Saturday, September 30, 2006

Declassified Summary of the National Intelligence Estimate: Sept. 26, 2006

Declassified Key Judgments of the National Intelligence Estimate "Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States" dated April 2006

Key Judgments

United States-led counterterrorism efforts have seriously damaged the leadership of al-Qa'ida and disrupted its operations; however, we judge that al-Qa'ida will continue to pose the greatest threat to the Homeland and US interests abroad by a single terrorist organization. We also assess that the global jihadist movement -- which includes al-Qa'ida, affiliated and independent terrorist groups, and emerging networks and cells -- is spreading and adapting to counterterrorism efforts.

• Although we cannot measure the extent of the spread with precision, a large body of all-source reporting indicates that activists identifying themselves as jihadists, although a small percentage of Muslims, are increasing in both number and geographic dispersion.

• If this trend continues, threats to US interests at home and abroad will become more diverse, leading to increasing attacks worldwide.

• Greater pluralism and more responsive political systems in Muslim majority nations would alleviate some of the grievances jihadists exploit. Over time, such progress, together with sustained, multifaceted programs targeting the vulnerabilities of the jihadist movement and continued pressure on al-Qa'ida, could erode support for the jihadists.

We assess that the global jihadist movement is decentralized, lacks a coherent global strategy, and is becoming more diffuse. New jihadist networks and cells, with anti- American agendas, are increasingly likely to emerge. The confluence of shared purpose and dispersed actors will make it harder to find and undermine jihadist groups.

• We assess that the operational threat from self-radicalized cells will grow in importance to US counterterrorism efforts, particularly abroad but also in the Homeland.

• The jihadists regard Europe as an important venue for attacking Western interests. Extremist networks inside the extensive Muslim diasporas in Europe facilitate recruitment and staging for urban attacks, as illustrated by the 2004 Madrid and 2005 London bombings.

We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives; perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere.

• The Iraq conflict has become the "cause celebre" for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement. Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.

We assess that the underlying factors fueling the spread of the movement outweigh its vulnerabilities and are likely to do so for the duration of the timeframe of this Estimate.

• Four underlying factors are fueling the spread of the jihadist movement: (1) Entrenched grievances, such as corruption, injustice, and fear of Western domination, leading to anger, humiliation, and a sense of powerlessness; (2) the Iraq "jihad;" (3) the slow pace of real and sustained economic, social, and political reforms in many Muslim majority nations; and (4) pervasive anti-US sentiment among most Muslims -- all of which jihadists exploit.

Concomitant vulnerabilities in the jihadist movement have emerged that, if fully exposed and exploited, could begin to slow the spread of the movement. They include dependence on the continuation of Muslim-related conflicts, the limited appeal of the jihadists' radical ideology, the emergence of respected voices of moderation, and criticism of the violent tactics employed against mostly Muslim citizens.

• The jihadists' greatest vulnerability is that their ultimate political solution -- an ultra-conservative interpretation of shari'a-based governance spanning the Muslim world -- is unpopular with the vast majority of Muslims. Exposing the religious and political straitjacket that is implied by the jihadists' propaganda would help to divide them from the audiences they seek to persuade.

• Recent condemnations of violence and extremist religious interpretations by a few notable Muslim clerics signal a trend that could facilitate the growth of a constructive alternative to jihadist ideology: peaceful political activism. This also could lead to the consistent and dynamic participation of broader Muslim communities in rejecting violence, reducing the ability of radicals to capitalize on passive community support. In this way, the Muslim mainstream emerges as the most powerful weapon in the war on terror.

• Countering the spread of the jihadist movement will require coordinated multilateral efforts that go well beyond operations to capture or kill terrorist leaders.

If democratic reform efforts in Muslim majority nations progress over the next five years, political participation probably would drive a wedge between intransigent extremists and groups willing to use the political process to achieve their local objectives. Nonetheless, attendant reforms and potentially destabilizing transitions will create new opportunities for jihadists to exploit.

Al-Qa'ida, now merged with Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi's network, is exploiting the situation in Iraq to attract new recruits and donors and to maintain its leadership role.

• The loss of key leaders, particularly Usama Bin Ladin, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and al-Zarqawi, in rapid succession, probably would cause the group to fracture into smaller groups. Although like-minded individuals would endeavor to carry on the mission, the loss of these key leaders would exacerbate strains and disagreements. We assess that the resulting splinter groups would, at least for a time, pose a less serious threat to US interests than does al-Qa'ida.

• Should al-Zarqawi continue to evade capture and scale back attacks against Muslims, we assess he could broaden his popular appeal and present a global threat.

• The increased role of Iraqis in managing the operations of al-Qa'ida in Iraq might lead veteran foreign jihadists to focus their efforts on external operations.

Other affiliated Sunni extremist organizations, such as Jemaah Islamiya, Ansar al-Sunnah, and several North African groups, unless countered, are likely to expand their reach and become more capable of multiple and/or mass-casualty attacks outside their traditional areas of operation.

We assess that such groups pose less of a danger to the Homeland than does al-Qa'ida but will pose varying degrees of threat to our allies and to US interests abroad. The focus of their attacks is likely to ebb and flow between local regime targets and regional or global ones.

We judge that most jihadist groups -- both well-known and newly formed -- will use improvised explosive devices and suicide attacks focused primarily on soft targets to implement their asymmetric warfare strategy, and that they will attempt to conduct sustained terrorist attacks in urban environments. Fighters with experience in Iraq are a potential source of leadership for jihadists pursuing these tactics.

• CBRN capabilities will continue to be sought by jihadist groups.

While Iran, and to a lesser extent Syria, remain the most active state sponsors of terrorism, many other states will be unable to prevent territory or resources from being exploited by terrorists.
Anti-US and anti-globalization sentiment is on the rise and fueling other radical ideologies. This could prompt some leftist, nationalist, or separatist groups to adopt terrorist methods to attack US interests. The radicalization process is occurring more quickly, more widely, and more anonymously in the Internet age, raising the likelihood of surprise attacks by unknown groups whose members and supporters may be difficult to pinpoint.

• We judge that groups of all stripes will increasingly use the Internet to communicate, propagandize, recruit, train, and obtain logistical and financial support.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Ward Churchill Mischaracterized the 1887 Dawes Act

"I really have to cite this to people who are capable of tying their shoes without instructions?"---Ward Churchill
In an article called "The Charge of Mischaracterization," Berny Morson of The Rocky Mountain News explains how Ward Churchill mischaracterized the 1887 Dawes Act. The article was later reprinted in Front Page Magazine (June 9, 2005).

Morson writes:

"At the center of Ward Churchill's scholarship is his steady contention that the U.S. government has sought to deal with American Indians by wiping them out.

Sometimes the method was outright war. Other times, according to Churchill's works, it was as surreptitious as the intentional spreading of deadly disease.

But in Churchill's telling of a troubled history, there are also sinister government attempts to legislate tribes out of existence by establishing a "blood quantum" standard to determine who is Indian.

The University of Colorado ethnic studies professor has long attributed this blood-quantum rule to the notorious 1887 Dawes Act, which broke up many Indian reservations into individual holdings.

But the plain language of the statute, which resulted in one of the nation's most duplicitous land grabs, contains no mention of a blood-quantum standard.

...Not only is there no mention of a blood-quantum provision in the wording of the statute, but it also does not jibe with any subsequent court ruling or federal regulation, said law professor Carole Goldberg, who heads UCLA's Joint Degree Program in Law and American Indian Studies.

...In 1999, LaVelle [John LaVelle, a University of New Mexico law professor] wrote a 50-page essay on the subject - including the verbatim text of the Dawes Act - for the Indian studies journal Wicazo Sa Review. [See "The General Allotment Act "Eligibility" Hoax: Distortions of Law, Policy, and History in Derogation of Indian Tribes]

Going through Churchill's works essay by essay, LaVelle found Churchill never cited evidence for his claim that Dawes held a blood-quantum standard.

'This lack of a supporting citation is explained by the fact that . . . the (Dawes Act) never contained any such federally imposed eligibility 'code' at all,' LaVelle wrote in the 1999 essay." [See the rest.]

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Pleasant Dreams!

Nighty-night! Don't let the bed bugs bite!
Something is rotten in the state of Colorado! The University of Colorado's tenured Plagiarist of Ethnic Studies, Ward Churchill, often fantasizes about strangling politicians he doesn't like; and when his "delightful visions" escalate, he tells people that they should "rise up" and hang their elected leaders so the terrorists won't attack our country.

