April 19th, 2009
01:34 PM ET
5 years ago

Matalin says Armitage 'devoid of courage'

(CNN) - Mary Matalin, a former adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, sharply criticized former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage Sunday for his comments about the CIA's Bush-era interrogation techniques.

In an interview with the English language service of Qatar-based network Al Jazeera last week, Armitage said: “I hope, had I known about it at the time I was serving, I would’ve had the courage to resign. But I don’t know. It’s in hindsight now.”

In response, Matalin told CNN's John King on State of The Union: "If Richard Armitage, as the number two guy in the State Department, didn't know [about the interrogation techniques], not only is he devoid of courage, he is completely incompetent."

Armitage's comments came after the Obama administration released once-secret CIA memos revealing authorized interrogation tactics such as waterboarding, sleep deprivation and slapping.

"We know he has no courage," Matalin said in response. "This is the man who leaked Valerie Plame's name, knew he leaked it, let the president spin and the administration spin in the wind for two years. Many of his colleagues spent hundreds of thousands, millions of dollars, a valued colleague of his, his life is ruined, Scooter Libby, and he was the one who did it and let nobody know the whole time."

Armitage admitted he was the main source for the leak that identified Valerie Plame as a CIA intelligence officer. He said then he wanted to make his role public, but held back at the request of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald who was investigating the case then.

Armitage also told the New York Times he made an “inadvertent mistake,” adding that he was following President George W. Bush’s instructions to cooperate with Fitzgerald’s investigation.


Filed under: State of the Union
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  1. Michael Fallai
    April 19, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  2. Michigan
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  3. Lynn
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    April 19, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
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