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Cheney's deceit vs. Dean

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Talk about the pot calling the kettle scorched.  When Vice President Dick Cheney said that Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean was “over the top� in his recent remarks about Republicans, is it possible the vice-president had forgotten his unprecedented bout of swearing at Sen. Patrick Leahy on the Senate floor?

And this from a political leader who has repeatedly misled the American public on matters concerning the war in Iraq, includ­ing his latest whitewashing of the increasing violence, saying as he did, that the insurgency was on its “last throes.�

Give us a break. This is the same guy, of course, who held secret meetings with the captains of power generation facilities to set the national energy agenda, but wouldn’t make those hearings public because he didn’t want Americans to see how closely tied the national energy policy was to those corporations’ bottom line. There’s also little doubt that he was closely behind the scenes when Halliburton (at which he was CEO before being elected to the vice-presidency) was awarded no-bid military contracts in the Iraq war — contracts that later came under fire for being inflated, wasteful and a rip-off of precious military dollars that went to Halliburton stockholders — while U.S. soldiers were without sufficient armor and with too few support troops. And this is the same guy who has tried for years to minimize the ill-effects of asbestos exposure on human health and limit the liabilities on asbestos-producing industries, including one he headed, from victims who have died or become seriously ill because of its hazardous effects.

It’s outrageous, actually, that Cheney, one of the neo-cons who has pushed the Bush administration’s irrational vision of military dominance across the globe,  can call Dean “over the top� and not be jeered off the island.

And then a minor footnote: When Dean says that the Republican party is a bunch of white Christians, he’s being impolitic but he’s also citing the facts. According to a recent ABC-Washington Post poll, 74 percent of those who said they leaned Republican also said they were white Christians. For comparison, 51 percent of Democrats say they are white Christians. Dean did go too far when he said “many Republicans� haven’t done an honest day’s work in their lives, but that’s peanuts compared to Cheney’s swearing on a figurative stack of Bibles that Iraq was loaded to the teeth with hidden weapons of mass destruction and was threatening to launch them our way without the slightest provocation. Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, remember, were based in Afghanistan, not Iraq, despite the false ties that Cheney, President Bush and others so relentlessly tried to make.

If Dean’s over the top, at least he’s miles above Cheney, who has been wallowing in the mire with corporate lobbyists and misleading the public on issues that have sunk this nation’s standing to new lows, squandered the national treasury, and put the lives of U.S. soldiers in unnecessary jeopardy — that’s what happens when an administration overstates a perceived threat, pushes ahead without international support, underestimates the number of troops needed for the job and overstates the reception American soldiers would have once the aura of freedom faded and the current state of foreign occupation,  insurgency and daily havoc took hold. It was clearly predicted by others, just not by those within this administration.

But who gets chastised in the mainstream press? Dean, while Cheney’s deceptions are swallowed with praise by those too blind to see.

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