Cheney: Obama owes apology on torture slam

Oct. 2, 2011 at 1:26 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- Dick Cheney on Sunday called for an apology from U.S. President Barack Obama for criticizing the Bush administration's terrorist interrogation techniques.

The former vice president said Obama took "robust action" in the drone attack that killed top al-Qaida propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen. This action was not unlike the Bush-era interrogations that Obama blasted as torture, Dick Cheney argued.

"I think what we've seen is the administration, the Obama administration, has clearly reached the point where they've agreed they need to be tough and aggressive in defending the nation and using some of the same techniques that the Bush administration did. And they need, as I say, to go back and reconsider some of the criticisms they offered about our policies over the past years," Dick Cheney said on CNN's "State of the Union."

His daughter Liz Cheney, chair of a national security advocacy group, said Obama's criticism in a speech he made two years ago in Cairo only served to weaken American standing.

"When he does that, he does real damage to our standing in the world and that's the kind of standing that we need to exercise a leadership role which is more important now, frankly, than it's been in many, many years when you look at what's happening across the Arab world, for example," she said.

Dick Cheney said he applauds Obama for the recent attack, which also possibly killed bomb maker Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri and al-Qaida journalist Samir Khan.

"I do think this was a good strike. I think the president ought to have that kind of authority to order that kind of strike, even when it involves an American citizen when there is clear evidence that he's part of al-Qaida, planning, cooperating and supporting attacks against the United States," Cheney said.

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