This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 15, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Liz Cheney is here to go "On the Record." The daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney has been watching closely as her father and President Obama's administration continue to have a very public battle over waterboarding and other controversial issues. Liz Cheney is also a former principal deputy assistant secretary of state. She joins us live.
Nice to see you.
LIZ CHENEY, FORMER VP CHENEY'S DAUGHTER: Thanks, Greta. Great to be here.
VAN SUSTEREN: And I see you got the memo on the suit...
VAN SUSTEREN: That's a good start.
CHENEY: Great minds think alike.
VAN SUSTEREN: Indeed. All right, let's start first -- your father has asked for two specific memos, right? Who has he asked?
CHENEY: Well, he has filed them formally the way that former vice presidents do, which is to make a request of the National Archives. And then the Archives takes the documents that you've requested be declassified and they send those to the agencies responsible for those documents. So in this case, it went to the CIA.
VAN SUSTEREN: Has the CIA responded?
CHENEY: They have responded. You know, I think it should be viewed as an administration response, not just a CIA response. But the response was to say that because the subject matter of these documents is also the subject matter of pending FOIA litigation, they're unable to even review the documents. They haven't even read the documents to review them for declassification. Now, what's concerning about this is a number of things, as you can imagine...
VAN SUSTEREN: I think it's nuts, actually. Just -- I mean, just to be quite pointed, I mean, like, if these documents are either going to show what your father says is correct or incorrect, it's a rather easy thing. But anyway...
VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, I presume it is. I haven't seen the content of the documents.
CHENEY: I'm not going to disagree with your characterization of it. But I do think it's too bad because the president obviously can, you know, wave his hand and declassify anything. And so for the White House to sort of be hiding behind a bureaucratic answer to this seems to me to be disingenuous.
VAN SUSTEREN: And of course, they've released other documents. They've declassified other documents. All right, so it's -- because it's the subject of a FOIA request, it's sort of -- it's in document hell right now.
CHENEY: Yes. And I would point out that the legal memos that they've already released would be also restricted release under the same FOIA request. So it's really -- it's a double standard, and I think when you're dealing with something as important as this debate about national security, the administration ought to be willing to release, you know, information on both sides of this issue.
VAN SUSTEREN: I think the American -- as long as it doesn't jeopardize an ongoing covert operation or get someone killed, right now, I think they ought to -- they ought to release them so we can sort of set the record straight, whatever it might be.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Why is your father speaking out? I'm he's been -- he's been showing up and he's rather blunt.
CHENEY: Yes. He feels very, very strongly about these issues. And I think that, you know, when the administration released the memos -- you know, it's one thing for them to sort of say, We're going to stop the policy, which they have every right to do. But when they then take the step of releasing publicly the techniques that we used in the program -- and we know the terrorists train to these techniques. We know they're now on a Web site. We know that they can now train to withstand the techniques.
Then the administration took the subsequent step of suggesting that they'd be open to prosecution of former Bush administration officials and employees, or if not prosecution, then disciplinary action against the lawyers who wrote the memos. And he feels very strongly, first of all, that these steps the administration is taking are making us less safe, that they're dismantling very important policies that helped us to be able to prevent attacks after 9/11, but also that it's, you know, fundamentally un- American, frankly, for one administration to come into office and then threaten legal action and criminal prosecution against the predecessor over policy differences.
VAN SUSTEREN: Or -- or at least, you know, come up and -- let's certainly see the documents and see what the facts are. Does that -- (INAUDIBLE)
CHENEY: Yes. Obviously.
VAN SUSTEREN: Does your -- does your father talk to President Bush? I mean, I never understand the sort of post-presidency relationship between a VP and a president. How about your father and President Bush?
CHENEY: They do. They keep in touch. They speak by phone.
VAN SUSTEREN: Are we going to see President Bush speaking out on any of these issues, do you think?
CHENEY: I don't know. I think that -- you know, President Bush has been pretty clear to date in saying he believes that President Obama deserves his silence. And so I'm -- you know, I can't really speak for President Bush, but I think everybody's got to make their own decisions on this issue.
VAN SUSTEREN: And what's -- what are your parents doing now that -- I mean, working on memoirs?
CHENEY: Well, my dad is working on his memoirs and my mom is working on a biography of James Madison. So there's a lot of book writing going on in the house these days.
VAN SUSTEREN: And are we going to see your father more -- out and about more, talking on these issues, or is he going to wait to see whether they declassify these documents?
CHENEY: Well, I think that, you know, he -- well, he's definitely going to be giving a speech this coming up week at AEI, talking about sort of a whole range of war on terror issues and why it's so important that we not dismantle the entire infrastructure that has been so effective.
But you know, he will speak up when he feels strongly about these issues and when he feels that he has something to say and he can make a real difference. And I think, frankly, when you look at things like the decision not to release the photos, you see the effect it has when people stand up and say, Wait a second, you know,we need to debate this.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, it's sort of interesting. For us, as Americans, we just sort of sit here. We have the prior administration telling us that we're at greater risk with the new administration. The new administration says they won't give the documents and -- we're just waiting, hoping for the best. Anyway, Liz, we got to go. I took the last word on that one. Liz, thank you.
CHENEY: Thanks, Greta.
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