Liz Cheney Tells TPMDC: Time To End Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

February 18, 2010 11:08 a.m.

Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, said today in an interview it was time for the policy banning gays in the military to end.

“It’s time for it to end,” she told TPMDC. “The joint chiefs, certainly the chairman of the joint chiefs, has been clear about that and I think that the country really is at a place now where it’s time for it to end.”

Cheney also left the door open a crack to run for president down the line, though she said it’s not her focus. She said the “Draft Cheney” movement here at the Conservative Political Action Conference proves that conservatives have injected fresh energy into the 2012 field.

TPMDC caught up with Cheney this afternoon following her speech to CPAC. We chatted briefly about President Obama’s new offensive in Afghanistan terrorism – which she’s been talking about through her new Keep America Safe group and the political landscape of 2010.

She said it might have been the wrong decision to mirandize the shoe bomber in 2001, but that she still vehemently opposed Obama’s national security policies.The transcript is below.

Q: What’s your take on Obama’s Afghanistan offensive and the capture of Taliban leaders?

A: It’s clearly a positive thing, it’s a good thing that we’ve sent additional troops in, it’s a good thing when we capture Taliban leaders obviously, and I think that General McChrystal is a tremendous officer. I worry though when we capture these leaders that we no longer have the option of using any of the enhanced interrogation techniques because the president took those off the table. When you’ve got people in captivity we’d like our CIA officials in particular to have the capacity to do more than just ask the terrorists to please tell us what they want.

Q: What’s your take on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell?

It’s time for it to end. The joint chiefs, certainly the chairman of the joint chiefs, has been clear about that and I think that the country really is at a place now where it’s time for it to end.

Q: What’s the difference between mirandizing Richard Reid and Abdulmultallab?

Richard Reid was apprehended back in December of 2001 and we had not yet established this new system of military commissions. The possibility of putting him through one of these commissions simply didn’t exist. We hadn’t set them up, the Supreme Court and Congress hadn’t participated in it yet, so I think you can look back on that and say should we have done it differently, and maybe we should have, but that certainly shouldn’t provide any comfort to the Obama administration in the aftermath of an attack where they interrogated the guy for less than an hour and then told him he had the right to remain silent. When they bring it up it’s because they are trying to divert attention from their own mistake.

Q: What do you think of the 2012 field?

We’ve got a great field, I suspect you’ll see others. I listened to Marco Rubio’s speech this morning and I thought he was phenomenal. We do have a lot of young new faces for us. I think it is going to be an exciting several years at least for us.

Q: What do think of the draft Cheney movement for your dad?

I understand it but people are really interested in finding somebody who believes in conservative values and I think my dad was pretty clear he’s not going to be the one but we’ve got a lot of good candidates out there and a lot of energy in the movement as you can see by the good turnout.

These Draft Cheney stickers don’t have a first name on them I noticed.

A: I suppose that’s true. (Laughs)
But this is really about the ideas and about the substance and people who care a lot about their country and want to stop these dangerous policies, that’s really what we’re focused on .

Q: Would you consider running?

A: Right now really my plate is full raising my kids and helping my dad with his book. Maybe one day, we’ll see.

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