Former Vice President Dick Cheney upgraded his assessment of the Senate Intelligence Committee Democrats’ report on the use of enhanced interrogation techniques from “hooey” to “crap.”
“The report’s full of crap — excuse. I said hooey yesterday and let me use the real word,” Cheney said on Fox last night. “It’s OK, you can bleep it.”
The veep said the report was “deeply flawed.”
“They didn’t bother to interview key people involved in the program. And I think that it’s sort of a classic example which you see too often in Washington where a group of politicians get together and sort of throw the professionals under the bus. We have seen it happen before, I can remember, in Iran Contra,” he said.
“What happened here was that we asked the agency to go take steps and put in place programs that are designed to catch the bastards that killed 3,000 of us on 9/11 and to make sure it didn’t happen again. And that’s exactly what they did and they deserve a lot of credit, not the kind of condemnation that they’re receiving from the Senate Democrats.”
Cheney rejected the report’s conclusion that President George W. Bush was deliberately kept in the dark about the program by the CIA.
“Not true – didn’t happen,” Cheney said. “Read his book, he talks about it extensively in his memoirs. He was in fact an integral part of the program. He had to approve it before we went forward with it.”
“…He had a much broader portfolio than I did and I spent a lot of my time just on national security. But I think he knew everything he needed to know and wanted to know about the program.”
Cheney said there was no effort to keep the techniques used on detainees from Bush.
“He was just as with the terrorist surveillance program. On the terrorist surveillance program, he had to personally sign off on that every 30 to 45 days. So the notion that the committee’s trying to peddle it, somehow the agency was operating on a rogue basis, and we weren’t being told or the president wasn’t being told is just a flat-out lie,” he said.
“I guess partly what really bugs me as I watch all this process unfold is the men and women of the CIA did exactly what we wanted to have them do in terms of taking on this program. We said we have got to go use enhanced techniques if we’re going to find out. We’ve got Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who was the mastermind of 9/11, who has killed 3,000 Americans, taken down the World Trade Center, hit the Pentagon, would have taken out the White House or the Capitol Building if in fact it hadn’t been on for the passengers on United 93,” Cheney continued.
“He is in our possession. We know he’s the architect. What are we supposed to do kiss him on both cheeks and please, please tell us what you know? Of course not. We did exactly what needed to be done in order to catch those who were guilty on 9/11 and to prevent a further attack and we were successful on both parts.”