Sen. Joe Lieberman joined his 2000 Republican vice presidential foe Dick Cheney today to slap President Obama for not doing more to destroy the super-sophisticated U.S. spy drone Iran captured and flaunted on TV to embarrass Washington.
"I wish we could have found a way to destroy it," the retiring Connecticut senator said today. Asked he feared Iran would be able to tap the top secret CIA-run drone for information that could end up hurting U.S. interests, he added "That's what I worry about."
His rebuke of Obama's handling of the crisis came after Cheney said Obama erred by not trying to recover the so-called "Beast of Kandahar" drone.
Lieberman in 2000 was Al Gore's running mate in their presidential bid against the Bush-Cheney ticket. Their statements on how Obama should have handled the captured drone was a rare agreement in a critical issue and showed the split in Washington over the administration's failure to do more than ask Tehran for the aircraft back. [See pictures of American troops withdrawing from Iraq.]
Cheney told CNN, "The right response to that would have been to go in immediately after it had gone down and destroy it." He added that, "you can do that from the air...and, in effect, make it impossible for them to benefit from having captured that drone."
Instead, sneered Cheney of Obama, "he asked nicely for them to return it, and they aren't going to," Cheney said.
Lieberman agreed, though he said he was not up on all the intelligence regarding where the drone was.
But, he called it "an extraordinary American asset, this drone." He added that "I think that it would have been very difficult to rescue it, but at least try to destroy it so the Iranians and anyone that they might share it with, would not have the benefit of the tech breakthroughs that it represents."
Lieberman spoke today at a roundtable with reporters sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.
The drone, which Iran said it captured December 4, was reportedly part of a CIA reconnaissance mission. Iran's official Iran Republic News Agency said drone was brought down by electronic jamming near Kashmar, about 140 miles from Afghanistan
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