Chuck Hagel On The Bushies: “I Don’t Think They Were Direct And Honest.”
But he won’t use the word “lie”. Huffington Post has the Q&A.
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COLMES: Senator, when the president said he would let the IAEA finish and didn’t, did he lie to you?
HAGEL: Well, lie is a tough word. I have always tried to be responsible with my language. And I have never accused the president of lying. I would say this, that his administration certainly misrepresented, starting with the fact when we were told, many of us, including me, that this administration had not made a decision to go to war. At the time of the resolution vote in October of 2002, in fact, now we know that that is just not true.
COLMES: You don’t want to use the word lie, that is a strong word. But that’s what you are implying?
HAGEL: You can take any meaning out of that that you want, but I think — almost six years now after this, we have a pretty clear record of what they said and what they didn’t say.
Hagel saved his most unsparing language for Vice President Dick Cheney:
COLMES: You also say in the book that Dick Cheney cherry picked intelligence and used fear to promote war sloganeering. That’s a pretty strong charge against him.
HAGEL: Well, he did. And if you recall the war speech that he gave the National VFW Convention in August of 2002, the day after that speech I called Colin Powell and I said to Colin Powell, what’s going on? You are going to war? Powell said no, the president has made no decisions. I said that war speech that Cheney gave is very, very clear. Cheney was doing that all the lead up to the invasion.
Hagel concluded: “I don’t think that they were direct and honest at all with what they were telling us versus the planning that was going on.”
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