Cheney defends Gitmo prison, torture

The Guantanamo ‘war on terror’ detention center should remain open indefinitely, Vice President Richard Cheney told ABC News in an interview Monday, while also defending the harsh interrogation method known as waterboarding.

Cheney was asked when the detention camp at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba can be "responsibly" be shut down. "Well, I think that that would come with the end of the war on terror," he told ABC.

And when is that? "Well, nobody knows," Cheney said. "Nobody can specify that."

In previous wars the United States has "always exercised the right to capture the enemy and then hold them till the end of the conflict. That’s what we did in World War II with, you know, thousands, hundreds of thousands of German prisoners," Cheney said.

"The same basic principle ought to apply here in terms of our right to capture the enemy and hold them.

The other option, Cheney said, "is to turn them over to somebody else. A lot of them, nobody wants. I mean, there’s a great resistance sometimes in the home countries to taking these people back into their own territory."

According to Cheney, some 30 detainees who were released from Guantanamo "ended up back on the battlefield again, and we’ve encountered them a second time around. But they’ve either been killed or captured in further conflicts with our forces."

Cheney also said he helped authorize interrogation methods used on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, an Al-Qaeda operative detained in Pakistan and sent to Guantanamo who has confessed to being a top planner of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States.

Sheikh Mohammed was subjected to a forced interrogation method that simulates drowning known as waterboarding.

"I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared, as the agency in effect came in and wanted to know what they could and couldn’t do," Cheney said.

"And they talked to me, as well as others, to explain what they wanted to do. And I supported it," Cheney said.

ABC asked him if in hindsight he thought the tactics went too far. "I don’t," Cheney said.

The Cheney interview is to air on ABC late Monday and early Tuesday, the network said, as it released an advanced transcript of the questions and answers.

15 Responses to "Cheney defends Gitmo prison, torture"

  1. erika morgan  December 17, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    I agree with all I read here, my first impulse parallels the first comments.

    True these guys did not invent their various tortures. One would think the evolution of culture and what is acceptable in war or by soldiers, as codified in international treaties, would imprint each government official of countries who are signatories of such treaties. I mean we do not have Edie Amin or Mugabi running America and Hitler is long since a has been.

    I am truly astounded by the audacity of Dicks brazenness in explaining his part, and his obvious pride in the choices he made, it is demonic mad and completely certifiably insane.

  2. Carl Nemo  December 18, 2008 at 12:44 am

    It is my hope that oil plummets to less than $25 a barrel by January 20th, so Dick Cheney’s 433,000 stock options gifted by Halliburton to him prior to his ascendancy to the Vice Presidency are all “out of the money”; ie., worthless…!

    Halliburton closed at $18.41 per share as of today, so he’s already taken huge paper losses concerning his pay for play percs from his corporate alma mater. Hopefully world deflation will pummel Halliburton to under $10 and possibly soon I might add.

    That would be justice for this arrogant, greedy, evil mattoid… : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  3. Nogood  December 18, 2008 at 6:34 am

    Hell surely has a special place for Cheney,along with Bush and all his crime family. If there is “eternal punishment” for sins, then and only then will justice be served. “vengeance is mine”.

  4. AustinRanter  December 18, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    Institutionalized Torture

    I think what’s got everybody rattled is that this is the first time that the Executive Branch has tried to “Institutionalize” torture. Now all hell is breaking loose.

    In the past torture has mostly been a covert operation with our government. But now the government wants to bring it out of the closet and everybody is appalled as though this is something new.

    I don’t condone torture. But, in the clutches of war, it seems like all participants are going to engage in torture whether or not it’s made public…or even to some degree “Instutitionalized” or made legal, with supposed limitations or restrictions.

    I don’t trust our government to follow the law about anything. They’ve gotten the idea that they are somehow above the laws of the land. But in the end, given the circumstance, torture will happen even if it is Constitutionally illegal.

    For Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Gonzales to push for “Institutionalized” torture…you have to admit, it takes balls and a touch of cruel insanity.

  5. barak  December 18, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    Is it true that Cheney keeps a closet full of Nazi Uniforms, especially SS uniforms?

    How appropriate!

  6. Karl  December 16, 2008 at 9:04 am

    Maybe Obama can Keep Gitmo open for GW and his evil Dick (and other cabinet members)if they ever get convicted of war crimes and treason.

