Man, I wish he had been president. A real American, a real man with a real set. Bush went so soft his moral center disintegrated. How could he leave the impending nuclear crisis in the hands of .... Obama?
WASHINGTON -- Former Vice President Dick Cheney hinted that, in the waning days of the Bush administration, he had pushed for a military strike to destroy Iran's nuclear-weapons program.
In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Mr. Cheney described himself as being isolated among advisers to then-President George W. Bush, who ultimately decided against direct military action.
"I was probably a bigger advocate of military action than any of my colleagues," Mr. Cheney said in response to questions about whether the Bush administration should have launched a pre-emptive attack prior to handing over the White House to Barack Obama.
"I thought that negotiations could not possibly succeed unless the Iranians really believed we were prepared to use military force," Mr. Cheney said. "And to date, of course, they are still proceeding with their nuclear program and the matter has not yet been resolved."
Mr. Cheney's views were at odds with those of other top officials at the time. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had said repeatedly during those final months that a strike against Iran would make the Middle East more unstable and would raise the risk on American forces in neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan.
More unstable. So this is stable?
"This is a very unstable part of the world, and I don't need it to be more unstable," Adm. Mullen said in July 2008.
The Cheney interview focused mostly on Attorney General Eric Holder's naming of a special prosecutor to assess whether, during the Bush administration, Central Intelligence Agency interrogators' harsh questioning of terror suspects illegally exceeded the guidance of Justice Department lawyers.
Mr. Cheney said the legal review set a "terrible precedent" that would shatter morale at the CIA and increase the likelihood of future terror attacks. He accused President Obama of using the threat of criminal charges to score political points with the left wing of the Democratic Party.
"It's clearly a political move; there's no other rationale for them to be doing this," the former vice president said of the Obama administration review.
Mr. Cheney was particularly critical of Mr. Obama's statement that he had not influenced the attorney general's decision, and charged the president with waffling on his earlier pledge not to unearth old allegations. "I think he's trying to duck the responsibility for what's going on here, and I think it's wrong," Mr. Cheney said of the president.
Click below for video
Part I: Cheney on FOX - Obama going after the CIA
Part III Frustration