Former Vice President Dick Cheney told Fox Business Thursday that he thinks the CIA should restart and improve on post 9/11-era enhanced interrogation programs.
“If it were my call, I would not discontinue those programs. I'd have them active and ready to go,” he said. “And I'd go back and study them and learn."
Cheney commented on the matter following a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing Wednesday in which Trump’s nominee for CIA Director, Gina Haspel, said she would not have the CIA return to such programs.
"Having served in that tumultuous time,” Haspel said of the post-9/11 techniques. “I can offer you my personal commitment, clearly and without reservation, that under my leadership on my watch CIA will not restart such a detention and interrogation program.”
Cheney explained to Fox’s Maria Bartiromo that he did not consider the techniques torture.
“I think the techniques we used were not torture. A lot of people try to call it that, but it wasn’t deemed torture at the time,” he said. “People want to go back and try to rewrite history, but if it were my call, I’d do it again.”
“You tell me that the only method we have is please, please, pretty please, tell us what you know? Well I don’t buy that,” Cheney emphasized.
“There are a lot of Monday morning quarterbacks in the terrorism business,” he added.
Cheney did go on to express his support for Haspel as CIA Director.
“I think she’d be a great CIA director,” he said. “I think she’s done a great job in terms of the career she’s built, and the people I know at the agency are very enthusiastic about having one of their own, so to speak, in the driver’s seat at the CIA.”