Cheney Leads Defense Of CIA Torture Of Prisoners

WASHINGTON (Tribune Washington Bureau/TNS) -

Senior Bush administration officials Sunday slammed the Senate study on the CIA’s use of brutal interrogation tactics, and defended the techniques as necessary to get information from senior al-Qaida operatives who had stopped talking to interrogators.

“I’d do it again in a minute,” former Vice President Dick Cheney said on NBC. “It absolutely did work.”

The report released last week by the Democrat-led Senate Intelligence Committee revived a decade-old debate about whether the U.S. should use coercive interrogation techniques to get information from terrorists and if such methods produce accurate and useful information.

Cheney called the report “a cheap-shot piece of political business,” and criticized the Senate investigation for not interviewing CIA personnel. “The report is seriously flawed,” Cheney said. “They didn’t talk to anybody who knew anything about the program. They didn’t talk to anyone who was in the program.”

The Senate staff said they reviewed the transcripts of interviews with CIA staff conducted by the CIA’s inspector general.

Karl Rove, who was a senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, said on “Fox News” that all of the interrogation techniques were “carefully designed” and approved by administration lawyers.