Hoon Admits Iraq Screwups

British defense minister regrets mistakes, underestimating Dick Cheney
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2007 5:26 PM CDT
Geoff Hoon   (Getty Images (by Event))

(Newser) – In a confessional interview about his Iraq war regrets, the former British defense secretary tells the Guardian that the Brits' biggest miscalculation was underestimating Dick Cheney. Geoff Hoon said he and other senior ministers would air disagreements with Bush, Rumsfeld, and Powell, and they'd come away thinking they'd made their points. But they were wrong.

"The decision actually came out of a completely different place," Hoon said. "And you think: what did we miss? I think we missed Cheney." Hoon says Britain disagreed with the U.S. decisions to disband the Iraqi army and to de-Baathify the civil service. Still, he insists, the British government truly believed Saddam had WMD.