Former Vice President Dick Cheney, America’s greatest champion of enhanced interrogation, has not yet read the so-called “torture report” being released by the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, but that isn’t stopping him from preemptively criticizing it.
Cheney spoke with the New York Times’s Peter Baker on Monday about the report, which details the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogation of terrorist suspects under the Bush administration.
“What I keep hearing out there is they portray this as a rogue operation and the agency was way out of bounds and then they lied about it,” he said. “I think that’s all a bunch of hooey. The program was authorized. The agency did not want to proceed without authorization, and it was also reviewed legally by the Justice Department before they undertook the program.”
Baker noted that Cheney had not yet read the report, but was basing his opinion on news coverage of its expected contents. Cheney also offered praise for the CIA officials who are likely to come under scrutiny after the report’s release.
“They deserve a lot of praise,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, they ought to be decorated, not criticized.”
And he expressed no regrets about the program.
“If I had to do it over again,” Cheney said. “I would do it.”