WASHINGTON (CNN) - Waterboarding was not used to produce intelligence that linked Iraq to al Qaeda in the run-up to the war in Iraq, former Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter said Sunday.
A former top State Department official, Lawrence Wilkerson, told CNN last week that finding a "smoking gun" linking Iraq and the al Qaeda terrorist network became the main purpose of the "alternative" interrogation program the Bush administration authorized in 2002 - a program critics say amounted to the torture of prisoners in American custody.
But Liz Cheney, who served in the State Department during the Bush administration, told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that "Nobody who is talking about this in the press has any knowledge of specific detainee treatment."
"The people that claimed to have been waterboarded in these articles are not any of those people," she said.
Wilkerson, a retired Army colonel, was former Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff during the Bush administration's first term. Since leaving office, he has become an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq.
In an online essay Thursday, he wrote that al Qaeda captive Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi was "waterboarded" by Egyptian intelligence until he told interrogators that Baghdad trained terrorists to use chemical and biological weapons - a key element in the Bush administration's case for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
But Liz Cheney told ABC that Wilkerson "has made a cottage industry of out of fantasies about the vice president," and pointed out that al-Libi was not among the three al Qaeda figures the United States has admitted to subjecting to waterboarding.
And she said the former vice president - who has been publicly defending the interrogation program in recent weeks - "would not substitute his own judgment for the professionals at the CIA."
"I think that it's important for us to have all the facts out - and the first and more important fact is that the vice president has been absolutely clear that he supported this program, this was an important program," she said. "It saved American lives."
According to a 2006 report by the Senate Intelligence Committee, al-Libi reported he told Egyptian agents about the alleged al Qaeda-Iraq link after being beaten and confined to a roughly 20-inch-by-20-inch box for 17 hours. Egypt has denied al-Libi's allegations.
Al-Libi recanted the claim in 2004, and no other evidence to support his allegation was found after the invasion of Iraq, the Intelligence Committee concluded. He died in a prison in Libya in early May, reportedly a suicide, according to New York-based Human Rights Watch.
The Washington Post, citing unnamed senior intelligence officials, reported Saturday that two top al Qaeda figures who were subjected to waterboarding - Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah - were not asked about al Qaeda and Iraq while being subjected to the practice, though they had been questioned about possible connections between the two during other sessions.
Wilkerson told CNN he could not prove his allegations in court, "but I'm pretty sure it's fairly accurate." And an Army psychiatrist, Maj. Paul Burney, also told the Pentagon's inspector-general that interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp were pressed to question al Qaeda captives about any connections to Iraq, though other witnesses cited in an April report by the Senate Armed Services Committee did not recall similar pressure.
Dick Cheney criticized Powell during a television interview last weekend, saying he no longer considers Powell a fellow Republican after his former colleague endorsed Democratic candidate Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election. But Wilkerson said he is not speaking for his former boss and does not know whether Powell shares his views.
How would Liz Cheney know? Did her father reveal state secrets over dinner?
American lives cease to be important to save once we begin to torture; we become the enemy.
The war in Iraq seemed to be based on the prinse that Sadaam and his government was holding WMD. This turned out to be not the case. Therefore, those who advocated the downfall and removal of Sadaam and his two sons, may appear to be on shaky ground. The renditions and other extraordinary means of intelligence extraction, have not changed some facts: that no one from Iraq had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks on the US; that those who did attacke us came primarliy from Egypt and Saudi Arabia (which we did not counter-attack); and that there were ZERO basis for attack on Iraq w.r.t. the attackes on 9/11. Some of us look forward to a more thorough examintation of the events leading up to the war in Iraq,
Just how does Liz Chaney know ?????????? You mean daddy Dick passed tops secrets to his daughter..???? Over 5000 thousand good men and women dead and thousands wounded by the callous actions of George W and Dick. They sure made America proud don't you think????????
"Nobody who is talking about this in the press has any knowledge of specific detainee treatment."
So does this mean that Liz Cheney, herself, has no real knowledge of how detainees were treated, so she can not judge if they were tortured or not. Which means by her saying that waterboarding was not torture, that she is only out to help daddy dearest.
