — at least here — the most instructive. He shot his hunting buddy in the face, and his friend apologized. Cheney’s re-introduction into the national security discussion is the political equivalent of friendly fire, except this is no accident. Cheney is using Obama’s foreign policy struggles to pick a fight with isolationists in his own party in the run-up to the 2016 primaries. Dick mentions Benghazi, but this call is not for Hillary. Rand Paul, line one is for you.