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Cheney Leads Defense Of CIA Torture Of Prisoners

National News Tribune News Service

Cheney Leads Defense Of CIA Torture Of Prisoners


By Brian Bennett, Tribune Washington Bureau (TNS)

WASHINGTON — Senior Bush administration officials Sunday slammed the Senate study on the CIA’s use of brutal interrogation tactics, and defended the techniques as necessary to get information from senior al-Qaida operatives who had stopped talking to interrogators.

“I’d do it again in a minute,” former Vice President Dick Cheney said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “It absolutely did work.”

The report released last week by the Democrat-led Senate Intelligence Committee revived a decade-old debate about whether the U.S. should use coercive interrogation techniques to get information from terrorists and if such methods produce accurate and useful information.

CIA cables written at the time show that detainees had provided key information before the harsh tactics, such as waterboarding, confinement in small spaces and beatings, had been used. The study concluded that the use of torture was not effective and did not produce actionable intelligence about an imminent attack.

Cheney called the report “a cheap-shot piece of political business,” and criticized the Senate investigation for not interviewing CIA personnel. “The report is seriously flawed,” Cheney said. “They didn’t talk to anybody who knew anything about the program. They didn’t talk to anyone who was in the program.”

The Senate staff said they reviewed the transcripts of interviews with CIA staff conducted by the CIA’s inspector general.

Later on Meet the Press, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) said the Democratic staff of the committee reviewed 6 million pages of documents. “There are a mountain of contradictions,” he said.

“Facts aren’t partisan,” Wyden said, adding that the Department of Justice should review the new facts in the report and reconsider the department’s decision not to prosecute those involved in the CIA’s program.

Jose Rodriguez, who helped design the detention and interrogation program as head of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center, defended his decision in 2005 to destroy recordings of CIA interrogation sessions.

“I knew the tapes would leak some day,” Rodriguez said on Fox News Sunday. He destroyed the tapes out of concern for the safety of the CIA officers whose faces appeared in the footage, he said. He was afraid that if the tapes were made public, a-Qaida would “go after them and their families.”

“I was concerned for their safety,” he said.

“This is one of the most highly reviewed covert action programs in the history of the agency,” Rodriguez said. “In the end no prosecutable offenses were found — no one tortured anyone else,” Rodriguez said.

Karl Rove, who was a senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, said on Fox News Sunday that all of the interrogation techniques were “carefully designed” and approved by administration lawyers.

The Senate study details multiple instances where interrogators appeared to act outside of their legal authorities and used techniques that were not approved.

Rove denied this. He said the detainees that received “rectal rehydration” and “rectal feeding” were on hunger strikes. But medical experts have said that neither technique is a legitimate medical procedure.

When it came to the use of waterboarding, a type of simulated drowning that was used on at least three senior al-Qaida members, Rove said the style of waterboarding used by Japanese soldiers on prisoners during World War II was different from the technique used by the CIA.

Unlike the Japanese method, Rove said, when the CIA waterboarded detainees, the “feet were elevated” to prevent the lungs from filling up with water. “Very careful standards were put in place,” Rove said.

The Senate study documents a program that was poorly managed, lost track of detainees, and created an environment in which some interrogators beat detainees, chained them to walls for days at a time and locked them into coffin-like boxes. There is no record of President George W. Bush being formally briefed by CIA officials about the program until 2006, the study states.

But Cheney said Bush was well aware of the program. Cheney was in briefings nearly six days a week with Bush and the director of the CIA, George Tenet, he said. Bush “knew what we were doing, he authorized it,” Cheney said.

The Bush administration was “very careful to stop short of torture,” Cheney said.

“Torture to me,” Cheney said, “is an American citizen on his cellphone making a last call to his four young daughters shortly before he burns to death” on the top floors of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Cheney said.

Pressed on the fact that 26 of the 119 detainees in the CIA’s custody were held in error, Cheney said he’s more concerned about the U.S. releasing “bad guys” from custody. Many former detainees that have been released have returned to the battlefield. Abu Bakr Baghdadi, for example, now leads the Islamic State and was once held by the U.S. military in Iraq.

