Former Vice President Dick Cheney’s upcoming memoir says he urged former President George W. Bush to bomb a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor site in 2007.
Cheney advised Bush to take "military action against the reactor," which Israel attacked a short time later, according to a report in the New York Times, which obtained the memoir in advance.
The president and his advisers turned down the advice in favor of a diplomatic approach, according to the Times report.
Cheney's autobiography, entitled “In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir”
and scheduled for release next week, also speaks critically about several members of the Bush administration.
The New York Times report says Cheney accuses former Secretary of State Colin Powell of trying to undermine President Bush by privately expressing doubts about the Iraq war, saying Powell's resignation in 2004 was "for the best." Cheney also chastises Powell's successor, Condoleezza Rice, saying she was naive during her negotiations with North Korea over nuclear weapons.
Although Cheney acknowledges that he underestimated the challenges of invading Iraq in 2003, he continued to defend his stance on tough interrogation techniques such as "waterboarding," denying that such practices amount to torture.
In a recent television interview, the former vice president, who has a long history of heart disease, said he kept a secret resignation letter locked in a safe in case he became incapacitated. Cheney says he prepared the letter shortly after taking office in 2001.