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Torture and the Imperial Presidency

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In an ABC television interview on February 14, 2010, former Vice President Dick Cheney mounted a vigorous attack on the Obama administration's departure from its predecessor's embrace of torture as an instrument in the arsenal of the "war on terror."

Cheney's defense of the use of torture was articulated in terms of challenging the possible prosecution by the Obama administration of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operatives who had engaged in torture, and opposing any effort to disbar lawyers who had been asked by the Bush administration to provide legal justifications for the use of torture after the al-Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington on 9/11. According to Cheney:

"I thought it was important for some senior person in the administration to stand up and defend those people who'd done what we asked them to do."

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