July 12th, 2009
08:25 PM ET
5 years ago

Timing of focus on Cheney, CIA 'very suspect' Matalin says


WASHINGTON (CNN) – A one-time aide to former Vice President Dick Cheney suggested Sunday that recent reports about Cheney and the CIA are a distraction designed to avert attention away from the policy struggles of the Obama administration.

Related: Cheney and alleged secret CIA program 'a problem,' Senator says

“This is very suspect timing,” Republican strategist and former Cheney adviser Mary Matalin said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “The president’s agenda is almost in shambles. His [poll] numbers are dropping. Isn’t it coincidental; they gin up a Cheney story.”

Matalin also said that the Executive branch has some authority under the nation’s intelligence laws to not disclose information to Congress under certain circumstances. “The more people that know, the more it leaks . . . and then the enemy knows what it is,” Matalin said of details about other intelligence programs that were leaked to the media.

“Every time they get in trouble . . . they dredge up a Darth Vader story,” Matalin also said, making a reference to past comparisons between Cheney and the villain in the “Stars Wars’ movies.

Matalin’s husband, Democratic strategist James Carville, disagreed with the suggestion that recent disclosures about Cheney by Obama’s CIA chief Leon Panetta were designed to distract attention away from other issues the Obama administration is dealing with right now. Both Matalin and Carville are CNN contributors.

Carville said Panetta is “a pretty fiercely independent guy.”

“I don’t think he’d be part of any kind of quote conspiracy to try to save the president’s agenda or anything like that.”

–CNN’s Christina McAusland contributed to this report.


Filed under: CIA • Dick Cheney • Extra • James Carville • Mary Matalin • Popular Posts • State of the Union
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Larry from RI

    If you say so Mary!
    Are you sure it isn't because there were extremely serious crimes committed by the executive branch?

    July 12, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  2. GuyInVA

    I've seen only one story that addressed the question of whether or not CIA was REQUIRED by law to brief congress on this mysterious program. The source (as always, unnamed) said it wasn't. If not, this is just a temper tantrum by Speaker Pelosi. If so, congress needs to know why it wasn't done. One of the few (maybe the only) named sources I've heard from so far has been former CIA Director Hayden. He said VP Cheney did not instruct CIA to withhold any intel from congress.

    Never let the facts get in the way of a good news story... or a good cover story.

    July 12, 2009 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  3. Rich in Seattle

    Obama has gone out of his way to protect Cheney (who knows why) and now that the evil deeds have caught up to Cheney, somehow it's Obama's fault? Their is no limit to how low they will sink.

    Sooooo, are they saying that because of the timing (which is only six months after a new administration took office) we should ignore any crimes that Cheney and Bush did?

    July 12, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  4. Arrest Cheney

    Put Cheney, Rove and Bush under house arrest and the world will be a much safer place.

    Forget Matalin, just a political hack.

    July 12, 2009 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  5. Pat Smith

    He is too a Darth Vadar. He was the real president too. Can't fool me. He was the brains in the whole operation. What a job he did too.
    Ain't he just special.

    July 12, 2009 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
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