US Prez has authority to launch nuke strike without anyone's permission: Cheney

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Washington, Dec 22 (ANI): US Vice President Dick Cheney has said that aggressive prosecution of the War on Terror was a major reason that the nation hasn't been attacked in seven years of Bush Administration's rule, adding that President George W Bush has the authority to launch a nuclear strike the world has never seen.

In an interview to FOX News, Cheney, a 40-year veteran of Washington politics, tried to straighten out a few misconceptions about his tenure and the way the executive and legislative branches are supposed to work.

He said the 1973 War Powers Act is a violation of the Constitution because Congress does not have the right by statute to alter presidential constitutional power.

"That it is an infringement on the president's authority as the Commander-in-Chief. It has never been resolved, but I think it's a very good example of a way in which Congress has tried to limit the president's authority and, frankly, can't," Cheney said.

"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 US. 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," Cheney added.

Cheney also made clear that he had tried, in vain, to convince Bush not to fire Rumsfeld in 2006, FOX News reported.

"I did disagree with the decision. The president doesn't always take my advice," he said.

Cheney said he supports Rumsfeld's successor, Robert Gates, "but I was a Rumsfeld man. I'd helped recruit him and I thought he did a good job for us."

Cheney also was unapologetic about using an expletive in 2004 to tell Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy what to do to himself.

The incident occurred after Cheney heard that Leahy had suggested that the vice president used his position in the White House to get contracts for his former firm, Halliburton. (ANI)

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