Ward Churchill has incredibly rich, detailed, elaborate, and violent fantasies which climax in the act of murder. Here is Ward Churchill, chasing his dream:

"[R]everies of malignant toads like Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright and Jesse Helms squatting in the shadows of the gallows are simply too pleasant to be suppressed." [2003 Introduction to Churchill's book Acts of Rebellion; cited by Bruce Fein, "Professorship not a License" 2-15-05]

"I have these delightful visions which is what puts me to sleep at night of Madeleine Albright, Jesse Helms, and Henry Kissinger all in a nice neat little row with nooses around their necks and [audience applause]... And the current crop is amply entitled to the same destiny as far as I'm concerned. Do I think anybody's going to do it? Well, that's an interesting question. Who would be doing it? There's only one possible answer: you. We. Us."..." [audio]---Ward Churchill 3-25-05

"Were the opportunity acted upon in some reasonably good faith fashion – a sufficiently large number of Americans rising up and doing whatever is necessary to force an immediate lifting of the sanctions on Iraq, for instance, or maybe hanging a few of America's abundant supply of major war criminals (Henry Kissinger comes quickly to mind, as do Madeline [sic, Madeleine] Albright, Colin Powell, Bill Clinton and George the Elder) – there is every reason to expect that military operations against the US on its domestic front would be immediately suspended." [Ward Churchill, "Some People Push Back."]
UPDATE (3-15-09):
"Every wide-eyed little waif starving to death in Iraq and the reservations of Native North America is of a value identical to that with which a Jonbenet Ramsey or Danielle van Dam is currently imbued. From this realization, had it occurred, one could hope that certain conclusions might accrue, conclusions resulting not just in an American "regime change," but in an alteration of public sensibility that left the likes of Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright sitting where by rights they belong: in a defendants' dock overshadowed by the gallows.
At the very least, it was reasonable to expect that it might at last dawn on average folk that, to quote Georgia State University law professor Natsu Saito, 'if Americans want their own kids to be safe again, the way to make it happen is really not very complicated---stop killing other people's babies.'" (Perversions of Justice, p. 370; Note: Natsu Saito is Churchill's current wife.)

More and More Tenured Plagiarist of Ethnic Studies Humor!

"You need some 50-year-olds to get off their fat asses and stop reading books. Understanding minus the action is masturbation in politics." Ward Churchill
An Internet publication called The Eye Weekly wrote this about the tenured Plagiarist of Ethnic Studies Ward Churchill on 9-13-01:

"Young Canadian anti-globalization activists will be getting some tough talk from indigenous activist Ward Churchill when he speaks at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education on Sept. 14.

'These 18- and 19-year-olds need to read some history so they'll understand what the fuck they're talking about,' says Churchill, a professor of American Indian studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder and a long-time member of the American Indian Movement (AIM).....

Churchill, in Toronto to talk about the connections between genocide, colonialism and globalization, has written several controversial books on the subject...

But Churchill doesn't reserve his criticism for the Seattle generation alone.
'You need some 50-year-olds to get off their fat asses and stop reading books. Understanding minus the action is masturbation in politics," he says of academics who theorize and pontificate without acting to change the "cancerous" world system.'" [The rest.]
Odd that The Eye Weekly fails to mention that AIM had a financial angel in the genocidal dictator Saddam Hussein! Wardo really went on the warpath when Vernon Bellecourt queered the deal with Saddam by extolling Iran's Ayatollah Khomeni while Iran and Iraq were at war. According to Wardo's organization, Colorado AIM, Iran didn't give AIM any "compensatory support" to pick up the slack.
D'oh! That Vernon is such a moron!

But our Wardo's no dummy! He's a tenured Plagiarist of Ethnic Studies, not a denizen of La-La Land! He never would have dissed fellow-fabulist Saddam like that!

Well, little Churchillbots, as Lenin said, "read, read, read" the Colorado AIM site about the whole fuck-up! Heh heh!

[NOTE--The links are Snapple's editorializing and in no way reflect the views of the folks at The Eye Weekly.]

Saturday, September 23, 2006

D'oh! Ward Churchill, the Tenured Plagiarist of Ethnic Studies, Is a Chronology-Challenged Moron!

The day after 9-11, Ward Churchill, the tenured Plagiarist of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado, wrote:

"[F]ormer U.N. Assistant Secretary General Denis Halladay [sic, Halliday]... repeatedly denounced what was happening [UN sanctions against Iraq] as "a systematic program . . . of deliberate genocide." His statements appeared in the New York Times and other papers during the fall of 1998, so it can hardly be contended that the American public was "unaware" of them. Shortly thereafter, Secretary of State Madeline [sic, Madeleine] Albright openly confirmed Halliday's assessment. Asked during the widely-viewed TV program Meet the Press to respond to his "allegations," she calmly announced that she'd decided it was "worth the price" to see that U.S. objectives were achieved."(1) [Ward Churchill "Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens."]

In fact, that idiot Churchill is both fact and chronology-challenged.

Firstly, Madeleine Albright made her remarks on Sixty Minutes, not Meet the Press. Secondly, she made her remarks in 1996, so she could not possibly have been responding to the remarks that Churchill attributes to Denis Halliday in 1998.


For more commentary about the disinformation surrounding Churchill's 9-11 essay, "Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens," see here and here.

Ward Churchill, the Tenured Plagiarist of Ethnic Studies, Is a Math-Challenged Moron!

"Can you do arithmetic? Sometimes the 'duh' factor gets so loud. I really have to cite this to people who are capable of tying their shoes without instructions?" ---Ward Churchill

In 1985, Ward Churchill, the tenured Plagiarist of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado, wrote that "342 AIM [American Indian Movement] members and supporters were murdered by roving death squads aligned with and supported by the FBI....between 1973 and 1976 alone." [See the article here.]

In the same article Churchill claimed that "[t]he statistics are entirely comparable to what happened in Chile in the immediate aftermath of Pinochet's coup."

But in 1990, Churchill wrote:

"During the 36 months roughly beginning with the end of Wounded Knee and continuing through the first of May 1976, more than sixty AIM members and supporters died violently on or in locations immediately adjacent to the Pine Ridge Reservation. A minimum of 342 others suffered violent physical assaults.... [See the article here.]

In 1985, Churchill claimed that the "murder" of 342 Indians was comparable to the murder rate in Chile after the 9/11/73 coup, but in 1990, Churchill claimed that the "murder" of 60 Indians was also comparable to the murder rate in Chile after the 1973 coup!

In 1990, Churchill cited sources who claimed:

"The political murder rate at Pine Ridge between March 1, 1973, and March 1, 1976, was almost equivalent to that in Chile during the three years after the military coup supported by the United States deposed and killed President Salvador Allende ... Based on Chiles population of 10 million, the estimated fifty thousand persons killed in three years of political repression in Chile at the same time (1973/1976) roughly paralleled the murder rate at Pine Ridge."

How can the murder rate on Pine Ridge be equivalent to the murder rate in the aftermath of Chile's coup if, in the first iteration, the number of "murders" is 342 and, in the second iteration, the number of "murders" is 60?

Do the math, Wardo!

For further treatment of this issue see "342 Indians."

Churchill's claim that the CIA was behind "Chile's 9-11" is disputed here.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Did Saddam Offer Osama Sanctuary in 1999?

Many reporters and politicians claim that Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were enemies, but according to this CNN article of 2/13/99, Saddam once offered Osama asylum in Iraq:

"Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has offered asylum to bin Laden, who openly supports Iraq against the Western powers."

The Foreign Military Studies Office Joint Reserve Intelligence Center at Leavenworth and West Point's Combatting Terrorism Center have released documents captured in Iraq.
The documents include details about Iraq's sponsorship of terrorism and about the relationship and cooperation of the Iraqi intelligence with Al Qaeda.

Saddam was such a helpful fellow. According to the tenured Plagiarist of Ethnic Studies, Ward Churchill, even the American Indian Movement (AIM) received money from Saddam Hussein.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sen. Hillary Clinton Blasts Bush Assassination Film!

CHAPPAQUA — Sen. Hillary Clinton this morning blasted the producers of a new film depicting the assassination of Pres. George W. Bush.

"I think it's despicable," Clinton said of "Death of a President," a fictional film that features a staged assassination of the president in 2007. "I think it's absolutely outrageous. That anyone would even attempt to profit on such a horrible scenario makes me sick." [the rest]

Osama in Chitral?

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
—Albert Einstein

There has been speculation in the media that Osama Bin Ladin is hiding in the vicinity of the remote Hindu Kush frontier town of Chitral, Pakistan, in Pakistan's northwest, near Afghanistan. The Chitral News did a survey to see if people in Chitral [map]believe that Osama is in their town:

Osama not in Chitral, believe Chitralis

CHITRAL, 08 Sep, 06: Amidst speculative reports in the international press about the possibility of Osama Bin Laden living somewhere in Chitral, under guise, Chitral News conducted a survey, soliciting the opinion of some fifty odd people from different walks of life, including intellectuals, officials and the man in the street, to find out what was their point of view on this news.

Invariably, everyone dismissed the speculation as rubbish and said it was a ridiculous assumption. A well placed person said that he believed such spam news are let off from time to time to divert the attention of the world from real problems and Chitral being a remote and God forsaken place (at least in winters) , nobody would take the trouble of physically verifying anything said about it.

One bystander said it was barely possible for the locals to survive the harsh winter weather due to lack of basic amenities, how can an Arab and that too an ailing man as reportedly Osama is (was), survive the weather in some remote place here.
Almost every one believed Osama Bin Laden was not alive and the US just wanted to use his name to scare the people, divert attention from its misdoings, and keep the doors ajar for any action it wants to take anywhere, on this pretext.

Soon the Terrorists Who Orchestrated the 9/11 Attacks Will Face American Justice!

