supported it," he said regarding the practice known as
"water-boarding," a form of simulated drowning. After World War
II, Japanese soldiers were
tried and convicted of war crimes in US courts for
water-boarding, a practice which the outgoing Bush
administration attempted to enshrine in policy.
"I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping
get the process cleared, as the agency in effect came in and
wanted to know what they could and couldn't do," Cheney said.
"And they talked to me, as well as others, to explain what they
wanted to do. And I supported it."
He added: "It's been a remarkably successful effort, and I think
the results speak for themselves."
ABC asked him if in hindsight he thought the tactics went too
far. "I don't," he said.
The prisoner in question, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who the Bush
administration alleges to have planned the attacks of Sept. 11,
2001, is one of Guantanamo's "high value targets" thus far
charged with war crimes.
Former military interrogator Travis Hall disagrees with Cheney's
"Proponents of Guantanamo underestimate what a powerful a
propaganda tool Guantanamo has become for terrorist groups such
as Al Qaeda, despite several Department of Defense studies
documenting the propaganda value of detention centers," he said
in a column for
"For example, West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center has
monitored numerous Al Qaeda references to Guantanamo in its
recruitment propaganda materials," continued Hall. "Improvements
to Guantanamo’s administration of judicial mechanisms will not
make its way into Al Qaeda propaganda. Nothing short of closing
Guantanamo will remove this arrow from its quiver."
President-elect Barack Obama has
promised to close the prison and pull US forces out of Iraq.
Cheney, however, has a different timeline for when Guantanamo
Bay prison may be "responsibly" retired.
"Well, I think that that would come with the end of the war on
terror," he told ABC.
Problematic to his assertion: Mr. Bush's "war on terror" is
undefinable and unending by it's very nature, and Cheney seems
to recognize this as fact.
Asked when his administration's terror war will end, he jostled,
"Well, nobody knows. Nobody can specify that."
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