Former US vice president Dick Cheney and former presidential candidate John McCain Sunday took the Obama administration to task for ordering probe against the Central Investigation Agency (CIA) for alleged excesses against terror suspects.
Appearing on Fox News, the former vice president said investigation against CIA was "a political move' by the Obama administration. "I mean, there's no other rationale for why they're doing this," he said.
He said this unprecedented and "outrageous" move will be devastate the morale of the CIA and undermine efforts to stop future terror attacks on the US.
Since attorney general Eric H. Holder - the first black to head the Justice Department - has gone ahead with appointing a special prosecutor despite Obama's reluctance not to dig up the past, Cheney told Fox News it was Obama's tactic to "duck the responsibility".
Cheney, who was instrumental in formulating the direction of George W. Bush's war against terrorism, justified tough interrogation tactics against terror suspects. He said he had no problems even if CIA interrogators went beyond their brief to defend the nation.
Asked about reports that the CIA ran a secret programme from 2004 to hire contractors to kill Al-Qaeda operatives without informing Congress, Cheney said: "The direction was for them not to tell Congress until certain lines were passed, until the programme became operational.''
Speaking on CBS's 'Face the Nation', McCain too said it was a wrong move which will effect the morale of the agency. With the Obama administration announcing the probe, a number of CIA officials have put off plans to retire or leave the agency so that they can maintain their access to classified files and be in a better position to defend themselves.
"Once you're out, it gets a lot harder,'' a retired CIA official was quoted as saying recently.
The investigation is likely deepen the wedge between the CIA and the Justice Department which have a fractious history.