POLITICS
06/21/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Cheney Says Obama Himself Should Declassify CIA Docs

In a speech on Thursday, former Vice President Dick Cheney repeated his call for the CIA to declassify and release interrogation documents, this time pointing his finger directly at President Obama.

"It's worth recalling that ultimate power of declassification belongs to the president himself," Cheney said, during an aggressive speech in which he also said that "brutal methods like water-boarding" were "necessary to keep us safe."

The CIA announced in a press release last week that it was denying Cheney's request.

At today's speech, the former VP said:

"As far as the interrogations are concerned, all that remains an official secret is the information we gained as a result. Some of [Obama's] defenders say the unseen memos are inconclusive, which only raises the question why they won't let the American people decide that for themselves.

I saw that information as vice president, and I reviewed some of it again at the National Archives last month. I've formally asked that it be declassified so the American people can see the intelligence we obtained, the things we learned, and the consequences for national security. And as you may have heard, last week that request was formally rejected.

It's worth recalling that ultimate power of declassification belongs to the President himself. President Obama has used his declassification power to reveal what happened in the interrogation of terrorists. Now let him use that same power to show Americans what did not happen, thanks to the good work of our intelligence officials."

Cheney's speech today was a caustic rebuttal to an earlier speech on anti-terrorism policy given by Obama.

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