Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday that the only alternative to holding some suspected terrorists indefinitely would be to execute them, arguing against the Obama administration’s plans to close the Guantanamo detainee prison.
“If you’re going to be engaged in a world conflict such as we are, such as the global war on terrorism, if you don’t have a place where you can hold these people, your only other option is to kill them,” Mr. Cheney said.
“And we don’t operate that way.”
The former vice president’s statements only raise the stakes in fierce debate with his critics, who believe Mr. Cheney presided over the formulation of interrogation techniques that they regard as torture and remains unapologetic for approving waterboarding and other harsh methods used.
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Mr. Cheney bases his argument on the view that suspected terrorists should be considered prisoners of war and said such persons “ought to be held until the end of the conflict.
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He also criticized the Obama administration for failing to think through its plans to shutter Guantanamo.
“The administration made a mistake of the president issuing an order that he wants it closed within a year, but didn’t have a clue as to how to proceed,” Mr. Cheney said. “And now they’re having trouble because they’re having to come up with a plan of some kind.”