Uncut: Dick and Liz Cheney, Pt. 1
Former vice president and daughter discuss his new book, long career in Washington, meeting Donald Rumsfeld for the first time and more
Sep 14, 2011
Dick Cheney, Liz Cheney
Former vice president and daughter discuss his new book, long career in Washington, meeting Donald Rumsfeld for the first time and more
Sep 14, 2011
Dick Cheney, Liz Cheney
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This transcript is automatically generated
Is vice president of business in both of you books -- like hotcakes.
It is where -- it on the New York Times bestseller list I'm told.
Sunday it listed as number one.
This promise for nonfiction.
Now you both work together this but this is hardly the first time you to work -- -- Gonzales helped me get elected when she was about.
Where you memory for construction and to a resort have I keep Tehran keep.
Now she's been involved moment campaigns.
She actually ran the search and when I was in charge define a vice president from George Bush -- him as my chief staff person.
That whole process so -- we've -- a lot of things together.
-- is easy or whether or not him he's great to work with and this this was.
Just a tremendous project I mean to be able -- spend.
Sort of you know such intense time with your dad.
Hearing about his life and that's going my old war stories and -- -- going to rare treat to get a child who sit and listen.
What is different description of the book -- -- that -- -- -- she she describes what not to work -- -- -- in nine days of -- I think is where.
When you actually can't pay with -- 2000 -- every night is how that is look different.
-- that wasn't.
Not that I was hard work for but rather that stuff happened.
And again -- A campaign event or made a speech on complexities of bond financing to build schools to a roomful of third graders and Florida.
It was a mismatch between the speech and the and the audience -- -- that -- and took a few days they're forced to get on track.
For started campaigning again.
We have no idea how lucky you are because.
I saw the book that they got dragged into a polka dance campaign and on -- -- -- that we look for that video.
And out of mind -- -- -- very likely if you I go to ruin your life that evident that we look -- that video.
I'm not -- I'm not a good answer for.
I am just fortunate to insure for the book but we have we actually found four or five seconds we've gone through all -- his movie was called -- Chicago so that's how lucky -- That's not there.
If it was works -- I mean it's.
But it shows which have to do on the campaign trail which is you're still -- expected that as it danceable Grasso thing fanciful that but it didn't want to specific where.
You're entire campaign it once spot in terms of another spot -- something.
You know they we've got so they would -- the name of the city we were in.
Right up and inside the -- just before -- went out of the airplane so that I would know this is Jacksonville it's not Tallahassee.
And when you Wear special that way to make -- selling fewer.
Out of it especially if you didn't have considered violent that they it and -- it -- but -- fourteen different airports and and need to be reminded.
Are you can't always be sort of perfect I think I'm annoyed at -- sometime right in the project -- campaign when the government.
Mean -- there's any family dynamics where it.
Could that mean.
Definitely you know there are times when.
You know -- you work on the book and I'd say to -- and look how did you feel about that and then fellas and all is easiest thing to get to talk about them I don't do feelings and emotion doesn't network -- -- you know warmer -- and people think.
-- whether grandkids and show that side.
As if this -- every night -- monument and the Darth -- idea obviously is one description but also in theory -- it is that the grandchildren throughout this book.
And the dogs and the dogs and dogs have grandchildren.
Right so what's not in here what the media had it's it's it's a long career there must be some things that aren't -- -- you want Begin Liz and things that they wanted to.
Well and and and a sense we had enough material credit for 45 books.
-- -- seventy years and there are a lot of oral histories that they are now that are -- for example there about.
Five or 600 pages of material.
Me talking and answered questions about my time the Defense Department.
Three different locations of the University of Virginia Texas and Henman and in the Pentagon itself.
So there's 600 pages right there about my time -- secretary of defense which was four years that we really had -- just a wealth of material drawn.
And the book we try to be selective and focused on the highlights and and put in some tough stuff.
Where I didn't win arguments as well as things succeed.
Anything in the book anything missing -- the book that you want it and that you regret what didn't make it.
That I am sworn -- secrecy.
But it was a you know I mean I think that.
There it is such a rich career and you know if you look at my data just happened at a time pentagon if you look at this time as vice president I mean there were.
You know they yesterday they were dealing with interesting issues an interesting debates -- important debates and they were simply no way that you could cover all -- that.
So I think I hope he'll do another volume I think that it's clearly important for the history period that.
You're able to get all that down but.
What I feel really proud about is that this book gets down key important events.
And that is my dad tell on the stories so it's it's a really good read too because I think it it.
-- the stories explain what was going on without becoming hopefully to dancer.
For boring people they really there was a lot of a lot of activity -- so -- -- of secrecy.
He is innocent on -- There are some.
That I push to have been in the book that there was an unfortunate.
Incident which yeah I wanna access practices but.
I need my folks used to get letters from the dean say nine fallen in with a very spirited group of young man.
When I was -- I was kicked out twice last Thomas was permanent.
But it was such problems that timely and the beach party on the fourth floor the -- -- and water that.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- MA it's funny person.
You know we think so far back in -- Munich I suspect.
Most people -- -- college.
-- those stories.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- avenue let's -- I don't want to advocate -- guided my idea and an -- and you're good you can -- -- and separateness perfect sitting stringer who has never had done anything wrong.
Five children by the way and she doesn't want them to know.
She did humans there indeed.
But as it was inches out in politics we do really back.
And and we keep repeating that -- not fun well.
You do you better be able to accept it and deal with it if you're gonna pursue -- political career and especially going to be vice president familiar.
The punch line and every late night comedians.
At least once or twice a week and you need to have thick skin.
And don't take it personally.
And and some of it's pretty funny.
It's it's easier I think.
For the person I suspect that some of the users that about you whether funny not funny -- others I suspect we're quite as funny your family it's.
Hours it's tough on the family.
-- -- I think it's it's definitely -- my dad has always great -- and you know comes territory at have a thick skin.
But but when I think back to you know the stories about what you were doing in 1962 and 63.
The thing that I think is -- most interesting is you know twelve years after you've been arrested for driving under the influence your life was not going in the good direction.
You're the youngest chief staff in history and Gerald Ford's White House and those are the kinds of stories that I think are really interesting to people you know somebody who who got you got yourself straightened out and we're tremendously successful wants you to mind.
-- -- it herself from mom.
In terms of the visitors and I mean we want to protesters today and is -- -- rest Dick Cheney war criminal I mean I imagine you're somewhat accustomed but I can't imagine it's it's particularly well if you.
-- I mean it you know.
-- makes me man had I think that.
In politics people are gonna disagree and clearly a lot of the policies that my dad's been involved in -- ones that are controversial.
But one of the reasons I'm really glad He decided to write the book was to lay out the reasons behind the policies and and what you hope is that you can have a debate about the policies and people will read it and say.
Well I still don't agree maybe but now I understand why they did it.
I think most people who read it hopefully will come to understand the wisdom of the decisions that that's the kind of debate you wanna have there are always going to be you know folks out there yelling and screaming and part of that is where system works but I don't think they make is important -- contribution frankly.
To the system into the country is those people who debate on substance to body of the war criminals signs and posters -- -- -- -- -- I spent.
The University of Wisconsin in my youth.
As a student back in the days when when there was a lot of disruption and demonstration.
Violence on campuses all across America.
I think what we see today is pretty.
-- -- people did talk about today as though it's so rough and everything but even mean going back into your -- through your book or even going back lectures at this has been a rough.
It's it's a contact sports -- next.
-- -- No I I.
Loved every minute -- -- and terms that decision and and I started out it was going to be an academic.
Wanted to be a professor working on Ph.D.
in political science came to Washington say twelve months.
Description of more than forty years.
And that is an enormous privilege to have the opportunity to -- to get to do the things I've been able to do the people -- worked with the issues we -- grapple with.
-- -- pretty tough.
And secretary of defense.
Responsible for in those days four million.
Employees and troops in the Department of Defense desert storm -- nepalese troops to the -- Or the events of 9/11 in the aftermath of nine elevenths -- put in place policies to collect intelligence -- need to keep countries say.
A lot of the criticism.
I get these days relates to that period after nine elevenths and came to grips of that long -- believe very deeply what we did the right thing to do I had it to do over -- -- would.
The most controversial courses the enhanced interrogation.
Which and I spoke a lot by for tonight but I'm curious when I -- -- no that you supported me He -- Come along with -- and still back -- it I'm curious though is that.
Do you worry that let's say that it ever develops like -- on the streets of Washington or something where somebody gets picked up for a crime He worried that if you know it's taken beyond sort of the war area and into -- the domestically area.
That too well for example are enhanced interrogation.
And properly so was very very.
Careful very very insistent upon.
Safeguards that would make certain that we didn't interfere with any individuals.
Legitimate constitutional rights and when we get into enhanced interrogation.
No waterboarding in this sort of elements always held -- -- system's ability.
That was done on three people.
College Sheikh Mohammed primarily the man who.
Among other things is responsible probably for the murder of Daniel Pearl Wall Street Journal reporter -- He added.
And claimed himself and and -- reason and out of that He was the man behind the nine elevenths and killed 3000 Americans.
He was subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques.
But it was done only after the Justice Department signed off on -- only after the director of CIA had approved that particular program is applied to Belichick moment.
