Former vice president Dick Cheney said he would torture prisoners again "in a minute" if it meant avoiding another attack like the one on Sept. 11, 2001.
Appearing on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday morning, Cheney defended the CIA's interrogation program, maintaining that it was necessary to the country's "war on terror."
The show's host, Chuck Todd, repeatedly asked the former vice president to define torture, but Cheney dodged the question multiple times.
"Torture to me, Chuck, is an American citizen on a cell phone making a last call to his four young daughters shortly before he burns to death in the World Trade Center on 9/11," Cheney said.
Todd continued to press Cheney to specify which CIA interrogation methods qualify as torture.
"The definition is one that was provided by the Office of Legal Counsel," Cheney said. "We went specifically to them because we did not want to cross that line where we were violating some international agreement that we'd signed up to. They specifically authorized and OK'd, for example, exactly what we did."
When asked about rectal feeding, Cheney said the method was not approved.
"What was done here was not one of the techniques approved," he said. "I believe it was done for medical reasons."
Cheney also commented on the report's claim that former president George W. Bush was misled about the extent of methods used.
"This man knew what we were doing," he said. "He authorized it. He approved it."
Mary Ann Georgantopoulos is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Mary Ann Georgantopoulos at email@example.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.