Vice President Dick Cheney said yesterday that he has doubts that President Obama, â€œunderstands and is prepared to do what needs to be done to defend the nation.â€Cheney -- speaking forcefully to Fox Newsâ€™ Chris Wallace -- stopped a brief step short of accusing Obama of intentionally harming the nation.
Cheney exudes a restorative candor, like a lifeline to sanity in a world where up is now down, good is now bad, and the majority politicians hardly make believe theyâ€™re telling the truth anymore.
Cheney gave hard-hitting answers about CIA documentation released last week that showed that enhanced interrogation techniques -- which Obama has condemned and Attorney General Holder has announced a special prosecutor to investigate -- not only work but have saved American lives.
From the transcript:
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: The interesting thing about [the report] is it shows that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah provided the overwhelming majority of reports on al Qaeda, that they were, as it says, â€œpivotalâ€ in the war against al Qaeda. That both of them were uncooperative at first, that the application of enhanced interrogation techniques, specifically waterboarding, especially in the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, is what really persuaded him. He needed to cooperate.
I think the evidence is overwhelming that the EITs were crucial in getting them to cooperate, and that the information they provided did in fact save thousands of lives and let us defeat all further attacks against the United States.
Yet Team Obama and congressional Democrats find it entirely coincidental that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed went from total obstruction to terrorist Rolodex post-waterboarding. They find it complete happenstance that we have not suffered another terrorist attack in the eight years since 9/11. And they go about dismantling the national security and intelligence apparatus that was rebuilt in the wake of an attack that blindsided America as a result of the last time liberals deconstructed Americaâ€™s intelligence capabilities.
Cheney spoke at length about the CIA witch hunt being conducted by the Obama administration after the President announced that his administration would not go back and look at or try to prosecute CIA personnel for implementing Bush administration policy at the behest of the President.
The Obama Justice Departmentâ€™s â€œinvestigationâ€ is based upon a five-year-old CIA inspector generalâ€™s report that was completely reviewed when it was first released by Justice Department career professionals, not Bush administration appointees.
CHENEY: They made decisions about whether or not there was any prosecutable offense there. They found one. It did not involve CIA personnel, it involved contract personnel. That individual was sentenced and is doing time. The matterâ€™s been dealt with the way you would expect it to be dealt with by professionals.
The former Vice President is not buying Obamaâ€™s end run around taking responsibility for the highly-politicized investigation.
CHENEY: Well, I think if you look at the Constitution, the President of the United States is the chief law enforcement officer in the land. The attorney generalâ€™s a statutory officer. Heâ€™s a member of the cabinet.
The Presidentâ€™s the one who bears this responsibility. And for him to say, gee, I didn't have anything to do with it, especially after he sat in the Oval Office and said this wouldnâ€™t happen, then Holder decides heâ€™s going to do it. So now he's backed off and is claiming heâ€™s not responsible.
I just, I think he's trying to duck the responsibility for what's going on here. And I think it's wrong.
Cheney also gave a chilling example of how the Obama administration CIA witch hunt is currently harming not only our national security but a brand new threat of nuclear proliferation to nations and terrorist groups.
CHENEY: Just [yesterday], for example, the courts in Pakistan have ruled and A. Q. Khan, the father of the Pakistan nuclear weapons, the man who provided assistance to the Iranians, the North Koreans, the Libyans, has now been released from custody.
It is very, very important we find out and know, long term, what he is up to. He is, so far, the worst proliferator of nuclear technology in recent history. Now we have got agents and people out at the agency who ought to be on that case and worried about it, but they are going to have to spend time hiring lawyers at their own expense in order to defend themselves against the possibility of charges.
The Obama administration is investigating these professionals at the CIA, placing administration priorities on finding out if interrogators who waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed really intended to garner information from him or if they had a more nefarious motive.
Left unsaid is the conclusion that must be drawn: the Obama administrationâ€™s policy and mindset are all founded on pre-9-11 assumptions and thinking. They make us less safe.
In one of the best moments of the interview, Wallace asked what Cheney thought of Obamaâ€™s first seven months in office.
CHENEY: Well, I was not a fan of his when he got elected, and my views have not changed any. I have serious doubts about his policies, serious doubts especially about the extent to which he understands and is prepared to do what needs to be done to defend the nation.
First the town hall revolts and now unvarnished truth over a broadcast network airwaves. This is going to be a very interesting month.