April 22nd, 2009
05:21 PM ET
12 years ago

Clinton mocks Cheney demand

(CNN) –In the latest sign that the war of words between the Obama administration and Dick Cheney isn't letting up, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday mocked the former vice president's call to release additional classified CIA documents.

As Clinton made her first appearance before Congress as the nation's top diplomat, California Republican Dana Rohrbacher asked if the administration planned to heed Cheney's call to release documents showing information gained as a result of the Bush administration's aggressive interrogation techniques.

"Well, it won't surprise you that I don't consider him to be a particularly reliable source of information," Clinton said, to laughter from many in the committee room.

Rohrbacher quickly hit back, saying, "Dick Cheney has asked for specific documents to be unclassified. We are not asking for your opinion of Dick Cheney. … If you want to maintain your credibility with us, what is your opinion on the release of those documents?"

Clinton ultimately did not answer the question, saying, "I believe we ought to get to the bottom of this entire matter. I think it's in the best interest of our country, and that is what the president believes, and that is why he has taken the actions he has."

Cheney told FOX News on Monday that the Obama administration should release classified documents revealing the results of aggressive interrogation techniques, so a more "honest debate" can take place about the efficacy of the practices.

"I know specifically of reports that I read, that I saw, that lay out what we learned through the interrogation process and what the consequences were for the country," Cheney told FOX. "I've now formally asked the CIA to take steps to declassify those memos so we can lay them out there, and the American people have a chance to see what we obtained and what we learned and how good the intelligence was."

Filed under: Dick Cheney • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. JonDie

    Cheney should shut his mouth...until he is indicted and tried for his crimes in federal court. Then he can try to justify his crimes in front of a jury. The jury of public opinion issued its verdict in November 2008.

    April 22, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  2. debbie

    OH I think we should all just ignore Dick Cheney. He's just trying to make up for all those years he hid behind the scenes at undisclosed locations.

    April 22, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. Waldemar Sanabria

    Even those of us who disapprove of George W. Bush are happy that he did one thing right; survive for his full term. We can only imagine the disaster that would have befallen the country if we had a president with Cheney's value system and dictatorial inclinations . At least having to manipulate Bush slowed him down a bit.

    April 22, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  4. CJ

    It appears to me that Cheney is worried. There is no justification for "torture," and there appears to be an essence of treason developing here. To alter the existing laws, treaties, or other government documents by attempting to utilize words which would justify one's actions seems to me to constitute an act of treason, not to mention jeopardizing our national security. Torture begets nothing but human suffering. To "waterboard" anyone six times a day is as inhumane as inhumane can get, and I find it disturbing that any American would approve of such. Our standards are much higher, and I certainly do not want to be clumped into a group who calls themselves "Americans" if they support and defend this action. The America I learned of and am proud to be a part of would stand tall against this action and seek justice for those who underwent this terrible ordeal. Shame on you and those in your administration Dick Cheney. You certainly have not made me feel safer.

    April 22, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  5. obama/mama

    Bush is very very quiet. I know he's probably watching Cheyney and saying "shut up stupid, get off the news".....It's a shame for Bush but old "Dick" should be punished.....

    April 22, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  6. Jsoe

    I didn't believe it until this past week, and that is that Cheney, Rove, Yoo etc are all absolutely terrified of being investigated, and scared straight of what the investigation will reveal to the public.

    April 22, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  7. lisa from az

    Isn't this request for de-classification overstepping the bounderies of his former position...he is the former vice president? It isn't like the former president George W. Bush is asking. He was the president, right? Bush is ultimately responsible for HIS administration and he has to take responsibility for Cheney's absurd "request" for these cia documents. Actually, it has been reported that Cheney has NOT made a formal request even though he said he did on FOX. Also, someone needs to tell Dick his days in power are gone and there is a new president and vice president.

    April 22, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  8. The black spider

    If cheney agree on using of aggressive interrogation techniques ( torture ) and has classified documents revealing the results why isn't he in prison yet?
    I thought the constitution and the geneva convention ratified by the US forbid torture.
    Oh i get it the law only applies to the citizens not the Tops.

    April 22, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  9. divad

    Cheney wants the memos released that allegedly shows that torture works, but what about all the times torture failed. Can we release those too?

    April 22, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  10. V. Bauer

    It's time for that old Cheney to get lost. Hasn't he done enough damage?

    April 22, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  11. Ignorance

    So Dick how isn't that a breach of our national security to release those documents? Hypocrites!

    April 22, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  12. Melissa

    I think that it doesn't matter what was gained by torture because anything gained under duress is very much in question in terms of validity. People will say anything to make you stop hurting them, even if it means lying through their teeth.

    Not to mention TORTURE IS MORALLY REPREHENSIBLE. Whether the enemy does it to us, or us to them, it is wrong in every possible way. If you're behaving like your enemy, then what exactly sets you apart? Nothing. You are just like them so you have no moral high ground to stand on.

    I'm with Clinton on this.

    April 22, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  13. Melissa

    Hillary, they are still all out to get you. Could you please answer the question?

    April 22, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. Bethie in TX

    Believe it or not, I heard a host on a "Christian" radio show DEFEND the use of these techniques. He literally asked what the problem was with torture techniques that "didn't cause pain (???), didn't leave marks, and didn't cause bleeding". This attitude makes me want to throw up. Does he really think God sanctions these actions? Is this what Jesus would do?

    Whether you are a person of faith or not, you have to see that our former administration lied to us ("We do not torture"–GWB) and have disgraced us yet again with the extent of torture that took place. Seriously–if waterboarding the first 50 times didn't work, did they really think that 100 more times would? If we do not prosecute those responsible for the lies, the immoral actions that go against the Geneva Convention and our own consitution–then we are guilty of sanctioning them.

    April 22, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  15. frank

    cheney should be the one to break news to families of intelligence personnel who are tortured and maimed in the future. they set the new standard and think it works.

    it works about as well as his marksmanship.

    April 22, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  16. Dorothy Langshaw

    It's a waste of time and energy to talk about Dick Cheney. He is such a confounded liar. Anytime he opens his mouth, you know another lie is coming out. How about the lie that we were told about WMD that got us into the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, killing so many innocent soliders.

    He should be tried for war crimes.

    April 22, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  17. Babs

    For 8 years Cheney was the power behind the throne and the administration, inlcuding his boss, jumped when Cheney said jump. I may be wrong but I believe the CIA is no longer obligated to do Cheney's bidding. I'm enjoying watching him become increasingly infuriated at his loss of influence. I hope that even more comes out about those dark years. Cheney and his cronies came pretty close to treason and, who knows, they may still have to answer for their actions. As it is, all Americans have some tough years ahead trying to dig out of the mess Bush/Cheney left us in.

    April 22, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
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