  7. Janice  December 16, 2008 at 9:27 am

    What a warped and evil man.

  8. ckaye99  December 16, 2008 at 9:28 am

    Re waterboarding, like that CIA guy Keith Obermann wrote about: Don’t recomend it, Dick, until you’ve tried it yourself. Now that I would pay to see.

    I have read repeatedly that only 8% of those held at Guantanamo had anything to do with the fighting. Too bad the interviewer didn’t query him about that.

    PLEASE INDICT THIS BASTARD.

  9. psyopswatcher  December 16, 2008 at 9:41 am

    Meanwhile, Shrub awards the reformed Chuck Colson a medal of honor for his work with humane prisons. WTF kind of good cop/bad cop routine is this? Prelude to a pardon? I’m dizzy.

  10. 33rdSt  December 16, 2008 at 9:49 am

    You’re dizzy now? It isn’t even the last week of the Bush presidency yet!

  11. Charlie Couser  December 16, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Doesn’t anybody see that Dick “Dead Eye” Cheney is simply setting himself up to take the heat that is actually due G.W. “Shoeicide” Bush after these low lifes leave office?

    Bush was trying to sneak around Baghdad when the “shoeicide” attempt took place; but, for once the coward didn’t make it!

    I would also like to recommend that the reporter who threw the shoes be hired by the Texas Ranger’s pitching staff — he’s better than anything they currently have…

    Charlie Couser

  12. gazelle1929  December 16, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    It has taken far too long, but on November 4 the American public gave notice to the world:

    This is not the America we want to be.

  13. AustinRanter  December 16, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    Torture has been around for a very long time…and yes, the U.S. has participated in torture since the invent of war.

    In fact, the U.S. doesn’t discriminate against any country, culture, or gender when it comes to committing behaviors not becoming of a civilized nation. The U.S. Government has a long history of abuse, or allowing abuse of minorities, to include women and children, all ethnic minorities, and we can’t leave this topic without mentioning the elderly. Oh, and for sure let’s not leave this forum without reminding all about the cruelities perpetrated on the Native Americans, while the government used the excuse that the Native Americans were extremely violent and cruel to their own kind, meaning various tribes against tribes. So consequently, by our unbelieveable inhuman treatment of the Native Americans, we just saved them from themselves.

    Knowing all of the above, what makes anybody think that the U.S. would exempt itself from using torture during wartime…or conflict times with known enemies?

    The U.S. Government has, for eons, been guilty of just about every type in inhumane act possible.

    I love America…alaways have and always will. But, to play like we (America) are, and always have been the cream of integrity, human rights creators and enforcers, and saints among saints is just out and out a form of a sick denial about our country’s history and our capabilites.

    Cheney didn’t invent torture nor did he, Bush, Rove, Gonzales, or Rumsfeld suddenly decided to implement some new war strategy never before used by the U.S.

    It’s my best guess that should the situation ever arise in the future for the U.S. to commit such a horrible thing as torture…yep, they will do it again. Next time, because of all of the publicity, they’ll not get caught because of some leak. The U.S. will hire an Army of G. Gordon Liddys to take on such dirty task. Liddy won’t squeal even if burned alive. Read his biography…scary I say, scary.

    Oh, and not to bust anybody’s bubble, George Washington didn’t cut down cherry tree and probably lied hundreds if not thousands of times.

  14. storky  December 17, 2008 at 1:58 am

    Sadists are permitted to live out their fantasies only with consenting adults. Outside of these conditions, they are merely demented psychopaths that should either be treated in a psychiatric institution or convicted of their crimes. Either way, they should be isolated from society

    Yes, psychopaths have always existed. The difference is that, in the past, torturers were arrested and prosecuted. Not prosecuting Cheney or Rumsfeld indicates a general disdain and disregard of federal and international law.

    Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Gonzales took personal pleasure in the suffering of others. For this they should rot in a cell then burn in hell.

  15. Ladywolf55  December 17, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    If it walks like a Nazi, talks like a Nazi, and acts like a Nazi………you can figure out the rest. America is under the rule of the Nazi’s and WE have allowed it to keep on. Therefore, we are just as guilty as the Nazi’s who are in power in the USA, until we DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

    We think we did that on Nov 4th, but I don’t think that’s nearly enough.

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