The U.S. military covered up an alarming incident that saw a Taliban suicide bomber get uncomfortably close to then-Vice President Dick Cheney, according to a new book by a Washington Post reporter. The close-call happened at Bagram air base on Feb. 27, 2007, when Cheney was on an unannounced trip to Afghanistan. Twenty-three people were killed when a suicide-bomber attacked a convoy at a base checkpoint, and, within hours, the Taliban claimed that Cheney was the intended target. At the time, U.S. military officials dismissed that claim as “absurd,” saying there was no way the Taliban could have known the VP’s whereabouts. However, then-Capt. Shawn Dalrymple told the Post the Taliban knew Cheney was on base, but targeted the wrong convoy. “It was all over the news no matter how much it was tried to keep secret,” Dalrymple said. “They caught a convoy going out the gate with an up-armored sport-utility vehicle and thought it was him.” Dalrymple said Cheney’s convoy was due to leave 10 minutes after the attack. The revelation was made in Craig Whitlock’s new book The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War.
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