Feature

Dick Cheney on waterboarding

The outgoing vice president leaves with a defense of interrogation methods

Don’t expect any apologies from Dick Cheney, said Thomas DeFrank in the New York Daily News. “In a blizzard of exit interviews, the normally reclusive vice president has defended waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques for suspected terrorists,” along with just about every other part of the Bush administation’s war on terror.

Talk about revisionist history, said Nicole Belle in Crooks and Liars. Cheney told CNN that the controversial method was used sparingly, and yielded actionable intelligence that saved American lives. Besides, he said, unlike pulling out someone’s toenails, waterboarding isn’t torture, anyway. But there’s no telling how many al Qaida suspects were really waterboarded, and any expert will tell you that information you get using torture is unreliable.

Tell that to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, said Erick Erickson in Human Events. He belonged to Osama bin Laden's inner circle, and was the operational planner behind the Sept. 11 attacks. He was also one of the three people who were subjected to waterboarding, which simulates drowning. Without the basic information on al Qaida he provided, "the United States would have been seriously set back in the early advancement of the war."

Soon Cheney's opinion on the issue won't matter, said USA Today in an editorial. And President-elect Barack Obama says that waterboarding is, in fact, torture, and he won't stand for it. Cheney may be right that it made sense to go over to the "dark side" in the wake of 9/11, but now it's up to Obama to reverse the damage that torture has caused.

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