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
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Michael Fallai

    Mary Matalin = partisan attack dog shill for the worst that the GOP has to offer.

    Your time has passed, Mary.

    April 19, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  2. Michigan

    Oh poor Scooter Libby. I'm sure he's as innocent as a baby, having worked for the corrupt administration all those years. The whole crew is going down soon...better get ready for judgment day.

    April 19, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  3. Lynn

    Once again King interviews two people but the blog is totally devoted to what the Republican had to say.

    And again a Republican answers by smearing the messanger...a party devoid of answers, who know that NO ONE in their party could even begin to touch Pres, Obama on the world stage resorts to name calling rather than answer the question.

    April 19, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  4. teacher

    since when is the Rep. from Nevada an intellectual giant whose ideas are excellent!???

    April 19, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  5. Bill

    What Mary Matalin personally knows about coutage could be stuffed up an ant's butt with room to spare.

    April 19, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. Da Professor

    Ah ... it is Mary Matlin once again fighting to retain and defend the far far far right-wing extremist views, the views and policies of a gone-by era. Big mouth, small brain, any war is a good war, any fact is an obstruction.

    Way to go Mary!

    April 19, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  7. ch

    It sure would be nice to watch a political talk show without having to worry about Mary Matalin making an appearance. She is one wicked, nasty woman who has been WRONG about so many things over the years! Wish her and the other GOP hacks would take some time off!

    April 19, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  8. JonDie

    At least he's honest and not a partisan, torture-backing hack like Matalin.

    April 19, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  9. Dave NYC

    You have to wonder how cynical a person like Matalin has to be, to throw herself in front of Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby like this.

    Maybe she is bitter because she realizes that so many people have turned their back on Cheney and the Bush administration. She seems to be one of the last left standing fools.

    April 19, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  10. ron

    lack of courage is the appeasement movement we see going on now.

    it won't really work. just a bunch of smiling dictators who will take advantage of their expanded freedom to dictate.

    close down or de-legitimize their opposing media, and target those who disagree... just like the the obama administration... no wonder they're smiling.

    April 19, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  11. Tom

    Time for Mary M. to go home and raise her daughters. Unless, of course, she invested all her money with Bernie Madoff and needs to continue 'shilling' Republican snake oil to support her luxurious lifestyle...

    April 19, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  12. jeff

    Let's quit stalling and let's get to the bottom of the whole stinking mess. Bush,Cheney,Rice,Rove, They all need to be brought to justice.
    The crimes that adminastration committed rank right up there with some of the worst dictators in the world. Justice Now!

    April 19, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  13. ruth

    Mary, I'm sure you are a very nice lady. However, you are wrong. Spoken by a republican.

    April 19, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  14. Ken in NC

    Republicans throwing each other under the bus is so funny to me. I think Meghan McCain was 100% right when she said there is a war brewing in the Republican Party and it is a war between the past and the future. The past is not willing to accept change and move on. They do not know that the future is not going to be made up of "KEEP THINGS THE SAME". It is going to be made up of "Get Over It And Move On" type of younger Republicans. Time for the Old White Republicans of the 50's – 90's to go home and sit in their rocker on the sun porch.

    April 19, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  15. Alex (Aliso Viejo)

    Criticize, fingerpoint / hurl blame all they want but it does not change the fact that all of them served under the Bush/Cheney administration. Knowing is less forgivable than not knowing but it remains true that ignorance is never an excuse either.

    April 19, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  16. Allan G. Hanson

    Who cares what Matlin or any of the other right wing hate speers say or think. They had their chance and look what it got us. They should go back under the rock they came from, never to be heard from again

    April 19, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  17. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    OH? And what does that say about Bush then? Bush had full knowledge of US torture techniques and LIED to Americans by saying "We don't torture."

    The entire Bush administration was rotten to the core and a global embarrassment.

    April 19, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  18. Tim

    She's right on all accounts, especially the Plame thing. And the liberal media can't stand it.

    April 19, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  19. TM

    The only person devoid of courage in this story is Dick Cheney, Torture appeals to cowards, since it requires only cruelty for the sake of cruelty.

    April 19, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  20. Tim

    Talk about attacking the messenger. Matalin's claim is that Armitage is devoid of courage. Rather than debunk her contention, attach her and Libby.

    Liberals are also devoid of common sense.

    April 19, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  21. LC in CA

    She's just a running dog in a pack of the same. Arf Arf. Down, and stay.

    April 19, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  22. chad in avery, ca.

    mary, your a criminal too.
    there are only guilty in the bush administration.

    April 19, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  23. proud army navy mom

    King continues to trot out the irrelevant repugs talking points time and time again,

    Armitage is finally being honest and that attack dog matalin is doing what she does attack, lie, deny.

    April 19, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  24. Simmy

    Mary Matlin.....I don't think so. Her words are lighter than a feather....They have no weight...

    April 19, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  25. lady in the know

    I don't know of a bigger "attack dog" than Donna Brazile. Before you throw stones, look at your glass walls. She has more venom than a rattlesnake for anyone that is Republican. Her time has truly passed. She should just bow out as gracefully as she can.

    April 19, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
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