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CBS News – Face the Nation – May 10, 2009 [pdf]

CHENEY: It’s nice to know that you’re still loved and are invited out in public sometimes.

The reason I’ve been speaking, and in effect what I’ve been doing is responding to press queries such as yours, is because I think the issues that are at stake here are so important. And, in effect, what we’ve seen happen with respect to the Obama administration as they came to power is they have moved to take down a lot of those policies we put in place that kept the nation safe for nearly eight years from a followon terrorist attack like 9/11. Dealing with prisoner interrogation, for example, or the terrorist surveillance program.

They campaigned against these policies across the country, and then they came in now, and they have tried, very hard, to undertake actions that I just fundamentally disagree with.

SCHIEFFER: Well, do you — I mean, should we take that literally? You say that the administration has made this country more vulnerable to attacks here in the homeland.

CHENEY: That’s my belief, based upon the fact, Bob, that we put in place those policies after 9/11. On the morning of 9/12, if you will, there was a great deal we didn’t know about Al Qaida. There was the need to embark upon a new strategy with respect to treating this as a strategic threat to the United States. There was the possibility of Al Qaida terrorists in the midst of one of our own cities with a nuclear weapon or a biological agent.

It was a time of great concern, and we put in place some very good policies, and they worked, for eight years. Now we have an administration that’s come to power that has been critical of the programs, but not only that, there’s been talk about prosecuting the lawyers in the Justice Department who gave us the opinions that we operated in accordance with, or referring them to the Bar Association for disbarment or sanctions of some kind, or possibly cooperating with foreign governments that are interested in trying to prosecute American officials, those same officials who were responsible for defending this nation for the last eight years…

…and the Obama administration speaketh back.

Via Steve Benen at Washington Monthly:


Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release                                May 11, 2009




…1:13 P.M. EDT

…Q Thanks, Robert.  Yesterday former Vice President Cheney was again defending some of these harsh interrogation tactics including waterboarding, and something specific he said I wanted to see whether you agree with.  He said that these tactics had “saved thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of lives.”  Do you think that’s true or false?

MR. GIBBS:  I don’t have — I don’t know what he bases that off of, so I don’t have any genuine reaction to it.

Q    One thing presumably he bases it off would be the CIA memos he’s been asking for.  He says there are CIA memos that would show in fact that hundreds of thousands of lives have been saved and terror attacks have been prevented.  I think it was April 26th you said it would take about three weeks to go through and decide.  We’re getting close to that —

MR. GIBBS:  Let me check —

Q    — where do we stand?

MR. GIBBS:  I’ll check on where that is.  I’ve been struck, Ed, in watching the former President and the former Vice President take markedly different views to their lives post their administration.  I think many have.  And I think the answer that he gave to the future of the Republican Party picking Rush Limbaugh over Colin Powell was an illuminating answer about what you’re going to see going forward.

Q    How so?

MR. GIBBS:  Well, I think that — I think you’ve got a series of ideas and a series of thoughts that in many ways the last election was about and the last election rejected.  I think going forward — they’re essentially going forward by looking backward.  And if the Vice President believes that’s a way of growing and expanding the Republican Party, then we’re happy to leave him to those devices

[emphasis added]

“…they have moved to take down a lot of those policies we put in place that kept the nation safe for nearly eight years from a followon terrorist attack like 9/11…”

Nothing about anthrax.

Or the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Brief:

Transcript of Rice’s 9/11 commission statement

Wednesday, May 19, 2004 Posted: 12:25 AM EDT (0425 GMT)

BEN-VENISTE: Isn’t it a fact, Dr. Rice, that the August 6 PDB warned against possible attacks in this country? And I ask you whether you recall the title of that PDB?

RICE: I believe the title was, “Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States.”

Now, the…

BEN-VENISTE: Thank you.

RICE: No, Mr. Ben-Veniste…

BEN-VENISTE: I will get into the…

RICE: I would like to finish my point here.

BEN-VENISTE: I didn’t know there was a point.

RICE: Given that — you asked me whether or not it warned of attacks.

BEN-VENISTE: I asked you what the title was…

Or their lies to rush us into war in Iraq.

I don’t know about you Darth Cheney, but since January 20, 2009 I’ve been feeling a whole lot better. Because after eight years of Cheney and his minions (Peggy Noonan!), the real adults are in charge.