This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," May 12, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, just call him this administration's ball and Cheney. He won't go. He won't stop, and, today, you will see for yourself Dick Cheney is just warming up.
Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto.
And he is the former vice president of these United States. His old boss is quiet. He is not. And when it comes to an administration prepared to release a lot of photos of interrogated detainees, he is now officially livid, and, with me only moments ago, not exactly holding back.
CAVUTO: All right, Mr. Vice President, welcome. Always good having you.
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT RICHARD CHENEY: It's good to see you again, Neil.
CAVUTO: We're getting word that, by May 28, up to potentially 2,000 pictures are going to be released by the White House showing various interrogation methods, up to 2,000.
What do you think of that?
CHENEY: Well, I guess what I think is important is that there be some balance to what is being released. The fact of the matter is, the administration appears to be committed to putting out information that sort of favors their point of view, in terms of being opposed to, for example, enhanced interrogation techniques.
But, so far, they have refused to put out memos that were done by the CIA that I requested be declassified that show the positive results of the detainee program, and all of the information and the intelligence we were able to garner from these high-value detainees.
• Video: Watch Part 1 of Cavuto's interview | Part 2
CAVUTO: And you say there are at least two such CIA memos that point to...
CHENEY: Well, there are two specifically that I requested.
CAVUTO: ... to the enhanced interrogation, and that it did yield results.
CHENEY: Yes, well, that specifically talked about detainees, about the contributions that we got to our overall intelligence picture. Publicly General Hayden, who used to be director of the CIA, said as late as 2006 a majority of the intelligence we had gotten about Al Qaeda came from detainees — high-value targets like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, like Abu Zubaydah, people that we captured during the course of — of our campaign against Al Qaeda.
And they, of course, were obviously also the people that the debate has focused on in respect to enhanced interrogation techniques.
CAVUTO: Have you spoken to anyone in the White House lately about this? And did they give you a heads-up, we're going to release all of these interrogation pictures?
CHENEY: What I did was make a formal request for declassification through the National Archives, which is the way you do it, and then it goes out to the agency responsible, in this case, the CIA.
And I'm still awaiting a formal answer from them.
CAVUTO: Your daughter, Liz, was on a rival news network this morning.
CHENEY: She was.
CAVUTO: And she made the comment that, the White House should have called my dad — I'm paraphrasing here, Mr. Vice President — but it was clearly, the inference was that that did not happen.
What happened? When this whole dust-up started happening on interrogation, and then eliminating water-boarding, did anyone from the White House give you or President Bush a heads-up that this policy was about to be reversed?
CHENEY: Well, I — I didn't discuss it with anybody in the administration, but I'm not offended by that. They campaigned all across the country, from — from one end of the country to the other — against enhanced interrogation techniques, and made it very clear they were opposed to that. They called it torture. I don't believe it was torture. We had attorneys who gave us clear guidance as to what was appropriate and what wasn't.
The reason we have gotten into this debate at all is because the administration saw fit to go back and release OLC opinions — opinions out of the Office of Legal Counsel, and the Justice Department dealing with its classified program. Now, that's a very rare occurrence. You don't ordinarily release those opinions, especially when it deals with a classified program.
They did it in a way that — that sort of has blocked so far any real discussion of the results of the program and instead focused upon the techniques themselves.
And they really began the debate, then, with the suggestions that perhaps people should be prosecuted for having participated in the program or the lawyers who gave us these opinions should be disbarred. I think it's an outrage.
I think the proposition that a new administration can come in and — and, in effect, launch an attack on their predecessor because they disagreed with the legal advice that was given by the Justice Department or because they find that they don't like the policies that were pursued by the prior administration — it's one thing to come in and change the policy. It's an entirely different proposition to come in and say that you're somehow going to go after the lawyers in the Justice Department or the agents who carried out that policy.
I just — I — I think that's outrageous. And that's why I have spoken out as I have to defend the policy and...
CAVUTO: But you have, but President Bush has not. And — and that, to your critics, is a sign of his statesmanship and your lack of it.
What do you make of that?
CHENEY: Well, I — I don't pay a lot of attention to what the critics say, obviously.
From my standpoint, the notion that I should remain silent, while they go public, that I shouldn't say anything, while they threaten to disbar the lawyers who gave us the advice that was crucial in terms of this program, that I shouldn't say anything when they go out and release information that they believe is critical of the program and critical of our policies, but refuse to put out information that shows the results that we were able to achieve.
The bottom line is: We successfully defended the nation for seven-and-a-half years against a follow-on attack to 9/11. That was a remarkable achievement. Nobody would have thought that was possible, but it was. I believe it was possible because of the policies we had in place, which they're now dismantling.
I think it's...
CAVUTO: So, by that definition, are we more likely to be attacked now? Is that what you're saying?