- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Former Vice President Dick Cheney took preemptive action on the looming release of a report that takes a look at President George W. Bush-era interrogation tactics of suspected terrorists, calling the Democratic-fueled discussion little more than political theatrics.

Or, in his words: The report’s “just a crock,” Mr. Cheney said, The Hill reported.

“What I keep hearing out there is they portray this as a rogue operation, and the agency was way out of bounds and then they lied about it,” Mr. Cheney said, during a phone interview with The New York Times. “I think that’s all a bunch of hooey. The program was authorized. The agency did not want to proceed without authorization, and it was also reviewed legally by the Justice Department before they undertook the program.”

His comments came just hours before the Senate intelligence committee is poised to release summary findings of a report that likens the Bush-era interrogation techniques as torture. The report is also believed to contain text that alleges the CIA misled lawmakers about the value of such techniques to actually get information from the suspects, The Hill reported.

Mr. Cheney said the techniques used by the Bush White House — like water boarding — were “absolutely, totally justified,” and hardly akin to torture.

“They deserve a lot of praise,” he said, referring to the CIA, The Hill reported. “As far as I’m concerned, they ought to be decorated, not criticized.”

He also said that waterboarding and similar tactics were the “right thing[s] to do, and if I had to do it over again, I would do it. When we had that program in place, we kept the country safe from any more mass casualty attacks, which was our objective,” The Hill reported.

And his thoughts on why Democrats want the report publicized now?

They’re trying toy rewrite history, he said, The Hill reported.

“It occurs to me it was a sort of a cover for those on the Democratic side who were briefed on the program, but then were subsequently embarrassed to admit that and so are going back to construct a rationale to say, ‘They didn’t tell us the truth,’ ” he said, The Hill reported.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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