This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," June 13, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Mr. Vice President, great to see you again.
VICE PRESIDENT RICHARD CHENEY: Sean, good to see you.
HANNITY: All right, here we are at MacDill Air Force Base, and you just gave out a Bronze Star, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, a Silver Star and a Distinguished Service Cross.
HANNITY: I got to meet these guys. These are great Americans.
CHENEY: They are. They — it's the kind of thing that I think we need to see more of in terms of reminding the American people, that we've got some phenomenal young men out there who put their lives on the line every day for all of us. And these were five guys who had earned some of the highest decorations the nation can bestow for their service, especially in Iraq.
HANNITY: I met one of these guys who had gotten the Distinguished Flying Cross. He's my age. He was born in December '61. He's got four beautiful children, his wife. He's going back to Iraq. And a friend of his' helicopter went down, and he flew back in under-fire to get his buddies out of there. They're just incredible stories that all these guys tell.
CHENEY: Yes. No, it's a special privilege to be able to meet them and to be able to decorate them on behalf of the country.
HANNITY: You said, "America's safer but we are not yet safe."
CHENEY: Well, it's true. We've made major progress, I think, in the War on Terror, and what we've been able to do in Afghanistan and Iraq.
But we're still faced with a deadly adversary out there in the Al Qaeda (search) organization. We've just recently captured Abu Faraj Al-Libbi, who was currently the number-three man in the organization. We know they're trying to mount more attacks against the United States. Up until now, we've able to disrupt those attacks or intercept them. But we can't let our guard down for a minute.
HANNITY: You know, you said — we're talking about Al Qaeda. Are there Al Qaeda that we know are in the United States? Are they here, some, that we know, and we're trying to find?
CHENEY: Well, I can't say that. I mean, once we find somebody, then we'll move on them, obviously, as aggressively as possible, if somebody's been actually involved in terrorist training, for example, in the camps in Afghanistan or provides financial support and sustenance to a terrorist adversary.
But we do a lot of work, obviously, through the FBI, as well as their coordination with the Central Intelligence Agency and our other intelligence agencies can do overseas. And so far, say it's been now going on four years without another strike on the United States.
It's not because they haven't tried, but we've successfully disrupted a number of operations. But you cannot — the important thing to emphasize for people is it's so important not to let our guard down, to remember that threat's still out there. And just because it's been a long time since they hit us doesn't mean they aren't trying and they won't do it again.
HANNITY: I read your speech to the U.S. Air Force Academy. And you went into detail talking about the same topic here. And you said, "They hate our country. They oppose everything we stand for in the world. They hold an ideology that demands complete conformity, the crushing of dissent."
You talk about subjugating of women, et cetera, and you said, "They have declared their intention to strike America again and kill even greater numbers of our citizens." So we're getting further and further away from 9/11, we forget, don't we?
CHENEY: That's right. And it's important for us to remember here. If you look at the — talk about an extreme ideology, these guys really want to revert back to the 7th century, to the time when their Islamic faith pretty much dominated the world, and it stretched from Spain all the way down to India.