Washington: Former US Vice President Dick Cheney has revealed that he urged George W Bush to bomb a suspected nuclear reactor site in June 2007.
Describing the incident in his autobiography, ‘In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir’, Cheney says, Bush opted for a diplomatic approach after other advisers, still stinging over ‘the bad intelligence we had received about Iraq’s stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction expressed misgivings, The New York Times reports.
“I again made the case for U.S. military action against the reactor. But, I was a lone voice. After I finished, the president asked, ‘Does anyone here agree with the vice president?’ Not a single hand went up around the room,” Cheney writes in his book. \\
Bush chose to try diplomatic pressure to force the Syrians to abandon the secret program, but the Israelis bombed the site in September 2007.
Cheney has also written that he believes Secretary of State Colin L. Powell tried to undermine President Bush by privately expressing doubts about the Iraq war, and confirms that he pushed to have Mr. Powell removed from the cabinet after the 2004 election.
In the book, Cheney has also acknowledged that the administration underestimated the challenges in Iraq.
He has also defended Bush administration’s decision to inflict what he called ‘tough interrogations’ on captured terrorism suspects, saying it extracted information that saved lives. He rejects portrayal of such techniques as ‘torture’.
Cheney has also heaped praise for former President Bush stating he acting ‘strong’ in the toughest times.
“We were at war. Our commander in chief needed to be seen as in charge, strong, and resolute — as George W. Bush was,” Cheney writes.
Cheney has praised Barack Obama’s support, as a senator from Illinois, for passing a bank bailout bill at the height of the financial crisis, shortly before the 2008 election. But he has criticized Obama’s decision to withdraw the 33,000 additional troops he sent to Afghanistan in 2009 by September 2012.
He has also written that he has been ‘happy to note’ that Obama has failed to close the prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, as he had pledged.