'94 Cheney Video Warns Of Perils Of Iraq Invasion

CBS 5 | August 15, 2007
By Hank Plante

(CBS 5) SAN FRANCISCO Like thousands of others on Wednesday, former U.N. Ambassador Richard Sklar watched in amazement a 1994 video of Vice President Dick Cheney that had been posted to the Internet.

It was the first confirmation of Cheney's comments that invading Iraq would result in a "quagmire" for years to come, which had been rumored to exist within the diplomatic community.

"A number of us in discussions knew that it existed. None of us have seen it on tape before, and Cheney's office has always just poo-pooed and refused to discuss it," Sklar said.

In the remarkable video from 13 years ago, which was posted on YouTube, Cheney defended the U.S. decision not to seize control of Iraq during the first Gulf War.

"How many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth? Our view was not very many, and I think we got it right," he said in the inteview with the American Enterprise Institute.

CBS 5 contacted the Vice President's press office Wednesday, where a spokesperson reacted to the video by saying: "He was not Vice President at the time, it was after he was Secretary of Defense. I don't have any comment."

The disclosure of Cheney's remarks came on what was one of the bloodiest days since the Iraq war began.

Rescuers dug through the muddy wreckage of clay houses in Northwest Iraq, and uncovered what some news reports said were as many as 500 bodies. They were the victims of suicide truck bombers and the U.S. blamed the attacks on al-Qaida.

It was exactly the kind of chaos that Cheney seemed to predict in the 1994 interview, which is now circulating in cyber space for all to see.

'He spoke then with the same voice that (Colin) Powell, (Brent) Scowcroft and (President) Bush 41 spoke," Sklar said. "And they were absolutely right, and its amazing how accurate he was in his predictions. However, 3,700 American troops have died, 100,000 Iraqis have died, Iraq is in chaos, a civil war, and its busting apart just the way he said it would."