"The bill I have proposed will ensure that suspected terrorists will receive full and fair trials, without revealing to them our nation's sensitive intelligence secrets. As soon as Congress acts on this bill, the man [sic] our intelligence agencies believe helped orchestrate the 9/11 attacks can face justice."
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 15, 2006
Press Conference of the President
On Friday, September 15, 2006, President Bush gave a press conference. Here are some excerpted highlights of the main points of the President's speech. There was also a long series of questions from the media.
John Negroponte, the Director of National Intelligence, was also interviewed on FOX News 9/17/06. Negroponte said that Article III of the Geneva Conventions must be be clarified under domestic law so that CIA interrogators won't be charged with war crimes when they use harsh interrogation tactics on important terrorists.
Here are the main points of President Bush's speech:
"There are two vital pieces of legislation in Congress now that I think are necessary to help us win the war on terror. We will work with members of both parties to get legislation that works out of the Congress. The first bill will allow us to use military commissions to try suspected terrorists for war crimes. We need the legislation because the Supreme Court recently ruled that military commissions must be explicitly authorized by Congress. So we're working with Congress. The Supreme Court said, you must work with Congress; we are working with Congress to get a good piece of legislation out.
The bill I have proposed will ensure that suspected terrorists will receive full and fair trials, without revealing to them our nation's sensitive intelligence secrets. As soon as Congress acts on this bill, the man our intelligence agencies believe helped orchestrate the 9/11 attacks can face justice.
The bill would also provide clear rules for our personnel involved in detaining and questioning captured terrorists. The information that the Central Intelligence Agency has obtained by questioning men like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has provided valuable information and has helped disrupt terrorist plots, including strikes within the United States.
For example, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed described the design of planned attacks of buildings inside the U.S. and how operatives were directed to carry them out. That is valuable information for those of us who have the responsibility to protect the American people. He told us the operatives had been instructed to ensure that the explosives went off at a high -- a point that was high enough to prevent people trapped above from escaping.
He gave us information that helped uncover al Qaeda cells' efforts to obtain biological weapons.
We've also learned information from the CIA program that has helped stop other plots, including attacks on the U.S. Marine base in East Africa, or American consulate in Pakistan, or Britain's Heathrow Airport. This program has been one of the most vital tools in our efforts to protect this country. It's been invaluable to our country, and it's invaluable to our allies.
Were it not for this program, our intelligence community believes that al Qaeda and its allies would have succeeded in launching another attack against the American homeland. Making us -- giving us information about terrorist plans we couldn't get anywhere else, this program has saved innocent lives. In other words, it's vital. That's why I asked Congress to pass legislation so that our professionals can go forward, doing the duty we expect them to do. Unfortunately, the recent Supreme Court decision put the future of this program in question. That's another reason I went to Congress. We need this legislation to save it.
I am asking Congress to pass a clear law with clear guidelines based on the Detainee Treatment Act that was strongly supported by Senator John McCain. There is a debate about the specific provisions in my bill, and we'll work with Congress to continue to try to find common ground. I have one test for this legislation, I'm going to answer one question as this legislation proceeds, and it's this: The intelligence community must be able to tell me that the bill Congress sends to my desk will allow this vital program to continue. That's what I'm going to ask.
The second bill before Congress would modernize our electronic surveillance laws and provide additional authority for the terrorist surveillance program. I authorized the National Security Agency to operate this vital program in response to the 9/11 attacks. It allows us to quickly monitor terrorist communications between someone overseas and someone in the United States, and it's helped detect and prevent attacks on our country.
The principle behind this program is clear: when an al Qaeda operative is calling into the United States or out of the country, we need to know who they're calling, why they're calling, and what they're planning. Both these bills are essential to winning the war on terror. We will work with Congress to get good bills out. We have a duty, we have a duty to work together to give our folks on the front line the tools necessary to protect America. Time is running out. Congress is set to adjourn in just a few weeks. Congress needs to act wisely and promptly so I can sign good legislation."

Rumsfeld's History Lesson: WWII and the War on Terror

"In any long struggle or long war...moral or intellectual confusion about who and what is right or wrong, can weaken the ability of free societies to persevere."
--Donald Rumsfeld
Address at the 88th Annual American Legion National Convention
As Delivered by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, Salt Lake City, Utah, Tuesday, August 29, 2006
[My commentary at the end.]
...1919 -- turned out to be one of the pivotal junctures in modern history with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, the creation of the League of Nations, a treaty and an organization intended to make future wars unnecessary and obsolete. Indeed, 1919 was the beginning of a period where, over time, a very different set of views would come to dominate public discourse and thinking in the West.

Over the next decades, a sentiment took root that contended that if only the growing threats that had begun to emerge in Europe and Asia could be accommodated, then the carnage and the destruction of then-recent memory of World War I could be avoided.

It was a time when a certain amount of cynicism and moral confusion set in among Western democracies. When those who warned about a coming crisis, the rise of fascism and nazism, they were ridiculed or ignored. Indeed, in the decades before World War II, a great many argued that the fascist threat was exaggerated or that it was someone else's problem. Some nations tried to negotiate a separate peace, even as the enemy made its deadly ambitions crystal clear. It was, as Winston Churchill observed, a bit like feeding a crocodile, hoping it would eat you last.

There was a strange innocence about the world. Someone recently recalled one U.S. senator's reaction in September of 1939 upon hearing that Hitler had invaded Poland to start World War II. He exclaimed:

“Lord, if only I had talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided!”

I recount that history because once again we face similar challenges in efforts to confront the rising threat of a new type of fascism. Today -- another enemy, a different kind of enemy -- has made clear its intentions with attacks in places like New York and Washington, D.C., Bali, London, Madrid, Moscow and so many other places. But some seem not to have learned history's lessons.

We need to consider the following questions, I would submit:
  • With the growing lethality and the increasing availability of weapons, can we truly afford to believe that somehow, some way, vicious extremists can be appeased?
  • Can folks really continue to think that free countries can negotiate a separate peace with terrorists?
  • Can we afford the luxury of pretending that the threats today are simply law enforcement problems, like robbing a bank or stealing a car; rather than threats of a fundamentally different nature requiring fundamentally different approaches?
  • And can we really afford to return to the destructive view that America, not the enemy, but America, is the source of the world's troubles?

These are central questions of our time, and we must face them honestly.

We hear every day of new plans, new efforts to murder Americans and other free people. Indeed, the plot that was discovered in London that would have killed hundreds -- possibly thousands -- of innocent men, women and children on aircraft flying from London to the United States should remind us that this enemy is serious, lethal, and relentless.

But this is still not well recognized or fully understood. It seems that in some quarters there's more of a focus on dividing our country than acting with unity against the gathering threats.

It's a strange time:

  • When a database search of America's leading newspapers turns up literally 10 times as many mentions of one of the soldiers who has been punished for misconduct -- 10 times more -- than the mentions of Sergeant First Class Paul Ray Smith, the first recipient of the Medal of Honor in the Global War on Terror;
  • Or when a senior editor at Newsweek disparagingly refers to the brave volunteers in our armed forces -- the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines, the Coast Guard -- as a "mercenary army;"
  • When the former head of CNN accuses the American military of deliberately targeting journalists; and the once CNN Baghdad bureau chief finally admits that as bureau chief in Baghdad, he concealed reports of Saddam Hussein's crimes when he was in charge there so that CNN could keep on reporting selective news;
  • And it's a time when Amnesty International refers to the military facility at Guantanamo Bay -- which holds terrorists who have vowed to kill Americans and which is arguably the best run and most scrutinized detention facility in the history of warfare -- as "the gulag of our times." It’s inexcusable. (Applause.)

Those who know the truth need to speak out against these kinds of myths and distortions that are being told about our troops and about our country. America is not what's wrong with the world. (Applause.)

The struggle we are in -- the consequences are too severe -- the struggle too important to have the luxury of returning to that old mentality of “Blame America First.”

One of the most important things the American Legion has done is not only to serve and assist and advocate, as you have done so superbly for so much of the past century, but also to educate and to speak the truth about our country and about the men and women in the military.

Not so long ago, an exhibit -- Enola Gay at the Smithsonian during the 1990s -- seemed to try to rewrite the history of World War II by portraying the United States as somewhat of an aggressor. Fortunately, the American Legion was there to lead the effort to set the record straight. (Applause.)

Your watchdog role is particularly important today in a war that is to a great extent fought in the media on a global stage, a role to not allow the distortions and myths be repeated without challenge so that at the least the second or third draft of history will be more accurate than the first quick allegations we see. You know from experience personally that in every war there have been mistakes, setbacks, and casualties. War is, as Clemenceau said, “a series of catastrophes that result in victory.”

And in every army, there are occasional bad actors, the ones who dominate the headlines today, who don't live up to the standards of the oath and of our country. But you also know that they are a very, very small percentage of the literally hundreds of thousands of honorable men and women in all theaters in this struggle who are serving our country with humanity, with decency, with professionalism, and with courage in the face of continuous provocation. (Applause.)

And that is important in any long struggle or long war, where any kind of moral or intellectual confusion about who and what is right or wrong, can weaken the ability of free societies to persevere.