One CIA detainee mistakenly held was named Gul Rahman. Rahman froze to death while chained to the floor of a CIA “black site” in Afghanistan.

“I am more concerned with bad guys who were let out and released than a few that were innocent,” Cheney said. “I have no problem as long as we achieve our objective” to prevent a future attack, Cheney said.

CIA Director John O. Brennan said Thursday during an televised speech and press conference at CIA headquarters, that there were management failures during the program and that some of the methods used were “abhorrent.” The question of whether the specific “enhanced” interrogation techniques prodded detainees into giving up unique information is “unknowable,” Brennan said, but the CIA’s detention program as a whole was effective and helped save lives.

AFP Photo/Saul Loeb


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  1. pm1 December 15, 2014

    “I am more concerned with bad guys who were let out and released” — Cheney said. Wow! Irony anyone?

    1. 1standlastword December 15, 2014

      He’s not going to die due to a terrorist attack. He should be concerned about his failed morality how to die with massive sins on his head

  2. Dominick Vila December 15, 2014

    Is anyone surprised by the fact that the man most responsible for the “enhanced interrogation” techniques and renditions is defending the CIA and the people that followed his instructions? Cheney is not defending the CIA, Cheney is doing everything he can to stay out of jail or suffer the ignominy of a presidential pardon by a man he hates with a passion.

    1. CPAinNewYork December 15, 2014

      What about the perpetrators of nine-eleven? Do you think that they are entitled to due process? I do not.

      We are at war with the Muslims of the world. They are a pack of stinking fanatics who we need to eliminate from the Earth.

      1. FT66 December 15, 2014

        Watch out CPAinNewYork, you might have a rotten thinking like Cheney, thinking enemies are eliminated by talking hard or punishing them in a manner which is not accepted internationally.

      2. mah101 December 15, 2014

        We are NOT at war with the Muslims of the world. When will you bigots stop trying to fight the Crusades?

        1. angelsinca December 16, 2014

          When will you LWNJs stop endangering everyone with your naivete and misguided aggressions? The enemy is not your neighbor. It’s the ones that want behead you for being american or non-muslim.

      3. 1standlastword December 15, 2014

        The irony is it is because of them that we have become aware of the moral failings of our leadership.

      4. Dominick Vila December 15, 2014

        A Republican that posts on the NM raised the issue of due process when he tried to establish a parallel between what W and the GOP controlled Congress did in the aftermath of 9/11, and the fact that President Obama authorized a drone attack that killed several Al Qaeda terrorists in Yemen. An American Al Qaeda terrorist was among those killed.
        The problem with the overwhelming majority of prisoners at Gitmo is that they had nothing to do with 9/11. Most were captured in the battlefield, fighting the occupiers of their country, a country that was once a great ally, that had nothing to do with 9/11, and whose secular regime was itself a target of Al Qaeda.
        We are not fighting the Muslim world, we are fighting terrorist organizations whose members are usually Muslims.

        1. CPAinNewYork December 15, 2014

          “We are not fighting the Muslim world, we are fighting terrorist organizations whose members are usually Muslims.”

          Now, there’s a fine point for you. Excuse me if I don’t see its significance and ignore it.

          1. mah101 December 15, 2014

            If you don’t see the significance, you enhance the problem.

          2. Dominick Vila December 15, 2014

            The significance is that when Timothy McVeigh committed an act of terrorism we did not blame all Mid Westerners for what he did.
            Holding an entire culture or religion responsible for the acts of a few hundred terrorists is part of the problem we face when it comes to international credibility.
            Can you imagine how we would all look if the world looked at us as supporters and perpetrators of torture, just because a rogue regime engaged in crimes against humanity that were inconsistent with our values?

          3. CPAinNewYork December 15, 2014

            McVeigh ‘s religion didn’t mandate his bombing of the Murrah Building. The Muslim religion obligates its adherents to kill all non-Muslims because they view a non-Muslim as an infidel.

