McCain and Cheney differ on interrogation stance
October 3rd, 2011
02:20 PM ET
3 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. Rudy NYC

    Have we ever seen a former President or Vice President take such an active role in the day to day national conversation as Dick Cheney? Never. Mr. Cheney's actions are completely unprecedented, and are designed to divide, sow discord, and not to mention cover his own tracks. Maybe someone needs to point out to his budget-minded supporters that Mr. Cheney believes that "deficits don't matter."

    October 3, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    "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."

    I'm taking the side of the man who not only saw combat, but who was actually tortured. Dick and Liz can go eff themselves.

    October 3, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  3. al in memphis

    Joe Hardworking who lives in Montana has a daughter, let's ask her what she thinks. So why are we stopping to listen what Cheney or his daughter have to say. CNN please stop this and those useless polls, or I will be force to start my own political ticker.

    October 3, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  4. ST

    All the time Cheney and his daughter are looking for something to disqualify the current administration. I wonder why they can not keep quiet. I admire "W". He has kept it classic all the time since he left the office.

    October 3, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  5. Woman In California

    Cheney is a desperate man. He is desperate NOT to hang on the gallows of American history as a murderer and liar. He wants to find solace by asking our president to "clear his conscience" of the deaths and heart ache he caused so many. It won't happen. Not now – not EVER. The Cheney's need to realize most of us don't suffer with "convenient amnesia" and we won't forget that easily.

    October 3, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. rs

    I would side with our Sen. John McCain on this one. He served our nation with valor during the Vietnam War, and knows firsthand about "enhanced interigation". Cheney is just a chickenhawk who sees war as a means to profit. He "deferred" his way through his obligation to our nation, and probably watched way too espisodes of 24, and then congratulated himself on his bravery (in his undisclosed bunker).

    October 3, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  7. thomas

    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."

    Liz , your father and Ahmed Chalabi owe the world an apology !

    October 3, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  8. AlaskaPalin

    cheney is probably an evil man. I've never seen anyone who seems so greedy for power. Was he always like this? And the way he is molding his daughter. Is there not a bit of remorse in him? I still believe he can change. George Bush has class cheney seems crass.

    October 3, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. Sequoia

    Dick Cheney is a war criminal who should be prosecuted for breaking international law and committing crimes against humanity. It's quite gratifying to see Obama succeed at all the things Bush/Cheney FAILED at...and without the digusting and evil use of TORTURE.

    October 3, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    "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."
    -------------
    I think your father slaughtered this country's future. He set us one a path, which once walked there is no denying that is who and what you are. Your father's disregard for fiscal sanity has left the economy irreparably damaged as long as any of his political cronies and allies have any power in this country.

    October 3, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  11. tor5

    Huh? Obama taking out a mortal enemy of the U.S. mean he owes Cheney an apology for criticizing torture? This is only further evidence that Cheney is insane.

    October 3, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  12. max

    The only apology needed is from Cheney to the American people. He lies and his daughter swears to it. He led Bush and the US down a unfounded war in Iraq, and continues to lie about it. He is mad at Obama because Obama is doing what he and Bush could not or would not do...Kill the enemies of the US. I give credit to McCain as he is a legit guy who has always had America at the forefront of his words and actions. As I recall Bush and Cheney lied about McCain back in 2000 where is Bush's apology to McCain?

    October 3, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  13. The Greedy Old Pigs have lost their souls!

    On this one, McCain is correct.
    As always, both Cheneys are wrong.

    October 3, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  14. The Elephant In The Room

    I wonder how long CNN and other media outlets will try to ignore the TRUE GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT against GREED on Wall Street and the Boardrooms of Corporate America?

    Unlike the "astro-turf" movement know known as the Tea Party, which was funded by the Koch brothers through Dick Armey's [mis-named] Freedomworks, the growing, spreading People Over Profits movement is tapping into individuals disgust with greed.

    October 3, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. bermille

    Just waiting for baggers to call McCain Unamerican.

    October 3, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  16. Lamental Jester

    I didn't know killing an enemy of the state with a missle drone counted as "enhanced interrogation techniques", I think Cheney is just reaching now

    October 3, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  17. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    President Obama is the national security and foreign policy President that America needs. Wingnuts are sick about that.

    October 3, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  18. sgurdog

    Obama owes nothing to Dick and Bush. They tortured people. They lied every step of the way. They used Pat Tillman then lied about how he died. Nobody owes you an apology, you owe every one of us one DICK!

    October 3, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  19. Lynda/Minnesota

    Both men (and their opinions) are yesterday's news, CNN. Have been since 2008.

    October 3, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  20. ggwindsor

    one thing you will never have to worry about is any one from the cheney family being captured and tortured by enemy of the united states

    October 3, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  21. JN

    Cheney, Palin and Trump are the best weapons Democrats have in 2012.

    October 3, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  22. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Do these two old fools not realize they are irrelevant?

    October 4, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  23. lloyd roberts

    He, Cheney, is such a cowardly chicken hawk, he needs his attractive daughter to defend him. I thought he was from Wyoming where they grow rough and tumble rodeo type of guys. Oh yeah, Cheney was in the rodeo. he was the guy that put the make-up on the rodeo clowns

    October 4, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  24. cog in the wheel

    I agree with McCain. Warfare always includes accidental death, so it's no surprise that unmanned drones (un-personed? :-) will occasionally cause unintended harm. That is terrible and should be avoided. However, the use of drones, or bombs, or shells, or any other military weapon is NOT the same as torturing a detainee in military custody. To equate torture with accidental death is ridiculous.

    October 4, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  25. 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. continue 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 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
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