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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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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