Monday, May 11, 2009

Vice President Dick Cheney Offers to Testify in Congress

"I'm convinced, absolutely convinced, that we saved thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of lives."---Vice President Dick Cheney on CBS's "Face the Nation" (5-10-09)

Breitbart (5-10-09) reports:

Former vice president Dick Cheney insisted Sunday that intelligence extracted from tough interrogations of suspected Al-Qaeda militants had saved "perhaps hundreds of thousands" of US lives.

Defending anew the former administration's controversial policies, Cheney accused President Barack Obama's team of sitting on memoranda that he said would justify his claim about the value of the intelligence produced.

"No regrets. I think it was absolutely the right thing to do," he said on CBS television, adamant that techniques decried by critics as torture were essential to break the resistance of captured extremists.

"I'm convinced, absolutely convinced, that we saved thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of lives," Cheney said, arguing again that Al-Qaeda was bent on attacking a US city with a nuclear device.

In one of his first acts as president, Obama reversed predecessor George W. Bush's approval of harsh interrogation methods such as "waterboarding," or simulated drowning.

Recently released memoranda detail the legal reasoning by Bush administration officials justifying waterboarding and other techniques such as sleep deprivation, physical slaps and painful "stress positions."

Cheney reaffirmed that Obama had made the United States more vulnerable to attack, and hit out at talk by Democratic lawmakers that Bush legal officials should face prosecution.

The former vice president challenged Obama's administration to declassify two memos that he said showed the Central Intelligence Agency had profited from the interrogations to thwart acts of terrorism.

"The memos do exist. I have seen them. I had them in my files at one time. Now everything is part of the National Archives. I'm sure the agency (CIA) has copies of those materials.

"If we're going to have this debate, it ought to be a complete debate. Those memos ought to be out there for people to look at and journalists like yourself to evaluate in terms of what we were able to accomplish," he said.

"It talks specifically about different attack planning that was underway and how it was stopped. It talks about how the volume of intelligence reports that were produced from that."

...If I don't speak out, then where do we find ourselves? Then the critics have free run and there isn't anybody there on the other side to tell the truth," he said, adding he was prepared to testify in Congress if necessary. [Full text]

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