He's got a new book coming out, and apparently, it's going to make you glad that President Bush had a level head at times. An example:
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.”
Mr. Bush chose to try diplomatic pressure to force the Syrians to abandon the secret program, but the Israelis bombed the site in September 2007. Mr. Cheney’s account of the discussion appears in his autobiography, “In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir,” which is to be published by Simon & Schuster next week. A copy was obtained by The New York Times.
Mr. Cheney’s book — which is often pugnacious in tone and in which he expresses little regret about many of the most controversial decisions of the Bush administration — casts him as something of an outlier among top advisers who increasingly took what he saw as a misguided course on national security issues. While he praises Mr. Bush as “an outstanding leader,” Mr. Cheney, who made guarding the secrecy of internal deliberations a hallmark of his time in office, divulges a number of conflicts with others in the inner circle.
Darth Vader indeed.
UPDATE: The Drudge Report adds:
- In a chapter entitled, SETBACK, Cheney is blunt about failures in Bush Administration foreign policy, especially in the second term. He criticizes 'concessions delivered' to North Korea 'in the naive hope that despots would respond in kind,' and says the president was badly served by his State Department, including through advice that was 'utterly misleading.'
- Cheney excoriates Colin Powell for standing by silently, knowing that his deputy Richard Armitage was responsible for leaking Valerie Plame's identity to the press.
- Says that it's not Guantanamo Bay that hurts America's image abroad but rather critics like Barack Obama who 'peddle falsehoods about it.'
- Says that Attorney General John Ashcroft approved the controversial Terrorist Surveillance Program that tracked terrorist communications no less than 20 times before his deputy, James Comey, objected. In a briefing delivered by Cheney and NSA Director Mike Hayden, Democratic congressional leaders Pelosi, Daschle, Harman and Rockefeller unanimously agreed the program should continue and that the administration should not seek any further authorization from Congress. 'The view around the table was unanimous… They feared, as did we, that going to the whole Congress would compromise its secrecy.' When it did leak in the NEW YORK TIMES, Cheney writes that the NEW YORK TIMES clearly violated the law by printing information about classified communications intelligence programs.
- Unrepentant on Iraq. Even in hindsight, Cheney asserts it was the right decision, even taking into account mistakes on intelligence. Says those Democrats, like John Kerry, who supported the war and then flipped for political expedience and accused the president of 'peddling untruths' are guilty of just that themselves.