Former Vice President Dick Cheney vigorously defended the CIA's use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" on Sunday, dismissing the Senate report that referred to waterboarding and other practices as torture, and saying that there was no comparison to how terrorists treat Americans.
"It worked. It absolutely did work," Cheney, one of the George W. Bush administration's staunchest advocates of the harsh tactics after the 9/11 attacks, said on NBC's Meet the Press.
"Torture, to me … is an American citizen on his cellphone making a last call to his four young daughters shortly before he burns to death in the upper levels of the Trade Center in New York on 9/11," Cheney added. "There's this notion that there's moral equivalence between what the terrorists did and what we do, and that’s absolutely not true. We were very careful to stop short of torture."
Cheney said that he had no second thoughts about the tactics: "I'd do it again in a minute."
He added, "I have no problem as long as we achieve our objective, and our objective is to get the guys who did 9/11 and it is to avoid another attack against the United States."
Cheney criticized the Senate investigation released Tuesday for not interviewing CIA personnel or detainees directly. "The report is seriously flawed," Cheney said. "They didn’t talk to anybody who knew anything about the program. They didn’t talk to anyone who was in the program."
Cheney called the 6,000-page review, which took into consideration more than 6 million pages of documents, "a small report," adding, "It didn’t begin to approach what’s required by way of responsible oversight."
Cheney also rejected the notion that President Bush was in the dark or misled about the extent of the program.
"This man knew what we were doing," he said, noting daily briefings that included the president, the CIA director, and himself. "He authorized it. He approved it."
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