Mideast

Bush Nixed Israeli Strike on Iran

One imagines that this didn't make Dick Cheney too happy: According to The New York Times, last year President Bush denied a secret request by Israel for specialized bunker-busting bombs that it wanted to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. He also denied Israel's request for permission to fly over Iraq in order to strike at Iran. The Times reports that "while Mr. Bush was extensively briefed on options for an overt American attack on Iran's facilities, he never instructed the Pentagon to move beyond contingency planning." It credits this to the influence of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who advocated covert activities instead. "The covert American program, started in early 2008, includes renewed American efforts to penetrate Iran's nuclear supply chain abroad, along with new efforts, some of them experimental, to undermine electrical systems, computer systems, and other networks on which Iran relies."