If you make a claim-ie:iraq has ties with alqueda, then start torturing a prisoner and let him know you will stop only when he backs up your lies, guess what? He will lie to get you to stop! With enough torture a prisoner would be coerced into stating bush was intelligent, or cheney was honest!
Face it people: the CIA, and Bush himself have explicitely stated that NO connection between Al Quaida and Iraq was ever found! You can read the final report from 2005 on the CIA's own website! Al Quaida arrived in Iraq subsequent to our invasion and destruction of that country. WE made Iraq into a terrorist safehaven. We created more terrorists than Al Quaida ever had before with this sensless, greedy war that only put your taxpayer dollars into the pockets of Cheney's oil buddies! We are less safe than we were before. Cheney needs to be tried as a war criminal, for misleading the country, for embezlement of taxpayer dollars, for the senseless murder of thousands of American soldiers, and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians!
I couldn't even read this article as I realized a few sentences in how this woman has been so badly treated by her own family due to her sexuality and then she's right there mixed in with them all with this torture business. What a sick bunch of people, her moral compass is as whacked out as her parents. It's just disgusting.
Liz Cheney is about as credible as Micky Mouse on this issue. I highly doubt her father (Dick Cheney of all people) would have even allowed her to see highly classified government information. Whatever she says is in the interests of protecting her father and cannot be trusted.
Liz Cheney? Who is Liz Cheney? Is she an elected official? Is she an employee of the US government? Who are you speaking for Liz? How do you know anything about anything? Dick Cheney is a bad man that has left this great nation in a real bind, but I bet he can speak for himself. He (and We the people) do not need his little girl spouting off. Either run for office, or sign up with an agency Liz. Till then, shut the hell up!
How can Liz Cheney know these things? It seems illegal for her to know non-public information about national security. She wasn't elected. She wasn't even living in the White House.
How the heck would she know?
According to Liz Cheney, the only people who have been waterboarded are those who admitted to being subjected to waterboarding. Since when did Liz Cheney have a security clearance to see the "cooked intelligence" created by waterboarding? Liz Cheney has no evidence that torture saved American lives. In fact, torture has made it easier for Al-Qaeda to recruit young men. Maj. Paul Burney said interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp were pressed to question al Qaeda captives about any connections to Iraq.
Liz, go give your father some comfort. He will have a rather prolonged as in permanent visit with Lucifer and he needs all the comfort he can get in the meantime.
Watch the Republicans who were flipping out about Pelosi lying now do their flip-flop hypocrisy and defend this bald-faced lie with their usual frothing rage.
What's with the Cheneys' vs. The Rest of America?
They just don't get it. The Cheney's should write a book
and turn off the hot air.
Liz Cheney is simply trying to run interference and protect her father who legitamitely should be held accountable for breaking the laws of this country. The senior Cheney has truly negatively impacted the values that we as Americans hold dear and stand for. He may never be held accountable for what he has done but it would be appropriate for he and his family to remove themselves from the public spotlight and allow this nation to heal.
Why do you cover Liz Cheney? There is no crebility here. You are just as much a joke as she is by covering this nonsense.
If Liz has inside information that is not public, is that not a breach by her Father?
like father, like daughter... unapologetic, delusional, liars. good riddance.
OMG....Just shut-up Lez!..I mean Liz
Frontline did a wonderful episode on this. They interviewed the people at the CIA who were told to manipulate the intelligence, what they could include, what they couldn't. Every bit of it was done by Cheney. It was deliberately falsified.
The Iraq war was built on a lie. There were NO weapons of mass destruction. Please tell me why did we invade Iraq and got over 4 thousand YOUNG men and women killed for no reason? Don't tell me it was to keep our country safe. That is another lie.
I have had a belly full of all the Cheneys. They are nothing but right wing extremists and the daughter is the worst. No self respecting gay person can be a Republican and for her to defend torture is dispicable.
yeah, cause she would know? if she really did know, then i guess that "classified information" isn't all that classified now is it?