Cheney: 'we did not anticipate an insurgency that would last this long'

On Meet the Press Tim Russert torn apart Dick Cheney. He consistently cited past interview quotes from Cheney that turned out to be either wrong or misleading.

In this video clip we highlight Cheney's response to Russert calling him on his now infamous, "We will be greeted as liberators" line. Shockingly, Cheney actually admits that he made a mistake.

Video to the right -->>

Clip transcript below:

MR. RUSSERT: Leading up to the war, three days before the war, you were on this program and I asked you a question. And I asked you about an analysis of what could occur. Let’s just watch, and we’ll talk about it.
(Videotape, March 16, 2003):
VICE PRES. CHENEY: Now, I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is, we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.
MR. RUSSERT: If your analysis is not correct, and we’re not treated as liberators, but as conquerors, and the Iraqis begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly and bloody battle with a—significant American casualties?
VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, I don’t, I don’t think it’s likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe we will be greeted as liberators.
(End of videotape)
MR. RUSSERT: In fact, it did unfold that way. It has been a long, costly and bloody war.
VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, the first part, getting rid of Saddam, was not. But clearly, the insurgency and the aftermath has been.
MR. RUSSERT: But again, wasn’t your judgment overly rosy? “Greeted as liberators.” Now we’re not...
VICE PRES. CHENEY: You, you gave me a choice, Tim, “Will you be greeted as occupiers or liberators?” and I said we’ll be greeted as liberators. And we were.
MR. RUSSERT: But I said what about a long, costly, bloody battle, and you said it’s unlikely to unfold that way.
VICE PRES. CHENEY: And that’s true within the context of the battle against the Saddam Hussein regime and his forces. That went very quickly. It was over in a relatively short period of time. What obviously has developed after that, the insurgency, has been long and costly and bloody, no question.
MR. RUSSERT: Mr. Vice President, Tommy Franks, when he landed in Iraq, had a meeting and said, “All right, stop making plans, we’re going down to 30,000 troops at the end of this year in 2003.” There was a view of the administration that you were going to walk in, topple the government, and that was it. And now, three and a half years later, we are in Iraq for a long, long time, with 2,500 deaths, 20,000 wounded and injured. There were some fundamental misjudgments made.
VICE PRES. CHENEY: I think there’s no question, but what we did not anticipate an insurgency that would last this long.
MR. RUSSERT: Three hundred billion dollars spent so far. The Congressional Budget Office says if we stay in Iraq through the end of 2009, it’ll be a half trillion dollars.
For a transcript of the entire Meet the Press interview click here.


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