Liz Cheney and Juan Williams sparred over an impending Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program, with Cheney defending her father former Vice President Dick Cheney’s legacy from “a report written entirely by Democratic staffers.” Williams, however, claimed that Republicans wouldn’t participate in the investigation and “don’t want this released.”
The two appeared on Fox News Sunday to discuss the soon-to-be-released report, which details the CIA’s detention and interrogation strategies during the Bush administration. Senate intel chair Dianne Feinstein recently claimed it “exposes brutality that stands in stark contrast to our values as a nation.”
But for Liz Cheney, who’s father Dick Cheney led the new interrogation methods, Feinstein’s outrage is largely political. “I think it’s very sad to see Senator Feinstein do what she’s doing,” she began. “From what we’ve seen in terms of the press reports about this report, it was written entirely by Democratic staffers… Some of the press reports point out that the staffers relied upon the accounts of terrorists themselves, took those at face value in terms of description of what had happened in the program.”
Cheney claimed that the program saved lives in the past and that opponents of the torture techniques would have to explain why they’re putting American lives at risk. “This is a political report, which, you know, we’ve seen political reports before,” she said.
Williams said Cheney was playing “the good daughter — and I love her for it… But the fact is Congress should win this fight, Chris. And the reason Congress should win it is because the American people have a right to know what the CIA is doing, to come to a judgement as to whether those techniques are moral and keeping with the American standard.”
“I think the Congress has run in the other direction,” he continued, “and said oh you know, if you’re critical you can be called unpatriotic. You can be said to be a crazy liberal! So they have not pursued it. And I think now we have a situation now where we have insufficient oversight.”
“I want to start by agreeing with Juan that we need more congressional oversight — of Benghazi, for example,” Cheney shot back. She noted that many high-level officials in the White House and Congress were briefed on the program during the Bush years.
CHENEY: We’ve now got a report that is written entirely by Democratic staffers. Nobody is saying we shouldn’t have oversight, Juan. But you cannot say you have a report that’s been selectively leaked, written entirely by Democratic staffers — if you want to have oversight of the program, you and I can both agree you have to talk to the people who ran the program!
JUAN: Liz, you don’t understand. The Republicans not only wouldn’t participate, they don’t want this released! If it wasn’t for Senator Snowe or Senator King — I’m just telling you, people — because it’s so politicized, because it’s viewed as an attack on Bush-Cheney after 9/11, when they were legitimately trying to protect us as Americans, nobody’s saying anything but that. But the fact is, the Republicans wouldn’t participate. People not only wouldn’t cooperate, they tried to spy on the U.S. Senate!
Feinstein angrily accused the CIA of spying on documents contained within her staff’s computer system last month, claiming the spy agency sought details on the impending report on their enhanced interrogation program.
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