I got to be White House chief of staff, ten years of congressman, secretary of defense, vice-president. If you're a political junkie like I obviously am - that was - every one of those was just a tremendous experience. I'm very comfortable with what I did and why I did it and how I did it. And I'll let others judge whether they liked it or not.
We now have irrefutable evidence that [Saddam] has once again set up and reconstituted his program to take uranium, to enrich it to sufficiently high grade, so that it will function as the base material as a nuclear weapon. And there's no doubt about the fact that the level of effort has escalated in recent months.
President Bush gave me a tremendous opportunity to serve as the vice president. I enjoyed very much having the opportunity to be a part of his team. He told me at the outset, he wanted me to sign on to be a part of his team - and he was true to his word, kept it. He was tough. He was decisive. He was also a pretty good politician.
Saddam Hussein had a lengthy history of reckless and sudden aggression. He cultivated ties to terror -- hosting the Abu Nidal organization, supporting terrorists, and making payments to the families of suicide bombers. He also had an established relationship with Al Qaida -- providing training to Al Qaida members in areas of poisons, gases and conventional bombs. He built, possessed, and used weapons of mass destruction.
We live in a free society, and freedom means freedom for everybody. We shouldn't be able to choose and say, 'You get to live free and you don't.' That means people should be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to enter into. Like Joe (Lieberman), I'm also wrestling with the extent to which there ought to be legal sanction of those relationships. I think we ought to do everything we can to tolerate and accommodate whatever kind of relationships people want to enter into.
I have argued in the past, and would again, if we had been able to pre-empt the attacks of 9/11 would we have done it? And I think absolutely. We have to be prepared now to take the kind of bold action that's being contemplated with respect to Iraq in order to ensure that we don't get hit with a devastating attack when the terrorists' organization gets married up with a rogue state that's willing to provide it with the kinds of deadly capabilities that Saddam Hussein has developed and used over the years.
It's very important to go back and keep in mind the distinction between handling these events as criminal acts, which was the way we did before 9/11, and then looking at 9/11 and saying, 'This is not a criminal act,' not when you destroy 16 acres of Manhattan, kill 3,000 Americans, blow a big hole in the Pentagon. That's an act of war.
"Oil remains fundamentally a government business. While many regions of the world offer great oil opportunities, the Middle East with two-thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies, even though companies are anxious for greater access there, progress continues to be slow."
After 9/11, it became clear that we [the United States] had to do several things to have a successful strategy to win the global war on terror, specifically that we had to go after the terrorists wherever we might find them, that we also had to go after state sponsors of terror, those who might provide sanctuary or safe harbor for terror.
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