Former Vice President Dick Cheney sat down with NBC's Chuck Todd on Sunday and mounted an aggressive defense of the CIA's terrorist interrogation program implemented after 9/11. In one of his strongest answers, Cheney backhanded calls for criminal prosecutions from a UN official, and upbraided Senate Democrats for "trashing a very, very good program that worked and saved lives and kept us from another attack" (videos courtesy of the WFB):
At another point in the exchange, Cheney adroitly demolished the premise of a hypothetical question from Todd about the nature of waterboarding:
Todd: So if an American citizen is waterboarded by ISIS, are we going to try to prosecute ISIS for war crimes?
Cheney: He's not likely to be waterboarded. He's likely to have his head cut off. Not a close call.
The Vice President's performance elicited a predictable cascade of enraged virtual heckling from his political and media detractors. This is a New York Times writer:
So if we have reason to think Dick Cheney seeks to destroy our vital values & institutions, at cost of US lives, is it OK to torture him?— David Dobbs (@David_Dobbs) December 14, 2014
A batch of new polling indicates that the public disagrees with Cheney on whether EIT's constitute "torture," yet majorities concur that the practices did produce valuable intelligence, and that they were justified. Pew's numbers are pretty overwhelming (via Allahpundit):
Democrats are the only demographic cohort in which "not justified" responses outnumber "justified." Yes, pluralities of women (+16), young voters (+8), Hispanics (+13) and blacks (+4) all side with Cheney over Feinstein & Friends on this question. I'll leave you with two items: First, Eli Lake poking another hole in the 'torture'-doesn't-work dogma, and second, former Bush administration adviser Dan Senor challenging David Axelrod on the Left's politicized "no to 'torture,' yes to deadly drone strikes" hypocrisy we underscored last week: