WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said policies such as the USA Patriot Act and National Security Agency domestic surveillance make the United States safer.
Speaking to the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, Cheney went over U.S. efforts in the war on terror, restating support for the political process in Iraq and promising that the United States will continue to help rebuild the country.
He also touched on domestic issues, such as the Patriot Act, which Congress passed after Sept. 11, 2001. Congress will debate renewal of the act upon its return to Washington this month.
Cheney also defended President George W. Bush's authorization of the NSA to conduct surveillance on communications in the United States without court warrants.
He said the NSA spying allowed the government to "detect and prevent possible terrorist attacks against the American people," and that the order was consistent with powers granted the president by the Constitution.
Cheney said the Patriot Act, which detractors claim infringes on privacy and other civil rights, "has helped us disrupt terrorist activity, break up terror cells within the United States and protect the lives of Americans."