Dick Cheney is a troll, the reliable keeper of an ugly flame. So how does he manage to consistently lower the bar for jaw-dropping repugnance? Why is it still surprising? "I would do it again in a minute," Cheney said of the horrific CIA torture program that yielded no valuable intelligence and involved sodomizing detainees and killing at least one innocent man. “I have no problem as long as we achieve our objective.”
The Senate Select Intelligence Committee's 6,000-page report on the program that was released last week is wholly comprised of the CIA's own documents. To Cheney, this is somehow proof that the report is "flawed."
CHUCK TODD: Let me ask you this, we've got Riyadh al-Najjar. He had handcuffing on one or both of his wrists to an overhead bar, would not allow him to lower his arms. Twenty-two hours each day for two consecutive days in order to break his resistance. Al-Najjar was also wearing a diaper and had no access to toilet facility. Was that acknowledged? Was that part of the program that you approved?
DICK CHENEY: I can't tell from that specific whether it was or not.
CHUCK TODD: And then--
DICK CHENEY: I know we had--
CHUCK TODD: --page 53 of the report.
DICK CHENEY: --the report is seriously flawed. They didn't talk to anybody who knew anything about the program. They didn't talk to anybody within the program. The best guide for what in fact happened is the one that's the report that was produced by the three C.I.A. directors and deputy directors of the C.I.A. when this program was undertaken.
And, in fact, it lays out in very clear terms what we did and how we did it. And with respect to trying to define that as torture I come back to the proposition torture was what the Al Qaeda terrorists did to 3,000 Americans on 9/11. There's no comparison between that and what we did with inspect-enhanced interrogation.
Does it bother Dick Cheney that we killed and tortured innocent people? It does not.
CHUCK TODD: Let me ask you, what do you say to Gul Rahman, what do you say to Sulaiman Abdula, what do you say to Khalid al-Masri? All three of these folks were detained, they had these interrogation techniques used on them. They eventually were found to be innocent. They were released, no apologies, nothing. What do we owe them?
DICK CHENEY: Well--
CHUCK TODD: I mean, let me go to Gul Rahman. He was chained to the wall of his cell, doused with water, froze to death in C.I.A. custody. And it turned out it was a case of mistaken identity.
DICK CHENEY: --right. But the problem I had is with the folks that we did release that end up back on the battlefield. Of the 600 and some people who were released out of Guantanamo, 30% roughly ended up back on the battlefield. Today we're very concerned about ISIS. Terrible new terrorist organization.
It is headed by [a man] named Baghdadi. Baghdadi was in the custody of the U.S. military in Iraq in Camp Bucca. He was let go and now he's out leading the terror attack against the United States. I'm more concerned with bad guys who got out and released than I am with a few that, in fact, were innocent.
CHUCK TODD: 25% of the detainees though, 25% turned out to be innocent. They were released.
DICK CHENEY: Where are you going to draw the line, Chuck? How are--
CHUCK TODD: Well, I'm asking you.
DICK CHENEY: --you going to know?
Asked about the UN official who is demanding that leaders like Cheney face criminal penalties for their actions, Cheney responded, "I have little respect for the United Nations or for this individual who doesn't hear a clue and had absolutely no responsibility for safeguarding this nation and going after the bastards that killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11."
The next video in NBC's queue after you watch Cheney defend the medical merits of shoving a food tube into the rectums of prisoners is entitled, "Looks like Jeb Bush is running."