Our enemies know this well. They frequently invoke the names of Beirut or Somalia -- places they see as examples of American retreat and American weakness. And as we've seen -- even this month -- in Lebanon, they design attacks and manipulate the media to try to demoralize public opinion. They doctor photographs of casualties. They use civilians as human shields. And then they try to provoke an outcry when civilians are killed in their midst, which of course was their intent.

The good news is that most Americans, though understandably influenced by what they see and read, have good inner gyroscopes. They have good center of gravity. So, I'm confident that over time they will evaluate and reflect on what is happening in this struggle and come to wise conclusions about it.

Iraq, a country that was brutalized by a cruel and dangerous dictatorship, is now traveling the slow, difficult, bumpy, uncertain path to a secure new future under a representative government that will be at peace with its neighbors, rather than a threat to their own people, to their neighbors, or to the world.

As the nature of the threat and the conflict in Iraq has changed over these past several years, so have the tactics and the deployments. But while military tactics have changed and adapted to the realities on the ground -- as they must -- the strategy has not changed, which is to empower the Iraqi people to be able to defend, and govern, and rebuild their own country.

The extremists themselves call Iraq the “epicenter” in the War on Terror.

[See entire speech here.]

I think Rumsfeld's analysis about the similarities between our times and the years between WWI and WWII is right on the mark.

When I hear the terrorists speak, I am reminded of Hitler's speeches. Hitler always rationalized his agression in the language of self-defense.

Hitler blamed Germany's troubles on an alliance between the Jews and a "small clique" of leaders in the Western democracies" led by Winston Churchill, who out of "hatred" or for "material reasons" refused German offers of "peace" and were determined on a course of war.

This is exactly what the terrorists and their witting and unwitting apologists---politicians, academics, and journalists--are doing now. They are talking about the "neocons" in the Bush Administration the same way that Hitler talked about the "small cliques" in the Western democracies.

I understand the terrorists' motives. They want to kill us and win the War on Terror. But it is more difficult to fathom the motives of terrors' apologists, who ridicule our President and disarm our nation legally and ideologically while we are at war.

Terrors' apologists want political power despite the fact that the enemy's words are on their lips; despite the fact that they are blinded to their obligations to defend our people by their hatred of President Bush, or sometimes even by their hatred of America, or by their by sense of "imperial guilt" or by just plain fear. They say they want to "protect my rights" while fighting the War on Terror. I don't believe them. They are liars. I think that they want America's laws to defend the terrorists. They are willing to sell the American people out to the terrorists in order to defeat President Bush.

I believe President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. I thank them for telling me what the ultimately victorious Winston Churchill told my parents and grandparents: the hard truths about our enemy's intentions.

I am listening.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Surprise! Wardo Is for Sale! (Not That There's Anything Wrong With That!)

But the Weather Underground knew more about Marxism than about bombs. Churchill briefly taught the Weathermen and Weatherwomen how to make bombs and how to fire weapons - "Which end does the bullet go, what are the ingredients, how do you time the damned thing."
---Ward Churchill in the Denver Post 1/18/87

Could it be that when Ward Churchill---the disgraced, faux-Indian Maoist and tenured Plagiarist of Ethnic Studies---isn't teaching at the University of Colorado, claiming to be near the scene of a double murder, or assaulting women, he is moonlighting for America's enemies? Not that there's anything wrong with that!

Could it be that Wardo wasn't just blowing smoke in our eyes when he claimed that he taught the Weathermen how to make bombs and handle weapons? Wouldn't that make Wardo a bomb-making terrorist instead of just a pathologial liar like
Boulder's newest celebrity, you-know-who?

University of Colorado Professsor Ward Churchill published anti-FBI slanders in the Covert Action Information Bulletin, a Soviet and Cuban-backed propaganda mouthpiece, and Churchill's own schismatic Colorado American Indian Movement (CO-AIM) claimed that beginning in about 1979 the American Indian Movement (AIM) took money from the mass-murderer Saddam Hussein to support AIM activities.

Because the 1973 Chilean coup that deposed President Salvadore Allende occurred on 9-11, just like the Al Qaeda attack on America in 2001, some writers on the left have called the Chile coup "The Other 9-11." See here and here.

In the 1990 edition of Cointelpro Papers,
Churchill cited sources [Roberto Maestas and Bruce Johansen] who compared the murder rate after the 1973 coup in Chile to the murder rate during alleged FBI-backed killings on Pine Ridge Indian reservation:

"The political murder rate at Pine Ridge between March 1, 1973, and March 1, 1976, was almost equivalent to that in Chile during the three years after the military coup supported by the United States deposed and killed President Salvador Allende ... Based on Chiles population of 10 million, the estimated fifty thousand persons killed in three years of political repression in Chile at the same time (1973/1976) roughly paralleled the murder rate at Pine Ridge. 79"

The Internet post of Chapter 7 of the Cointelpro Papers doesn't include the footnotes. I will try to find out what footnote 79 said or who was cited.

How weird that Churchill and co-author Jim Vander Wall felt the need to quote Maestas and Johansen in 1990 about the comparison of death rates in Chile and on Pine Ridge. Why didn't Cointelpro Papers simply quote Churchill's own earlier research in the Covert Action Information Bulletin? As early as 1985, Churchill himself had claimed in the CAIB:

"The statistics [about the death rate on Pine Ridge, although no statistics are cited] are entirely comparable to what happened in Chile in the immediate aftermath of Pinochet's coup."

Perhaps Churchill did not cite his own article because he did not want readers to notice that he had made the preposterous claim in the Soviet/Cuban Covert Action Information Bulletin that FBI-backed death squads had murdered 342 Indians. After all, he subsequently flip flopped and claimed that the FBI-backed death squads assaulted 342 Indians and killed about 60.

And the AIM connection to the mass-murderering Thief of Baghdad, Saddam?
According to an "indictment" of the Minneapolis AIM posted by Ward Churchill's schismatic Colorado AIM organization:

"Through the IITC [International Indian Treaty Council, the international diplomatic arm of the American Indian Movement], cordial diplomatic relations were developed by 1979 with the Baath Socialist Party of Iraq. Through this relationship, substantial contributions were made to AIM and to the struggle for the return of the Paha Sapa (Black Hills) under the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty. In 1982, although he occupied no official position within IITC and had received no other authorization to do so, Vernon Bellecourt made public statements "on behalf of AIM and IITC, extolling the Ayatollah Khomeni of Iran. Insofar as Iraq was, at that time, in a state of war with Iran, Bellecourt's ill-conceived pronouncements resulted in an immediate suspension of Iraqi support to IITC, AIM and the Paha Sapa land struggle. Whatever personal benefits Bellecourt may have gained as a result of this conduct, Iran provided no compensatory support to the Movement. The whole fiasco represented a net loss, both politically and financially, to our liberation struggle."

I guess Ward Churchill's CO-AIM thinks that it is fine to accept "substantial contributions" for active measures from the thieving, mass-murderering psychopath Saddam.
Sounds to me like Churchill's crew is angry because the Minneapolis AIM allegedly made off with the loot Saddam had already contributed to AIM and then Vernon Bellecourt's diplomatic gaffe---extolling Iran's Ayatollah Khomeni---caused AIM to lose further financial support from Saddam.
Unlike that moron Vernon, Wardo's no dummy! He's a tenured Plagiarist of Ethnic Studies! He never would have dissed Saddam!
And then, the final, crushing blow to the liberation struggle: the Iranian Ayatollahs didn't cough up "compensatory support"! Curses! Foiled again!
A net loss to the liberation struggle! Oh, No! Say it ain't so, Joe! I guess I will just have to pick up the shattered pieces of my life and try to move on!
So it's not "Home Sweet Home."
Adjust! This is Snapple's opinion!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Vice President Cheney on Meet the Press 9/10/06

For Immediate Release
Office of the Vice President
September 10, 2006

Interview of the Vice President by Tim Russert, NBC News, Meet the Press
NBC StudiosWashington, D.C.
9:00 A.M. EDT

Q Good morning. This is a special edition of Meet the Press, marking the fifth anniversary of September 11th. And joining us for the first time in three years is the Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney. Welcome back.


Q Mr. Vice President, tomorrow marks the fifth anniversary of September 11th, and in many way marks the beginning of the war on terrorism. Three years ago, the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld wondered out loud, are we creating or recruiting more terrorists than we are killing? What do you think? Five years later, are there more terrorists now than there were five years ago?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: It's hard to say, Tim, and hard to put a precise number on it. It's changing and evolving to some extent. We've done enormous damage to al Qaeda, to the leadership of al Qaeda. We've captured and killed hundreds of their senior people. By the same token, you've got wannabe organizations, Al Qaeda organizations out there now that have only a remote connection to the center. The groups, for example that the Brits have uncovered recently. These are second-generation immigrants to the U.K. These are not people living in the Middle East, or who have grown up terror training camps in Afghanistan the way the original group did. So it is changing and evolving. On the other hand, I think we've also made -- just say, I think we've made significant progress.

