Meghan McCain quarreled with Rep. Liz Cheney on Thursday over the “enhanced interrogation” practices implemented during the George W. Bush administration, with the daughter of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) accusing the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney of lecturing the senator on torture.
The debate over the United States’ use of torture reignited this week after President Donald Trump said he planned to nominate Gina Haspel to succeed Mike Pompeo as director of the CIA. Haspel, Pompeo’s No. 2 at the agency, ran a “black site” prison in Thailand after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a facility where terrorism suspects were subjected to brutal interrogation techniques such as waterboarding.
Trump’s announcement was met by pushback from several prominent Republican officials, including Senator McCain, who was tortured as a prisoner during the Vietnam War. McCain on Tuesday urged lawmakers to strongly examine Haspel’s record on torture during her upcoming confirmation hearing in the Senate.
“The torture of detainees in U.S. custody during the last decade was one of the darkest chapters in American history,” he tweeted. “The Senate must do its job in scrutinizing the record & involvement of Gina Haspel in this disgraceful program.”
Cheney, a Wyoming Republican whose father served alongside Bush when the brutal tactics were implemented by the CIA and other government agencies, countered the remarks, tweeting on Tuesday that the techniques “saved lives, prevented attacks, & produced intel that led to Osama bin Laden.”
“No one should slander the brave men & women who carried out this crucial program,” she added.
Meghan McCain, a TV personality and co-host on ABC’s “The View,” fired back on Twitter on Thursday.
“My father doesn’t need torture explained to him,” she replied.
Sen. Rand Paul (R.-Ky.), an outspoken critic of the use of torture as an intelligence-gathering tool, came out against Haspel’s nomination on Wednesday, casting doubt on whether she would receive enough support to be confirmed by the Senate.
Trump announced earlier this week that he would name Pompeo to replace Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, with Haspel tapped to lead the CIA in Pompeo’s place.