Cheney Right, Post Editors Wrong

The Washington Post‘s editors take issue with former Vice President Dick Cheney’s accusation that Obama has reneged on his promise to look forward, not backward with regard to investigating and prosecuting intelligence agents:

Mr. Cheney asserted that President Obama had flip-flopped on an earlier promise to shield participants from liability. “We had the president of the United States, President Obama, tell us a few months ago there wouldn’t be any investigation like this, that there would not be any look back at CIA personnel who were carrying out the policies of the prior administration,” Mr. Cheney told host Chris Wallace. “Now they get a little heat from the left wing of the Democratic Party, and they’re reversing course on that.”

The editors say that’s wrong, but play fast and loose with the facts. First, as evidence that no such promise was made by the president, they cite Eric Holder’s weaselly words that he wouldn’t go after CIA agents who followed the advice of DOJ lawyers. But Cheney is speaking of the president’s betrayal. Now it’s easy to assume that Holder is running the show, given Obama’s shirking of responsibility and the decision to name the special prosecutor while the president was camped out in Martha Vineyard. But Holder’s not the president and was not the subject of Cheney’s complaint. The decision to reinvestigate CIA personnel is, in fact, the quintessential act of looking backward, not forward. The Post‘s editors utterly ignore the president’s own words, which were meant to assure the country, not to mention the CIA, that we wouldn’t be doing the very thing that Holder announced last week—initiating criminal investigations of low-level CIA employees.

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Cheney Right, Post Editors Wrong

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