Washington (CNN) – Three of the biggest names in the administration of former President George W. Bush congratulated President Obama on Sunday for the capture of former al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, while coming to the careful defense of their former boss.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said bin Laden's capture was the culmination of work by Bush and Obama.
"I was proud that over two presidencies we were persistent enough and patient enough to put together the picture that ultimately led to him," Rice said on CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS." "You don't just stumble upon Osama bin Laden. It takes a lot of work to get there."
"And President Obama and his team are to be congratulated for doing that," she added.
Rice, who served as national security adviser during Bush's first term, called Obama's actions "brave," before labeling the mission a "victory across presidencies" and "a victory for having learned more how to fight the counter terrorism fight."
Although former Vice President Dick Cheney gave Obama "high marks" for his leadership and decision to send a Navy SEAL team into bin Laden's compound, his review was curtailed by his criticism of Obama's terrorist techniques.
"I still am concerned about the fact that I think a lot of the techniques that we had used to keep the country safe for more than seven years are no longer available," Cheney said on "Fox News Sunday." "They've been sort of taken off the table … It's not clear to me today if we still have an interrogation program that we can put somebody through should we capture a high-value detainee that had crucial information."
Cheney criticized the ongoing review by the Justice Department into CIA interrogation techniques under the Bush administration, action he said creates a "terrible precedent."
"It is an outrage we would go after the people who deserve the credit for keeping us safe for seven and a half years," Cheney said of the targeted government employees.
Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who issued his own Obama praise with a caveat, also defended the enhanced interrogation techniques.
"I think that it's clear that, that those techniques that the CIA used, worked," Rumsfeld said. "To have taken them away and ruled them out I think may be a mistake."
While he said Obama made "the right decision" in Pakistan, the former White House chief of staff was critical of the intelligence roll-out that he said came mostly from the White House.
"The more information that goes out about intelligence, the greater the risks to our people and the less likelihood we're going to be able to capture and kill some of the people who would result from the intelligence-take there," Rumsfeld said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "I would have preferred a lot less discussion out of the White House about intelligence personally. My guess is that people in the Pentagon feel that way."
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