McCain and Cheney differ on interrogation stance
October 3rd, 2011
02:20 PM ET
7 years ago

McCain and Cheney differ on interrogation stance

(CNN) - Sen. John McCain said Monday he disagreed with former vice president Dick Cheney's assertion that the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki could be equated with enhanced interrogation techniques.

"They're two entirely different things," McCain said Monday on CNN's "American Morning." "One is that this was specifically authorized by Congress after 9/11. And it's action that is taken against a declared enemy of the United States of America. I'm glad they did it. I'm glad that they will continue."

On Sunday, Cheney said on CNN's "State of the Union" that President Barack Obama owed the Bush administration an apology for criticizing enhanced interrogation techniques.

"The thing I am waiting for is for the administration to go back and correct something they said two years ago, when they criticized us for quote, overreacting to the events of 9/11," Cheney said Sunday. "They in effect said we had walked away from our ideals, taking policy contrary to our ideals when we had enhanced interrogation techniques. They have clearly moved in the direction of taking robust action when they feel it is justified. In this case, it was. They need to go back and reconsider what the president said in Cairo."

Cheney's daughter Liz reiterated his point Sunday.

"I think he did tremendous damage," Liz Cheney said, also on "State of the Union." "I think he slandered the nation and I think he owes an apology to the American people."

McCain wouldn't say definitively Monday whether or not Obama owed Bush an apology, pointing out instead that the Senate had voted against using enhanced interrogation techniques.

"Well, it was 90-6 in the United States Senate to prohibit cruel and inhumane mistreatment. It was an amendment in a peaceful legislation that I was the sponsor of. The Senate has spoken. The American people have spoken. The people of the world have spoken. Torturing people in violation of international agreements such as the Geneva conventions is prohibited, and frankly very harmful to the image of the United States of America."

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Filed under: John McCain • TV-American Morning
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Fred


    Even though they are both 'War Hawks', John McCain is a 'little bit" more sensible than Cheney who comes across as a 'Jerk'. Why doesn't he just shut up and focus on his severe health issues?

    If the U.S. continues to advocate for torture as he's suggesting, when our troops are captured in the war zone, does he also expect them to be 'tortured' in like manner, especially through water boarding???

    October 4, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  2. woodofpine

    When you denigrate the country's finest principals, damage its standing internationally, and in doing so badly fiscally damage the nation (putting American troops unnecessarily in harm's way)... it almost inevitable that the best defense will be to continue being offensive. He spews the same disturbing reality detached jibberish that his ilk spew – be they African military officers or Asian despots.

    October 4, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  3. wishing

    As a 'liberal', I don't agree with Sen. McCain on much; but I agree with him on this.
    Torture is wrong. Water-boarding is torture.
    Rendition is kidnapping. Kidnapping is illegal. Kidnapping in order to torture someone is heinous.
    Stop them all and close GB.

    October 4, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  4. yuri

    McCain's magnanimity glitters like gold. Liz's saying- Obama slandered the nation- is a whole lot worse than grandstanding and political posturing. In our opinion, they do not deserve one bit to be interviewed by CNN. Dick's and Liz's opinions stink to high heavens. In short, they need to crawl back into their hell holes.

    October 4, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  5. LifeLongTexan

    There is no correlation whatsoever between an authorized air strike on an enemy of the US and torture. This is a pathetic attempt to validate their blatant disregard of the Geneva Code of Conduct. The men we arrested where terrorist or at least suspected as such, but they are still POW's and should be treated as such. If you feel that "enhanced interrogation" techniques are ok, then every soldier who was courtmartialed for rape, and murder should receive a full pardon plus back pay. When we do the very things for which we condemnd our enemies for doing we become worse than those which we war against. You have to uphold a standard if you wish to be considered moral. Have we not learned from our own history how true this is? During WW 2 black soldiers had to give up their seats on American trains to German POW's. Native American soldiers were segregated, and treated unfairly. Let's not even mention how we treated Japanese-Americans during that same war. Enhanced interrogation is reminiscent of those atrocities from which we've come so far. Obama doesn't owe Chenney, Bush, Rumsfeld, and etc an apology.

    October 4, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  6. Cynic

    When it comes to any argument between draft-dodging Cheney and war-hero McCain, I am totally on McCain's side.

    October 4, 2011 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  7. Mary

    You rock, McCain!

    October 4, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  8. YOU Decide 2012: A bankrupt socialist welfare country or a thriving capitalist super power

    I wish McCain would retire. He's an embarrassment. the Dems have jimmy Carter and the Repubs have John McCain (and his daffy wife and daughter).

    October 4, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  9. YOU Decide 2012: A bankrupt socialist welfare country or a thriving capitalist super power

    Stop them all and close GB.
    Good idea.... I think Obama now has the go ahead to simply open the gates at Gitmo and let them all walk out. A half mile down the road two Hellfire missiles take them all to Allah for him to sort out. Justice, Obama style. If it's good enough for Americans, it should be good enough for them.

    October 4, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  10. JoeW

    No one, absolutely no one owes any apology to the Bush administration. Cheney is a fool, and while one would think it difficult, his daughter is an even bigger fool.

    October 4, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
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