Update 11:49 a.m.: CIA chief recounts 9/11 horrors
CIA Director John Brennan is defending his agency from accusations in a Senate report that it used inhumane interrogation techniques against terrorist suspects with no security benefits to the nation.
Brennan opened a rare news conference Thursday by recounting the horrors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, his agency's determination to prevent another such assault and the fact that CIA officers were the first to fight and early to die in the Afghanistan war.
He conceded unauthorized and in some cases abhorrent methods were used against captives.
But Brennan asserted the CIA "did a lot of things right" in a time when there were "no easy answers."
— Associated Press
7:51 a.m.: Dick Cheney on Senate torture investigation
"The report is full of crap."
That's what former Vice President Dick Cheney told Fox News in an interview about a Senate investigation that found the Central Intelligence Agency used brutal techniques to interrogate terrorism suspects and then misled lawmakers, the White House and Congress about what they were doing.
Cheney was combative and unrepentant, saying both he and President George Bush knew full well the techniques being used on detainees. Bush, he said, was an "integral part of the program" and "had to approve it before we went through with it."
Fox's Bret Baier pressed Cheney with specific details about some of the horrible things some prisoners were subjected to, including rectal rehydration. Cheney said what the administration approved was not tantamount to torture, but he added:
- "I have no sympathy for them [the detainees]."
- "How nice do you want to be to the murderers of 3,000 Americans on 9/11?"
- "I'd do it again in a minute."
- The CIA did "a hell of a job and they deserve our gratitude."
- The end "absolutely" justified the means.
According to the Associated Press, Cheney said the CIA's approach to interrogating terror suspects was necessary after the 9/11 attacks, and the people who carried them out were doing their duty:
"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 didn't happen again, and that's exactly what they did, and they deserve a lot of credit," he said, "not the condemnation they are receiving from the Senate Democrats."
Cheney said after the capture of Mohammed, it was essential to find out what he knew.
"He is in our possession we know he is the architect — what are we supposed to do?" Cheney said. "Kiss him on both cheeks and say please, please tell us what you know?"
This story has been updated.
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Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled CIA Director John Brennan's last name. KPCC regrets the error.