Sunday, June 15, 2008

Bless me Tim for I will sin

Dick Cheney yesterday, paying tribute to Tim Russert, RIP --

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I always, when I think of Tim and think of "Meet the Press," that's the show that always comes to mind. We did it up at Camp David. The President and the national security team were meeting all weekend up at Camp David, planning our response to 9/11. And Tim came up there and we did the show from a facility right next door.

And it was a remarkable moment in American history. There was this tremendous sense, obviously, that something enormously significant had happened on 9/11. And, of course, we had lost 3,000 Americans that morning to the worst terrorist attack in our history. And Tim captured on the show -- and the way he handled it, captured the feeling and the emotion of the moment. But he also gave us a great opportunity to get into the substance of the kind of response that was being considered, analysis of who had done it.

Perhaps the most notorious segment from that interview --

[CHENEY] We also have to work, though, sort of the dark side, if you will. We've got to spend time in the shadows in the intelligence world. A lot of what needs to be done here will have to be done quietly, without any discussion, using sources and methods that are available to our intelligence agencies, if we're going to be successful. That's the world these folks operate in, and so it's going to be vital for us to use any means at our disposal, basically, to achieve our objective.

MR. RUSSERT: There have been restrictions placed on the United States intelligence gathering, reluctance to use unsavory characters, those who violated human rights, to assist in intelligence gathering. Will we lift some of those restrictions?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Oh, I think so. I think the--one of the by-products, if you will, of this tragic set of circumstances is that we'll see a very thorough sort of reassessment of how we operate and the kinds of people we deal with. There's--if you're going to deal only with sort of officially approved, certified good guys, you're not going to find out what the bad guys are doing. You need to be able to penetrate these organizations. You need to have on the payroll some very unsavory characters if, in fact, you're going to be able to learn all that needs to be learned in order to forestall these kinds of activities. It is a mean, nasty, dangerous dirty business out there, and we have to operate in that arena. I'm convinced we can do it; we can do it successfully. But we need to make certain that we have not tied the hands, if you will, of our intelligence communities in terms of accomplishing their mission.

Cheney was also too polite to mention in the context of the deceased Russert that in private notes revealed under the Libby investigation, he liked to go on the show because of the ability to control message.

UPDATE: It's odd that it's treated as Washington mystery as to where the idea for enhanced interrogation techniques came from, when Cheney is telling us in plain sight 3 days after 9/11.

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