And it was done in accordance with our normal practices and procedures in terms of how we make policy many, how we safeguard the rights of American citizens. And so I'm very comfortable with what we did. The other option of course would have been to say we are not going to use those techniques, and if we lose more Americans, so about it. Obviously we weren't going to allow that to happen.
VAN SUSTEREN: Stay right there. There's much more of our interview with our nation's 46th vice president coming up.
And we all know the public side of Vice President Dick Cheney, but what was going on behind the scenes at the White House, the stuff we didn't get to see? The vice president is blunt. He is going to tell you, next.
VAN SUSTEREN: Here's Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz Cheney.
VAN SUSTEREN: How much power did you have? How do you define that?
DICK CHENEY: Well, vice presidents don't run anything. It wasn't like being secretary of defense overseeing the defense department or running the White House with Jerry ford. Being a congressman even where you got your own staff and you are part of that institution.
Vice presidents are successful when they have any impact at all, primarily because the president wants them to be because he allows them to function. 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 -- when I was working on things like enhanced interrogation techniques or terror surveillance program I wasn't worried about how I was going to be perceived this the Iowa caucuses some years hence.
I was clear I was not a candidate, I wasn't going to be a candidate, had no plans to run for president once I finished the vice presidency. I was there to carry out the wishes and desires and agenda of George Bush. Sometimes we agreed, sometimes we didn't. But he always gave me the opportunity to present my point of view. So I think I had an impact and was fairly successful as vice presidents go. But he had a lot to do with that.
VAN SUSTEREN: We've taken "On the Record" a number of times to North Korea, a continued fascination of ours. You write in the book about the inability in the Bush administration to keep nuclear weapons from North Korea. What happened? If you had a do over, what would you do?
DICK CHENEY: Well, one of our major concerns was the issue of proliferation of nuclear weapons technology. We dealt with it effectively obviously when we got rid of Saddam Hussein. Then Moammar Qaddafi saw what we had done to Saddam and he surrendered his nuclear materials and bomb-making equipment. We took down the A.Q. Khan network that supplied Gadhafi and also dealt with the North Koreans. Those were all success stories.
The one we did not succeed -- two really. One was Iran. The other was North Korea. North Korea has been a difficult assignment. It was during the Clinton administration, I'm sure as well for the Obama people. What they did on our watch was they tested their first nuclear device in '06. They built a nuclear reactor, plutonium reactor for producing reprocessed plutonium, same kind of reactor they have in North Korea, they built one for the Syrians in Syria. That was destroyed eventually by the Israelis, they took it out.
But they have also acquired uranium enrichment capability, a different kind of technology that gets you to the same end when they swore up and down they hadn't. And I think the -- what I lay out in the book are rules that I think need to be followed when we try to deal with these situations. There have to be meaningful consequences. If you are going to lay down a marker and say don't proliferate nuclear weapons technology to the terror sponsoring state you have to mean it.
VAN SUSTEREN: You gave then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice a little hell in the book.
DICK CHENEY: I did. I felt the advice that the State Department was providing was wrong. I disagreed with it. I thought that we needed to have effective diplomacy dependent upon your adversary believing if they didn't do what you were asking them to do there would be consequences. There were never consequences. What always happened with respect to North Korea was we kept making more concessions, lifting them off the destination as terror-sponsoring state, for example.
VAN SUSTEREN: One of the words you used with Condoleezza Rice, a code word for women is tearful. I think she takes issue with that and some do describe her as tearful, which might suggest her as weak. Any do-over, want to take that back, or you stand by that?
DICK CHENEY: I stand by it. It was a description of a particular meeting in my office.
VAN SUSTEREN: Are you saying she is weak?
DICK CHENEY: No.
LIZ CHENEY: As a woman I don't think that's a code word. I think it certainly -- it was a description of what happened but I wouldn't take it as any kind of code word.
I would add, if I might to this North Korean story this point my dad made at the end which you see the State Department do repeatedly. When you are dealing with a dictator, somebody who is uncooperative, too often the state department's response is let's make another concession. Give them one more benefit maybe their behavior will change. I think the North Korea story shows, especially when you look at what has happened since, which my dad always talks about, the danger of that kind of approach.
VAN SUSTEREN: One last question. Miss the job?
DICK CHENEY: I enjoyed it very much, I really did. On the other hand, I'm a junkie. Otherwise why would I have stayed 40 years in the business? I loved every day I got to get up to go to work at the White House, whether I was the Defense Department in the Ford White House. Those were remarkable opportunities.
On the other hand, I'm 70-years-old now. I've had some health problems. I had a lot of fun writing the book. I always joked about book writing that the reason I had the job I did now is because I didn't write about the last one. I've obviously now written about all of them. And I'm enjoying very much, much better health than I had a year or so go. I've been back out on the river with my fly rod, writing books, traveling, promoting the book, spending time with the family and those seven grandchildren. Life is good. And so I don't have any burning desire to get back into the arena. I've already done that.
VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Thank you, Liz.
LIZ CHENEY: Thanks, Greta.