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Former vice president Dick Cheney slammed the Obama administration’s handling of the September 11th, 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi as “a failure of leadership,” and claimed that during the Bush administration “on our watch, we were always ready on 9/11,” in remarks to The Daily Mail on Monday.

“I mean, it’s North Africa — Libya, where they’ve already had major problems,” Cheney told The Daily Mail. “You know that al Qaeda is operating there, and you have some of the other al Qaeda-affiliated groups there like Ansar al-Sharia and others.”

“When we were there, on our watch, we were always ready on 9/11, on the anniversary,” Cheney added. “We always anticipated they were coming for us, especially in that part of the world.”

Cheney declined to mention that, on their watch, the Bush administration ignored repeated, urgent warnings leading up to the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 on September 11th, 2001.

“I think what dominated the way they were thinking about this thing is — they wanted to be able to say, ‘We got bin Laden. Problem solved,'” the former vice president continued. “And it was shortly before the election, and you know: a big crisis with al Qaeda attacking embassies? They were hoping that they could avoid that. It was a bit of a reach.”

Again, Cheney declined to mention that the Bush administration didn’t view catching Osama bin Laden to be a problem at all; instead, President Bush said in 2002, “I truly am not that concerned about him.”

Ironically, Cheney made the accusatory remarks at an event celebrating the launch of former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld’s new book.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

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