“The reason we got into it is because we were attacked…the worst attack since Pearl Harbor,” he said. He said the possibility of a terrorist nuclear attack justified the program.
Cheney argued that the NSA is just collecting phone numbers, not fishing into the content of ordinary American’s communications and blasted Republican Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) for suggesting otherwise.
“That’s not the way it works,” he said.
“It’s just a big bag of numbers…you don’t go into that box of numbers unless you’ve got a suspicious number,” he said, adding that if the program were in effect before Sept. 11 it could have prevented the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.