New York: Former US vice president Dick Cheney defended the former Bush administration`s anti-terror policies including interception of overseas calls and interrogation techniques that sparked international outrage, describing them as "controversial" but "absolutely necessary".
"All of this turned out to be very controversial," Cheney told a crowd of about 10,000 at the Bakersfield Business Conference, California, as reported by the NY Daily News.
"But it was absolutely necessary," he said, over the weekend. Cheney, who has suffered five heart attacks, reportedly looked frail and was interviewed by his wife Lynne Cheney.
"She`s been my nurse, my negotiator with the medical community, and in return for all of that great help she`s given me, today I`ve agreed to let her interview me," said Cheney.
This is said to be his first public appearance since his heart attack in July, the Daily News said, noting that Cheney, 69, had his first attack in 1978 when he was 37.
"A few weeks ago, it became clear that I was entering a new phase of the disease when I began to experience increasing congestive heart failure," Cheney said in a written statement, after his last attack.
"After a series of recent tests and discussions with my doctors, I decided to take advantage of one of the new technologies available and have a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) implanted," he added.
During the interview, Cheney joked with his wife about the book he`s writing on the four Republican presidents he has served.
"I got to work for all those presidents because I never said who was my favourite," he said, in response to a question by his wife, "So who`s your favourite?"