Former Vice President Dick Cheney defended the Bush administration’s actions a day after the Senate Intelligence Committee report blasted the CIA for what it called torture against terror suspects during his tenure.
Appearing Wednesday on Fox News Channel’s “Special Report,” Cheney called the report “a terrible piece of work” and “full of [garbage].”
Most notably, Cheney said former President George W. Bush knew all along about the methods used on prisoners and approved of them. The administration called them “enhanced interrogation techniques.” The Senate report called them “torture.”
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein said Bush was kept in the dark by the CIA for four years, Fox News’ Brett Baier pointed out.
“Not true. Didn’t happen,” Cheney replied. “Read his book.”
Bush was an integral part of the program and had to approve it before it could go forward, Cheney said.
Cheney said that neither the CIA nor himself ever kept any part of the program from the president. Asked whether he ever knew more about the program than Bush, Cheney said he couldn’t be certain because they read different things. Bush had a larger portfolio to deal with while Cheney spent most of his time focusing on national security, he said.
“But I think he knew everything he needed to know and wanted to know about the program,” Cheney said. “I think he knew, certainly, the techniques. We did discuss the techniques. There was no effort on our part to keep him from that.”
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