Monday, November 07, 2005

Cheney in the Bunker - Newsweek National News - MSNBC.com

By Daniel Klaidman and Michael Isikoff
Newsweek

Nov. 14, 2005 issue - As usual, Dick Cheney insisted on doing business behind closed doors. Last Tuesday, Senate Republicans were winding up their weekly luncheon in the Capitol when the vice president rose to speak. Staffers were quickly ordered out of the room—what Cheney had to say was for senators only. Normally taciturn, Cheney was uncharacteristically impassioned, according to two GOP senators who did not want to be on the record about a private meeting. He was very upset over the Senate's overwhelming passage of an amendment that prohibits inhumane treatment of terrorist detainees. Cheney said the law would tie the president's hands and end up costing "thousands of lives." He dramatized the point, conjuring up a scenario in which a captured Qaeda operative, another Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, refuses to give his interrogators details about an imminent attack. "We have to be able to do what is necessary," the vice president said, according to one of the senators who was present. The lawmakers listened, but they weren't moved to act. Sen. John McCain, who authored the anti-torture amendment, spoke up. "This is killing us around the world," he said. The House, which will likely vote on the measure soon, is also expected to pass it by a large margin.

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