Responding to former vice president Dick Cheney’s appearance on Special Report to discuss the Senate Intelligence Committee’s “torture” report, Charles Krauthammer reminded viewers of the morally complex situation that faced Bush-administration officials on September 11 and in the days and months after — and commended the vice president for decisions, including the use of “enhanced interrogation,” that protected the country from another massive attack.
“Now Dick Cheney on 9/11 gave the order to shoot down a civilian American airliner, had it not gone down in a field before it reached Washington. Can you imagine what that means, to deliberately kill a planeload of innocents because it had to be done given the alternative? This is a morally serious man,” Krauthammer said. “And he made essentially the same calculation [with regard to interrogation methods], except instead of harming in some way or abusing, as some would say, Americans, we’re talking about here terrorists who would do us harm and he made the calculation that he would rather inflict — let’s call it ‘enhanced interrogation’; I’m not afraid to call it torture; I know the lawyers can’t, because once you do, it kicks in the whole legal system, but I would say I have no qualms with using the word — if necessary, to protect Americans.”
Krauthammer concluded: “He is right in saying that as a result we had 13 years of no second attack.”