Former Vice President Dick Cheney says a Senate report faulting the CIA for brutal interrogation tactics is "full of crap."
In his first public comments since the report was released, Cheney told Fox News Channel on Wednesday that it was a "terrible piece of work," and he insisted that the interrogation tactics had produced vital intelligence.
"What happened here was that we asked the agency to go take steps and put in place programs that were designed to catch the bastards who killed 3,000 of us on 9/11 and make sure it never happened again, and that's exactly what they did," he said.
The report, from the Democratic-led Senate Intelligence Committee, described a six-year CIA program of harsh interrogation — including waterboarding, rectal feeding, sleep deprivation, threats of sexual assault and physical brutality.
It said that the CIA mismanaged the program and misled Congress, the White House and the public about it. It also said that the program was broadly ineffective.
Asked about the charge that the program did not work, Cheney said: "The report's full of crap. Excuse me. I said 'hooey' yesterday. Let me use the real word."
Using Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged architect of the Sept. 11 attack, as an example, the former vice president said: "What are we supposed to do, kiss him on both cheeks and say, 'Please, please tell us what you know?' Of course not. We did exactly what needed to be done."
The Senate report said that Mohammed was waterboarded almost 200 times. United Nations officials have classified waterboarding as torture. Cheney told Fox News that torture "was something that we very carefully avoided."
Cheney is due to appear on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.
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