Wow! Cheney Admits It!

We all suspected it. Now VP Cheney has admitted that he was "directly involved" in the decision to allow torture of prisoners.

From the Los Angeles Times:

[quote]Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday that he was directly involved in approving severe interrogation methods used by the CIA, and that the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, should remain open indefinitely.[/quote]

Apparently Cheney made the comments in an interview with ABC News. I suppose he's trying to preserve his legacy.

Comments

"Severe interrogation methods"

I'm thinking the worst thing that is involved in this "severe interrogation method" is WATERBOARDING.

Now, I'd be curious how most of our armed forces personnel feel about this method in getting information that could and would protect our own servicemen in time of war.

The far left and the left-leaning media has been so mamby-pamby on this technique as well as anything that they can present as "controversial". The political left has done that to garner opposition to the Bush administration and the left-leaning media has done this so as to get people to watch their networks thus increasing viewership which helps them realize additional ad dollars.

War is war, folks. Some forms of torture obviously should not be used...even though our enemies have no problem using them. But waterboarding and techniques of that nature should be available to use especially when it will give us information that keeps our own troops from being killed.

Make it controversial if you want...but it's just the truth.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

Well, aside from the fact that

torture goes against everything we (the U.S.) are trying to promote in this world, it has been proven time and again to produce extremely inaccurate intel. It also discourages enemy soldiers from surrendering, and God knows how many troops we've lost from that.

But on the bad intel thing, let me tell you a story. I went through a short but memorable training course which (among other things) involved being interrogated before, during and after being "softened up". I wasn't waterboarded, my nightmare was the opposite.

During late Summer, I was stuck inside a little OD green wall locker that was lying flat on the ground in direct sunlight. All day long. I lost seven lbs. in about nine hours time, and along the way, I lost my fricking mind. About halfway through the day, I decided to give them the alpha-numeric "secret" code I had memorized, but you know what? It was gone. That little piece of information had leaked away, and I could not get it back. But that didn't stop me from making shit up, and then convincing myself I had remembered.

Needless to say, I refuse to climb into a tanning bed. I won't even wait out front for my daughter; I just drive around for the fifteen minutes or so and try not to think about my baby cooking in that contraption. ;/

I can't imagine !!

Hey, I get all wierd just being in a small room...that HAD to be one horrible experience.

It looks like this thread has gone just about as far as it can, actually. I admit to believing there are times going across the "torture" line are acceptable and the general opinion from everyone else here is that I'm a scuzbucket for believing that and wrong and a bad American, so guess I'll just go on to some other topic to discuss :-)

The best thinking is independent thinking.

Not a scuzbucket

Just misguided.

I'm sure there are many in the military who disagree, but from my experience, both at the Naval Academy and in special operations for five years after graduating, most professional soldiers understand that the potential cost of extremely coercive interrogation (waterboarding would be in that category, whether you call it torture or not) is not worth the price ... either in terms of the quality of information gained or the stain on morality it creates.

I respect your opinion

I respect your opinion, James, but as you said (and it sounds like you've got the experience to know, as do I) many in the military will disagree with you.

Like I said, this discussion could go on and on with no real outcome that reached any kind of agreement.

Thanks for your service, James. It's nice to learn about who we're discussing topics with here.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

If you had followed the link

You would have seen that, indeed, he was talking about water-boarding, and other torture techniques.

As for keeping our soldiers safe: if we had not engaged in this misbegotten, falsely developed, and ludicrous war, we would not be in the situation of having to decide.

Cheney admits that he threw aside the rule of law, both international and US, and encouraged the CIA to torture. I don't find it "controversial"; I find it abhorrent.

I am not a soldier and never have been. I can't see things from a military point of view. I wonder how many veterans or active service members who read and/or post here believe that torture is acceptable.

I read the link, Linda

I went to the link...you need to stop submitting that kind of reaction to my posts.

Waterboarding, to me, is certainly a form of torture. To most servicepeople, it's a form of torture. My presentation here wasn't whether it is or isn't. My presentation was that this technique was and is useful for obtaining information to help our side in time of war help protect our own servicepeople.

Now, you may think that it's abhorrent and distasteful and so forth...and you have that right. My perspective comes from experiences I've had you haven't. I'm ex-military (8 years), a Vietnam Vet and actively involved in the VFW.

We're two different people with two different perspectives. I feel we both love our country...but have a different perspective on protecting it.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

I don't "need" to do anything, Smitty.

you need to stop submitting that kind of reaction to my posts.

No, I have the right to react how ever I wish. It is not up to you to tell me how to post.

Thank you for your service to the USA. I have a great respect for what you did.

Of course we're two different people, Smitty. Otherwise I'd be playing one of those games you were talking about before - making up a fake name to argue with myself.

My perspective comes from my love of the ideals that were instilled in me from the time I was a very small child - the idea that we follow the rule of law in this country. It's what distinguishes civilized societies.

No matter whether you think valuable information was gathered, no matter whether you think that torture is necessary during the course of war, the vice-president of the country we both love confessed on national television that he was part of a conspiracy to commit war crimes. If the American people don't do something about this, it will be left to the International Court at the Hague. We must police our own people, and follow our own laws. The Executive Branch is not above the law - it can't be. If it is, we have nothing better than a dictatorship ourselves.