            It is a religion of hate, despite their protestations that Islam is a religion of love. Mohammed “converted” people with the sword. True, Charlemagne did the same in Eastern Europe, but the Christian religion doesn’t mandate slaughtering non-believers.

          4. Dominick Vila December 15, 2014

            Islam does not “mandate” killing infidels. Islamic fundamentalists are targeting Westerners because they believe our culture and values are an insult – and a threat – to their religion and traditions. They want us out of their homeland, and they are determined to do whatever it takes to prevent their people to be exposed to Western customs and our way of life.
            As for Christianity, I would say that our record, when it comes to brutality and intolerance, is not something to brag about. Religion is the opium used to control and take advantage of the masses, and that is true for all religions, not just Islam.

          5. CPAinNewYork December 16, 2014

            Congratulations, Dominick. In one posting you’ve shown that you agree with Karl Marx’s calling religion the opium of the people and are sympathetic to the murders that the Muslims are committing in the Middle aast.

          6. Dominick Vila December 16, 2014

            I am an agnostic, leaning atheist. Not sure what that has to do with Karl Marx, Engels, Stalin, Mao or anyone else.
            Would you care to point our where did I say that I was sympathetic to the murders being committed by Muslims. Your xenophobia and intolerance are showing signs of desperation.

          7. Brian Harvill December 16, 2014

            Spoken like a person that hasn’t the faintest idea of what Islam is about. Having read the Quran, I can state that it is a religion of peace. There are more calls to violence in the Bible. Does that mean all Christians are violent? Christians also converted people with the the sword. Christians massacred millions of people, does thar mean Christianity is a violent religion? Time you educated yourself rather than speak on things you haven’t the foggiest notion of truth.

          8. angelsinca December 16, 2014

            “Can you imagine how we would all look if the world looked at us as supporters and perpetrators of torture”

            This is exactly the reason why the Democratic release of the top secret ‘torture report’ is so damaging. In the effort to cast a political shadow on the GOP, the report has created a false image of America as brutal torturers. These dummies led by Feinstein and approved by Obama have not only taken aim at republicans, but have placed all of us in the crosshairs. Thanks a lot.

          9. Brian Harvill December 16, 2014

            The release of the report was the correct step to take. Its not as if the world didn’t know of the torture. Maintaining the lie of enhanced interrogation techniques was the damaging reality. Honesty is the best policy here. Especially if we now charge those responsible and try them in coirt with full disclosure.

          10. Dominick Vila December 16, 2014

            The congressional report did not reveal anything the rest of the world didn’t already know. It simply confirmed what they knew. Don’t confuse the fact that these findings were a revelation to the average American with everyone else not knowing what happened at Gitmo and at the rendition sites. The release of this report was an attempt to come clean and restore our credibility. Whether or not that gesture is successful remains to be seen. Much depends on whether or not those responsible for the crimes against humanity cited in the report are held accountable. If they are not, the whole thing was a waste of time and effort.

      5. Melinda Killie December 15, 2014

        CPAinNewYork. Those who LIVE by the sword (republican numbskulls), will PERISH BY the sword. This isn’t the “Crusades,” although the republicans would find much glee in such an adventure. You dumb republicans are a little TOO anxious to start WW III. Too bad that if you put ALL of the republican bits and pieces of brains together, you STILL wouldn’t have enough brains to putt putt a bb around the bottom of a tin cup!

        1. angelsinca December 16, 2014

          Actually, it is likely going to be the naivete of the bleeding hearts that allows Iran to be the first on the block to nuke the neighborhood.

          1. Melinda Killie December 16, 2014

            To the republican idiots, whose ONLY goal is power, and not the welfare of the American people, that is a pat, cheneyish, republican/traitor response, angelica.

          2. angelsinca December 20, 2014

            Thanks to the Democratic Way, the only welfare that a record number of Americans are realizing is the bi-monthly loading of the EBT card.

