On CIA interrogation report, Cheney says ends justified the means

There is "no moral equivalence," Cheney asserted, in comparing CIA tactics after 9/11 to what "nineteen guys armed with airline tickets" inflicted on Washington and New York that day.

December 14, 2014 18:41
1 minute read.

Demonstrator reenacts waterboarding in Washington anti-torture protest, 2007. (photo credit: REUTERS)

WASHINGTON – Former vice president Dick Cheney responded aggressively on Sunday to findings in a Senate report that the CIA tortured foreign combatants under the Bush administration.

There is “no moral equivalence,” Cheney asserted, in comparing Central Intelligence Agency tactics after 9/11 to what “19 guys armed with airline tickets” inflicted on Washington and New York that day.

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“Torture is what the al-Qaida terrorists did to 3,000 Americans on 9/11,” Cheney said, arguing not only that the tactics failed to meet the definition of torture, but that they succeeded in protecting the American homeland. “I’d do it again in a minute.”

Last week, the Senate released a report based on a decade of CIA documents detailing severe interrogation techniques, including imprisonment of suspects in spaces equivalent to coffins, harsh stress positions and anal feeding.

The report, not supported by Senate Republicans or by Cheney, claims the CIA failed to report to the White House or appropriate congressional oversight bodies on the progress or methodology of its program. No CIA officials involved with implementing the program were interviewed.

Cheney declined to define anal feeding – finely processed foods fed through the anus – as a part of the program approved by the president, or as an acceptable method of interrogation.

But the report also claimed that several prisoners subjected to these controversial methods were later found to be innocent of any terrorist affiliations.

Asked whether this point, or any other, challenged his convictions on the program, Cheney said his position remains unchanged.

“I have no problem as long as we achieve our objective,” he said.

And responding to United Nations officials accusing him and his colleagues of war crimes, Cheney said he had “little respect” for a body taking “absolutely no responsibility” for the protection of civilians from terror.

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