Former Vice President Dick Cheney's memoir is set to be released next week, but juicy excerpts have already leaked, and from the looks of them, he may sell books, but his former colleagues in the Bush administration might take him off their Christmas card list.
Cheney's memoir, "In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir," is the vice president's version of events in the Bush administration. According to the New York Times, he reveals personal conversations with Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and George Tenet.
There are also details from Sept. 11, 2001, and Cheney writes about his heart problems and his backup plan in case his health problems overwhelmed him. He also writes, for the first time, about the weeks he was unconscious after heart surgery in 2010.
Cheney told NBC News that "There are going to be heads exploding all over Washington" after people read the book. Here's a look at some of the juciest parts that have been leaked early.
According to the New York Times, Cheney goes after former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for her "naivete" in her efforts to negotiate a nuclear weapons agreement with North Korea. The book also details Cheney's view that "he saw no need to apologize" for the controversial words included in Bush's 2003 State of the Union about Iraq's supposed search for uranium in Niger that helped justify the war in Iraq. Cheney's writes that Rice eventually agreed with him, and she "tearfully admitted I had been right."
On Thursday Rice's publisher announced that her memoir about her time in the Bush administration would be released in November. The announcement describes her book as "surprisingly candid in her narrative of administration colleagues, as well as the hundreds of foreign leaders with whom she dealt," so there is no doubt her memoir will tell her side of the story and could be quite different than her former colleague's.
Cheney doesn't sugarcoat how he feels about former Secretary of State Colin Powell, writing that he believes Powell tried to undermine Bush by expressing his worry about the Iraq War in private conversations.
"It was as though he thought the proper way to express his views was by criticizing administration policy to people outside the government," Cheney writes, according to the New York Times.
Cheney adds that he encouraged that Powell be removed from the administration after the 2004 election, writing Powell's resignation "was for the best."
Cheney writes that the former and second-longest serving director of the CIA, George Tenet, resigned in 2004 just "when the going got tough." The former vice president calls Tenet's resignation "unfair to the president," according to the New York Times.
Tenet's own book, "At the Center of the Storm," was released in 2007, and it harshly criticized Cheney and other members of the Bush administration, writing they pushed the country to war in Iraq.
The memoir begins with Cheney's memories from the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The New York Times writes that the vice president "commanded the government's response from a bunker beneath the White House" because the president was away from Washington.
"My past government experience," he writes, "had prepared me to manage the crisis during those first few hours on 9/11, but I knew that if I went out and spoke to the press, it would undermine the president, and that would be bad for him and for the country. We were at war. Our commander in chief needed to be seen as in charge, strong, and resolute -- as George W. Bush was."
One of the most shocking revelations of the leaked excerpts is that Cheney says he urged Bush to bomb a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in June 2007, but his colleagues weren't going for it.
"I again made the case for U.S. military action against the reactor," Cheney writes, according to the New York Times, "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."
|Cheney's Heart Condition and Backup Plan|
Cheney reveals for the first time that because of his history of heart disease, he worried that while in office a heart attack or stroke could leave him unable to fulfill his duties. He wrote a letter of resignation that he kept in a locked safe to use if he became incapacitated.
Cheney told NBC's Jamie Gangel he did it because "there is no mechanism for getting rid of a vice president who can't function."
Cheney also writes that after heart surgery in 2010, he was unconscious for weeks. During that time, the New York Times writes, Cheney had a "prolonged, vivid dream that he was living in an Italian villa, pacing the stone paths to get coffee and newspapers."