TIM RUSSERT, HOST: Our issues this Sunday: Iraq and the war on terror. With me now is the Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney. Thank you for coming on the show.
DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you for having me, Tim.
RUSSERT: Mr. Vice President, I'd like to talk about the collaboration between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda...
CHENEY: Hold it, Tim. First of all, the President and his administration have never said that there was a collaboration between Saddam and Al Qaeda. We said there was a link.
RUSSERT: So there was no collaboration?
CHENEY: No, that's not what I said. I said we never said there was a collaboration.
RUSSERT: You're saying that you said you never said there was a collaboration. What are you saying now?
CHENEY: I'm saying there may have been a collaboration. We just don't know yet.
RUSSERT: How do you know there may have been a collaboration that you don't know yet?
CHENEY: It's too early to say.
RUSSERT: I see. So there was a tie between...
CHENEY: No, not a tie. I said a link.
RUSSERT: A link is different than a tie?
CHENEY: Yes. If there's a connection.
RUSSERT: How do you determine a connection?
CHENEY: Well, first you have to ascertain a relationship.
RUSSERT: I'm confused.
CHENEY: Look, it's very simple. Once you ascertain a relationship it becomes possible to find a connection that establishes a link as a tie.
RUSSERT: Okay, so there was a "link" between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. Considering the lack of WMDs found, is this link enough to back up the claims that Saddam was an imminent threat?
CHENEY: We never said he was an imminent threat, Tim. We said he was a gathering threat.
RUSSERT: What do you mean by gathering?
CHENEY: He was not an immediate threat.
RUSSERT: Just a possible threat?
CHENEY: No, more like eventual.
RUSSERT: Isn't eventual the same as imminent?
CHENEY: No, imminent is more immediate than eventual.
RUSSERT: So a gathering threat isn't as serious as an imminent threat?
CHENEY: No, it's very serious. Just not immediately.
RUSSERT: So we would have to wait for the threat to become serious?
CHENEY: No, we can't wait. We wouldn't have time to react.
RUSSERT: Why wouldn't we have time to react to a threat?
CHENEY: Because it wouldn't be a threat anymore. It would be an attack.
RUSSERT: When does it stop being a threat?
CHENEY: When it becomes serious.
RUSSERT: So a serious threat is not a threat at all, but an attack?
CHENEY: Yes, but a threatening one.
RUSSERT: Perhaps we should move on, Mr. Vice President. The DHS announced yesterday that it has raised the terror alert from yellow to orange...
CHENEY: I believe it was red.
RUSSERT: No, it was orange.
CHENEY: Orange is a kind of red, though.
RUSSERT: No, it isn't. There's still some yellow in it.
CHENEY: But it also has red.
RUSSERT: There's some red, but it's not all red.
CHENEY: True, but it's red that makes yellow orange.
RUSSERT: No, it's yellow that keeps orange from being red.
CHENEY: But it's closer to red than it was.
RUSSERT: Never mind. One last question, Mr. Vice President. Why do you think this administration will win the war on terror?
CHENEY: Because of our moral clarity.