          3. Melinda Killie December 20, 2014

            AWWW…, what’s the matter, angelsinca? Upset because in your warped line of thinking, you need more on your EBT card each month, or did the welfare dept find out about what a total FRAUD you are and cut you off completely?

          4. angelsinca December 21, 2014

            You are wrong on several counts, but that is your problem. I am not upset. I don’t receive welfare. I have no EBT card. You have no basis for calling me a fraud. But I understand where you are coming from. Like so many other liberals, your imagination has disconnected you from reality. So you make things up and then call those around you liars. You stereotype people you don’t know, making you a closet bigot. And you probably make choices based on race. As you grow up, these racist traits may improve.

          5. Melinda Killie December 21, 2014

            Your whining, angelsinca. Something the republican trash does best. They don’t DO anything to fix the problems. Just sit on their skanky, indolent asses and whine. Just pointing out your whine to you so you can “attempt” to fix it. You sterotype yourself with your ignorance, indolence, greed, apathy, and redundancy. YOU are the racist you whine about, angelsinca. YOU brought up race, I didn’t. It’s the republican way. If you can’t win ’em over with your ignorance, you smatter lives and posts with your bullshit to cover up your OWN redundancies…

          6. angelsinca December 21, 2014

            Sorry, you lost me at ‘Your’. The rest is just lib blah blah blah mixed with duplicitous ranting. Thanks for the chuckles, Chuckles.

        2. CPAinNewYork December 16, 2014


          Your response is evidence of a disordered mind.

      6. Vilnis Schulz December 15, 2014

        Apparently 6 million Jews died in vain because you haven’t learned a thing from that atrocity.

        1. angelsinca December 16, 2014

          Apparently 3000 Americans died on 9/11 in vein because the left can’t stand to see the enemy being uncomfortable. Didn’t you people watch 24 and learn a damn thing?

  3. i2grok December 15, 2014

    Interesting that Cheney supports violating international law, especially with the US as a signatory to that law. CYA Dick!

  4. jmprint December 15, 2014

    Cheney is as evil. His rankings are up there with Stalin and Hitler.

  5. dirtyoldonald December 15, 2014

    America has really sunk to new lows if we elected this despicable man as a leader and still pay attention to him in the news. Is the media so desperate for worthy news?

  6. prenestino December 15, 2014

    Does anyone think this “person” has any credibility? And shouldn’t he be wearing an orange jumpsuit with his wrists and ankles in shackles?

    1. 1standlastword December 15, 2014

      If he were one of us then yes…he would be in a jump suit and shackles. He is allowed to violate his office and other humans and get away with it. His only battle is against the shame of it and his own conscience. He is going to die in a painful state of emotional agony and that is what he will not be able to escape!

      1. prenestino December 15, 2014

        You are assuming he has a conscience. And he has proven himself shameless on many occasions

  7. FT66 December 15, 2014

    Cheney is quite wrong for criticising the Senate investigation for not interviewing CIA personnel. That was not their work as they are not prosecutors. What they did was gather information and compiled it together. From what was compiled, it is the work of prosecutors to interview CIA personnel in order to establish a case to be answered by those who ordered and carried torture actions.

  8. latebloomingrandma December 15, 2014

    I guess since the US didn’t have a “rack” or implements like Torquemado, (sp.) Herr Cheney doesn’t think it’s torture. I remember reading in”The Dark Side” that one detainee was chained to the wall with arms behind his back and feet barely touching the ground. He was found dead. A doctor determined that he died basically from asphyxiation, very similar to a crucifixion, because of the way his arms were tied, it interfered with his diaphragm.
    And who on earth came up with rectal feeding? There were obviously no licensed doctors around, as this is an oxymoron. The large intestine is used for eliminating waste, not for processing food. That’s the small intestine’s job. Just start thinking about some of these things and it makes your skin crawl. come to think of it,
    Cheney makes my skin crawl. I wish there was some way to just prosecute Cheney and Addington. They were really the ringleaders and where all the orders came from. They also kept close tabs on what info was given to Pres. Bush. Nothing went to Bush’s desk before it was cleared by Cheney.
    While i rarely agree with John McCain these days, he said aq lot of things about torture that were right . For one thing, he said—T
    his is not about THEM. It is about us and our values and what we have turned into. What have we asked our citizens to do i our country’s name?
    Many agents may have trouble living with themselves, and others—it may have just unleashed the sadistic ones. Lose, lose all around.

