Cheney Still Hasn't Learned From Iraq

Autobiography shows he remained willing to act on weak intelligence: Bob Woodward

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 12, 2011 1:38 PM CDT

(Newser) – The “missing” WMDs in Iraq taught us a lesson: Don’t act on intelligence unless you’re 100% sure of it. Dick Cheney apparently missed that little tidbit, writes Bob Woodward after perusing the former veep’s new memoir. In In My Time, Cheney says he was the “lone voice” in the Bush administration calling for the destruction of “a clandestine nuclear reactor” in Syria “built by two terrorist-sponsoring states.” But no one else in the administration supported the idea, so the US didn’t carry out an attack.

Speaking to others in the meetings Cheney describes, however, paints a very different picture of the situation, Woodward writes in the Washington Post. The CIA director and other intelligence officials had only “low confidence” that the reactor was part of a nuclear weapons program—comments George W. Bush repeated in his own memoir. One official seemed to allude to Iraq in his call for caution. Despite all this, “Cheney said he wanted the United States to commit an act of war to send a message, demonstrate seriousness, and enhance credibility—a frightening prospect given the doubts,” Woodward writes. Click through to learn how intelligence agents celebrated the decision not to attack.

The cover of Cheney's new book.   (AP Photo/Threshold Editions)
Former Vice President Dick Cheney appears on "Fox & Friends."   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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