Cheney defends US 'torture' policy

Use of harsh interrogations "the right thing to do" says former vice-president.

    Cheney called the reversal of Bush-era interrogation techniques 'recklessness' [AFP]

    'Danger and regret'

    "The [Obama] administration has found that it's easy to receive applause in Europe for closing Guantánamo ... but it's tricky to come up with an alternative that will serve the interests of justice and America's national security," he said.

    Cheney's speech came moments after Obama defended his policy decisions since taking power, including the promise to close the Guantanamo Bay camp by January 2010.

    In video

    Obama fights to end Bush era national security

    Cheney criticised the decision as one made with "little deliberation and no plan", adding that the policy to bring the "worst terrorists" from the camp onto US soil would be a "cause for great danger and regret".

    He called the move by Obama to end the Bush administration interrogation techniques "recklessness cloaked in righteousness."

    James Boys, a professor of international political studies at the American International University in London, told Al Jazeera: "You have ... Dick Cheney talking about, and I quote him, 'a truthful re-telling of history'.

    "Yet he went on to talk in a sentimental manner about the events of 9/11 as an attempt to justify all the events which occurred afterwards - talking about how, in the aftermath of the event ... the rest of the world was there supporting America.

    "Where America's support suddenly fell away was not in the prosecution of a 'war on terror', but when those events of 9/11 were used to justify a pre-existing policy to forge regime change in Iraq."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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