Exclusive: Cheney Says He's Changed

"I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared, as the agency in effect came in and wanted to know what they could and couldn't do," Cheney said. "And they talked to me, as well as others, to explain what they wanted to do. And I supported it.

"There was a period of time there, three or four years ago, when about half of everything we knew about al Qaeda came from that one source," he added, referring to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. "So, it's been a remarkably successful effort. I think the results speak for themselves."

Cheney said the prison at Guantanamo Bay could be responsibly shut down only when the war on terror has ended. Asked when that might be, he added, "Well, nobody knows. Nobody can specify that."

Cheney warned that prisoners released from Guantanamo could prove dangerous to the United States, adding that the problem of what to do with released prisoners had not yet been solved.

"If you're going to close Guantanamo, what are you going to do with those prisoners?" he asked. "One suggestion is, well, we bring them to the United States. Well, I don't know very many congressmen, for example, who are eager to have 200 al Qaeda terrorists deposited in their district."

Meantime, Cheney said the Guantanamo detainees have been "well treated."

"I don't know any other nation in the world that would do what we've done in terms of taking care of people who are avowed enemies, and many of whom still swear up and down that their only objective is to kill more Americans," he said.

Cheney Disputes Rove

The outgoing vice president also disputed former Bush adviser Karl Rove's recent comments about the decision to go to war in Iraq.

While discussing Bush's legacy earlier this month, Rove said he did not believe the administration would have gone to war had intelligence revealed Saddam Hussein did not possess weapons of mass destruction.

"I disagree with that," Cheney said Monday. "As I look at the intelligence with respect to Iraq, what they got wrong was that there weren't any stockpiles."

"What they found was that Saddam Hussein still had the capability to produce weapons of mass destruction. He had the technology, he had the people, he had the basic feed stock."

Cheney added that, given Saddam Hussein's capabilities, reputation and track record of brutality, "this was a bad actor, and the country's better off, the world's better off with Saddam gone, and I think we made the right decision, in spite of the fact that the original NIE was off in some of its major judgments."

ABC News' Kate Barrett contributed to this report.

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