Today Vice President Dick Cheney, addressed American Society of Newspaper Editors. (full text) He said some things I agree with and several I don’t, and definitely implied some things that are questionable, which seems de rigueur for the administration. However, right now I’ll only address one part of his comments. Going off topic he threw a personal jab, “In the early days of the war the plan was criticized by some retired military officers embedded in TV studios.”
I feel certain he was referring to retired general and former NATO commander Wesley Clark who is working currently for CNN. Clark has expressed reservations about the current military incursion, expressing the opinion that the diplomacy prior to the action should have been more resolute. He has also expressed questions about certain operational military details in Iraq. The Slate and others have opined that Clark may have an interest in running for president (as a Democrat) in 2004.
I’m sure that Cheney has been riled by many of the comments. He is always quick to take umbrage over publicly stated opposition to his policies or statements. I’m sure he was playing to his audience (who would be well aware of the details of Clark’s comments and the prognostication of his political ambitions) and thought himself particularly witty. However, I wonder if he appreciates that his using his pulpit is the same as Clark using his. Whether political or media, they have a stage and they use it. To begrudge Clark for using his stage while Cheney blatantly uses his (at a highly press-attended event) is deep irony.
“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be… The People cannot be safe without information. When the press is free, and every man is able to read, all is safe.”