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Cheney slams 'political' CIA torture probe

world Updated: Aug 29, 2009 08:53 IST

Former US vice president Dick Cheney has slammed a Justice Department probe into alleged abusive interrogation techniques by CIA agents as an "outrageous political act."

In an interview with Fox News on Sunday to be aired at the weekend, Cheney said the investigation would do long term damage to America's ability to protect itself, adding the administration should not punish agents for doing their jobs.

Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Monday he had named assistant US attorney John Durham to review the CIA interrogations of detainees at secret sites overseas to determine whether any laws were broken.

But Cheney, who has called on the Central Intelligence Agency to release proof that harsh interrogation techniques provided key information in stopping attacks, slammed the probe.

"We had a track record now of eight years of defending the nation against any further mass casualty attacks from Al-Qaeda," he told Fox News on Sunday in the interview recorded on on Friday.

"The approach of the Obama administration should be to come to those people who were involved in that policy and say, 'How did you do it? What were the keys to keeping this country safe over that period of time?'" Cheney said.