August 30th, 2009
02:43 PM ET
5 years ago

Cheney: Investigating CIA interrogations a political move

In an interview broadcast Sunday, former Vice President Cheney said he thought President Obama is 'trying to duck responsibility' when it comes to a recently announced probe of the CIA.
In an interview broadcast Sunday, former Vice President Cheney said he thought President Obama is 'trying to duck responsibility' when it comes to a recently announced probe of the CIA.

(CNN) - Former Vice President Dick Cheney said in an interview broadcast Sunday that the Justice Department's decision to review waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques is politically motivated.

Cheney said he opposes the decision by Attorney General Eric Holder to ask a former prosecutor to review CIA interrogations of high-profile terrorism suspects.

Cheney made clear he believes President Obama directed Holder to launch the review because the president is feeling pressure from left-wing Democrats. Cheney said the review will undermine the willingness of CIA personnel to conduct necessary operations.

"I think it's a terrible decision," Cheney said on "Fox News Sunday." "It's clearly a political move. There's no other rationale for why they're doing this."

He criticized Obama for allowing a review considering the president previously said that CIA operatives involved in the interrogations would not be prosecuted. "I think he's trying to duck responsibility for what's going on here, and I think it's wrong," Cheney said.

Full story

Updated: 2:43 p.m.


Filed under: CIA • Dick Cheney • Eric Holder • FBI • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (304 Responses)
  1. ROGER

    All pres. Obama needs to do to allay fears of prosecution at the cia is to announce amnesty for those agents involved in questioning, as long as they did not exceed the guidelines as defined by their superiors, and that prosecution will therefore be limited to those interpreting policy and who were in charge of making overall policy.

    August 30, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  2. Darryl

    Cheney made clear he believes its a terrible decision," "It's clearly a political move. There's no other rationale for why they're doing this."

    Are they kidding. Like you can trust that anyone "believes" anything when they are being investigated

    An the no other rationale... I guess Enron, TYCO's CEO, Jack Abramoff, and Blagojevich were all political too..all of which happened when the Republicans were in power.

    August 30, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  3. Beau

    Bush | Cheney | GOP INC were ineptly and arrogantly asleep at the national security wheel when 9-11 struck (and later, when Katrina struck).

    Only our shock, grief, mourning, sadness and disbelief have prevented us from accurately blaming Bush | Cheney | GOP INC for 9-11 in the past.

    When we now read that BUSH | CHENEY | GOP INC claim credit for keeping us safe since 9-11, it should make us all very happy that Attorney General Holder has appointed an Independent Counsel to investigate the truth and nature of their claims.

    Do we want our soldiers torured? Of course not.

    Do we, in turn, torture the soldiers and terrorists that we capture? Let's find out.

    August 30, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  4. Libertarian

    PLEASE....Cheney is running scared now because we ARE a country of LAW and he broke them. He and Bush had NO PROBLEM throwing soldiers under the bus for Abu Ghraib (and others) when they were caught doing what they were trained to do.

    HOW ABOUT STANDING UP FOR THOSE SOLDIERS, DICK??? Oh...that's right....they couldn't advance your wealth and power. LOSER.

    August 30, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  5. kris

    I don't even get why people complain about the techniques. If their using them there's a good reason for it. Those people most likely aren't good. The drill and the gun etc. was never used, its just a scare technique to make them think that they could also soon get tortured like that. People need to research more. People need to do their research more, a lot of the torturing techniques today alter the mind etc. (just like water boarding), but the victim is fine, physically haha

    August 30, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  6. Mike, Florida

    Cheney will never see the insides of any jail cell from this or any other investigation.. not because he's innocent.. because the top DOGS in government never get what's coming to them!! Only the small fri shall simmer on this grill as usual!!
    If there's an agent who took things further then Cheney and his ILK authorized them to do, then by all means prosecute them, but let's not throw the whole bunch under the bus when they were only doing what Bush and Cheney told them was legal, after all the president is their boss!! So forget the CIA and just go after Bush and Cheney.. LOL LOL....... NEVER HAPPEN!!!!!!!

