Transcript: Kerry, Hatch

CHENEY: It's five years old. DIONNE: The Justice Department can also have serious questions about what we now know is a very politicized Bush Justice Department and how it dealt with these cases. And so I think -- there is this issue of the food chain, and I think that's why ultimately you can't just prosecute a couple of people and end it there. And so that's why I think you're going to end up with some kind of a truth commission, a study of this whole thing. Because we have got to figure out how to deal with it. (CROSSTALK) IFILL: Yes, I'm not convinced they're going to open up the whole can of worms, but if you're a Democratic president and you are a Democratically appointed attorney general, and you are holding your hand as CIA inspector general's report which says -- I wrote this down -- "the enhanced interrogation techniques used by the agency under the CTC program are inconsistent with the public policy positions that the U.S. has taken regarding human rights."

Even if this has been investigated before, how do you as a Democratically appointed attorney general and a Democratic president not say let's take a look at this, even if it's a slippery slope as George says? CHENEY: What you do is you say it has already been looked at. I mean, that's the piece of this...

DONALDSON: By whom? CHENEY: By career prosecutors. DONALDSON: In the Bush administration Justice Department. CHENEY: But, Sam, they were less political than Eric Holder, who is a political appointment. (CROSSTALK)

CHENEY: But the other point here that's important to look at...

DONALDSON: Had that 2004 report been made public and then they look at it, the public looks at it and they say, all right, so drilling by the guy's ear, perhaps raping a female member of his family... CHENEY: First of all, OK, that is totally -- that is just inexcusable. DONALDSON: It's in the report.

CHENEY: It is -- nobody raped anybody and nobody...

(CROSSTALK)

DONALDSON: No, (inaudible) they threatened it. CHENEY: There is a big difference. But let me -- the other point here to look at...

DONALDSON: Oh, if I threaten you but don't actually hit you, there's a big difference, but you can call me to court. (CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: The law said that the threats were illegal. I mean, it's against the law.

CHENEY: No, wait a second. That's not clear. And the standard -- we don't want to spend a whole panel here on the standard for the legal investigation.

DONALDSON: Why not?

(CROSSTALK)

CHENEY: You guys have misstated the standard for the legal investigation here, and I would point you to Andy McCarthy's excellent piece in National Review Online, which goes through what the standard is that the Justice Department should have applied here, which is the notion that you need evidence, that you can move beyond the presumption of innocence in a court of law, that torture occurred and that is not here, and that was, as I said, it was looked at before. But the other point that is critical to me...

DONALDSON: Everyone except one person that I know of (inaudible) says torture and waterboarding is wrong.

CHENEY: The lack of -- waterboarding isn't torture. And we can go down that path. But the lack of seriousness here is important. (CROSSTALK)

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