The White House fired back at former Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday, saying he got his "facts on a number of things wrong" when he spoke with Fox News Sunday about the plans of the Obama administration on interrogation tactics and CIA operatives.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs did not directly reference any comments by the former Vice President, instead choosing to make a broad statement about the entire interview, stating, "This is the same song and dance we've heard since literally the first day of our administration. I think the Vice President -- if you watch some of his interview clearly had his facts on a number of things wrong," Gibbs said.
Cheney, who spoke exclusively with Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace slammed the current administration on everything from enhanced interrogation techniques to the Attorney General’s decision to name a prosecutor to investigate possible CIA abuses of detainees.
The former Vice President defended his administration, and the work that was done by the CIA after the attacks of September 11. "I think it’s a terrible decision," Cheney said about the appointment of a prosecutor. "Obama made the announcement some weeks ago that this would not happen, that his administration would not go back and look at or try to prosecute CIA personnel….Now we've got a political appointee coming back, and supposedly without the approval of the president, going to do a complete review, or another complete investigation, possible prosecution of CIA personnel….. It's a terrible, terrible precedent."
In addition to the troubles that could be caused at the CIA, Cheney was also asked about enhanced interrogation techniques, like water boarding, that he says allowed intelligence officials to obtain valuable information from Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the mastermind behind 9/11.
"My sort of overwhelming view is that the enhanced interrogation techniques were absolutely essential in saving thousands of American lives and preventing further attacks against the United States, and giving us the intelligence we needed to go find Al Qaeda," Cheney said "Those interrogations were involved in the arrest of nearly all the Al Qaeda members that we were able to bring to justice. I think they were directly responsible for the fact that for eight years, we had no further mass casualty attacks against the United States."
Even if the current President and his team believe any of what the former Vice President said, they weren’t showing it today.
"I'm not entirely sure that Dick Cheney's predictions on foreign policy have borne a whole lot of fruit over the last eight years in a way that have been either positive or, to the best of my recollection, very correct," Gibbs said.