CNN: Was Cheney 'More of a Hawk' Than We Thought?

Referencing Dick Cheney's revelation in his new memoir that he urged President Bush to bomb a Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007, CNN's Kyra Phillips posed this obnoxious question to her panel: "Was Cheney even more of a hawk than we gave him credit for?"

The upcoming release of Cheney's memoir, "In My Time," should re-ignite the media's decade-long war on the former Vice President, as he himself has predicted that the book will have "heads exploding" in Washington. In the book he detailed a meeting in 2007 where he was the only one the room supporting the bombing of the Syrian nuclear reactor. President Bush declined to take that approach, and Israel bombed the site months later.

Interestingly enough, the CNN panel member who showed the strongest support for Cheney's opinion was the Daily Beast's John Avlon. He did assert that Cheney was quite a "hawk," but supported Israel's bombing of the site.

"That said, he [Cheney] has always had a soft spot for those sort of Osirak type of attacks," Avlon remarked on the plan to strike the reactor. "And I don't think there's anyone serious in the world today that isn't glad that the Assad regime in Syria doesn't have nuclear weapons. So I think the – thanks to the Israelis for following through on that."

A transcript of the segment, which aired on August 25 at 10:29 a.m. EDT, is as follows:

KYRA PHILLIPS: In his memoir set to be released next week, Dick Cheney saying that he urged George Bush to bomb Syria in 2007. Well, the Israelis ended up doing it instead. Was Cheney even more of a hawk than we gave him credit for? Will?

WILL CAIN, CNN contributor: Well it sounds like it, Kyra. As pundits, we kind of often blow hard and talk about things we don't know about. I want to say this, as a conservative, we treat the principles of unintended consequences as a moral pole star when it comes to domestic policy, but we forget it sometimes in foreign policy. At the same time, I realize we don't – we live in a world that's not a bubble. So you have to realize there are people out there whose interests work against yours. The point I'm trying to make here is, when it comes to judgment of Cheney and these others, I'm just going to take the road of humility on some of these things right now.

PHILLIPS: Roland?

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN political analyst: What the hell kind of non-answer was that, Will? My goodness. Look, everybody in the room except Dick Cheney didn't raise their hand. That pretty much right there answers everything, okay. Dick Cheney's philosophy is just bomb away, okay. This is the guy who continued to go out and assert there were WMDs in Iraq even when President Bush stopped asserting that as well. And so it's no shock that he wanted to do this. Thank God other people were in the room with some common sense.

CAIN: So your answer is that he's Darth Vader.

PHILLIPS: John? John?

JOHN AVLON, CNN contributor: Well look, I – look, I don't think it's possible for Dick Cheney to be perceived as more of a hawk than he already is. I mean, you've got to be Curtis LeMay to be perceived as more of a hawk. That said, he's always had a soft spot for those sort of Osirak type of attacks. And I don't think there's anyone serious in the world today that isn't glad that the Assad regime in Syria doesn't have nuclear weapons. So I think the – thanks to the Israelis for following through on that.

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014