I respect your thoughts and opinion

Look, you and I will stand on different sides of the fence on many issues here, including this one. I don't see waterboarding as too much torture (per se) although many people do...I'm sure you do. I see it equivilant to sleep deprivation and sound/tone techniques that are used.

We will always have a difference of opinion on this issue because many want to set "degrees" of interrogation and that's a tough line to draw in many instances.

I understand your position that we are a civilized country and that we must at all times follow the rules of war as set down by the Geneva Convention. But, sometimes...as much as it sounds horrible...lines must be crossed in war. I wonder how you'd feel about waterboarding if it were to be used to save your son who was getting ready to walk into an ambush in a Baghdad suburb. Now, things like what happened in the prisons with making the men walk around on leashes naked and so forth isn't torture, that's just ridiculous and served no purpose.

My reason for my first statement is that you assumed I hadn't read the article and decided to be condescending. I'll try not to do that if you will.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

You'd be surprised how many people

"But, sometimes...as much as it sounds horrible...lines must be crossed in war."

would agree with this (even here) to a certain degree, but would never come out and say so. Why wouldn't they admit it? Because the only ones who can (or should) determine when the line should be crossed are the ones out in the field. I don't know, you don't know, and the Vice President doesn't know.

And even though this may sound unfair, we can't (shouldn't) give them the overt "authority" to engage in torture. It's not about whether we want to maintain "plausible deniability" or keep our hands clean, it's about making sure that torture remains a rare occurrence and truly a "ticking bomb" scenario. If you give authority for certain kinds of torture and/or certain circumstances where torture is allowed, then you've just taken a step towards making torture commonplace.

The person contemplating torture needs to have this thought running through his (or her) mind: "Doing this would be against the law and I could get into serious trouble. So, is it worth it?" Under that scenario, anger and frustration take a backseat to an honest evaluation of what the prisoner may actually know.

This is the reason why the Geneva and Hague Conventions include language about the maltreatment of prisoners; because the institutionalization of torture as acceptable under certain circumstances always eventually results in unnecessary and widespread human rights abuses.

Okay

I understand your position.

Let's leave it at that.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

Wrong

As for keeping our soldiers safe: if we had not engaged in this misbegotten, falsely developed, and ludicrous war, we would not be in the situation of having to decide.

The capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his subsequent interrogation was a direct result of the 9/11 attacks on this country and would have occurred regardless of any decisions with respect to Afghanistan or Iraq.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on March 1, 2003 by the Pakistani ISI, possibly in a joint action with agents of the American Diplomatic Security Service, and has been in U.S. custody since that time. In September 2006, the U.S. government announced it had moved Mohammed from a secret prison to the facility at Guantánamo Bay.[5] Human Rights Watch and he himself have claimed that the American authorities have tortured him, a claim that was admitted to be accurate on February 4, 2008, when it was revealed that he was subjected to the controversial technique of "simulated drowning," also called "waterboarding."[6]
In March 2007, after four years in captivity, including six months of detention at Guantanamo Bay, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — as it was claimed by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal Hearing [7] in Guantanamo Bay — confessed to masterminding the September 11th attacks, the Richard Reid shoe bombing attempt to blow up an airliner over the Atlantic Ocean, the Bali nightclub bombing in Indonesia, the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and various foiled attacks.[8]
On December 8, 2008, Mohammed and four co-defendants sent a note to the military judge expressing their desire to confess and plead guilty.[9]

(yeah, yeah, it's Wiki. But the information is accurate)

I'm waiting to see if Obama makes good on his campaign pledge to close the detention center at Gitmo. They tell me that first full-on national security briefing is a bitch. It'll be a little different when he'll be the one responsible for turning these animals loose.

The thing that has bothered me most

since the Abu Ghraib story was printed, is that there was a severe lack of translators in Iraq. How would they even know if they were getting useful information out of anyone?

It's apparent to me that this whole thing is about sadism brutality and stupidity. It filtered down from the highest places and infected the military all the way down.

Source of info?

Look, you only know what the various news media sources tell ya. They only know what the military wants them to know.

I'm not sure where your information came from (CNN?, MSNBC?, CBS?...AP/UPI?), but if you think that the military tells the press everything it's doing and everything exactly correct...think again.

If you want to present a bad side to something, it's easy to find "info" to support it. Just know that all your "info" sources don't always know the whole story.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

I don't think the military tells anything

that hasn't been whitewashed a dozen times. We weren't even "allowed" to see the flag draped coffins as they came home.

FYI, I make it my business to look at all kinds of news sources and I have to tell you, on many issues, foreign news is much preferred to the American MSM.

So, do tell, what was the "info" the military got out of Abu ghraib?

No clue

"So, do tell, what was the "info" the military got out of Abu ghraib?"

I agree 100% on U.S. news sources. And, I can't answer your question.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

Andrew Sullivan nails it

andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com

The decision to torture individuals was made by Bush and Cheney before the CIA ever asked for legal cover for the torture they had been ordered to commit. The torture and abuse was planned before even the January 2002 presidential memo that authorized torture

Thanks persondem.

n/t