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Dick Cheney on Wiretapping and Being Glad "Al Gore Didn't Get Elected in 2000"

Reported by Melanie - January 19, 2006

Dick Cheney appeared on Your World today (January 19, 2006) for the first of a two-part, "powerful one-on-one interview" with Neil Cavuto. After "discussing" the new bin Laden tape, Iraq, and Iran (Nothing new there. Cheney didn't even push to renew the Patriot Act.), Cavuto asked Cheney about breaking the law, wiretaps, and the "comments" Al Gore made on Monday. Here's that portion of Cavuto's "powerful" interview.

Pay attention not only to what Cheney said but to Cavuto's very, very accommodating questions.

Cavuto opened by asking Cheney what he thought of Al Gore's "comments" and his claim that, "this administration is breaking the law, these abusive wiretaps are the extreme, and some other pretty strong stuff. Do you think that issue resonates with people - that you are - this administration is - going to extremes?"

Cheney: "I don't, I don't have a lot of confidence in Al Gore's judgments or commentary about these kinds of issues." I didn't see his "statement" but "set that aside for a moment." We have to use "everything in our power and make certain we use all the tools available to us" in order to protect ourselves. The NSA "controversy" is a "reaction , to ah, well, unfortunately, to leaks." But, we have "not been attacked in more than four years." That is "not just dumb luck." We've done some "very good work at interrupting activities of the enemy." The NSA program, which is the subject of "some controversy," is "conducted in a manner that's fully consistent with the Constitution and the President's authorities and responsibilities." This is "often called domestic surveillance. No. This is not domestic surveillance." What "this is specifically about, and this President has been very clear" is a situation where "one end of the communication is in the United States, the other end of which is overseas, and one end of which we have reason to believe is Al Qaeda-affiliated." The President "has authorized that." "It is "fully consistent with the Constitution." and it is reauthorized every 45 days. It "has been briefed to the Congress, to the chairman and ranking member of the Intelligence Committees, and the elected leadership of the House and Senate."

Cavuto: "So, what do you think of those who brought it up?"

Cheney: "Those briefings have occurred at least a dozen times. I've presided over most of them. The fact of the matter is this is a good, sound program. Al Gore can say whatever he wants to say about it but the fact is, knowing what I know and having been involved from the very beginning, I would want to be absolutely certain that the man who is making the key decisions to safeguard the nation would do exactly what George Bush did, and frankly, I hear Al Gore make those kinds of comments and I'm just reminded of how fortunate we are that he didn't get elected in 2000."

Comment: First, David Sirota has pieced together a chronology of the excuses made by the administration about wiretapping, beginning with "It was legal" to "I am lazy." Now we're told that our forefathers gave wiretapping a green light (it's "fully consistent with the Constitution") as determined by Bush yes-man, Alberto Gonzales. Additionally, the constitutional crisis we're now in, with a president who think he's above the law (think: dictator) has been reduced to a "reaction, to ah, well, unfortunately, to leaks." Hey Cavuto, anyone home?

Second, note how Cheney implies that Gore is a wimp who wouldn't "safeguard the nation"? I'd say that might be the opening salvo in the 2008 presidential election. Also, please read Gore's speech (linked to above) if you haven't heard or read it yet. It is magnificent. Al Gore has a far greater comprehension of what it means to "safeguard the nation" than Bush or Cheney could ever conceive of.

And third - Cavuto, regarding your questions - wipe your mouth. There's some brown stuff around your lips.

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