This isn’t the first time that Dick Cheney has fired on a friend. Fortunately for Gina Haspel, the former vice-president struck her with words rather than shotgun pellets. But it was probably an unwelcome development for the embattled CIA director nominee that Cheney chose to combine warm words for her with a call for a return to the “enhanced interrogation” techniques that have marred her record and which she is promising to eschew. Politico has the story:
Former Vice President Dick Cheney said the U.S. should restart its enhanced interrogation techniques — often considered torture — after the issue was thrust to the forefront during Gina Haspel’s confirmation hearing to become CIA director.
“If it were my call, I would not discontinue those programs,” he said in an interview that aired Thursday morning on Fox Business. “I’d have them active and ready to go, and I’d go back and study them and learn.”
And he seems to think Haspel is just the career spook to bring back those salad days of black sites and coerced confessions:
“I think she’d be a great CIA director,” Cheney said. “I think she’s done a great job in terms of the career she’s built, and the people I know at the agency are very enthusiastic about having one of their own, so to speak, in the driver’s seat at the CIA.”
Maybe Cheney wanted to make it clear that for every ninny-faced squish (you know, like John McCain) making moralistic sounds about roughing up suspects, there’s a stern patriot who knows you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. But it’s almost certainly some help Gina Haspel doesn’t want.