Cheney says Enhanced Interrogation Probably Led to UBL Death
Former Vice President Dick Cheney told Fox News that if controversial interrogation tactics were successful in getting the intelligence needed to find and kill Usama bin Laden after more than 10 years, then those tactics need to stay in place.
"I would assume that the enhanced interrogation program that we put in place produced some of the results that led to bin Laden's ultimate capture," Cheney said of the George W. Bush administration in an interview with Fox News Monday.
"I'm sure we'll all learn more over the course of the next few days about exactly what happened... We need to keep in place those policies that made it possible for us to succeed in this case."
Cheney and President Bush went after bin Laden hard in the months following September 11, 2001, narrowly missing the Al Qaeda leader in the mountains of Tora Bora that December.
"We obviously worked aggressively over the course of the time we were in office," Cheney said.
For that reason, it seems, President Obama called both Bush and Bill Clinton before announcing to the nation that UBL was in fact killed in a Navy Seals operation just outside Islamabad, Pakistan. Cheney, however, first heard bin Laden was dead Sunday night on TV.
"I don't have the kind of detailed insight now that I would have had two or three years ago. Basically what I have seen to date about this operation is what has been in the newspapers."
Cheney, who came under attack as VP and in the years since for his controversial views on rough treatment of detainees including waterboarding, a form of simulated drowning, said he has heard press reports detailing that types of torture may have garnered some of the intel used to find bin Laden, but that he didn't know enough to "speak authoritatively."
"Bin Laden is dead," Cheney declared, "[But] we have to be on our guard. We are still at war."