Chris Matthews was on “Imus in the Morning” Friday (hat tip to Crooks and Liars), and he went on quite a rant about the Bush administration (video link to follow). From suggesting that Helen Thomas was set up earlier in the week to intentionally be toyed with by President Bush, to alleging that Bush and Vice President Cheney both lied about Iraq having ties to al Qaeda in order to sell the war, Matthews was in rare form. Unfortunately, in his rant, Matthews made a number of false statements. For instance (rough transcript):
“Well I am just going to stick to this point that the president led us in there with the background music of American culture. Everybody was led to believe that we were getting payback, we were avenging what happened on 9/11 and that we are going to get them. Vice President Cheney said we are going to attack terrorism at its base. Over and over the language was, “this is where it came from.” In fact most recently the President suggested that it was always the hot pursuit, like a New York police chase, “we chased them back into their country.” “We pursued the terrorists back to Iraq” and it's all nonsense. The reason there are terrorists in Iraq today like Zarqawi is we created the opening by blowing the country apart.”
Well, that’s not actually true, is it Chris? It is widely accepted that Zarqawi moved to the northern section of Iraq in the summer of 2002 where he joined the Islamist Ansar al-Islam group. This was nine months before we invaded, Chris. However, after these material misstatements, Matthews then basically called the administration a bunch of liars:
“From the beginning it's been not true. Now you can't prove motive and you can't prove somebody lies, but from the beginning everything about how “they've got WMD's,” “they are a threat to us,” “they are going to bomb us with a nuclear weapon,” “this country is going to be an easy liberate,” “it's going to be a cake walk.” As Cheney said as recently as ten months ago “the insurgents are in their last throws.” Everything that is said is not true.
“And right to the end here, here we are now and it's not a civil war and when Allawi the prime minister is saying it is a civil war and here is the president quoting his own people that it's not a civil war. I mean the denial has been continuous. So you really can't count on the administration to tell you what is going on.”
One thing's for sure, Chris, and that is America certainly can't count on you to tell them what is going on.