Former Vice President Dick Cheney writes in his new memoir that President George W. Bush rejected his advice in 2007 to bomb a suspected nuclear reactor site in Syria.
The New York Times reported Wednesday that Cheney says he was "a lone voice" for military action against Syria. Other advisers were reluctant, Cheney says, because of "the bad intelligence we had received about Iraq's stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction" before the 2003 invasion of that country.
- IAEA: Syria site was 'very likely' an atom reactor
- WikiLeaks: Syria aimed chemical weapons at Israel
- Syria considering construction of new nuclear plant
- US memo: Israel bombed Syrian reactor
According to foreign reports, the Israelis bombed the Syrian site later in 2007.
A WikiLeaks leak released in 2010, mentioned the alleged bombing in a confidential cable sent on April 25, 2008 by then-US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to State Department representatives worldwide states that "On September 6, 2007, Israel destroyed a nuclear reactor Syria was clandestinely constructing, we judge with North Korean assistance."
The first part of the memo details unprecedented information. "I want to inform you that the purpose of that Israeli mission was to destroy a clandestine nuclear reactor that Syria was constructing in its eastern desert near a place we call al-Kibar," the secretary of state wrote.
Rice added that their intelligence information on the issue was solid. "We have good reason to believe this reactor was not intended for peaceful purposes," she wrote. "First, we assess this reactor was configured to produce plutonium: it was not configured for power production, was isolated from any civilian population, and was ill-suited for research.
Rice – naïve, Powell – undermined Bush
Cheney's autobiography, "In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir," also includes criticism of other members of Bush's administration.
He accuses former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice of naiveté and says he believed former Secretary of State Colin Powell tried to undermine Bush "by criticizing administration policy to people outside the government." Powell's resignation after the 2004 election "was for the best," Cheney writes.
Cheney also remarks that former CIA Director George Tenet's decision to resign in 2004 - "when the going got tough" - was "unfair to the president."
Ynet contributed to the report
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