Dick Cheney suggests restarting torture interrogation program

Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Thursday expressed strong support for restarting the torture interrogation program he helped launch in the wake of 9/11.

In an appearance on Fox Business to discuss Gina Haspel’s confirmation hearing to become CIA director, Cheney said he “wholeheartedly” supports the so-called enhanced interrogation program, which includes torture techniques such as waterboarding, despite Congress having banned it in 2015.

“If it were my call I would not discontinue those programs,” he said, adding that he does not consider the methods included in them to be torture. “I’d have them active and ready to go, and I’d go back and study them and learn.” 

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Dick Cheney through the years
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Dick Cheney through the years
CASPER, WY - UNDATED: Congressman Dick Cheney and wife Lynne pose for a photo with their two children Liz (L) and Mary and Basset Hound Cyrano at their home March 1978 in Casper, Wyoming. (Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)
Lynne Cheney tastes husband Dick''s stew in the kitchen of their McLean, Virginia home May 1980. Richard Cheney was nominated as George W. Bush''s running mate July 25, 2000. He also served as Secretary of Defense for former President George Bush. (Photo by Getty)
Dick and Lynne Cheney plant a tree May 1980 in the yard of their suburban McLean, Virginia home while daughter Mary, 10, holds up an earthworm. Richard Cheney was nominated as George W. Bush''s running mate July 25, 2000. He also served as Secretary of Defense for former President George Bush. (Photo by Getty)
The Cheney family (from left, Dick, Elizabeth,12, Mary 10, with dog Cyrano, and Lynne) admire a tree they planted in the yard of the family home May 1980 in McLean, Virginia. Richard Cheney was nominated as George W. Bush''s running mate July 25, 2000. He also served as Secretary of Defense for former President George Bush. (Photo by Getty)
The Cheney family (from left) Lynne, Dick, Elizabeth,12, and Mary,10, run in the yard of their family home in McLean, Virginia May 1980. Richard Cheney was nominated as George W. Bush''s running mate July 25, 2000. He also served as Secretary of Defense for former President George Bush. (Photo by Getty)
U.S. President Ronald Reagan attends a meeting of the Republican leadership at the White House March 22, 1983 in Washington, D.C. with Republican Minority Leader Bob Michael (L) and Congressman Dick Cheney. (Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 14: This file photo taken 14 March 1989 shows former US Defense Secretary-designate Dick Cheney as he appears before the Senate Armed Services Committee, on the first day of hearings on his nomination on Capitol Hill, in Washington,DC. (Photo credit should read JAMES COLBURN/AFP/Getty Images)
Dick Cheney walks with President George Bush and an entourage March 21, 1989 in Washington, DC. Cheney was elected to Congress from Wyoming in 1978 and served ten years prior to his selection as Secretary of Defense under President George Bush. (Photo by Getty)
Dick Cheney speaks at his swearing-in March 21, 1989 in Washington, DC. Cheney was elected to Congress from Wyoming in 1978 and served ten years prior to his selection as Secretary of Defense under President George Bush. (Photo by Getty)
PANAMA CITY, PANAMA: US Defense Secretary Dick Cheney (R) stands by as General Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, briefs reporters at the Pentagon 20 December 1989 about the military operation to remove Panama's General Manuel Antonio Noriega from power and bring him to the US for trial on drug charges. (Photo credit should read BOB PEARSON/AFP/Getty Images)
US President George Bush (C) addresses reporters 22 August 1990 in Kennebunkport flanked by Defense Secretary of State Dick Cheney (L) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Colin Powel, following a meeting dedicated to the military situation in the Gulf. AFP PHOTO JEREME DELAY (Photo credit should read JEROME DELAY/AFP/Getty Images)
Dick Cheney (L), CEO of the Halliburton Company and former Chief of Staff for President Gerald Ford, talks to former President Ford during a party for their mutual friend, Richard Growald, 1994 in San Diego, California. (Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 2000: GOP vice presidential nominee Dick Cheney waves to the crowd during the third night of the Republican National Convention at First Union Center in Philadephia. (Photo by Harry Hamburg/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, : Republican Vice Presidential candidate Dick Cheney (L) and his wife Lynne (R) wave to the crowd after his acceptance speech at the 2000 Republican National Convention at the First Union Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 02 August 2000. (Photo credit STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 2000: Vice President-elect Dick Cheney and President-elect George W. Bush attend an event saluting America's veterans in Washington. (Photo by David Handschuh/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 04: Vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney and wife Lynne are on hand for rally at a campaign train stop in Akron, Ohio. (Photo by Harry Hamburg/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 04: George W. and Laura Bush and Dick and Lynne Cheney wave at rally in Pittsburgh as they boarded a train for a whistle-stop trip through western Pennsylvania and Ohio. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge is behind Bush. (Photo by Harry Hamburg/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Former US Vice President Dick Cheney speaks against the Iranian nuclear deal at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, DC, on September 8, 2015. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) Fmr. Vice President Dick Cheney appears on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday Dec. 14, 2014. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
Former Vice President Dick Cheney speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition's annual meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada February 24, 2017. REUTERS/David Becker
Former US Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife Lynne arrive for the Presidential Inauguration of Donald Trump at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Saul Loeb/Pool
U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney is pictured with Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby (R) in the President's Emergency Operations Center in Washington in the hours following the September 11, 2001 attacks in this U.S. National Archives handout photo obtained by Reuters July 24, 2015. REUTERS/U.S. National Archives/Handout via Reuters (MILITARY POLITICS DISASTER) THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (L), former US President George W. Bush (C) and former Vice President Dick Cheney sit on stage before the unveiling of a marble bust of Cheney in the US Capitol in Washington, December 3, 2015. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan
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Cheney’s comments come as Haspel, President Donald Trump’s pick to replace  Mike Pompeo, faces increased scrutiny for her stance on torture as an interrogation technique. Though she said during her hearing Wednesday that she would not restart the defunct program if confirmed to head the CIA, she refused to weigh in on the morality of the methods.

Most Democrats are expected to oppose her confirmation due to her role overseeing torture interrogations at a CIA black site and because of her part in destroying videotapes that documented the interrogations.

With Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) also saying they will vote against her, Haspel will have to rely on a razor-thin margin to be confirmed. 

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Trump CIA nominee Gina Haspel
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Trump CIA nominee Gina Haspel
Nominee to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Gina Haspel arrives for meetings with Senators on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 7, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Acting CIA Director Gina Haspel is sworn in prior to testifying at her Senate Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director nominee Gina Haspel (R) attends Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's ceremonial swearing-in at the State Department in Washington, U.S. May 2, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Gina Haspel, a veteran CIA clandestine officer picked by U.S. President Donald Trump to head the Central Intelligence Agency, is shown in this handout photograph released on March 13, 2018. CIA/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Nominee to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Gina Haspel arrives for meetings with Senators on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 7, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Acting CIA Director Gina Haspel testifies at her Senate Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director nominee Gina Haspel (C) attends Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's ceremonial swearing-in at the State Department in Washington, U.S. May 2, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
UNITED STATES - MAY 7: Gina Haspel, nominee to become CIA director, arrives for her meeting with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., in the Hart Senate Office Building on Monday, May 7, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Acting CIA Director Gina Haspel testifies at her Senate Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
UNITED STATES - MAY 7: Gina Haspel, nominee to be director of the CIA, arrives in Hart Building for meetings with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and other senators on May 7, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
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  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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