Cheney Reaction

The New York Times‘s Charlie Savage was given a pre-publication sneak peek at Dick Cheney’s upcoming memoir (in bookstores next week). Here is the revelation that’s getting everyone’s attention:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney says in a new memoir that he urged President George W. Bush to bomb a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor site in June 2007. But, he wrote, Mr. 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.

“I again made the case for U.S. military action against the reactor,” Mr. Cheney wrote about a meeting on the issue. “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.”

There’s more bat shit in that crazy than there is in Carlsbad Cavern, although at least one commentator still treats Cheney with the respect normally reserved for an elder statesman (emphasis is mine):

The book starts off with Cheney’s recollections of 9/11, which Cheney says that his past government experience prepared him to handle.  Those reflections come when his former boss George Bush has a National Geographic special on the same topic — not exactly a coincidence as the 10th anniversary of the attacks approaches.

These days, everyone writes a book about their time in national leadership.  I wondered if Cheney might have been the exception.  He valued confidentiality and usually acted with discretion as Vice President.  Given the amount of vitriol hurled his way in the eight years of the Bush administration, though, it’s not surprising that Cheney would want to set the record straight — or at the very least, make sure his version of history was made public.  I’m looking forward to reading it.

Vitriol? Surely, surely not. Why would anyone wish to speak or write with vitriol about a vice-president who, in addition to inventing an imminent threat from nonexistent stockpiles of nuclear and biological weapons in order to justify the invasion of a country that (a) did not have a nuclear weapons program; and (b) was holding in check a neighboring country that actually DID have an active nuclear development program — also was pushing to “unilaterally [bomb] … a ‘suspected’ nuclear reactor? In Syria? At the height of the civil war in Iraq? Bare months after Israel went into Lebanon and World War III nearly broke out?”

Closing thoughts go to mistermix, at Balloon Juice:

If we’re going to have a story about every occasion that Dick Cheney urged George Bush to bomb some country or other, the Times might as well start paying Charlie Savage overtime, because he’ll be filing every day and twice on Sundays. If we know anything about Bush’s malevolent, misbegotten, rancid bastard of a VP, it’s that calling for freedom bombs was like an uncontrollable tic for that guy.


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