Michael Hayden Won’t Admit He Supports Torture or Whatever He Calls It


The rhetorical backflips begun by former Vice President Dick Cheney on Meet the Press Sunday morning were continued by former CIA Director Michael Hayden on This Week, as host Martha Raddatz tried to get Hayden — who’s implicated in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s terror funplex enhanced interrogation techniques under the Bush administration — to admit whether he supported what was described in the report.

“Do I support [enhanced interrogation techniques]?” Hayden wondered, distinguishing between the legal definition of torture and the “boarder national consciousness.” “With regard to waterboarding, I made clear that I thank god I didn’t have to make that decision.”

“So that’s a way to not say I fully support or not support [them],” Raddatz countered.

RELATED: Cheney to Chuck Todd: Torture ‘Absolutely Worked’

“There are certain things that are always off the table,” Hayden said. “There are certain things that are clearly permissible. And then there are a bunch of things in the middle, and I would admit that waterboarding’s near the edge of that window…and would demand very compelling circumstances.”

Hayden then pulled the old terror attack what-if, a favorite of the program’s supporters, in which he wondered what if we hadn’t tortured and there had been another 9/11-style attack on the United States — an argument somewhat enervated by the report’s conclusion that torture was ineffective at procuring actionable intelligence from detainees.

Watch the clip below, via ABC News:

[Image via screengrab]

>> Follow Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) on Twitter

Have a tip we should know? tips@mediaite.com

Filed Under: