Former Vice President Dick Cheney has strong opinions when it comes to the debate over “enhanced interrogation” and what it means to deal with terrorists.
In an interview with Fox News, Cheney said Sunday he not only supports certain torture techniques, they need to remain in place because he believes they are effective in retrieving information rather than merely asking for it.
Cheney cited the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. Cheney said the waterboarding, which was performed several times, gave the U.S. information which allegedly prevented further attacks after 9/11 and helped officials locate and kill Osama bin Laden.
“If you know Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is the mastermind behind all of this, if you know he is No. 2 to bin Laden in terms of the attack, if you know he’s probably the guy who knows … what’s the next target … and then you tell me that only method we have is, ‘Please, please, pretty please, tell us what you know.’ I don’t buy that,” Cheney said.
The former vice president also said the techniques being deemed “torture” really are not torture at all, and that the U.S. has clear guidelines as to how far they will go for information.
“I’m not one of those people who calls it torture,” Cheney said. “An awful lot of people do.”
“It was set up in a way that what we did was in fact consistent with our fundamental statutes and agreements that were in place,” he added. “And it worked.”
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 13, 2018
According to Cheney, waterboarding had only been used on three individuals, including Mohammed.
“He’s the guy who got waterboarded more than anybody else,” Cheney said of Mohammed. “I think what we did helped ultimately produce the intel we needed to be able to get bin Laden.
“If it were my call, I would not discontinue those programs. I’d have them active and ready to go,” Cheney said about the enhanced interrogations. “And I’d go back and study them and learn.”
The comments from Cheney come days after Gina Haspel faced criticism during her confirmation hearing to become CIA director. As reported by The Western Journal, Haspel has ties to interrogation techniques that were used in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on 9/11 as well as the alleged destruction of evidence of those techniques.
Haspel ran a secret detention center in 2002 in Thailand — code-named “Cat’s Eye” — where waterboarding allegedly occurred on her watch.
But at a hearing on Wednesday, lawmakers with the Senate Intelligence Committee couldn’t get Haspel to denounce her work in the field of “enhanced interrogation” and she essentially refused to claim that torture was immoral and unethical.
A number of Democrats, such as Sen. Time Kaine of Virginia, have turned their back on Haspel, claiming to be disturbed by her lack of sympathy and admittance that torture is immoral.
“I believe her role in the agency’s use of torture and efforts to destroy evidence of it was neither minor nor incidental,” Kaine said. “In particular, I was especially disturbed that she personally wrote a cable ordering the destruction of videotape evidence of the agency’s use of torture.”
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