The recently released 2004 CIA Inspector General’s report on the Bush administration’s interrogation policies revealed a program that was poorly supervised and resulted in “unauthorized, improvised, inhumane and undocumented” tactics. This unauthorized coercion included menacing “a detainee with a handgun and a power drill,” staging a mock execution, saying that they were “going to kill your children,” and aggressive waterboarding.
Today on Fox News Sunday, Cheney said that he had no problem with these interrogation tactics — even though they went “beyond the specific legal authorization.” In fact, Cheney said these tactics were “absolutely essential” to keeping the United States safe:
WALLACE: Do you think what they did, now that you’ve heard about it, do you think what they did was wrong?
CHENEY: Chris, my sort of overwhelming view is that the enhanced interrogation techniques were absolutely essential in saving thousands of American lives, in preventing further attacks against the United States, in giving us the intelligence we needed to go find al Qaeda, to find their camps, to find out how they were being financed. … It was good policy. It was properly carried out. it worked very, very well.
WALLACE: So even these cases where they went beyond the specific legal authorization, you’re okay with it.
CHENEY: I am.
There have been no documents supporting Cheney’s claim that torture was essential to saving American lives. Even CIA memos from 2004 and 2005, which Cheney claimed would back him up, have been released and have no evidence linking torture to valuable intelligence. In fact, these memos show that “non-abusive techniques actually helped elicit some of the most important information.”
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