Vice President Dick Cheney will give the commencement address at Brigham Young University this year. The Vice President will give only one other commencement address, and that will be at West Point. Whether you voted for him or not, whether you agree with him or not, having the Vice President address your graduating class is an honor. It’s a much greater honor than many of the others who will be giving commencement addresses this year.

But not everyone agrees it is an honor. Based on the reaction of the university’s democrats, you’d think Sauron was coming from Mordor to address the students. Professor Warner Woodworth also doesn’t like the idea of Vice President Cheney addressing the students of BYU. He said that the university has “a heavy emphasis on personal honesty and integrity in all we do.” And “Cheney just doesn’t measure up,” he said. What are the areas that are objectionable?

Critics at the school question whether Cheney sets a good example for graduates, citing his promotion of faulty intelligence before the Iraq war and his role in the CIA leak scandal.

Let’s look at the complaints. First, Vice President Cheney promoted faulty intelligence. Did he know that the intelligence was incorrect? He didn’t, and neither did any of the other nations of the world. I wonder if Woodworth would like to be held to the same standard. If he ever teaches something as true that is later proven to be false, will he resign since teaching something false would violate his “personal honesty and integrity”? I don’t think so.

And second, Woodworth is concerned about the Vice President’s role in the CIA leak scandal. Pray tell, what was his role? Did he leak that Valerie Plame worked at the CIA? No, that was Richard Armitage, who was working under then Secretary of State Colin Powell in the State Department. People like to tar the Vice President for Scooter Libby being convicted of perjury, but if we accept that an underling’s actions are the responsibility of the boss, then Powell’s feet should be held to the fire for Armitage’s loose lips, right?

Since these complaints are baseless, it appears that the good professor’s main complain about the Vice President is that he is an evil and nasty Republican, and he hates thems, my precious. He hates thems, nasty filthy Republicanses.

I just read on Drudge that the press is planning on taking another week to rake Vice Pres. Cheney over the coals for the accidental shooting of his friend. But as I see it, it’s not about the shooting, it’s all about the main stream media being jealous.

The press is cheesed because when the news was broken about the shooting, they saw it was done by some pissant little Texas paper rather than in the lofty New York Times or some other paper of like-noble bearing. Eh, Spare me the attitude, please.

Others point to the delay in reporting the news. As I see it, Vice Pres. Cheney reported the news faster than Senator Ted Kennedy reported his car accident to the police, and I see a difference between alerting the police and notifying the press. People look at the Vice President and object to his secrecy. If I had been mauled by the press as he has, I’d be giving the press the big middle finger, too.

Bottom line: this is more about the whiny press, and not so much about the actual happenings.

Addendum (2/19/2006): Ed Morrissey of Captain’s Quarters Blog compares the media’s response between Islam’s reaction to the political cartoons and the delay of reporting the accidental shooting by the Vice President. Here’s the final paragraph:

When our media has the testicular fortitude to report on terrorists honestly, then they will have gained the moral authority to lecture any White House on censorship and the responsibility of fully informing the public. Until then, such demonstrations as we saw this week by the White House press corps only stands as a perverse monument to the media’s hypocrisy and venality.

Well worth reading the whole article.

There is an old Russian joke, dating back to the Soviet Union’s heyday when the two government newspapers were called Izvestia and Pravda. Izvestia means “news,” and Pravda means “truth,” leading to the joke, “There’s no news in the Truth, and no truth in the News.” At times I look at the major media here in the United States, and I wonder if we could say the same thing.

On June 16th, the 9-11 Commission held meetings and, as the New York Times put it, “Panel Finds No Qaeda-Iraq Tie“. Here is a quote from that Times article: “However, the commission said in a staff report, ‘We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States.’” Oddly, the quoted phrase shown in the Times does not appear in any of the pdf files released by the 9-11 Commission on June 16th. The Times article says in its first paragraph, “[T]here did not appear to have been a ‘collaborative relationship’ between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein.” It is again interesting that the phrase “collaborative relationship” does not appear in a search of the four pdf files released on Wednesday.

But here is a quote from another New York Times article: “Both indictments offer new information about Mr. Bin Laden’s operations, including one deal he is said to have struck with Iraq to cooperate in the development of weapons in return for Mr. Bin Laden’s agreeing not to work against that country. No details were given about whether the alleged deal with Iraq led to the development of actual weapons for Mr. Bin Laden’s group, which is called Al-Qaeda.” This article was published on November 5, 1998, and it certainly reads as a “collaborative relationship” to me.

Here is what former Illinois governor and 9-11 commissioner James Thompson said the next day on CNN with Soledad O’Brien:

In fact, the report says that President Bush and Vice President Cheney are correct. It’s a little mystifying to me why some elements of the press have tried to stir this up as a big controversy and a big point of contradiction because there is none. We said there’s no evidence to support the notion that Al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein collaborated together to produce 9/11. President Bush said that weeks ago. He said it again yesterday. The vice president said it again yesterday. I said it again yesterday in television interviews. What we did I say was there were contacts between Al-Qaeda and the Iraqi administration of Saddam Hussein, and the president has said there were contacts. The vice president has said there were contacts. They may be in possession of information about contacts beyond those that we found, I don’t know. That wasn’t any of our business. Our business was 9/11. So there is no controversy; there’s no contradiction, and this is not an issue.

But it is an issue, because the liberal media has spun the story to convey information quite different from the commission’s actual findings. Vice President Cheney met on CNBC’s “Capitol Report” show with Alan Murray and Gloria Borger. The following is a transcript of this show:

BORGER: But obviously first the news of the week is the 9-11 Commission report. And as you know, the report found, quote, “No credible evidence that al-Qaida collaborated with Iraq or Saddam Hussein.” Do you disagree with its findings?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: I disagree with the way their findings have been portrayed. This has been enormous confusion over the Iraq-al-Qaida connection, Gloria. First of all, on the question of whether or not there was any kind of a relationship, there clearly was a relationship. It’s been testified to. The evidence is overwhelming. It goes back to the early ’90s.

It involves a whole series of contacts, high-level contacts between Osama bin Laden and Iraqi intelligence officials. It involves a senior official, a brigadier general in the Iraqi intelligence service going to the Sudan before bin Laden ever went to Afghanistan to train them in bomb-making, helping teach them how to forge documents. Mr. Zarqawi, who’s in Baghdad today, is an al-Qaida associate who took refuge in Baghdad, found sanctuary and safe harbor there before we ever launched into Iraq. There’s a Mr. Yasin, who was a World Trade Center bomber in ’93, who fled to Iraq after that and we found since when we got into Baghdad, documents showing that he was put on the payroll and given housing by Saddam Hussein after the ’93 attack; in other words, provided safe harbor and sanctuary. There’s clearly been a relationship.

But after a clear answer like that, Gloria Borger continued to harangue the Vice-President about this issue. Clearly, some liberal leftists in the media are creating a political mountain out of a non-existent molehill. Why are they doing this? Quite simply, because they disagree with the President’s agenda.

In a world where the enemies of this nation have cut off the heads of American noncombatants simply because they are Americans, we need to be united in our response to terrorist murderers. Instead the liberal press portrays to the world, and to al-Qaeda, a weak and divided America. The media will fill up the papers and airwaves with outrage over the mistreatment of prisoners in Abu Ghraib Prison for months, but when truly horrific events such as the September 11 attacks and the decapitation of Paul Johnson and Nicholas Berg occur, they will hold off publishing the evidence. Why? Because such information would put steel in the backbone of Americans, and we would unite behind our President as he directs the war against this evil. And the press can’t allow that to happen.