Fox News host Megyn Kelly yesterday put former Vice President Dick Cheney on the spot, reading to him the words of Prospect Contributing Editor Paul Waldman, and demanding a response. In his other gig at the Washington Post, Waldman wrote a searing assessment of Cheney's recent attack on President Barack Obama's Iraq policy, offered in a Wall Street Journal op-ed he co-authored with his daughter, Liz, who served in the Bush administration's State Department.
In her interview of Dick and Liz Cheney, Kelly read this bit from Waldman's WaPo post:
There is not a single person in America...who has been more wrong and more shamelessly dishonest on the topic of Iraq than Dick Cheney.
And now, as the cascade of misery and death and chaos he did so much to unleash rages anew, Cheney has the unadulterated gall to come before the country and tell us that it’s all someone else’s fault...
Then she asked, "The suggestion is that you caused this mess, Mr. Vice President. What say you?"
As related by Fox's Howard Kurtz, the elder Cheney replied:
"I think we went into Iraq for very good reasons. I think when we left office, we had a situation in Iraq that was very positive… What happened was that Barack Obama came to office, and instead of negotiating a stay behind agreement, he basically walked away from it.”
Kelly came back hard: “But time and time again, history has proven that you got it wrong as well in Iraq, sir. You said there were no doubts Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. You said we would greeted as liberators. You said the Iraq insurgency was in the last throes back in 2005. And you said that after our intervention, extremists would have to, quote, ‘rethink their strategy of Jihad.’ Now with almost a trillion dollars spent there with 4,500 American lives lost there, what do you say to those who say, you were so wrong about so much at the expense of so many?”
No doubt there's more of this discussion to come. As Waldman writes, Republicans will be all over the media in the weeks ahead, spouting Cheney's line.