Cheney Slams Obama Administration for Opening Investigation of CIA Interrogators

By Lindsey Ellerson

Aug 25, 2009 10:40am

ABC News’ Karen Travers reports: Former Vice President Dick Cheney slammed the Obama Administration for its decision to appoint a prosecutor to review and investigate whether CIA interrogators violated US torture statues and questioned its ability to protect the nation’s security. “President Obama’s decision to allow the Justice Department to investigate and possibly prosecute CIA personnel, and his decision to remove authority for interrogation from the CIA to the White House, serves as a reminder, if any were needed, of why so many Americans have doubts about this Administration’s ability to be responsible for our nation’s security,” the former vice president said in a statement Monday. Cheney said the intelligence gained from interrogations of terror suspects “saved lives and prevented terrorist attacks.” “The people involved deserve our gratitude. They do not deserve to be the targets of political investigations or prosecutions,” he said. Cheney has been a fierce public critic of the Obama White House’s handling of national security policy. In May, the former vice president squared off against Obama, giving a competing speech as the president defended his terrorism policies and decision to close the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay. “The administration seems to pride itself on searching for some kind of middle ground in policies addressing terrorism," Cheney said in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. "But in the fight against terrorism, there is no middle ground, and half-measures keep you half exposed." "I was and remain a strong proponent of our enhanced interrogation program," Cheney added later in the speech. "The interrogations were used on hardened terrorists after other efforts failed. They were legal, essential, justified, successful, and the right thing to do." – Karen Travers

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