Q It's interesting. Here's what the American people said in a recent poll: Is the U.S. involvement in Iraq or Afghanistan creating more terrorists or eliminating terrorists. And look at that, overwhelmingly, 54 percent, a clear majority, believe we are creating more terrorists.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I can't buy that. I think you've got to look at what's happening in Afghanistan and Iraq in terms of where we were five years ago and where we are today. Take Afghanistan: Afghanistan was governed by the Taliban, one of the worst regimes in modern times, terribly dictatorial, terribly discriminatory towards women. There were training camps in Afghanistan training thousands of Al Qaeda terrorists; all of those camps today are shut down. The Taliban are no longer in power. There is a democratically elected President, a democratically elected parliament, a new constitution, and American-trained Afghan security forces -- and NATO now -- actively in the fight against the remnants of the Taliban. We are much better off today because Afghanistan is not the safe haven for terror that it was on 9/11.

Q But in Afghanistan, one of the British commanders there, Richards, said that 70 percent of the Afghan people are undecided; that we only have until the end of the year to secure that country; that the Taliban is back; that the opium crop has increased 60 percent. We have not secured Afghanistan.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: We're still in the fight, and we're likely to be for some considerable period of time. But come back to basic proposition with respect to the struggle that's under way there in terms of the Taliban. We have had significant activity this summer in southern Afghanistan as NATO moved in and replaced U.S. forces. The Taliban wanted to challenge those. There was the belief that in fact the NATO wouldn't fight as aggressively as U.S. forces would, and so they've made a major effort in that regard, but just in the last 48 hours, we've killed 130-some Taliban in southern Afghanistan.

In terms of the question of people being on the fence, that in part is a reflection of the reality of life in that part of the world and the uncertainty in the minds of a lot of people about whether or not the United States will, in fact, stay the fight. And it's one of the major battles that we are going to have here at home, as well, this year.

The basic proposition for our adversaries -- and we ought to take a minute and focus on it -- they want to re-create the old caliphate that stretched from Spain all the way around to Southeast Asia. They want to topple the regimes that are there today. They want to kick the U.S. out of that part of the world, destroy Israel, equip themselves with weapons of mass destruction, et cetera. In the course of doing that, their strategy for doing that is to break our will. They can't beat us in a stand-up fight -- they never have -- but they are absolutely convinced they can break our will: the American people don't have the stomach for the fight. So you look at the situation in today in Afghanistan or even in Iraq and you've got people who have doubts. They want to know whether or not if they stick their heads up the United States, in fact, is going to be there to complete the mission.

And those doubts are encouraged, obviously, when they see the kind of debate that we've had in the United States. Suggestions, for example, that we should withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq simply feed into that whole notion, validates the strategy of the terrorists.

Q Let me stay on Afghanistan because the front page of The Washington Post today, "Bin Laden, the trail is stone cold according to intelligence officials." Do you agree with that?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I don't. I haven't read the article. I saw the headline. There's the on-again, off-again approach, "is the U.S. really serious about bin Laden?" We are serious. We've stayed actively and aggressively involved in the hunt for bin Laden from the very beginning.

Q Well, just stop there because it's real important. This article says that in 2002 the U.S. pulled its Special Operation Forces out of Afghanistan and really did lower down the volume in going after Osama, which is at the exact time that President Bush said, "I don't spend much time on him," talking about bin Laden.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: He's not the only source of the problem, obviously, Tim. If you killed him tomorrow, you'd still have a problem with al Qaeda, with Zawahiri and the others. But bin Laden has been a top priority for us from the very beginning. He continues to be a top priority today. That hasn't changed. The President and I get periodic reports on our efforts in that regard. There has been no lessening of our interest or of our activity --

Q Pakistan has now a peace pact with the terrorists in the area where we think bin Laden is, creating what Richard Clarke, the former White House advisor on terrorism called a sanctuary; and reports from the Rand Corporation, that the Pakistan CAI, the ISI --


Q -- are in cahoots with the Taliban. So if the Pakistanis aren't willing to seek bin Laden and have a peace pact with the terrorists, where are we?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I don't buy the premise of your question, Tim. I think it's wrong, and I think the sources you've quoted are wrong. The fact is we've captured and killed more al Qaeda in Pakistan than anywhere else in the world in the last five years. President Musharraf has been a great ally. There was, prior to 9/11, a close relationship between the Pakistan intelligence services and the Taliban. Pakistan was one of only three nations that recognized -- diplomatically recognized the government of Afghanistan at that time. But the fact is Musharraf has put his neck on the line in order to be effective in going after the extremist elements, including al Qaeda -- and including the Taliban in Pakistan. And there have been three attempts on his life, two of those by al Qaeda, over the course of the last three years. This is a man who has demonstrated great courage under very difficult political circumstances and been a great ally for the United States.

So there is no question that area along the Afghan-Pakistan border is something of no man's land. It has been for centuries. It's extraordinarily rough territory. And people there that move back and forth across the border, they were smuggling goods before there was concern about terrorism. But we need to continue to work the problem. Musharraf just visited Karzai in Kabul this past week. They're both going to be here during the course of the U.N. General Assembly meetings over the course of the next few weeks. We work that area very hard and the Paks have been great allies in that effort.

Q Many people look at Afghanistan and say, however, if we had not been distracted by Iraq, we could have secured Afghanistan. It would not be a narco-state, which it's on the verge of becoming, with a 60 percent in opium. And we took our eye off the ball.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I disagree. There were narcotics being produced, heroin being grown in Afghanistan for centuries. It has been the major source of supply because of the nature of the area for heroin going to Europe long before the United States got involved in Afghanistan, or long before we got involved in Iraq. That's not a new development. The fact is that we have made major progress in Afghanistan. We've still got a lot to do.

You start with a country that is one of the poorest in the world, that's been wracked by decades of civil war and conflict. It was occupied by the Soviets and then fought over by the Soviets and the mujahideen for years; that badly needed what we have, in fact, provided. We took down the Taliban regime, liberated 25 million people, created a democratic government with a President and new constitution and a parliament. I was there for the swearing in of the Karzai administration, as well as, for the new parliament. It is major progress. Is it over? No, it's not over. Is it easy? Of course it's not easy. It's always going to be difficult in that part of the world

But the key here -- and this is the key in a lot of what we do in that part of the world -- is to get the locals into the fight. And we've done that I think very effectively in Afghanistan. The U.S. will continue to be involved there. But we've also got great support from our allies. NATO is very heavily engaged now in Afghanistan, in the fight against the Taliban to secure that nation for its people.

Q It is Iraq, however, that the President has said is the central front on the war on terror. This is what he said --

Q This is what he said on August 31, 2006. Let's watch it for the record.
(Video clip is played.)

Q And yet if you ask the American people, is the war in Iraq a part of the war on terror, this is what they now say: 46 percent, yes; 53 percent, a majority, say it is not part of the war on terror.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I beg to differ. Let's walk through it. Look at where we are in Iraq today. I do think we've made major progress. Five years ago, Saddam Hussein was in power in Iraq. Iraq was a major state sponsor of terror. Saddam Hussein was providing payments, bonuses to the families of suicide bombers. He had a history of starting two wars. He had produced and used weapons of mass destruction. It was one of the worst regimes of modern times. We moved aggressively against Saddam Hussein. Today you've got Saddam in jail where he's being prosecuted for having butchered thousands of people. You've a democratically elected government. There have been three nationwide elections, there has been a new constitution written. We've got almost 300,000 Iraqis now trained and equipped in the security forces. And we are -- that's significant progress by anybody's standards. It's still difficult. It's still obviously major, major work to do ahead of us. But the fact is, the world is much better off today with Saddam Hussein out of power.

Think where we would be if he was still there. He would be sitting on top of a big pile of cash because he would have $65 and $70 oil. He would by now have taken down the sanctions because he had already with the corrupted Oil for Food Program, nearly destroyed them when he was still in power. He would be a major state sponsor of terror.

We also would have a situation where he would resumed his WMD programs. That was one of the conclusions of the Duelfer Report, so to suggest somehow that the world is not better off by having Saddam in jail I think is just dead wrong.

Q But, Mr. Vice President, the primary rationale given for the war in Iraq was Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. In August of 2002, this is what you told the VFW. Let's just watch it.
(Video clip is played.)

Q In fact, there is grave doubt because they did not exist along the lines that you described, the President described and others described. Based on what you know now, that Saddam did not have the weapons of mass destruction described, would you still have gone into Iraq?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes, Tim, because what the reports also showed -- while he did not have stock piles, and clearly the intelligence that said he did was wrong. That was the intelligence all of us saw. That was the intelligence all of us believed. It was when George Tenet sat in the Oval Office and the President of the United States asked him directly, he said, George, how good is the case against Saddam and weapons of mass destruction, the Director of the CIA said, it's a slam dunk, Mr. President. It's a slam dunk.

That was the intelligence that was provided to us at the time, and based upon which we made --

Q So if the CIA said to you at that time, Saddam does not have weapons of mass destruction, his chemical and biological have been degraded, he has no nuclear program under way, you'd still invade Iraq?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Because, again look at the Duelfer Report and what it said: No stock piles, but they also said he has the capability. He'd done it before. He had produced chemical weapons before and used them. He had produced biological weapons. He had a robust nuclear program in '91. All of this true, said by Duelfer, facts, also said that as soon as the sanctions are lifted they expect Saddam to be back in business.

