“You see it too often in Washington where a group of politicians get together and sort of throw the professionals under the bus,” Cheney said.
He continued, “What happened here was that we asked the agency to go take steps and put in place programs that were designed to catch the bastards that killed 3,000 of us on 9/11 and make sure that didn’t happen again. And that’s exactly what they did and they deserve a lot of credit, not the condemnation that they’re receiving from the Senate Democrats.”
Cheney and other members of the Bush administration have been under scrutiny from both Republicans and Democrats since Tuesday, when the Senate released a report that outlined torture techniques and cover ups from the CIA after Sept. 11.
Cheney responded to parts of the report that asserted then-President George W. Bush was kept out of the loop on exactly what techniques were being used.
“He knew the techniques, we did discuss the techniques,” Cheney said. “There was no effort on our part to keep him from that.”
The report — which Cheney admitted he had only “seen parts” of and “read summaries” — details instances of torture and techniques such as forced feeding, water boarding and making prisoners to stand in stress positions. Even so, Cheney said that torture “was something that we carefully avoided.”
“The question is what are you prepared to do in order to get the truth about future attacks against the United States,” Cheney said.
Other parts of the report suggested that little intelligence was gathered from the use of torture, which Cheney denied and asserted that “actionable intelligence that was vital in the success of keeping the country safe” was gathered by acts such as water boarding.
In response to Fox News host Bret Baier’s questions on whether techniques outlined in the report were unnecessarily harsh, Cheney denied the claims and called the techniques “successful.”
“What are we supposed to do? Kiss him on both cheeks and say ‘Please, please tell us what you know,’” Cheney said.
“Of course not, we did exactly what needed to be done in order to catch those who were guilty on 9/11 and prevent a future attack and we were successful on both parts.”
He added, “I think that what needed to be done was done. I think we were perfectly justified in doing it and I’d do it again in a minute.”
Very successful indeed. The world is truly a much safer and peaceful place thanks to Cheney.