    1. CPAinNewYork December 15, 2014


      Torqemada was Isabella of Castile’s Father Confessor, not an object.

      When Isabella learned that the Jewish converts to Catholicism were secretly conducting Jewish religious services in their homes, which was heresy, she told Torquemada. He reported it to the Vatican, which appointed a committee to investigate. That committee was called the “inquisition.”

      The Vatican appointed Torquemada to head the Inquisition in Spain.

      1. FT66 December 15, 2014

        To hell you go CPAinNewYork. Are you trying to challenge Granny? She knows more than you do, as she saw the light of the world first, even before god dreamt of creating you!

        1. WhutHeSaid December 15, 2014

          Um, I’m not sure that even God would be bold enough to claim responsibility for a vile, despicable, bean-counting, Kraut-Wop, Hitler wannabe like CowardlyPussyAsshatInNewYork.

      2. 1standlastword December 15, 2014

        I don’t get why Granny should be “concerned” about the Terrorists that perpetrated 9/11 That was Rumsfeld and Cheney’s concern and it was one of them that let Osama Bin Laden fly out of Tora Bora and that was when AQ was a relatively fledgling enterprise. But after Osama heard Bush say “he’s not that important” and our boys and girls diverted to Iraq AQ just got stronger. That makes all this another nightmare scenario that was the “concern” of the Bush Administration. Imagine if our special forces were allowed to terminate OBL on that day and we came home to a victory parade. That would have been very nice

        1. Vilnis Schulz December 15, 2014

          and meanwhile War Criminal Cheney has the temerity to utter, “We(sic) got Bin Laden…”

        2. angelsinca December 16, 2014

          Sure. And all barbaric acts of terrorism simply went away when OBL got a bullet in the eye. What part of ‘death to all infidels’ don’t you understand, infidel?

      3. latebloomingrandma December 15, 2014

        Of course i knew Torqemada was a person; sorry I was not clear. And wasn’t the Inquisition a time of torturing people?

        1. Dominick Vila December 15, 2014

          What CPA said about the Inquisition is fairly accurate. The only thing I would add is that it was not limited to Jewish people.

      4. Vilnis Schulz December 15, 2014

        What about the “muslim scum” who 1) were helping the CIA seek out the bad guys and 2) who were innocent but swept up because they were in wrong place at wrong time?

        BTW Not sure I see where “Granny” was forgiving anyone involved in the Spanish Inquisition …

  9. Julieann Wozniak December 15, 2014

    Perhaps Mr. Cheney should experience firsthand thee “EITs” outlined in the Torture Report. Rendition the man. Use EITs on him. Although I doubt it would cure him of the cancerous evil that lurks in his soul.

    1. mah101 December 15, 2014

      He needs an extraordinary rendition to Malaysia, where he and Bush have already been convicted of war crimes.

      1. Vilnis Schulz December 15, 2014

        I’d settle for having them wrestled from the arms of Secret Service on a trip abroad (which neither will ever make as long as they live) & limousined to the World Court in the Hague

  10. mah101 December 15, 2014

    The headline should read “Convicted War Criminal Cheney Remains Unrepentant, Says He Would Do It All Again”

    Why do we listen to this evil man? Why does he get air time? Why cover him in our news? He is an evil, unrepentant man duly convicted of war crimes, he deserves to be in prison, not lining up for another of his anti-aging treatments involving the living hearts of others.

    Not only that, but he fails to remember one of the most important elements of our legal system, first stipulated in English Law and carried through into our system. “Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer”, as Sir William Blackstone first stated in 1766.

    Cheney deserves prison, not air time.

