Washington, June 2 (ANI): Former US Vice President Dick Cheney has defended the need for applying the interrogative technique of waterboarding on Al Qaeda terrorists, calling it a "well done" technique that gathered valuable information from unusually bad guys.
"I'm a strong believer in it. I thought it was well done," the New York Daily News quoted Cheney as telling a National Press Club audience.
Cheney answered written questions after speaking at a ceremony for reporting awards named for the late President Gerald Ford, whom Cheney served as White House chief of staff.
Cheney said the controversial policy of simulating drowning grew out of a CIA request for guidance on "what can you do that's appropriate and what you can do that's not appropriate."
Waterboarding was banned by the Bush administration in 2003. President Obama has described waterboarding as repugnant to American values.
Cheney, however, remains unconvinced.
"I don't believe that we engaged in torture," he argued.
Unlike many of his predecessors, the former vice-president has taken on a high public profile since leaving office, criticizing the Obama administration for deciding to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp and charging that Obama's policies have made America more vulnerable to another mass-casualty terrorist attack like 9/11.
He admits that he has zero "tolerance or patience" for second-guessers. "If I had it to do all over again, I would do exactly the same thing. ... Those individuals who wished us harm and who were prepared to kill thousands of Americans ... got what they had coming to them," he said. (ANI)