US Vice President Dick Cheney has defended controversial interrogation methods used in the US "war on terror".
He also said he was not sure if al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was still alive. ( So your Multi Billion Dollar Military campaigne cannot fine ONE person??? You should be DISMISSED!!!)
In an interview one month before his eight-year term in office ends, Cheney rejected accusations that the treatment of terror suspects amounted to torture and violated US law, saying the administration's policies helped prevent another terrorist strike on the country.
"Given the kind of conflict we're faced with today, we find ourselves in a situation where I believe you need strong executive leadership. What we did in this administration is to exert that kind of authority," Cheney told Fox News.
Cheney said the administration of President George W Bush had acted appropriately in its "war on terror" after the September 11, 2001 attacks and had followed legal precedent, citing previous presidents, including Abraham Lincoln during the US civil war and Franklin Roosevelt during World War II.
"There's ample precedent for it," he said, saying Bush had not gone as far as Lincoln and Roosevelt in using his wartime authority.
At a time of war, he said the president's responsibilities include collecting intelligence, "and therefore I think you're fully justified in setting up a terror surveillance program to be able to intercept the communications of people who are communicating with terrorists outside the United States".
"I think you can have a robust interrogation program with respect to high value detainees," Cheney said.
"Now, those are all steps we took that I believe the president was fully authorised in taking, and provided invaluable intelligence, which has been the key to our ability to defeat al-Qaeda over these last seven years."
The administration has been sharply criticised at home and abroad over its treatment of terror suspects, including the use of harsh interrogation techniques widely condemned as torture, detaining suspects without charge at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba and running an unwarranted domestic surveillance programs.
Cheney also said he was unsure if bin Laden was still living.
"I don't know and I'm guessing he is," Cheney said when asked if the world's most wanted man was alive.
"We've had certain pieces of evidence become available from time to time, there'll be a photograph released or something that allows the intelligence community to judge that he is still alive."
Cheney said the administration had dealt major setbacks to bin Laden's al-Qaeda network and still hoped to capture him.
"He's been holed up in a way where he's not even been communicating. There are questions about whether he's even running the operation. But we have had major success against the organisation," Cheney said.
"Capturing Osama bin Laden is something clearly we'd love to do. There are 30 days left."
(What happens after that??? !!! ??? He (Osama) get a GET OUT OF JAIL FREE CARD ???)
Bin Laden has claimed responsibility for the September 11 attacks against New York and Washington that killed nearly 3,000 people and prompted the US-led invasion of Afghanistan. US officials believe bin Laden is holed up near the rugged Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
(THE US has satellites that can read the numberplates of Trucks in the desert, but no one can find a 6ft 4" person on a camel ??? !!! ??? Looks like the American Public has been duped, yet again !!!
Maybe it is due to the Rooservelt Education System, that creates Lemmings with an average mental capacity of a 13 year old.)
Despite a massive manhunt and a $US25 million ($A36.62 million) bounty on his head, he has evaded capture and has regularly taunted the United States and its allies through warnings issued over the Internet.
Cheney also defended his view of sweeping presidential authority and the legal role of his own office, dismissing comments from his successor, vice president-elect Joseph Biden, who has said Cheney had overstepped his constitutional role.
"If he wants to diminish the office of the vice president, that's obviously his call," Cheney said.
"President-elect Obama will decide what he wants in a vice president and apparently, from the way they're talking about it, he does not expect him to have as consequential a role as I have had during my time."
Cheney also acknowledged that he had opposed Bush's decision to fire former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld in 2006.
"I did disagree with the decision," Cheney said. "The president doesn't always take my advice."
Asked about the administration's dismal approval ratings, Cheney said history would vindicate him and Bush.
And regarding Iran's nuclear ambitions, asked if he believed diplomacy could "solve this", Cheney answered: "Ah, that's the policy the administration. And I support the policy of the administration.
"I hope it can. That's clearly what we've tried."
Dick Cheney and HIS Cronies are responsible for INVADING ANOTHER COUNTRY, and the SLAUGHTER of INNOCENT CIVILIANS.
There is NO World Court that will bring them to justice.
Bin Laden was in a hospital in Dubai under the Guard of the CIA, and he was NOT arrested.
This is one of the GREATEST FARCES of Modern Times, as America is a Waring Economy.
The contracts for "National Security" have been given to the Anglo-Masonic Boys in the Administration.