Cheney Roars Back: The Nightline Interview during his trip to Iraq.

So I really believe the notion that somehow the Iraqi people opposed what we did when we came in and toppled Saddam Hussein, or that a majority of them were against it, is just dead wrong. It's not true. I think a majority of them support it.

On Reports of Secret CIA Prisons

Moran: Does the United States maintain secret prisons around the world?

Cheney: I'm not going to talk about intelligence matters.

Moran: Secret prisons?

Cheney: I'm not going to talk about intelligence matters.

Moran: Does the International Red Cross have access to everyone in U.S. custody, as we are obliged?

Cheney: Terry, with all due respect, I won't discuss intelligence matters. I shouldn't.

Moran: I'd like to put this personally, if I can. You're a grandfather. I'm a father. When we look at those girls and we think that the country we're about to pass to them is a country where the vice president can't say whether or not we have secret prisons around the world, whether waterboarding and mock executions is consistent with our values, and a country where the government is surveilling without the warrant of a court, is that the country we want to pass on to them?

Cheney: I want to pass on to them a country that is free, that is not plagued by terrorist attacks, doesn't see a repeat of the terrible events of 9/11 when we lost 3,000 of our people that morning to a handful of terrorists who had no justification at all for what they do.

I can guarantee you that we do do as a government, as an administration, is to support and uphold the Constitution of United States, that we do, in fact, take extraordinary steps to make certain we maintain our constitutional obligations and responsibilities, which includes both defending the country as well as defending individual liberties and protecting the rights of all Americans.

And I want my kids to grow up in a strong, free, independent America where they are safe from the kinds of outrages that have been perpetrated not only in New York and Washington, but in Madrid, Casablanca, and Istanbul, and Bali, and Jakarta, all over the globe.

And we're up against a very tough adversary, and under those circumstances we need to do everything we can to protect the American people. And that's got to be a prime concern for us, and it is.

On the Indictment of Lewis Libby

Moran: Another subject. When did you first hear the name Valerie Plame?

Cheney: Well, I'm going to respectfully decline to talk about that. There is a trial pending. I have been constrained for the last 2.5 years not talking about that case, because there was an investigation under way.

And now with a trial pending, I think it would be inappropriate for me to say anything about it at all, so I have not said anything about it and won't.

Moran: Can you say, as vice president -- can you answer -- did you direct anyone to disclose her identity or to lie about...

Cheney: Terry, you can ask the question any way you want. Scooter Libby is a close friend of mine. He's one of the most able and talented people I know. He's entitled to the presumption of innocence, and from my perspective it would be totally inappropriate for me to comment, period. That's been my posture now for 2.5 years and will continue to be.

Moran: I'm going to try once more, because I'm not really asking about the criminal investigation.

Cheney: The answer will be the same, Terry.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...