How far was Dick Cheney (right) willing to go to get his war in Iraq? Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, quoted in Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman’s new book, says the vice president hoodwinked him during a one-on-one meeting in the Capitol.

Armey claims he was wavering on the Iraq war, until Cheney fed him a bunch of bunk about suitcase nukes and the like.

“Did Dick Cheney … purposely tell me things he knew to be untrue? … I seriously feel that may be the case. … Had I known or believed then what I believe now, I would have publicly opposed [the war] resolution right to the bitter end.”

That’s Armey, in a quote from the book as reported by The Washington Post, perhaps doing a bit of legacy polishing.

One might ask the distinguished gentleman from Texas why he didn’t bother to request any intelligence during his private cherry-picking session.

Washington Post:

A GOP congressional leader who was wavering on giving President Bush the authority to wage war in late 2002 said Vice President Dick Cheney misled him by saying that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had direct personal ties to Al Qaeda terrorists and was making rapid progress toward a suitcase nuclear weapon, according to a new book by Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman.

Cheney’s accusations, described by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Texas, came in a classified one-on-one briefing in the vice president’s office in the Capitol.

The threat Cheney described went far beyond public statements that have been criticized for relying on “cherry-picked” intelligence of unknown reliability. There was no intelligence to support the vice president’s private assertions, Gellman reports.

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