Liz Cheney Calls for End of Investigation Into Enhanced Interrogation Program
This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 9, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Now, during the Navy SEALs' daring raid on Usama bin Laden's Pakistani compound, they managed to extract not only bin Laden's body but also computers, thumb drives and hand written notes according to the president.
Now, a treasure trove of information about the Al Qaeda terror network was obtained. And according to the CIA, the data found inside the compound that is the size of a small college library. Now, among the information found inside were five videotapes of bin Laden which the government released over the weekend. Now they show bin Laden inside the mansion huddling under a blanket watching himself on television changing the channel whenever President Obama appears.
Now others show him appearing in the propaganda messages that he released to the world in the stage videos he clearly made -- he's clearly made to look younger and healthier by dying his gray beard jet black.
And joining us with analysis of these newly released images is the chair of Keep America Safe, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Liz Cheney. Liz, welcome back.
LIZ CHENEY, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Thanks Sean. Good to be back with you.
HANNITY: All right. First of all, am I the only one -- I haven't heard many people comment on this. But why would we tell the world that we got this treasure trove of information? Because if you are connected to bin Laden in any way, I would assume right now that you are not living where were you living? You are not communicating the same way were you communicating. That seems to be a really dumb thing to do.
CHENEY: Well, I think it is not a surprise that there would be a treasure trove there. You know, I think we may be getting to get to the point where we are hearing too many details, frankly. I think, you know, I would like folks not to be sharing quite so much.
But I feel pretty confident there's an awful lot going on that you and I don't know about, that we shouldn't know about. Certainly, our enemies don't know about. That the professionals inside the Central Intelligence Agency and other agencies are doing tremendous work. I feel pretty safe saying to exploit those things that they found inside the compound. So, I think as long as we don't hear too much more publicly about specifics, you can imagine that they will be able to have more successes on top of this one.
HANNITY: All right. On the next segment, what I mentioned with Dick Morris, so we are going to play this tape of "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace. I thought he asked a really good question of the White House National Security adviser, about, you know, enhanced interrogations are contrary to American values. Well, is that worse than putting a bullet in the brain of bin Laden? I mean, I thought the answer was weak. We'll show in the minute, but go ahead.
CHENEY: Yes, you know, I think you are exactly right. And I thought it was a great question that Chris asked. Because this administration, you know, even before they came into office worked hard to try to score political points by making allegations that simply weren't true about the enhance interrogation program and trying to act as it though it was somehow counter to American values.
Now, I don't think, you know, probably most people watching tonight have no problem at all, I certainly don't, I know you don't, with the fact that the Navy SEALs killed Usama bin Laden. But, if it is OK to go after terrorists to do targeted assassinations, which I believe it is, and the administration seems to believe it is, then it is very hard to understand how it is not OK from their perspective to subject terrorists to the very same techniques that our own people have to go through in SEAL training.
And a very specific example of this is Chip Burlingame who was the pilot of American Airlines flight 77 who was killed by the terrorists --
HANNITY: Yes, Debra's brother.
CHENEY: Exactly. And he himself was subjected to these techniques. So, I think it is pretty appalling that the administration is trying to score political points here, trying to sustain a position that is unsustainable. And frankly, that makes us less safe because it means if we do in fact capture somebody as a result of this treasure trove, there's no really effective way we've got in place right now to interrogate them.
HANNITY: Do you believe what happened in the killing of bin Laden vindicates -- your father was a fierce, strong advocate is to this day of enhanced interrogations, black sites, rendition policies, all of the things that President Obama cancelled -- go ahead.
CHENEY: I think that it certainly shows that those programs worked. I think it is one more piece of evidence. We knew that those programs were effective before. We now know that they helped lead us to the information that ultimately led to bin Laden. And I think once again, you know, it shows that the administration, as were you saying in the last segment, they ought to stop this investigation, stop this threat of prosecution of those Americans who in fact, bravely carry out these programs. It is really an abomination that they are continuing to live under the threat of indictment and the threat of prosecution for something that led to the death of bin Laden.
HANNITY: All right. The president was on "60 Minutes" last night with Steve Kroft and asked why he did not release the pictures of bin Laden, here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "60 MINUTES"/CBS)
STEVE KROFT, HOST: Did you see the pictures?
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Yes.
KROFT: What was your reaction when you saw them?
OBAMA: It was him.
KROFT: Why haven't you released them?
OBAMA: You know, we discussed this internally.
It is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who is shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence, as a propaganda tool. You know, that's not who we are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: What do you think about the pictures? What did you think about the funeral, following Islamic custom on the USS Carl Vinson, 40 minute funeral, translated into Arabic? What did you think about all that?
CHENEY: You know, I actually, you know, I think you could come down on either side of the issue on the pictures. I think now, particularly since Al Qaeda has come out and announced and confirmed in fact that bin Laden is dead, there is less of a need for that confirmation out there.
What really troubled me about that interview with the president was part of what you didn't play. Where as part of his explanation for not releasing the pictures, he suggested that, you know, we wouldn't like it if someone killed an American soldier and released those pictures.
HANNITY: That's happened.
CHENEY: Which struck me as very odd though that the president of United States would immediately go to a comparison between bin Laden and American soldiers. I just, you know, sometimes his reasoning leaves me a bit confused.
HANNITY: By the way, I think your dad was right. And we'll get into this a little bit more as we move forward, is that the CIA interrogators that are under investigation after they had been cleared in the Bush years, I think they ought to be decorated and not face prosecution. Do, you want Eric Holder to stop this attack against them?
CHENEY: Absolutely. And don't forget, the president of the United States could stop it himself, it's not just Eric Holder. The president is the chief law enforcement officer. He ought to stand up tomorrow and say, these brave men helped lead us to bin Laden. They've been cleared once. They ought not to have to continue under the threat of prosecution.
HANNITY: All right. Liz Cheney, thanks for being with us. We appreciate it. All the best to your dad.
CHENEY: Thanks, Sean.
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