Greg's right--Cheney's making a key retreat off his claims. That's because we know the CIA got a ton of intelligence from some of the detainees, particularly KSM. But I've shown repeatedly, with my half-completed review of the KSM intelligence used in the 9/11 Report, that the bulk of this information came long after KSM was waterboarded in March 2003. The first big chunks of intelligence came from him in July 2003, and there were big chunks in the months that followed. This is important because the CIA started using rapport as well as abuse. Though we don't know when they did so, it is likely that much of the intelligence they got from KSM came at least partly because of this rapport based interrogation.
So I'm not surprised that the program--including rapport--got intelligence. I'm just curious why Cheney is backtracking on his big claims now.
Maybe because his bluff was called. As it almost never is. When will Washington realize that this man is an incompetent, a fraud and a bully who needs to be confronted, not appeased?