PHILADELPHIA – Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) came out in strong support of a draft executive order that suggested President Donald Trump would re-examine the use of enhanced interrogation techniques and CIA black sites that were banned under the Obama administration.
Cheney, whose father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, was defender of the program under the Bush administration, said that without enhanced interrogation, the U.S. was less safe.
“I would support very much the idea that we’re going to review and that’s what the executive order does. I think that it’s been clear, certainly since we stopped the enhanced interrogation program, we’re not even in a position any more, frankly, where we’re very often capturing people. We have nothing to do with people when we do capture them,” Cheney said.
Trump’s drafted executive order had sent a chill through the Republican conference, with some members, including torture survivor Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), vehemently dismissing bringing back practices like waterboarding. Earlier in the day Sen. John Thune (R-SD) had cast doubts on whether Trump could bring the practice back without congressional approval.
Cheney’s message at the GOP convention Wednesday was forceful, however, and revealed the deep schism within the GOP.
“What we know is that the enhanced interrogation program provided some of the information and some of the evidence that eventually led us to be able to locate, capture and kill Bin Laden so I do support enhanced interrogation,” Cheney said. “I do think it’s something that clearly has helped us in the past to prevent attacks and save lives so I was glad to see President Trump take that step.”
The Senate’s 2015 torture report disputed that enhanced interrogation had helped intelligence officers find Bin Laden at all.