CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me finish with something that truly matters.
The late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once noted that we are entitled to our own opinions but not our own facts.
The fact that came forth here last night was pure, clear, and stunning.
It’s that the leaders of our country, led by Vice President Dick Cheney, led this country – bugled it – into war on a claim that we now know to have been confected by Mr. Cheney himself.
It was Cheney who told us, the American people, that Saddam Hussein possessed nuclear weapons. It was he who sounded the bugle call to war, he who convinced the skeptics that we had no choice to invade, conquer and occupy a country that had neither nuclear weapons nor a role in 9/11.
How do we know this? We know it because the Deputy Director of the CIA, the man who briefed the White House on a daily basis about Iraq never once said that it possessed nuclear weapons. Never once! He made that clear here last night.
So the next time someone says that we made a mistake going into Iraq, please correct that person, say this:
“Yes, some of us made the mistake of believing Dick Cheney and the rest. Some of us believed him when the vice president said Saddam possessed nuclear weapons. I guess we weren’t smart enough or suspicious enough to imagine that a top person like that would make something up to get us into a war.”
But the next time Dick Cheney or one of his crowd says going to Iraq was based on bad intelligence, say this:
“I don’t believe a word you say. You took us into a war on evidence that didn’t exist, that no one ever said existed. Go away and stop doing damage to a country I love.”