  11. mah101 December 15, 2014

    This needs to be posted on t-shirts, protest signs in the streets, and in messages to our Congress and President:


  12. 1standlastword December 15, 2014

    I keep reading why listen to him….Why does he get a forum?

    America listens to Cheney because he is a moral hero of the highest integrity to the Tea Party type conservatives in our country.

    He speaks their language and he knows their hearts. They are proud to hear him preach because it warms the cockles of their heart and he represents them in their essence.

    The same can be said of Sarah Palin, Ted Nugent, Michele Bachmann and the rest

    1. Vilnis Schulz December 15, 2014

      In other words, people who are never able to get past their confirmation bias.

    2. angelsinca December 16, 2014

      You don’t know conservatives very well.

  13. johninPCFL December 15, 2014

    Wow. The guy who designed the program and got $80M from Congress for running it didn’t know anything about it? Cheney is becoming Reagan: “What? I don’t know anything about that!”

  14. 788eddie December 15, 2014

    Dick Cheney is a sad old man who will have to answer to GOD one day for his actions.

    I don’t think that will make him (Cheney) any happier.

  15. Vilnis Schulz December 15, 2014

    Personally I’m tired of hearing from him. … unless he’s on stand @ the Hague

  16. Whatmeworry December 15, 2014

    That’s because I wasn’t torture given their options Hanging or Questioning every one would have opted for questioning

  17. prenestino December 16, 2014

    The Report does not reveal anything that the world at large doesn’t already know. Books and movies have been made about it. The Report simply acknowledges what happened. It is a step towards atoning for this disgrace. The Japanese government has further disgraced itself by not only refusing to apologize for war crimes during WWII, but even tries to justify them. In Germany it is against the law to deny Nazi crimes. Do any of you out there want our country and Americans at large to be defined by this vile behavior?
    Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush will be arrested the minute they step off a plane should they ever go to Europe. Why doesn’t out country have warrants out on these criminals?

    1. angelsinca December 16, 2014

      The country is now being defined by its politicians that release top secret documents for political purposes, intentionally disgracing their own nation. This should hurt the republicans AND help the enemy. Two self destructive results with one treasonous action. Nice move, Democrats.

      1. prenestino December 16, 2014

        Keep it up, Angelsinca. It was the politicians you voted for that are responsible for this.

        1. angelsinca December 16, 2014

          I don’t vote for Democrats that release secrets to damage the reputation of a nation in order to harm republicans.

          1. prenestino December 16, 2014

            What “secrets”? What Democrats ever did this? But you did vote for Republicans who disgraced and demeaned our country. Do you have any guilt or remorse for having done this?

          2. indiokie December 16, 2014

            But you screamed for TOTAL transparency from our current administration. Can’t have it both ways.

          3. angelsinca December 20, 2014

            Thanks, but I don’t scream. It is clear you don’t understand the difference between transparency and unnecessary exposure tainted with political bias.

    2. angelsinca December 16, 2014

      “Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush will be arrested the minute they step off a plane should they ever go to Europe”

      Debunked. There are no warrants in Europe for Bush and/or Cheney.


      1. prenestino December 16, 2014

        Yes there are – indictments from the UK, Germany and another I forget. Bush was to go to Switzerland last year and sent representatives there first to see if he would be safe. They reported that he would be arrested if he went there. NYTimes July 2013

        1. angelsinca December 16, 2014

          Most liberals have been hating on Bush & Cheney for about 12 years now. Those that aren’t stuck on the Obama channel tuned them out a long time ago.

  18. Whatmeworry December 16, 2014

    That’s because I wast torture given their options Hunging or Questioning every one would havopted for questioning

  19. Whittier5 December 16, 2014

    Draft Dodger Extraordinaire, Darth Dick should be ignored for the rest of his life. Let Faux give him a forum, if it must. But, all other Media outlets should ignore him.

    He had his opportunity to Ruin this Country – and he did. It will be 2 to 3 Generations before this Country digs its Way out of the Great W Depression, et al.


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