The president did sign off on the policy and -- Security Council and signed off on the policy from the Justice Department handed down -- ruins and this was not torture.
And so we were very careful.
Not to get into a situation where -- there was a danger that some Americans are going to be arrested on the street and subjected to this country.
They -- -- that in the you know on the next down.
Administration in the next twenty years -- something that there's going to be some slippery slope that what was accepted now and seen by used an effective form of interrogation will be used.
So and I are concerned.
Greta it was on the morning after nine elevenths.
That the president was very strong -- this as well that.
We were not ever gonna let that happen -- and -- watch.
And that we were gonna do whatever we had to do by way of putting together policy that was affected.
And protecting and safeguarding the American people that's what we did and it worked.
And and it was done in accordance with our.
Normal practices and procedures in terms of how we make policy.
We safeguard -- of American citizens.
And so I'm I'm very comfortable with what we did.
The other option of course would have been -- say well we're not gonna.
-- use those techniques and if we lose more Americans so be it.
Obviously we -- -- all to happen.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- We'll vice president's.
Don't run anything.
It wasn't like being secretary defense overseeing the Defense Department.
-- the White House Gerry Ford.
Being a congressman.
In your part of that institution.
When they have any impact at all primarily because -- wants immunity.
Because He allows them to to function can be an important part of the team and I think it helps in my case that I was not trying to run for president myself.
That I wasn't who won it when I was working on things like.
Enhanced interrogation techniques are more terrorist surveillance program.
I wasn't worried about how I was going to be proceed in the Iowa Caucuses on mir's hands.
It was very clear from the outset that I was not a candidate -- was going to be Kennedy had no plans whatsoever.
For president once -- finished by Christmas I was there carry out the wishes and desires -- an agenda.
George Bush sometimes we agree sometimes we didn't.
But He always gave me the opportunity to present my point of view it and so I think I had an impact.
And was fairly successful -- vice presidents go but He had a lot to do that.
We talk about it in your -- some of the disagreements and one of them was over Scooter Libby.
That He didn't pardon Scooter Libby commuted sentence -- -- didn't pardon him.
And that I mean I and another -- duty because talk about it often I've heard you other interviews about it.
How passionate did you get with him about I mean how strong because we ended it and that I take it that you were -- about it as a -- a lot to you.
And you know what you don't think being quote forceful with president states.
He was president there was any question about who's in charge or who is gonna make the decision I did -- My own strong feelings on the matter on more than one occasion.
I did -- in private just to those.
The last time was.
When it became clear that was not going to be important pursuit which is fundamentally disagree -- -- -- was innocent.
That He and very badly mistreated -- -- whole process.
But that was done over lunch.
We used to monitor every week one day that we would get together just to us and visit that during last session in January.
Where it came up for the last time as the last chance.
Four scooter to get -- -- Present -- animated decision He wasn't gonna grant it.
-- -- -- -- only arguments.
It wasn't the first time leader for.
Made it clear that.
I think the language I used in the book.
-- -- -- -- and good man and wounded on the field of battle.
The pardon was a resolution.
He didn't agree.
Lot of big issues in this book but also touch of at least maybe you don't think it's humor I do and maybe list as to.
When you applied for a job -- fellowship.
With congressman named Rumsfeld.
And -- -- the interview last deduct that line didn't demand I -- you know seven minutes or something along this you know and what -- stadium.
He has said this and gonna work.
And stood up -- it was clear and a host through I was out the door I've never been treated that way.
Interviewed before that.
A this when I first arrived in Washington.
And a few weeks later He was name to be.
The director poverty program by President Nixon.
Said an unsolicited.
Quote page memo.
Am recommending what I have handle himself and his confirmation -- what He should do with the -- took over.
And He gave it to the congressman I was working for the past.
A few weeks later that led to them.
My being invited into rumsfeld's office after this morning and is the director polio that you -- congressional relations you know that's when He hired me.
Explicitly mentioned how Rumsfeld plays up to this whole -- in a lot of sort of familiar names of people -- -- political history last decade we have people keep resurfacing.
Com and you've got -- -- and it appears a very strong friendship and and and then you're the one US to make the call when He gets relieved to the job as secretary of defense and of Brooke -- fired relieve resign him every -- but.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Well it was on the one hand.
I didn't didn't agree with president's desire to replace him.
But it's also true that Don had anticipated and made clear race and said to me.
If the Democrats were successful in capturing that congress and 06 election.
He was perfectly prepared to submit his resignation because it -- concerned about becoming sort of what people if you will.
For the administration should He handle it very professionally.
And that's a weight over the -- He -- spent the next four years write this book which is I think is a good book and He but He was very professional about it he'd been around long enough to know the president gets to make those calls them when He makes him salute smartly and execute the best your ability and that's exactly what He did.
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