PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In the wake of the controversy surrounding revelations that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used a private email account running from her own server, former Vice-President Dick Cheney revealed that during his time serving under George W. Bush that he went out of his way to avoid electronic communications.
Cheney and his daughter, Liz, talked with Chris Stigall on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT about a new book they’ve authored together, Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America, and the former Vice-President indicated that all his interactions were intentionally kept offline.
“The day I walked into my new office as the Vice-President, there was a computer there that I had them immediately remove. I didn’t want one in my office. I didn’t do email. I operated in a fairly traditional fashion. I didn’t write memos and so forth. People would come in and brief me, I’d make decisions and somebody else would keep track of what was going on, but we didn’t do emails in my time.”
He stated that security was one of the top priorities for the Bush Administration.
“I was very sensitive to the fact that you’re handling very sensitive information and people can tap into the system to get their hands on it. For example, when we walked into the situation room in the West Wing basement for a National Security Council meeting, there was a basket outside the door and anybody that had any electronics on them, a telephone, a pager, so forth, the electronics had to go in that basket before they could go in the room and participate in the meeting because there was concern that somebody could wire one of those or somehow use it to leak the proceedings of the session.”
Cheney also took the time to criticize the Obama Administration’s handling of the military compared to when he served as Secretary of Defense in during the first gulf war.
“We were able to put together the capability we needed in order to achieve our military objectives in a relatively short order. That would be much tougher to do today, I think, partly because the military has been pretty significantly diminished during the course of the Obama Administration. Dramatic budget cuts, we’ve had most of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, one way or another, talk about their forces being far less ready than at any time in our history.”