One key to Dick Cheney’s defense today is the proud boast that his torture policy worked.
I guess the other thing that offends the hell out of me, frankly, Chris, is we had a track record now of eight years of defending the nation against any further mass casualty attacks from Al Qaeda.
I’m very proud of what we did in terms of defending the nation for the last eight years successfully.
Chris, 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, to find their camps, to find out how they were being financed. 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.
It was good policy. It was properly carried out. It worked very, very well.
The thing I keep coming back to time and time again, Chris, is the fact that we’ve gone for eight years without another attack. Now, how do you explain that?
The critics don’t have any solution for that. They can criticize our policies, our way of doing business, but the results speak for themselves.
I wonder how Jose Maria Aznar feels about Dick Cheney’s proud defense of torture? Spain’s former Prime Minister who staked much on supporting Cheney’s unpopular war in Iraq had that support rewarded with a vicious attack on Madrid’s subway. The attack happened a year after we started torturing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. But somehow, all the torture of al Qaeda’s mastermind somehow failed to prevent the Madrid attack.
I wonder what the families of those who died in the Madrid attack think, hearing Cheney defend his torture program by boasting of eight years with no attack?
Or what do the Indonesians think to hear of Cheney’s boast? Several months after we tortured Abu Zubaydah in 2002, Indonesia suffered from its worst terrorist attack, in Bali. Yet somehow waterboarding Abu Zubaydah did little to prevent those more than 200 deaths.