Former Vice President Dick Cheney has become an outspoken advocate of the harsh interrogation methods used against suspected terrorists since he has left office, but that is old hat for the former veep who led four of the infamous lawmaker briefings on the techniques, The Washington Post reported today.
He was not listed in the CIA chart that lists the briefings, but sources told The Post he oversaw meetings in 2005 with Sens. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), then-Sens. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and a particularly contentious one with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), according to The Post. At the time, McCain was pushing for an amendment that would have stopped interrogation methods like waterboarding.
The Post said:
“An official who witnessed one of Cheney’s briefing sessions with lawmakers said the vice president’s presence appeared calculated to give additional heft to the CIA’s case for maintaining the program. Cheney left it to the professional briefers to outline the interrogation practices, while he mounted an impassioned defense of the program.”
We previously reported that Rockefeller, Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have disputed the accuracy of the CIA chart on the briefings. Pelosi has gone as far as saying that she was misled by the CIA, while Rockefeller and Graham have said they weren’t briefed on the full extent of the harsh interrogation methods.