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Dick Cheney on Face the Nation

Transcript here. (.pdf)  An excerpt:

SCHIEFFER: Well, but why does that make the country less safe? You’re talking about — you say you don’t think we ought to be going back and questioning those people, looking into some of these things. All right, I take your point on that, but how is that making the country less safe? How does that make the country more vulnerable to an attack in the future?

CHENEY: Well, at the heart of what we did with the terrorist surveillance program and the enhanced interrogation techniques for Al Qaida terrorists and so forth was collect information. It was about intelligence. It was about finding out what Al Qaida was going to do, what their capabilities and plans were. It was discovering all those things we needed in order to be able to go defeat Al Qaida.

And in effect, what’s happening here, when you get rid of enhanced interrogation techniques, for example, or the terrorist surveillance program, you reduce the intelligence flow to the intelligence community upon which we based those policies that were so successful.

So I think before they do that sort of thing, it’s important to sit down and find out what did we learn? Why did it work?

One of the things that I did six weeks ago was I made a request that two memos that I personally know of, written by the CIA, that lay out the successes of those policies and point out in considerable detail all of — all that we were able to achieve by virtue of those policies, that those memos be released, be made public. The administration has released legal opinions out of the Office of Legal Counsel. They don’t have any qualms at all about putting things out that can be used to be critical of the Bush administration policies. But when you’ve got memos out there that show precisely how much was achieved and how lives were saved as a result of these policies, they won’t release those. At least, they haven’t yet.

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