KARL: In hindsight, do you think any of those tactics that were used against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others went too far?
CHENEY: I don't.....On the question of so-called torture, we don't do torture. We never have. It's not something that this administration subscribes to. Again, we proceeded very cautiously. We checked. We had the Justice Department issue the requisite opinions in order to know where the bright lines were that you could not cross.
...The professionals involved in that program were very, very cautious, very careful -- wouldn't do anything without making certain it was authorized and that it was legal. And any suggestion to the contrary is just wrong. Did it produce the desired results? I think it did. And I think those who allege that we've been involved in torture, or that somehow we violated the Constitution or laws with the terrorist surveillance program, simply don't know what they're talking about.
KARL: Did you authorize the tactics (dogs, stress positions, sleep deprivation, humiliation) that were used against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?... And on KSM, one of those tactics, of course, widely reported was waterboarding. And that seems to be a tactic we no longer use. Even that you think was appropriate?
CHENEY: I do...
...I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared, as the agency in effect came in and wanted to know what they could and couldn't do. And they talked to me, as well as others, to explain what they wanted to do. And I supported it.
KARL: You probably saw Karl Rove last week said that if the intelligence had been correct we probably would not have gone to war.
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. - Jonathan Karl (Excerpt: Transcript: "Cheney Defends Hard Line Tactics In Exclusive Interview With ABC News, Vice President Dick Cheney Opens Up About His Hard Line Tactics," 12.16.2008).
PART II: THE TRUTH
"The U.S. should assert its military dominance over the world to shape “the international security order in line with American principles and interests,” push for “regime change” in Iraq and China, among other countries, and “fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars….While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.” - (“Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century,” The Project for the New American Century [members include Cheney and Rumsfeld], 9.2000).
"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."
- Vice President Dick Cheney, ( Selling The Iraq Invasion, Speech to VFW National Convention, 8.26.2002).
RUSSERT: What do you think is the most important rationale for going to war with Iraq?
CHENEY: Well, I think I’ve just given it, Tim, in terms of the combination of his development and use of chemical weapons, his development of biological weapons, his pursuit of nuclear weapons.
RUSSERT: And even though the International Atomic Energy Agency said he does not have a nuclear program, we disagree?
CHENEY: I disagree, yes...
We believe [Hussein] has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons. - Vice President Dick Cheney (Excerpts: Selling The Invasion on "NBC's Meet the Press," 3.16.2003)
PART III: YOU CAN ALWAYS TELL A MAN BY HIS SHOES:
"Muntader al-Zaidi who remained in custody Monday, provided a rare moment of unity in a region often at odds with itself. Glee, even if thinly veiled, could be discerned in much of the reporting, especially in places where anti-American sentiment runs deepest.
Mr. Zaidi’s hero status continued to grow on Monday. In Damascus, a 34-year-old shop owner, who gave his name only as Muhammad, said he was on his way to celebrate the shoe-throwing incident with friends."
“This is like a holiday. This is just what we needed for revenge.”
-Timothy Williams & Abeer Mohammed (Part III, Excerpt: "In Iraqi’s Shoe-Hurling Protest, Arabs Find a Hero - It’s Not Bush," NY Times, 12.15.2008. Image: - Ivan Anic, Muntader al-Zaider - "Mightier Than The Bomb," IvansArmy.Com , 12.16.2008 ).