Corn on “Hardball”: Panetta vs. Cheney

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In the latest issue of The New Yorker, CIA chief Leon Panetta says of Dick Cheney:

I think he smells some blood in the water on the national-security issue. It’s almost, a little bit, gallows politics. When you read behind it, it’s almost as if he’s wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point. I think that’s dangerous politics.

Cheney today struck back, saying, “I hope my old friend Leon was misquoted.”

Hours later, the CIA put out a statement:

The Director does not believe the former vice president wants an attack. He did not say that. He was simply expressing his profound disagreement with the assertion that President Obama’s security policies have made our country less safe. Nor did he question anyone’s motives.

This explanation hung on a thin reed: that Panetta had said that it was almost as if Cheney wanted another attack, not that he actually desired one. Still, it did look as if Panetta had been brushed back by Cheney.

And Chris Matthews, Michael Isikoff, and I sliced and diced this episode on Hardball:

You can follow David Corn’s postings and media appearances via Twitter by clicking here.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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