Cheney: Waterboarding not torture, reinstate it

Although it isn’t precisely clear what role so-called enhanced interrogation methods had in the U.S. mission to kill Osama bin Laden, on Sunday former Vice President Dick Cheney took to the airwaves to make the case that such interrogation methods are a vital tool to fight terrorism.

Cheney appeared on “Fox News Sunday” and was asked by show host Chris Wallace if President Barack Obama should “reinstate” enhanced interrogation, including waterboarding. Cheney made the case and said the Bush administration did their homework before initiating the policy.

“Well, I certainly would advocate it,” Cheney replied. “I’d be a strong supporter of it. We went to a lot of trouble to find out what we could do, how far we could go, what was legal and so forth. Out of that emerged what we called enhanced interrogation. It worked. It provided some absolutely vital pieces of intelligence. There is a study that was done by the CIA in the National Archives, some of it has been declassified now, that shows that enhanced interrogation of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed provided a vast treasure trove if you will of intelligence. It was a good program. It was a legal program. It was not torture. I would strongly recommend we continue it.”

Wallace pointed out that soon-to-be Defense Secretary and CIA director Leon Panetta said it was torture, even though he acknowledged the enhanced interrogation program had a role in tracking down Osama bin Laden.

“I disagree – the lawyers disagreed when we asked them for their opinion,” Cheney said. “And where we should draw the line in terms of what we could and couldn’t do. Waterboarding and all of the other techniques that were used are techniques that we use training our own people. This is stuff that we’ve done for years with own military personnel. And to suggest it’s torture I just think is wrong.”

Cheney said he would reinstate waterboarding and explained how it was just as essential as the terrorist surveillance program.

“If it were my call, I’d have the program ready to go on the chance that any day we may capture a detainee who has vital piece of information about next attack or new development,” Cheney said. “I think that program provides us with the capacity to collect that intelligence. And again, that program together with our terrorist surveillance program – those two things I think are the most important steps we took that kept us safe for seven years.”


  • lrgon

    Blessed are the “enhanced interrogators” for they shall be called the children of God?

    No sooner had the news broke on the “alleged” hit on Osama Bin Laden that the Bush supporters came out of their villages demanding that the intellectual from Crawford, Texas be given the full faith and credit that he deserves for the discovery and the eventual “alleged” killing of Bin Laden. After all reasoned Bush’s adorning fans it was the man with the “wanted dead or alive” poster (who by the way never did bring in the most wanted terrorist to justice)who incorporated “enhanced interrogation” that did the trick.

    I suppose Jesus would also approve of “enhanced interrogation?” Would he also approve of drawing and quartering people? How about bringing wives and daughters to a GITMO cell and forcing the “detainee” to watch as his wife or daughter is abused by stripping them naked and having the brave men and women in uniform abuse them with sticks and dogs? If it saves a town or a city from a bomb it should meet with the approval of the Master shouldn’t it?

    Here is a fact Bushistas hate to admit:9-11 was committed right under the noses of our intelligence community.

    The CIA,FBI, DEA, DIA, et al have at their disposal spy satellites that can look down and read the numbers on your car plates. They use sophisticated listening devices and have billions of dollars at their leisure to hire informants to secret themselves into terrorist cells. So should we do away with the spy satellites, surveillance devices and quit hiring informants and focus on using torture as our main defense against terrorism?

    One has to wonder where “enhanced interrogation” fits into the intelligence equation? Unless it’s to change our once civilized American society into one that resembles the society that the terrorists come from I don’t see its purpose.

  • 8second.ride

    “What’s your background in law again? ”

    Try as you might to make this into a personal attack, as I can see you so often do, I can assure you that’s not going to happen. My “background” is what sets my opinions. I can also assure you, it’s more than cutting and pasting off the internet, as yours apparently is. Giving you the opportunity to degrade my “background”, which is all you’re after, isn’t part of a normal debate.

    Now as far as your quote from the UN, seriously? Now, you’re concerned with the obligations to/from the UN? Didn’t seem to be a priority with you regarding reasons for going into Iraq? Didn’t seem to bother you that Hussein was breaking all UN torture rules. Doesn’t seem to bother you that going into Libya killing innocents, or going into Pakistan without their permission, isn’t exactly with the UN’s blessings.

    Are you now going to go off into another direction? You’re so far off the original point of “because we do it, they will too”, the discussion is hardly recognizable.

    • 8second.ride

      Why the hell would this comment be in moderation?

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