Dick Cheney said he would do it all again.
The blunt former veep on Sunday aggressively defended the brutal interrogation techniques used by the CIA after the 9/11 attacks, defiantly maintaining that they helped protect the homeland.
“We’ve avoided another mass casualty attack against the United States. And we did capture Bin Laden,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I’d do it again in a minute.”
Cheney, despite accusations to the contrary, said the CIA “very carefully avoided” torture in its enhanced interrogation techniques, which, according to an investigative Senate report released last week, included waterboardings, beatings, extreme stress positions and forced “rectal feedings” and “rectal rehydrations.”
“Torture, to me is an American citizen on a cell phone making a last call to his four young daughters shortly before he burns to death in the upper levels of the Trade Center in New York City on 9/11. There’s this notion that somehow there’s moral equivalence between what the terrorists and what we do. And that’s absolutely not true,” Cheney said.
“(Torture) is what 19 guys armed with airline tickets and box cutters did to 3,000 Americans on 9/11,” he added. “There’s no comparison between that and what we did with respect to enhanced interrogation.”
Former Bush adviser Karl Rove also defended the controversial tactics, specifically saying that “rectal rehydration” was necessary to nourish detainees on hunger strikes — even though the Senate report said they were subjected to the brutal procedure without “documented necessity.”
“Let’s get the rectal feedings out (of the discussion),” Rove said on “Fox News Sunday.” “There are in this report nine references on 14 pages to rectal feeding. In four of those five it is discussed as being a result of a hunger strike by the detainee.”
Rove also claimed that then-President George W. Bush knew about the harsh techniques and even authorized their use.
“He was briefed and intimately involved in the decision,” Rove said, citing Bush’s 2010 memoir, “Decision Points.” “He made the decision … he was presented, I believe, 12 techniques, he authorized the use of 10 of them, including waterboarding.”
The Senate report stated that the CIA kept the White House in the dark about the use of the techniques.
Meanwhile, a growing number of pols across both major parties continued to speak out against the use of torture.
Meanwhile, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, a vocal opponent of torture and, himself, a survivor of it, reiterated his belief that the moves by the CIA constituted torture.
“I said these things are torture. They’re in violation of the Geneva Convention and the convention against torture,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“I urge everyone to just read the report,” he added. “You can’t claim that tying someone to the floor and have them freeze to death is not torture. You can’t say 183 times someone is waterboarded.”