Cheney Unbowed

By Dan Froomkin
Special to
Friday, February 23, 2007; 12:46 PM

Vice President Cheney is going out of his way to make it clear that he doesn't think he has anything to apologize for.

In an unprecedented display of public verbosity from the typically taciturn vice president, Cheney spoke for the second time in three days with ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl. During today's 22-minute interview in a Sydney restaurant, Cheney showed no sign of backing down from controversy. Rather, he:

* Repeated and amplified his opinion that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's proposed course in Iraq would validate al Qaeda. (After Cheney's last interview with Karl, Pelosi called upon President Bush to repudiate the comments.)

* Refused to acknowledge any failure of U.S. policy in Iraq.

* Stood by his 1991 prediction that an invasion of Iraq would result in a quagmire -- but said that 9/11 changed the dynamics such that it had to be done anyway.

* Expressed pride in having done "some very controversial things" since 9/11 that he said have averted further terrorist attacks within our borders.

* Said it was "probably inaccurate" to call him an all-powerful vice president.

* Refused to address any of the serious accusations leveled against him during the course of the trial of his former chief of staff, Scooter Libby.

* Refused to rule out military action against Iran.

Here is the full transcript of the interview. Here is the text and video of Karl's report for ABC News.

Cheney v. Pelosi

As Karl reports, "Cheney first made that allegation regarding Pelosi's call for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq on Wednesday, prompting Pelosi to call the White House to ask President Bush to repudiate the comments.

"Pelosi called Cheney's words 'beneath the dignity of the debate we're engaged in and a disservice to our men and women in uniform, whom we all support.'

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