Liz Cheney thinks torture is so great she bragged to Fox News viewers that her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, knew all about it, authorized it and would “do it all over again.” In the younger Cheney’s mind, torturers are patriots. It's the torture report that's a disgrace.
Liz Cheney appeared on Fox & Friends this morning for a softball interview designed to talk up torture, denigrate the just-released Senate torture report and smear torture opponents as anti-American.
Before the discussion, host Brian Kilmeade played a clip of Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee that released the torture report. In the clip, Feinstein said that torture did not lead to intelligence of any imminent threats, the supposed justification for the techniques.
It was biased enough that Fox consulted Cheney, someone with a vested interest in discrediting the report, instead of going over the facts which provided much damning evidence to support Feinstein’s claim. Not to mention John McCain’s voice of knowledge and experience on the subject.
But Kilmeade opened the discussion with the leading question, “So what’s behind the timing of this report’s release and where do you come up with that conclusion?”
Cheney shook her head before delivering her self-serving diatribe:
CHENEY: America’s enemies benefit certainly from it. What Senator Feinstein said there is just absolutely flat wrong. You’ve got six former directors of the CIA and deputy directors of the CIA who’ve come out in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal this morning and said it’s just not true.
Frankly, we’ve uncovered critically important attacks against the United States of America because of this program. It was information out of this program that led us to Al Qaeda leaders, including Osama Bin Laden, that allowed us to take them off the battlefield, and that enabled us, frankly, to go back again and again and again to people like Abu Zubaydah, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, to get information about Al Qaeda. Over a quarter of the 1700 footnotes in the 9/11 Commission report come from information from detainees.
For extra "patriotic" points, Cheney smeared Feinstein personally by saying the report was “a sad end” to her career and “a disgrace.”
Kilmeade never challenged a word. In fact, he helped along Cheney’s smear. He said, “It’s unbelievable because she does not profile that way. She was someone who took on this administration when she thought they were jeopardizing our security. Something switched on her. Her own CIA director or President Obama’s own CIA director, was angry about this, challenged the conclusions."
Kilmeade was so intent on discrediting Feinstein and the report, he didn't mind suggesting that Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush knew that the torture went beyond what had been authorized, when the report indicated otherwise:
KILMEADE: Also in this report, it says the Vice President, your dad, and President Bush were kept in the dark on some of these. …They did know, right?”
Liz Cheney replied, “Of course. You can go back to 2009, the very first days when President Obama said he was going to begin investigating the CIA officers involved in this program, and my dad immediately came out and said stop, that’s outrageous, this was an important program, it saved lives and prevented attacks. You bet we knew about it, you bet we authorized it, and not only that but we would do it all over again if we had to. And To see these same patriots now dragged through the ringer again is just outrageous."
As Media Matters documents, the intelligence used to capture Bin Laden was obtained without torture. Furthermore, the practices – which included subjecting detainees to sleep deprivation for up to a week, medically unnecessary "rectal feeding" and death threats – were also more brutal than the CIA portrayed.
Was Liz Cheney acknowledging that her father approved of all that? Kilmeade never brought up those aspects of the report and never balanced Cheney’s torture enthusiasm with any drawbacks.
Also not asked: why, if the Bush administration was so great at gathering intelligence, how on earth did it wind up invading Iraq via the “Saddam Hussein has WMDs” epic intel fail?
Watch the torture cheerleading below.