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.

Comments

  1. erika morgan

    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

    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

    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

    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.