CIA Director Leon Panetta's remarks on former Vice President Dick Cheney made in a nearly 7,600-word interview with The New Yorker generated some media attention last night and this morning. Calling them "tough words," ABC World News reported briefly that Panetta said of Cheney, who "has repeatedly, of course, criticized the Obama Administration's approach to terrorism," that "it's almost as if he is wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point.'" Panetta, the New Yorker (6/22, Mayer) reports, was responding to a speech the former vice president made at the American Enterprise Institute, where he accused the Administration of making "the American people less safe" by banning brutal CIA interrogations of terrorism suspects that had been sanctioned by the Bush Administration. With "surprising candor," the magazine reports Panetta said, "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."
The April 26, 2004, Washington Post reported that "Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday that Sen. John Kerry 'has given us ample grounds to doubt' his judgment on national security, but at the same time the chairman of the Democratic National Committee (Terry McAuliffe) in Washington urged the White House to stop such criticism."
On April 26, 2004, FactCheck.org addressed "More Bush Distortions of Kerry Defense Record" stating that the "Latest barrage of ads repeats misleading claims that Kerry 'repeatedly opposed' mainstream weapons."FactCheck says that Bush's April 26 ads "recycle some distortions of Kerry's voting record on military hardware" and FactCheck has "de-bunked these half-truths before but the Bush campaign persists."The ads -- many targeted to specific states -- repeat the claim that Kerry opposed a list of mainstream weapons including Bradley Fighting Vehicles and Apache helicopters, and also repeat the claim that he voted against body armor for frontline troops in Iraq. In fact, Kerry voted against a few large Pentagon money bills, of which Bradleys, Apaches and body armor were small parts, but not against those items specifically."