Cheney Reaffirms U.S. Nuclear Destructive Power

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney offered tough words to potential U.S. nuclear adversaries as he delivered a spirited defense of executive power during a Fox News interview Friday (see GSN, Dec. 9).

Responding to critics who have charged Cheney and U.S. President George W. Bush with overstepping their constitutional authority in leading the U.S. war on terrorism, the vice president argued that a wartime president has vast authority to act quickly and unilaterally.

For example, "the president of the United States, now for 50 years, is followed at all times, 24 hours a day, by a military aide carrying a 'football' that contains the nuclear codes that he would use, and be authorized to use, in the event of a nuclear attack on the United States," Cheney said. "He could launch the kind of devastating attack the world has never seen. He doesn't have to check with anybody. He doesn't have to call the Congress. He doesn't have to check with the courts. He has that authority because of the nature of the world we live in" (Greg Webb, Global Security Newswire, Dec. 22).

December 22, 2008
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U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney offered tough words to potential U.S. nuclear adversaries as he delivered a spirited defense of executive power during a Fox News interview Friday (see GSN, Dec. 9).