[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/04/art.cheney.gi.jpg caption="Dick Cheney asked for classified CIA documents to be released."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - The CIA rejected former Vice President Dick Cheney's request to declassify records of abusive interrogations of suspected terrorists, a spokesman for the spy agency said Thursday.
In a written statement, CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said the two documents Cheney requested are the subject of a pending lawsuit and cannot be declassified.
Cheney has said he wants the documents released so there can be a more "honest debate" on the Bush administration's approval of "alternative" interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists. He argued that those techniques provided valuable intelligence that saved American lives, but critics say they amounted to the illegal torture of prisoners in U.S. custody.