Q But the rationale was he had it, a growing threat; all the while, North Korea, which had one or two potential bombs in 2000 when you came into office, now has double or triple that amount. So again you took your eye off of North Korea to focus on Iraq.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: But let's go back to the beginning here. Five years ago, Tim, you and I did this show, the Sunday after 9/11. And we learned a lot from 9/11. We saw in spite of the hundreds of billions of dollars we'd spent on national security in the years up until 9/11, on that morning, 19 men with box cutters and airline tickets came in the country and killed 3,000 people. We had to take that and also the fact of their interest in weapons of mass destruction and recognize at that time -- it was the threat then and it's the threat today that drives much of our thinking -- that the real threat is the possibility of a cell of al Qaeda in the midst of one of our cities with a nuclear weapons, or a biological agent. In that case, you'd be dealing -- for example, if on 9/11 they had a nuke instead of airplanes, you'd have been looking at a casualty toll that would rival all the deaths in all the wars fought by America in 230 years. That's the threat we have to deal with, and that drove our thinking in the aftermath of 9/11, and does today.

Now, what Saddam represented was somebody who had for 12 years defied the International Community, violated 16 U.N. Security Council resolutions, started two wars, produced and used weapons of mass destruction, and was deemed by the intelligence community to have resumed his WMD programs when he kicked out the inspectors. Everybody believed it. Bill Clinton believed it. The CIA clearly believed it. And without question that was a major proposition.

But I also emphasize while they found no stock piles, there was no question in the minds of Mr. Duelfer and other in that survey group that Saddam did, in fact, have the capability, and that as soon as the sanctions were ended -- and they were badly eroded, he'd be back in business again.

Q But let's look at what you told me on that morning of September 16, 2001, when I asked you about Saddam Hussein. Let's watch.
(Video clip is played.)

THE VICE PRESIDENT: At this stage, the focus is over here on al Qaeda and the most recent events in New York. Saddam Hussein's bottled up at this point.
(Video clip concludes.)

Q Do we have any evidence linking Saddam Hussein or Iraqis to this operation?


Q You said Saddam Hussein was bottled up, and he was not linked in any way to September 11th.


Q And now we have the select committee on intelligence coming out with a report on Friday that says here:

"A declassified report released Friday by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence revealed that U.S. intelligence analysts were strongly disputing the alleged links between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda, while senior Bush administration officials were publicly asserting those links to justify invading Iraq."

You said here it was pretty well confirmed that Atta may have had a meeting in Prague -- that, that was credible. All the while, according to the Senate intelligence committee, in January and in June and in September, the CIA was saying that wasn't the case. And then the President --

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Let me on that. Well, go ahead.

Q Go ahead.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: No, I want a chance to jump on that.

Q Okay, but you said it was pretty well confirmed that it was credible. And now the Senate intelligence committee says, not true. The CIA was waving you off --


Q -- any suggestion there was a meeting with Mohamed Atta, one of the hijackers with officials Iraqi officials.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: No, the sequence, Tim, was when you and I talked that morning we had not received any reporting with respect for Mohamed Atta going to Prague. Just a few days after you and I did that show, the CIA -- the CIA -- produced an intelligence report from the Czech intelligence service that said Mohamed Atta, leader of the hijackers, had been in Prague in April of '01 and had met with a senior Iraqi intelligence official in Prague. That was the first report we had that he'd been to Prague and met with Iraqis.

Later on, some period of time after that, the CIA produced another report based on a photograph that was taken in Prague of a man they claimed 70 percent probability was Mohamed Atta on another occasion. This was the reporting we received from the CIA When I responded to your question and said it had been pretty well confirmed he had been in Prague. Later on, they were unable to confirm it. Later on they backed off of it. But what I told you was exactly what we were seeing at the time -- it never said -- and I don't believe I ever said specifically that it linked the Iraqis to 9/11. It specifically said he had been in Prague, Mohamed Atta had been in Prague. We didn't know --
Q Well, I asked you. I said, is there a connection between Saddam and 9/11 on September '03, and you said, we don't know.


Q So you raised that possibility.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: It was raised by the CIA who passed on from the report from the Czech intelligence service.

Q All right, now the President was asked what did Iraq have to do with the attack on the World Trade Center. And he said nothing. Do you agree with that?


Q So it's case closed?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: We've never been able to confirm any connection between Iraq and 9/11.

Q And the meeting with Atta did not occur?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: We don't know. We've never been able to link it. And the FBI and CIA have worked it aggressively. I would say at this point nobody has been able to confirm --

Q Then why in the lead-up to the war was there the constant linkage between Iraq and al Qaeda?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: That's a different issue. Now, there's a question of whether or not al Qaeda -- whether or not Iraq was involved in 9/11; separate and apart from that is the issue of whether or not there was a historic relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda. The basis for that is probably best captured in George Tenet's testimony before the Senate intel committee in open session, where he said specifically that there was a pattern, a relationship that went back at least a decade between Iraq and al Qaeda.

Q But the President said they were working in concert, giving the strong suggestion to the American people that they were involved in September 11th.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: No, they are -- there are two totally different propositions here. And people have consistently tried to confuse them. And it's important, I think -- there's a third proposition, as well, too, and that is Iraq's traditional position as a strong sponsor of terror.

So you've got Iraq and 9/11: no evidence that there's a connection. You've got Iraq and al Qaeda: testimony from the Director of CIA that there was, indeed, a relationship; Zarqawi in Baghdad, et cetera. Then the --

Q The committee said that there was no relationship. In fact, Saddam --

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I haven't seen the report. I haven't had a chance to read it yet --

Q But, Mr. Vice President, the bottom line is --

THE VICE PRESIDENT: -- but the fact is, we know that Zarqawi, running a terrorist camp in Afghanistan prior to 9/11, after we went into 9/11 -- then fled and went to Baghdad and set up operations in Baghdad in the spring of '02, and was there from then basically until the time we launched into Iraq.

Q The bottom line is the rationale given to the American people was that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, and he could give those weapons of mass destruction to al Qaeda, and we could have another September 11th. And now we read that there is no evidence according to Senate intelligence committee of that relationship. You said there's no involvement. The President says there's no involvement --

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Tim, no involvement in what respect?

Q In September 11th, okay? And the CIA said leading up to the war that the possibility of Saddam using weapons of mass destruction was "low." It appears that there was a deliberate attempt made by the administration to link al Qaeda in Iraq in the minds of the American people and use it as a rationale to go into Iraq.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Tim, I guess -- I'm not sure what part you don't understand here. In 1990, the State Department designated Iraq as a state sponsor of terror. Abu Nidal, famous terrorist, had sanctuary in Baghdad for years. Zarqawi was in Baghdad after we took Afghanistan and before we went into Iraq. You had the facility up at Kermal, a poisons facility run by an Ansar al-Islam, an affiliate of al Qaeda. You had the fact that Saddam Hussein, for example, provided payments to the families of suicide bombers of $25,000 on a regular basis. This was a state sponsor of terror. He had a relationship with terror groups. No question about it. Nobody denies that.

The evidence we also had at the time was that he had a relationship with al Qaeda. And that was George Tenet's testimony, the Director of CIA, in front of the Senate intelligence committee. We also had knowledge of the fact that he had produced and used weapons of mass destruction. And we know, as well, that while he did not have any production under way at the time, that he clearly retained the capability. And the expectation from the experts was as soon as the sanctions were lifted, he'd be back in business again. Now, this was the place where probably there was a greater prospect of a connection between terrorists on the one hand and a terror-sponsoring state and weapons of mass destruction than anyplace else.

You talk about Iran, North Korea, they are problems, too. But they hadn't been through 12 years of sanctions and resolutions by the U.N. Security Council and ignored them with impunity.

Q The American people have now pretty much made their views of the war known. We asked them: The Iraq War is it worth it? And look at this -- 39 percent say worth it; 59 percent, nearly six in 10, say not worth it.

The President has said we will stay the course, complete the mission. Finish the job. How do you define victory? And why have the American people turned against the war?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, Tim, I think the people obviously are frustrated because of the difficulty, because of the cost and the casualties. But you cannot look at Iraq in isolation. You have to look at it within the context of the broader global war on terror.
Remember what we've been involved in here. We've been involved in Afghanistan, take down the Taliban, stand up a new regime, et cetera. Pakistan -- we've gone in and worked closely with Musharraf to take down al Qaeda. Saudi Arabia, same thing. In all of those cases, it has been a matter of getting the locals into the fight to prevail over al Qaeda and al Qaeda-related types.

Now comes Iraq. Now we've got people saying, gee, get out of Iraq. You ought to pack it in and go home. It's unrelated. You've got hundreds of thousands, millions of people out there who have staked their fate, to some extent, on the United States. Think of all those people who turned out in the face of assassins and car bombers to vote. Think of the hundreds of thousands of folks who've signed on for the security forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Think of Musharraf, who puts his neck on the line every day he goes to work, where there have been attempts on his life because of his support for our position.

Now, they look over here and they see the United States that's made a commitment to the Iraqis, that's gone in and taken down the old regime, worked to set up a democracy, worked to set up security forces. And all of a sudden, we say it's too tough, we're going home. What's Karzai going to think of Kabul? Is he going to have any confidence at all that he can trust the United States, that, in face, we're there to get the job done? What about Musharraf? Or is Musharraf and those people you're talking about who are on the fence in Afghanistan and elsewhere going to say, "My gosh, the United States hasn't got the stomach for the fight? Bin laden is right. Al Qaeda is right. The United States has lost its will and will not complete the mission." And it will damage our capabilities in all of those other war fronts, if you will, in the global war on terror.

