Transcript of Cheney Interview

CHENEY Well, again, you've got to remember what the president specified here. People are not discriminating between the kind of military tribunal that the president had spelled out in his order that he wants established and the kinds of activities that have taken place elsewhere. The fact of the matter is the president has said specifically they will apply to terrorists. It mentions al Qaeda, for example, in the area of jurisdiction; secondly, they are not to be Americans. They will be non-U.S. citizens; they will have engaged in or plotted in or provided support and sustenance for those who planned the terrorist activities against the United States. The people assigned to this will be directed by the president. He will make the decision on each case. They are to be guaranteed a full and fair trial. They are to be granted counsel, and they are to be handled in a humane way. All of this is spelled out in the executive order. So there is nothing extraordinary or unusual about this given our history. And a couple of other important points to keep in mind here too. If we do business as usual before Sept. 11, clearly, what we were doing was inadequate to guard against the kind of thing that happened at the World Trade Center or the Pentagon. We have to be very aggressive if we're going to intercept, if we're going to disrupt, if we're going to prevent future attacks against the United States. We also need to be able to protect and preserve sources of intelligence. One of the prime reasons for doing this is that it will allow us to use intelligence information that we couldn't use in a regular court proceeding in order to bring these people to justice and, at the same time, be able to protect the sources of information. One of the reasons bin Laden is so good today with his security is because he's gone to school on it. He's learned from previous leaks, and previous disclosures in the press, and previous disclosures in trials how we operate, and he then adjusts his style of operation and we then lose access to information about what he's doing. Here, we've got the opportunity, using these military tribunals, giving people full and fair trials, and represented by counsel to proceed to bring them to justice and, at the same time safeguard those very important elements of national security information.

SAWYER So you fully, wholeheartedly, without reservations support all of this, the visas, all of it?

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