8.13.2007 | A trip down memory lane

How many of you remember what you were doing in 1994? For these two Republican political figures, it was saying things that could be used against them later. Consider these:

If we'd gone to Baghdad we would have been all alone … There would have been a U.S. occupation of Iraq … Once you got to Iraq and took it over, took down Saddam Hussein's government, then what are you going to put in its place? … It's a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq.

— Vice President Dick Cheney explaining why the first President Bush decided not to go on to Baghdad in 1991

That one made it into a YouTube video that went from 100 to over 200 thousand views in the same day. Now this second quote is a bit more interesting because it involves a current presidential candidate. At the time, mayor Rudy Giuliani was talking about getting tough on crime in New York. But now, some are afraid the same philosophy could apply to terrorism and the debate over civil liberties. If you Google freedom and Giuliani, here's what you'll find:

What we don't see is that freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.

For this latter quote, one creative Digger rephrased that sentiment as "Freedom is slavery," a reference to part of the slogan of the English Socialist Party in George Orwell's 1984. But we don't know if that's a fair interpretation unless we get an answer from Giuliani himself how he feels today. And in Cheney's case, certainly there must have been some kind of evolution in his philosophy that caused him to take a different tack on the Iraq war today.

Hopefully some journalist out there reading this now has an idea of what question he needs to ask when he next sits down for an interview with either of these politicians — assuming he can get a straight answer.

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