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'Well, It's a No-Brainer for Me'

Friday, October 27, 2006

Excerpts from an interview of Vice President Cheney in Washington on Tuesday by radio broadcaster Scott Hennen of WDAY in Fargo, N.D.

HENNEN : I've had people call and say, 'Please, let the vice president know that if it takes dunking a terrorist in water, we're all for it, if it saves American lives.' Again, this debate seems a little silly given the threat we face, would you agree?

CHENEY: I do agree. And I think the terrorist threat, for example, with respect to our ability to interrogate high-value detainees like Khalid Sheik Mohammed, that's been a very important tool that we've had to be able to secure the nation. Khalid Sheik Mohammed provided us with enormously valuable information about how many there are, about how they plan, what their training processes are and so forth -- we've learned a lot. We need to be able to continue that. . . .

HENNEN: Would you agree a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?

CHENEY: Well, it's a no-brainer for me, but for a while there I was criticized as being the vice president for torture. We don't torture. That's not what we're involved in. We live up to our obligations in international treaties that we're party to and so forth. But the fact is, you can have a fairly robust interrogation program without torture, and we need to be able to do that.

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