Cheney: No Link Between Saddam Hussein and Sept. 11 Attacks


cheneyFormer Vice President Dick Cheney said yesterday that he does “not believe” and has “never seen any evidence to confirm (Saddam Hussein) was involved in” the September 11, 2001 attacks. He strongly defended the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq, however, citing Hussein’s previous decisions to support and provide “safe harbor” to terrorists. Cheney, in an appearance at the National Press Club, said he is intent on speaking out in defense of the Bush administration’s national security record because “a clear understanding of policies that worked (in protecting the United States) is essential.”Among other things, he called the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention center a “good facility … if you are going to be engaged in a world conflict such as we are in terms of global war on terrorism. You know, if you don’t have a place where you can hold these people the only other option is to kill them. And we don’t operate that way.”

He also reiterated his call for President Barack Obama to declassify documents detailing the results of so-called “enhanced interrogations” of high-value detainees.

Since Obama has already released memos detailing the interrogation methods, Cheney argued, it is important to share the results of those interrogations with the public as well.

On May 14, the CIA rejected the former vice president’s request to declassify the documents. CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano, in a written statement, said the two documents are the subject of pending lawsuits and cannot therefore be declassified.

Cheney argued Monday that the memos previously released were also the subject of ongoing lawsuits. He said Obama can release the additional documents with “the stroke of a pen.”

Cheney previously gave a full-throated defense of the Bush administration’s “enhanced” interrogations of al Qaeda prisoners during an appearance at the conservative American Enterprise Institute on May 21.

He has argued that the interrogations saved the lives of “thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands.” He called the techniques the Bush administration approved “legal, essential, justified, successful, and the right thing to do.”

{CNN Ticker/ Newscenter}