Cheney: “Did You See It Coming, Jim? You’re An Expert.”

I’m watching Jim Lehrer interview Cheney (from last night’s NewsHour), and highlights to me, so far, include the moment when Cheney dodges a Why didn’t your administration see the economic crisis coming-type question by saying, “Did you see it coming, Jim? You’re an expert” (Lehrer managed to get a follow-up question out after that, if not pin Cheney down on the administration taking some responsibility); and Cheney’s response to a Did you make any mistakes question:

Well, make mistakes - I can think of places where I underestimated things. For example, talking about Iraq, the extent of which the Iraqi population had been beaten down by Saddam Hussein was greater than I anticipated. That is, we thought that the Iraqis would be able to bounce back fairly quickly once Saddam was gone or the new government established and step up and take major responsibilities for governing Iraq, building a military and so forth and that took longer than I expected.

I guess I’ve never thought of things this way: if Jim Lehrer couldn’t see the catastrophic economic writing on the wall, how could we expect the Bush administration to see it? And, why didn’t the Iraqis “bounce back” as quickly as Cheney anticipated?

Now, back to the video (I haven’t even reached the torture exchanges Megan teased last night…)

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.