By Carrie Dann
Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Sunday continued his fierce defense of harsh CIA interrogation tactics used in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, saying flatly that he “would do it again in a minute.”
Cheney said there is “no comparison” between the tactics and the deaths of American citizens on September 11, 2001, adding that the CIA “very carefully avoided” the practice of torture.
“Torture is what the al Qaeda terrorists did to 3,000 Americans on 9/11,” Cheney said on NBC’s Meet The Press. “There is no comparison between that and what we did with respect to enhanced interrogation.”
The former vice president added that he was not concerned about the capture or interrogation of foreign nationals who were ultimately revealed to be innocent.
“I have no problem as long as we achieve our objective and our objective is to get the guys who did 9/11 and it is to avoid another attack against the United States,” he said.
The comments come after the release of a lengthy report spearheaded by Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee. That document asserted that interrogation tactics used on terror suspects were more brutal than previously known.
Pressed by host Chuck Todd about whether the practice of “rectal rehydration” was acceptable, Cheney acknowledged that it was not part of the interrogation program. But, he added, “I believe it was done for medical reasons” — a notion that has been questioned by medical experts.
The former vice president also hit back against the report’s claim that President George W. Bush was misled about the extent of the practices.
“This man knew what we were doing,” he said, outlining daily briefings that included the president, the CIA director and himself. “He authorized it. He approved it.”
First published December 14 2014, 6:39 AM
Carrie Dann is a national political writer for NBCNews.com. She has worked for NBC and NBCNews.com since 2006. Dann writes about politics and Congress. Dann rejoined the web team after 18 months as a campaign reporter for NBC News, covering presidential and vice presidential candidates during the 2012 election. She also covered the 2007-2008 presidential campaign for NBC, including extensive reporting on the Iowa caucuses.
Prior to her work at NBCNews.com, Dann was a staff reporter at CongressDaily, where she covered lobbying and government reform.
A Virginia native, she now lives in Washington, D.C.
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