    August 30, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  7. Palin 2012 - 2014 1/2

    There haven't been any terrorist attacks since Obama took office either, Cheney!!! How do YOU explain that????
    Obviously, our troops are doing their work and making the difference, because we are no longer torturing detainees!!!

    August 30, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. Paulo Mis

    Do Republicans even believe Cheney anymore? The guy is a complete joke.

    August 30, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  9. Steve in Kentucky

    Time to investigate ALL crimes of the Cheney/Bush administration and put people like the Head Spook into prison for the remainder of their lives. ... Maybe at Gitmo. How's that Dick?

    August 30, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  10. Phil-n-PA

    AustHall earlier post is correct: Dick is scared of what'll come out of an investigation NOT run by the RNC. And he should be.

    After the WTC bombing in 1993, Bill Clinton's WH kept the U.S. safe from attack for 8 years – without torturing anybody! It makes you wonder why torture was SO necessary with George & Dick running the show. Obvious answer: It wasn't necessary!

    George and Dick dragged the proud reputation of our great nation through the mud – and for what? The FBI and the DOJ needs to conduct the most open and thorough investigation they possibly can – and quickly! It needs to be shown soon that a few criminals were behind what was done in our names, not the nation as a whole.

    August 30, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  11. churchill

    Political? Then be patient. We will all soon find out.

    August 30, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. Sgt. USMC

    Cheney, Bush, and his NEOCONs all avoided direct military action in defense of our country. Bush hid in the Guard, Cheney had What? 5 deferments. Yet they abandon the Geneva Convention which is to protect our service men and women from such abuses. Does it always work? No. But it does represent a morality and a reason that an enemy may surrender if he knows he may be treated fairly. Tell the service men and women at Abu Grah(sp.?) that their prisoner abuse was any worse then what Cheney approved. No, but he left them to hang and I am sure that while these people acted in an unmilitary like fashion the CIA and Cheney's puppets created the atmosphere for their actions. Let Cheney hang and let Bush's presidency be historically recorded as one of shame. Bush did what AQl Quada could not. He sent our country into a financial tailspin.

    August 30, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  13. Jeff Letourneau

    If the Bush administration did nothing wrong, has nothing to hide, and is proud of the steps it took to protect America...then they don't have anything to worry about. Instead of claiming an investigation is nothing but politics, they should be proudly standing up and demanding that there be a review of their policies...then there will be no doubts, conspiracy theories, or political mud to sling around.

    August 30, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  14. pat c

    cheney is a war monger and evil to the core. i don't care if his toture techniques saved lives,the fact is he an bush had 4300 american men an women killed by sending them into a country without need to do so. sadam had nothing to do with 911 and yet cheney ordered a war in iraq! now we have a war in afganistan because the republicans took their eyes off the real enemy to fight the fake war an now afganistan is out of control. the bush era will go down in history as the worst bungled presidency of all times. cheney needs to be in prison for his crimes to the american people. he looks evil an he makes my skin crawl just listening to him speak.

    August 30, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  15. Fred

    I wonder how many people commenting here have actually taken the time to read the report. I just did. What I get from it is:

    1) There were some limited violations of policy when using EIT techniques on detainees (scaring with drill, threats against family, cigar smoke in the face, improper application of waterboarding, too much waterboarding)

    2) When the program first started, CIA had challenges in training everyone so conformance to policy was not great – but as time progressed the CIA got better and the # of incidents were greatly reduced.

    3) This program resulted in a wealth of information, where we actually had Al-quidas (sp?) main guy providing lectures to CIA officials on Al-Queida operational tactics, strategies, etc.

    4) This information prevented further attacks... In one case, they captured a guy while he was actively prepping to go on the attack.

    5) DOJ previously reviewed the violations of policy and decided not to prosecute, but referred it back to CIA for appropriate discline of its personel.

    August 30, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  16. Al--inside the Beltway

    Can one of you please cite the Article and paragraph in the Consitution of the United States that deals with terrorism; or the Article and paragraph that sets limits on how the United States prosecutes a war; or the Article and paragraph that extends the rights of a citizen to a noncitizen on foreign soil? I must be stupid because I can't seem to find it in the Constitution of the United States of American. Let me ask you what torture is? Torture is innocent civilians ducking and calling 911 when Air Force One flys over unexpectedly with a fighter escort. Torture is spending hours in a line at an airport looking for a needle in a haystack because those bend on forcing everyone to their will send innocent women and children to kill other innocent women and children. The men who do these acts do so willingly. They choose to put themselves in harms way. If using enhanced techniques ensures terror is contained, then use them.

    Everyone should understand that 80% or more of the people in the country believe the men and women of the Central Intelligence Agency are honest, hardworking, and believe in the Constitution, and protecting it. The Justice Department and President Obama should understand one thing explicitly, To prosecute anyone who participated in protecting this country with any hope of winning is futile. Please put me on that jury. I already have a reasonable doubt that naming a special prosecutor is anything but politically motivated.

    August 30, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  17. Honesty

    You say you don't know if enhanced interrogation did anything. Did it even occur to you that the worst terrorist attack in the history of America happened during Cheney's watch...why is that? Of course enhanced interrogation worked...in recruiting terrorists to carry out further attacks on America. Thanks cheney.

    August 30, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  18. A soilder with honor

    So the ends justify the means is what cheney is saying? "the results speak for themselves". Well, In the Military if we are given an order to go out and shoot someone in the head and we follow that order, we are as guilty as the person who issued it. In fact we are taught that there are times in which orders are to be questioned...even disobeyed if they violate accepted international conventions, laws of combat or civil morality. A war crime is a war crime whether ordered by someone in power (CHENEY) or followed by a solider in the field (THE CIA). You don't get a free pass to do anything you want just because a renegade administration writes a brief that says its okay. I say INVESTIGATE!

    August 30, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  19. mike w

    Of course its political to investigate the torturing, its also the right thing to do. Of course Cheney is going to be loud about fighting it, the man knows he is guilty and he doesn't want to face crimes against humanity. No human no matter how vile deserves to be tortured, we are the USA, not the Taliban. We have to walk a straighter road than the worlds savages.

    August 30, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  20. James Michael Roberson

    The excuse used by Cheney "that there has been no terrorist attack in the US since 9-11" for allowing the use of torture and in fact justifying it is a false premise. The reason that there has not been a terrorist attack here is more likely the result of greater law enforcement efforts, tighter scrutiny of travelers to the US, the fact that the terrorists now have their hands full fighting us in Afghanistan and Iraq, that they are going after other softer targets in Europe and elsewhere to discourage them from aiding us, and other efforts by us and the length of time that is required to plan for and pull off a terrorist attack. Cheney's premise is kinda like saying "Obama's policies are keeping America safer than Bush's because there has never been an attack on American soil while he has been President." Both premises are of course equally false. Although I do believe Obama's policies will make America a safer and better place to live.

    August 30, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  21. Honesty

    Of course cheney doesn't want the legitimate investigation to continue. He knows full well that the CIA operatives will be spared, and the investigation will lead all the way to the top...including cheney's office and cheney himself. Cheney is a true American Traitor and a disgrace to his Country.

    August 30, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  22. Palin 2012 - 2014 1/2

    If another country did to our soldiers what we did to the detainees, we would invade them(and rightly so)! It is torture and should be tolerated under no circumstances!!!!

    August 30, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  23. Bea

    Let's just waterboard Cheney. After all, he says it works and if he's innocent, he won't make a false confession just to make it stop, right?

    August 30, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  24. Ken, Arizona

    It's very clear that no one cares what Dick Cheney thinks anymore. Even President George W. Bush dismissed his opinions during his last term. So go away Dick. Please go away.

    August 30, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. Bette

    The guilty dog barks first and loudest.

    August 30, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
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