Does Dick Cheney Have a Point?

May 12, 2009 10:27am

Columnist Richard Cohen has written a defense (sort of ) of Dick Cheney in this morning’s Washington Post.

The former Vice President has been outspoken (especially of late) in his defense of the interrogation methods used by the Bush administration. 

Cohen writes about being a critic of Dick Cheney, but perhaps not so much on this: 

"…every dog has his day, and Cheney is barking up a storm on the efficacy of what can colloquially be called torture. He says he knows of two CIA memos that support his contention that the harsh interrogation methods worked and that many lives were saved. "That’s what’s in those memos," he told Schieffer. They talk "specifically about different attack planning that was underway and how it was stopped."

"Cheney says he once had the memos in his files and has since asked that they be released. He’s got a point. After all, this is not merely some political catfight conducted by bloggers, although it is a bit of that, too. Inescapably, it is about life and death — not ideology, but people hurling themselves from the burning World Trade Center. If Cheney is right, then let the debate begin: What to do about enhanced interrogation methods? Should they be banned across the board, always and forever? Can we talk about what is and not just what ought to be?"

If these memos come out and offer proof that the harsh techniques helped save lives would that change things?  Does Cheney have a valid argument?

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