Q The alternative view is that this has been a fundamental set of misjudgment. There were no weapons of mass destruction. There was no linkage of Iraq to September 11th and that there is a disconnect between rhetoric and reality. I want to go back to May 30th, 2005 when you said to the American people and to the world, "I think the level of activity in Iraq that we see today from military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline. I think they are in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."

Since that time, Mr. Vice President, look at this, between the beginning of the war and May 30th when you made that statement we had 1,656 deaths in Iraq. There are now a thousand more American servicemen. There are 7,500 more wounded and injured. There are 20,000 more dead Iraqis. Wasn't it a flat-out mistake to say we are in the last throes of the insurgency?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I think there's no question, Tim, that the insurgency has gone on longer and been more difficult than I had anticipated. I'll be the first to admit that. But I also think when we look back on this period of time 10 years from now, and this is the context in which I made that statement last year, that 2005 will have been the turning point, because that's the point at which the Iraqis stepped up, and established their own political process, wrote a constitution, held three national elections and basically took on the responsibility for their own fate and their future.

And as I mentioned before, in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, in Saudi Arabia and in Iraq, the key to victory is for us to be able to get the locals into the fight. The United States can't do it all by itself. It can't be only U.S. security forces fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan. They've got to be willing to step up and take on the responsibility for their own fate. But they are doing it. And it's absolutely essential that we complete that mission.

Now, is it tough and difficult? Absolutely. No doubt about it. You regret every single casualty. I visit with the families. We spend time with the wounded when they come back. I visit with the troops every chance I get. It's the toughest thing the President has to do. But it is absolutely the right thing to do, Tim, because if we weren't there, if Saddam Hussein were still in power, the situation would be far worse than it is today.

You'd have a man who had a demonstrated capacity for violence, who'd started two wars, who had, in fact, been involved with weapons of mass destruction, who had every intention of going back to it when the sanctions were lifted. And by this point, especially with Ahmadinejad, living next door in Iran, pursuing nuclear weapons, there is no doubt in my mind that if Saddam Hussein was still in power, he would have a very robust program underway to try to do exactly the same thing. The world is better off because Saddam Hussein is in jail instead of in power in Baghdad. It was the right thing to do, and if we had to do it over again we would do exactly the same thing.
Q Exactly the same thing?


Q But leading up to the war, three days before the war you were on this program and I asked you a question, and I asked you about an analysis of what could occur. Let's just watch and we'll talk about it.
(Video clip plays.)

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I think things have gotten so bad inside of Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.

Q If your analysis is not correct, and we are not treated as liberators but conquerors, and the Iraqis begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with a significant American casualties?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I don't think it's likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe we will be greeted as liberators."
(Video clip concludes.)

Q It, in fact, did unfolded that way. It has been a long and costly and bloody war.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: It has. Well, the first part, getting rid of Saddam was not, but clearly the insurgency and the aftermath has been.

Q But again, wasn't your judgment overly rosy -- greeted as liberators --

THE VICE PRESIDENT: No, you gave me a choice, Tim -- "will you be greeted as occupiers or liberators;" and I said, "We'll be greeted as liberators."

Q But I said, "What about a long, costly, bloody battle," and you said, "It's unlikely to unfold that way."

THE VICE PRESIDENT: And that's true within the context of the battle against the Saddam Hussein regime and his forces. That went very quickly. It was over in a relatively short period of time. What obviously has developed after that, the insurgency has been long and costly and bloody. No --

Q Mr. Vice President, Tommy Franks, when he landed in Iraq, had a meeting and said, "All right, start making plans we're going down to 30,000 troops at the end of this year, 2003."

There was a view of the administration that you were going to walk in, topple the government and that was it. And now three-and-a-half years later, we are in Iraq for a long, long time with 2,500 deaths; 20,000 wounded and injured. There were some fundamental misjudgments made.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I think there's no question but what we did not anticipate an insurgency that would last this long.

Q Three hundred billion dollars spent so far. The Congressional Budget Office says if we stay in Iraq through the end of 2009, it will be a half trillion dollars. In all candor, could that $300 billion we've spent so far in Iraq not have been better spent securing Afghanistan, improving airline security, having technology for gels and liquids so people can get on without being nervous, our cargo in our ports, could that $300 billion have not been better spent securing our nation against terrorists rather than in Iraq?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Tim, I think we've done a pretty good job of securing the nation against terrorists. We are here on the fifth anniversary and there has not been another attack on the United States. And that's not an accident because we've done a hell of a job here at home in terms homeland security, in terms of the terrorist surveillance program we've put in place, in terms of the financial tracking program we've put in place, and because of our detainee policy, where we, in fact, were able to interrogate captured terrorists to get the kind of intelligence that has allowed us to --

Q But could it have been better spent?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I'm not sure that it could have been. I don't know how much better you can do than no attacks for the last five years.

Q But the Commission on 9/11 says we that get D's and F's. People with radios in police departments can't -- in D.C. cannot talk to Alexandria. Four-fifths of the mayors say they can't communicate with their localities. People can't carry tooth paste and shampoo on planes. The administration cut $6 million -- or tried to out of funding to screen those kinds of things --


Q -- rather than spending the money in Iraq.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: We have spent billions on homeland security. You can always find more you can spend funds on. But the fact of the matter is, I think we've done a pretty good job. I don't know how you can explain five years of no attacks, five years of successful disruption of attacks, five years of defeating the efforts of al Qaeda to come back and kill more Americans. You have got to give some credence to the notion that maybe somebody did something right. I think we did. I think we did a lot right.

And I think part of what we did right was to take the fight to the enemy, to treat this as a war, not a law enforcement problem, which is the way these things have been treated before we arrived; to actively and aggressively go after the state sponsors of terror, as we did, for example, in Afghanistan and Iraq; aggressively go after those places where the terrorists might be able to lay their hands on that deadly technology they'd like to use in that next attack. So I think we got it right.

Now, I can't say it's perfect. Obviously, you can always look back and fid things you'd like to do differently or do better. But on the broad, overall strategic sweep of what we did, what we set out as our objectives, the strategy we've pursued to get there, I think we've done a pretty good job.

Q But the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq said it's not foreign terrorists that are the biggest threat in Iraq, it is a sectarian war, Sunnis killing Shiites; Shiites killing Sunnis.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Remember how we got there, though. Now, the way we got to the sectarian strife in Iraq was because of Zarqawi, who was the head of al Qaeda in Iraq -- went and pursued a deliberate policy of attacking the Shia in order to try to foment strife between Shia and Sunni. And I must say he had some success, obviously, with the bombing of the mosque at Samarra earlier this year. Now, we got Zarqawi, he's dead. But we are still having to deal with the legacy of the al Qaeda strategy that they've put in place inside Iraq to, in fact, go after the Shia and the Sunni.

Q Mr. Vice President, the President of the United States said Hezbollah has killed more Americans than any other terrorist organization than al Qaeda. The largest demonstration in favor of Hezbollah was in Iraq, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis on the street supporting Hezbollah. I asked the Foreign Minister of Iraq, is Hezbollah a terrorist organization? He said I can't make that judgment. The parliament, the Speaker of the Parliament, "Dennis Hastert of Iraq, Tip O'Neill of Iraq," said it was, the Jews that were causing the violence. What are we creating in Iraq? I ask you again, what is victory? What is staying the course? What is winning?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Tim, victory in Iraq will be a situation in which there is a viable government, representative of the people of Iraq elected under their constitution. We are part way there. It will be an Iraq that is not a threat to the United States in terms of being a safe haven for terrorists. It will be an Iraq where al Qaeda has been pretty well eliminated, where, in fact, the Iraqis are able to govern and deal with the difficult political situations obviously that exist inside Iraq given their history. Those are all things that need to happen.

But I think we are well under way to do it. And we are better off there because of what we've done to date. We are less likely to have a threat emerge against the United States from that corner of the world than would have been the case if Saddam were still there.

Q Have we created a fundamentalist Islamic regime in Iraq?


Q The Prime Minister of Iraq is going where tomorrow? Iran.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: He is a neighbor.

Q If you go to southern Iran, Richard Engel, our correspondent, has been there for three years. They answer the phones in hotels in Persian. Iran has built an airport in Najaf. They've built an airport in Najaf, in Iraq. Who has more influence with Iraq, Iran or the U.S.?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Oh, I think the U.S. does today. But there's no question but what the new government of Iraq has to get along with its neighbors. He also visits the Saudis. He also has had sessions with other governments in the region. Their people need to work with the Turks, with the Syrians, with the Jordanians and with others. We have encouraged the states in the region to come together to help the new government in Iraq. It is a Shia government. No question about it. They've got close ties. Iran was the place where most of the leadership took refuge during the period of time when Saddam Hussein was in power because it was the only place they could go. But the fact of the matter is, you are better off. You don't have a government in Baghdad that is pursuing weapons of mass destruction. You don't have a government in Baghdad that is a state sponsor of terror. You don't have a government in Baghdad that is doing all those things that Saddam Hussein did for so long.

