Cheney Touts Harsh Interrogations

As CIA boss concedes tactics may be illega
By Laurel Jorgensen,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2008 5:20 AM CST
Vice President Dick Cheney addresses at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Dick Cheney yesterday defended the use of controversial interrogation techniques, crediting them with possibly “foiling an attack against the US," just as the director of the CIA was conceding to a congressional committee that waterboarding may be illegal. The VP defended the use of  “a tougher program for tougher customers,” including “high-value targets” like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the suspected mastermind of  9/11, in a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, reports the New York Times.

“It’s a good thing we found out what they knew,” he said. Cheney didn't mention waterboarding specifically, but CIA officials have said Mohammed was subjected to the technique. Meanwhile, CIA director Michael Hayden said the techniques used by the agency were legal deemed when they were used, but may no longer be. Waterboarding "is not included in the current program, and it is not certain that the technique would be considered lawful under current statute,” he said.