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Cheney: War criminal claim 'cheap shot'

Sept. 4, 2011 at 3:20 PM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney dismissed as a "cheap shot" Sunday a claim that he is worried about being tried as a war criminal.

Speaking on "Fox News Sunday," Cheney was referring to a comment by Lawrence Wilkerson, who had been chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, that Cheney was concerned about being tried as a war criminal.

"Well, that's news to me," Cheney said. "I don't pay a lot of attention to Mr. Wilkerson. I don't know him. As far as I know, I never met the gentleman. I know he speaks out from time to time, and that strikes me as a cheap shot."

Wilkerson's comment came during an interview last week with ABC.

As he did in his new memoir, "In My Time," Cheney defended the use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, to extract information from terror suspects. Some critics say the techniques violate international law against torture.

"I was a staunch advocate of the … terrorist surveillance program and enhanced interrogation techniques out of the deep conviction on my part that we badly needed those to succeed in the war on terror," Cheney said.

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