Q But you have also lost a buffer to Iran, and that's what I'm going to come back and talk about if I could.
(Interruption to proceedings.)

Q And we're back with the Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney. Let me show you what Mr. Khatami from Iran visiting the United States had to say and read it for you and our viewers.

"Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami warned that the U.S. military action in the Middle East has backfired, producing greater terrorism, imperiling the future of Iraq, and damaging America's long-term interest. But the danger of even great instability in the region will ultimately prevent the U.S. from launching military strikes against Iran over disputes about its nuclear intentions. He predicted: 'America will not make the same mistake of attacking Iran; Iran is not Iraq.'"

Is he right?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, we certainly understand Iran is not Iraq. I'm not sure I would agree with much what else he said. Obviously, we are concerned about what Iran is up to. We think their pursuit of enrichment capability that would allow them ultimately to produce nuclear weapons is fundamentally a problem for that part of the world. That's a view shared by most of our friends in the international community.

Q How do you stop them?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, we've started through the process of working with the other nations involved -- the EU3, the Russians and the Chinese; we got a resolution through the U.N. Security Council -- a tough resolution in July -- that basically called on them to give up their nuclear aspirations. And since they have not responded affirmatively to that, we are now in the process of negotiating with the U.N. Security Council members and the part of that P5 process on a set of sanctions that could be approved by the United Nations and imposed on Iran.

Q Will we do anything to stop the Iranians from having a nuclear bomb?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: We have said repeatedly that we think they should not have a nuclear bomb. And we also made it abundantly clear we want to solve the problem diplomatically. But the President has always emphasized no options have been taken off the table.

Q Is there a problem with our country and the world if the President came forward and said, I have intelligence which says Iran is this far advanced, and people in the world and the people in the country say, is that the same intelligence you had on Iraq, Mr. President?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, of course, much of the information that's been available on what Iran is doing is the result of inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Inspectors had been kicked out of Iraq. Obviously, here you've got more access from an international body that I think most people wouldn't question.

Q But we rejected their intelligence leading up to Iraq. I asked you on this very program --

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Right, that's correct.

Q -- about ElBaradei, and you said, "He's wrong."

THE VICE PRESIDENT: It wasn't consistent with our report --

Q But he was right about Iraq.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I haven't looked at it; I would have to go back and look at it again. But your point, Tim, in terms of the credibility of the reporting, there's not much dispute within the international community, and that includes the Russians, it includes the Europeans, that, in fact, the Iranians are pursuing capabilities that would allow them to produce nuclear weapons.

Q Do we have the military wherewithal to take out the Iranian program?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I don't want to speculate on military options. That's not wise, and Rumsfeld would probably object.

Q What about North Korea -- do we have the military --

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Tim, I'm not going to speculate on military capabilities. I think it's not helpful to do that.

Q But their potential has increased three- and four-fold. Our estimates are they can build 12 nuclear bombs.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I'm not going to speculate, Tim.

Q Let me turn back home, domestic politics, and talk about the whole situation involving Scooter Libby, your former chief of staff, who was indicted by Patrick Fitzgerald. This was a document that was released in the investigation. It's a New York Times op-ed piece with your handwriting on it, and that handwriting says, "Or did his wife send him on a junket," referring to Ambassador Joe Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, who was a CIA agent. Did you, in any way, authorize Scooter Libby to release her name or her occupation to the press?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Tim, Scooter Libby is a good man. He's a friend of mine. He's somebody -- one of the most competent and capable people I've ever known. He's entitled to the presumption of innocence. But there is a legal matter pending; there is going to be a trial next year. I could well be a witness in the trial. And much as I would like to talk about it, and I certainly have strong opinions about the case, I think it would be totally inappropriate for me to do so.

Q There was a story in the National Journal that Cheney authorized Libby to leak confidential information. Can you confirm or deny that?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I have the authority as Vice President under an executive issued by the President to classify and declassify information. And everything I've done is consistent with those authorities.

Q Could you declassify Valerie Plame's status as an operative?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I've said all I'm going to say on the subject, Tim.

Q Do you think the President should pardon Scooter Libby?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I've said all I'm going to say on the subject, Tim.

Q You wouldn't support a pardon?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I've said all I'm going to say on the subject.

Q How about Richard Armitage who has come forward and said that he was the original source for Robert Novack some years ago?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Does he need a pardon?

Q Are you upset or concerned?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Tim, I'm not going to discuss the subject. I understand why you want to ask about it, but the fact of the matter is, it's a matter pending before the courts and since I could be a witness, I think it's inappropriate for me to say anything more.

Q The New York Times today, "Cheney's power no longer goes unquestioned," suggesting that your support of issues regarding the treatment and prosecution of terror suspects, of the national NSA surveillance eavesdropping policy has weakened your influence within the White House.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Is that a question? (Laughter.)

Q Yes, sir. Has it?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I haven't read the story in any great detail. It looks like one of those thumb-suckers that's done periodically, and is probably as valid as the ones that were done saying that I was in charge of everything. Obviously --

Q Were you?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I give my advice, the President makes his decisions. Sometimes he agrees, sometimes he doesn't.

Q When you were on this program, you did talk about being on the dark side, that we're going to have to get involved in intelligence and do some things with shady characters and so forth. Is that what we've done in the last five years?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: We have done everything we could think of to make the nation safe. That's our number one obligation. The oath that the President and I take when we are sworn in up there on Capitol Hill is always to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. And we have done everything within our power and within the Constitution to, in fact, pursue that objective.

And that's meant that we have gone after -- for example, we set up the terrorist surveillance program which has been instrumental in identifying key communications involving our adversaries, just as the financial tracking program has been vital in terms of tracking the money, and the detainee program, which has allowed us to collect some extraordinarily valuable intelligence from the terrorists we capture. It's all been done in a manner that's consistent with the President's authorities, with the Constitution, with our treaty obligations, and with the blessing of the lawyers. So any suggestion we've gone beyond where we should have, I would take issue with. The fact of the matter is I see part of my job to think about the unthinkable, to focus upon what, in fact, the terrorists have in store for us.

Q But the Supreme Court did tell you, you needed congressional authority.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes, I happen to disagree with the Supreme Court. I think they made -- I think the Thomas, Scalia, Alito minority views were the correct ones. The fact of the matter is the Court said for example the Geneva Convention applies to terrorists, that Common Article 3 applies to an international conflict. We've never before believed it did --

Q But no regret over the treatment of the suspects, water-boarding, loud music, some of the other techniques used?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I won't discuss techniques. It's important we preserve certain classified elements of the program. But I will say to you, Tim, that the information we've collected from the detainees and people like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11, has probably been some of the most valuable intelligence we've had in the last five years. And has helped us prevent attacks against the United States.

Q Did it help in any way with the London terror plot?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: The detainee program? I can't say that.

Q There is a report in the papers today that the Republican Campaign Committee of the house is going to spend $50 million between now and the mid-term elections, and 90 percent of the money is on negative advertising against their Democratic opponents. Is that appropriate?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, Tim, -- (laughter) -- I haven't seen the ads. I hope our guys have good, hard-hitting advertisements. Certainly the opposition does. And I don't see anything inappropriate about a tough, hard-charging campaign. This is an important campaign.

Just think about what's at stake in this election in terms of national security and the global war on terror, and where we go on these issues you and I have been talking about this morning.

Q What happens if the Democrats win the House of Representatives? What do you expect?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I don't think it will happen. I don't expect that Nancy Pelosi will be Speaker. I think we are doing very well out there. I feel better about the election now than I did three months ago.
Q But do you fear serious oversight of the Bush administration?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: We've had oversight all along, Tim.

Q With robust congressional hearings?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: We have oversight all along.

Q With robust congressional hearings?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: With robust congressional hearings.

Q Like the Democrats would have?


Q On the war on Iraq, on weapons of mass destruction --

THE VICE PRESIDENT: We have those all the time now anyway.

Q No fears?


Q No concerns?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: No, not on that part.

Q And you're full confident you'll maintain control of both Houses?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I think we will. I really do. I've spent a lot of time on it. I've done 91 campaigns myself this cycle, since last fall. I'm on the road a lot. I've seen our candidates. I've seen how they're handling the issues. We've generated the resources we need to be able to have a good, hard fought competition. If I had to bet today -- well, I can I bet you a dinner that we hold both Houses.

Q I don't bet.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: You don't bet, all right.

Q Have you be hunting since February 11, 2006?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: No, sir, that was the end of the season.

Q No more hunting?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I didn't say that at all, but I have not hunted since then, but I ordinarily wouldn't anyway.

Q Will you go out and hunt again?


Q Have you gotten over that incident?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I don't know that you ever get over it. Fortunately, Harry is doing very well. Harry Whittington.

Q You've talked to him?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes, I have. And he's a good man. And he could not have been more gracious or more generous. But it's not the kind of thing I don't think anybody could ever forget.

Q Should I be relieved you didn't bring your shotgun in today? (Laughter.)

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I wouldn't worry about it. You're not in season. (Laughter.)

Q Mr. Vice President, I hope I never am. Thank you for sharing your views.


END 9:51 A.M. EDT