KARL: What do you say to those who say you’ve changed? I mean, you’ve seen friends go across, say, I don’t know Dick Cheney any more. They’ve really known you just about as long as anybody in this town. What do you say to that?
CHENEY: Well, I the way I think of it is in terms of whether or not I changed, I think a prime motivation for me and much of what I’ve done was 9/11. And being here on 9/11, going through that experience. And reaching the conclusion that somebody said the other day that I said at that point, that’s not going to happen again on my watch. And we’ve done everything we could, the president has, I have, a lot of the people that we work with, to make certain that didn’t happen.
And we’ve succeeded. But when you contemplate the 9/11 with terrorists instead of being armed with box cutters and airline tickets, equipped with a nuclear weapon or a biological agent of some kind in the middle of one of our cities and think about the consequences of that and then I think we’re justified in taking bold action. I think it’s incumbent upon us to take bold action to make certain that never happens.
And it does say we’ve been successful for seven and a half years now and have I changed? Well, not in the sense that I’ve gone through some fundamental psychological transition here but I have been since that day focused very much on what we needed to do to defend the nation and I think the policies we’ve recommended, the programs that we’ve undertaken have been good program. I think those have been sound decisions and if that’s what they mean by saying I’ve changed, I’m guilty.