April 6th, 2014
11:10 AM ET
9 years ago

Pelosi: Cheney is ‘proud’ of Bush-era CIA that misled public

(CNN) – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said former Vice President Dick Cheney "set a tone and attitude for the CIA" that allowed for the controversial techniques used by the agency in the Bush-era detention and interrogation program.

Her comments follow a Senate Intelligence Committee vote last week to release key parts of a report that concludes the CIA misled the government and public about aspects of the agency’s practices in the post-9/11 program.

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The California Democrat told CNN's Candy Crowley in an interview that aired Sunday on "State of the Union" that Cheney, who served under George W. Bush, is "proud" of what the CIA did during the Republican administration.

"I do believe that during the Bush-Cheney administration, that Vice President Cheney set a tone and an attitude for the CIA. Many people in the CIA are so patriotic, they protect our country in a way to avoid conflict and violence," she said.

"But the attitude that was there was very - I think it came from Dick Cheney. That's what I believe."

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the chairwoman of the committee, called the report's findings "shocking," saying it "exposes brutality that stands in stark contrast to our values as a nation."

Critics of the CIA program say the interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, violate laws prohibiting torture. Those defending the CIA’s conduct at that time insist the techniques produced valuable intelligence in the fight against terrorism.

The White House will make the final decision on declassifying the report.

House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers said Pelosi's comments politicize the issue. He also questioned the timing of the report's possible release.

"I have some real misgivings about this report," Rogers, a Republican from Michigan, said in a separate appearance on CNN's "State of the Union." "You can't not interview one person in the program and come to the conclusion they did."

"We need to move forward," Rogers said, adding that CIA intelligence efforts should be focused elsewhere as the United States faces threats from around the world.

The Senate committee voted overwhelming for the declassification of the report. Two Republicans who voted against the declassification, Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Jim Risch of Idaho, said the report was partisan and that its release would not end the debate over the program.

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, a Democrat and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said CIA practices involving torture are “not who we are as a country.”

“The most important thing that we need to look at, the past, the history, and make sure we don't make the same mistakes in the future. That's what we're really doing here,” he said, appearing with Rogers on CNN. “Let's get the facts, then we can make decisions.”

CNN's Evan Perez contributed to this report.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: CIA • Dick Cheney • Mike Rogers • Nancy Pelosi • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. The Real Tom Paine

    I'm sure that many of our conservative friends who have been screaming about Obama spying on people will be leaping to Cheney's defense the second they see the title of the article. Cheney is, without a doubt, the most ammoral person in politics in a generation, and is struggling to defend his legacy to us before he has to defend it to his God.

    April 6, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  2. rla

    hey– techniques that should part of SOP for the CIA as Pelosi and Feinstein try thie best to make the USA a asecond rate power- Oh yeah this from a group that said you can keep your doctor and health plan.

    April 6, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  3. Gurgyl

    Put this criminal in gittmo.

    April 6, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  4. sammy750

    Bush and Cheney should be charged and tried for Treason but Obama let them stay free. They started 2 wars, caused several thousand of our troops to be killed and injuried and the death of civilians living in the war zones.

    April 6, 2014 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. Celebrity Dictator

    Coming from someone in this administration, she's got zero room to talk.

    April 6, 2014 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  6. Tampa Tim

    Celebrity – I see you are still supporting "War Crimes R Us."

    April 6, 2014 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  7. marilyn58

    She needs to retire, that lady is an embarrasement to SF, we need to have term limits, these people should not be there more than two terms, man, power must really be addicting.

    April 6, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  8. Thomas

    Cheney , the arrogant and false bravado .

    He gave up a CIA agent who disagreed with his failed intelligence .

    April 6, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  9. ChrisM

    Bush, Darth Cheney, C. Rice and Rummy need to face war crimes that rest of the world has charge them

    April 6, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  10. yerkiddinright

    Gonna be fun watching all the RWNJs on this board defend Cheney and the VIA while simultaneously blaming Obama for programs initiated under Bush's Patriot Act.

    April 6, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  11. Mark Jessup

    The former Shrieker of the House continues to demonstrate her persistent slide into deeper dementia. She is to ethical and responsible government what flesh eating bacteria is to a healthy human body.

    April 6, 2014 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  12. Tampa Tim

    Marilyn – Yet you don't seem to have a problem with republican embarrassments like Gomert, Braun, King, Boehner, Cantor, Issa, Cruz, McConnell, Cornyn, Barasso, Rubio, Bachmann?

    April 6, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  13. Mav

    Every American should be proud of Dick Cheney. I certainly am.

    April 6, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. figure8

    America's Josef Mengele

    April 6, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  15. Miami Mike

    It's 2015 and Guantanamo is still open...
    Who signature is on the Patriot Act renewal? Why was it expanded through secret court order?

    Of course Pelosi did push and support the guy who lied and said, "You can keep your policy. Period".

    April 6, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |

    Pelosi makes Cheney look like an American Hero.

    April 6, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |

    I hate DICK Cheney and believe in my heart that he and his CRONIES are solely responsible for the deaths of over 100K innocent Iraqi civilians in their pre 9-11 plan to invade Iraq and take control of their OIL FIELDS as told to us by author Ron Suskind in his book with the help of BUSH INSIDER Mr. O'Neil.

    Nancy pelosi on the other hand muttered the DUMBEST SOUNDBITE in the HISTORY of politics


    She is by far one of the most IGNORANT persons in the entire U.S.A. government!!

    April 6, 2014 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  18. AnotherGDlefty

    Valerie Plame is all you need to know about how Dick feels about CIA.
    Funny that folks like mark and rla are attacking pelosi and are fine with torture for intel.
    Your family is next to be waterboarded mark on false info, still ok with it?

    April 6, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  19. rs

    Bush and Cheney probably could have been tried for crimes against humanity- not just for torture, but for the meaningless deaths of at least 125,000 Iraqis civilians and turning 2 million of them into refugees. Shoot significant fort ions of Iraq still don't have daily reliable power- all at a cost of $2 trillion to the American taxpayer. Never mind going to Afghanistan just a decade or so after watching the Soviets fail there.

    Republicans should remember that, and perhaps the Cheneys would be bright enough to be quiet.

    April 6, 2014 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |