Transcript: Cheney Defends Hard Line Tactics

CHENEY: I disagree with that. I think – as I look at the intelligence with respect to Iraq, what they got wrong was that there weren't any stockpiles. What we found in the after action reports, after the intelligence report was done and then various special groups went and looked at the intelligence and what its validity was. 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 stocks.

They also found that he had every intention of resuming production once the international sanctions were lifted. He had a long reputation and record of having started two wars. Of having brutalized and killed hundreds of thousands of people, some of them with weapons of mass destruction in his own country. He had violated 16 National Security Council resolutions. He had established a relationship as a terror sponsoring state according to the State Department. He was making $25,000 payments to the families of suicide bombers.

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.

KARL: So you're 30 something – how many more days do you have left?

CHENEY: Thirty five!

KARL: Thirty five more days left. Who's counting? hat advice do you have to Joe Biden coming in this role? You've already seen that Harry Reid has said that Biden will not be invited into the policy luncheons up at the Senate. Biden's already signaled that he's going to be scaling back some of this office, what you've done to this office. What's your advice to Biden?

CHENEY: Well, the most important element in deciding what kind of vice presidency any administration is going to have is what the president wants to have done. He is the boss. He is the one who's got to decide what kind of authority he wants to entrust to his vice president, how he fits with the other folks in the administration, what kinds of policies he wants him involved in and it's really unique for each administration.

I've had one meeting with Joe Biden since he won the election. He and his wife came by the house and we were able to show him the official residence and had a pleasant chat. We didn't get into policy in any major way. But Joe Biden's an experienced senator. He's been around a long time. He knows a lot. Whatever contribution he's allowed to make to the Obama administration is really up to President Obama, he'll decide what his role is going to be.

KARL: What are you going to miss most about this job?

CHENEY: Well, I am looking forward to a return to private life. This is the fourth time I've transitioned out of government to the private sector. But I'll also miss it. It's really been just a tremendously remarkable experience. I think the people that I've been pleased to work with including some of my colleagues in the administration, especially the men and women of our armed forces and the intelligence community who have done so much to keep us safe over this period of time. It's been 40 years since I came to Washington to stay 12 months and I think it's about time I went and did something else.

KARL: Regrets?

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