State Dept. officials ‘furious’ at Cheney hawkishness.

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"State Dept. officials ‘furious’ at Cheney hawkishness."

ThinkProgress noted that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice insisted yesterday that Vice President Cheney “fully supports a diplomatic course over Iran’s nuclear program.” But that’s not the end of the story. The New York Times reports:

Ms. Rice’s assurance came as senior officials at the State Department were expressing fury over reports that members of Vice President Dick Cheney’s staff have told others that Mr. Cheney believes the diplomatic track with Iran is pointless, and is looking for ways to persuade Mr. Bush to confront Iran militarily. […]

The reports about hawkish statements by members of Mr. Cheney’s staff first surfaced last week in The Washington Note, an influential blog put out by Steve Clemons of the left-leaning New America Foundation. The reports have alarmed European diplomats, some of whom fear that the struggle over Iran’s nuclear program may evolve into a decision by the Bush administration to resort to force against Iran.

In interviews, people who have spoken with Mr. Cheney’s staff have confirmed the broad outlines of the reports, and said that some of the hawkish statements to outsiders had been made by David Wurmser, a former Pentagon official who is now the principal deputy assistant to Mr. Cheney for national security affairs.

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