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Tuesday, December 16, 2008 

Dick Cheney Admits To Authorizing 'Torture' In US Detention Center

“One of Barack Obama’s first acts as President should be to instruct his Attorney General to appoint an independent prosecutor to initiate a criminal investigation of former Bush administration officials who gave the green light to torture,”
Michael Ratner
Center for Constitutional Rights

"Vice President Dick Cheney said for the first time Monday that he helped get the “process cleared” for the brutal interrogation program of suspected terrorists. In an interview with ABC News, Cheney was matter-of-fact and unapologetic about the harsh techniques used against the detainees — including waterboarding, a form of simulated drowning considered torture since the days of the Inquisition.

“I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared, as the [Central Intelligence] Agency, in effect, came in and wanted to know what they could and couldn't do,” Cheney said. “And they talked to me, as well as others, to explain what they wanted to do. And I supported it.”

Consortium News

No shame. No conscience. A known liar, Cheney just can't help himself.

Speaking of cold-hearted bastards, check out this post on Think Progress regarding right-wing radio talker Gaffney jousting with Chris Matthews. Pricelss.


Well that's a start -when is Dickey boy going to admit he doesn't own a heart?

God bless Dick Cheney. And screw your idea for little banana republic political trials where you put past officials on trial cause you don't like their policies.

Dick Cheney has perfectly much conscience, and I don't know where he's ever in fact been known to lie - though I might expect the occassional fib from any major politician. But I haven't really even seen that of Cheney.

The administration has never claimed that the harsh interrogation techniques were the work of rogues or any such thing, other than that they were following administration policy. The fact that you don't like the policy doesn't mean that someone's telling a "lie."

And Jymn, Cheney hasn't done anything to need to show shame for.

Also, Dick Cheney has LOTS of heart and feelings for his countrymen and innocent folks. Truly caring about US means being willing to make tough and unpleasant decisions to protect us from the truly heartless bastards who are trying to kill US.

Having "heart" or compassion for Khalid Sheik Mohammed would actually mean a lack of compassion for all the people who would be dead if we hadn't given this bastard one minute of waterboarding.

Al, my friend, I beg to differ with you when you say, "And screw your idea for little banana republic political trials where you put past officials on trial cause you don't like their policies." ..

There would NOT have been the Nuremberg Trials if that advice was followed in 1945!

For the USA to use torture FOR ANY REASON .. lowers the entire nation to the same status as the terrorists that you are trying to deal with.

Under the Rule of Law ... to stoop to the level of the terrorists, makes one no better than them!

I strongly disagree with you! I Cheney broke the law .. then he MUST fact the consequences!

This is imperative to ensure that your nation does NOT slip into a nation where the White House is above the law! I thought we worked this crap our after Nixon! Here we are, having the same bloody argument, 34 years later!!!!

Hey Al.


Also, Dick Cheney has LOTS of heart and feelings for his countrymen and innocent folks.

Except for all those innocent people who were tortured and kidnapped.

You know what Al? You a damn fascist. And people like Cheney and you need to get their comeuppance in a fair trial with evidence. Not banana republic crap that, ironically, Dick Cheney engages in with the Military Tribunal system, but a fair trial with habeous corpus and the right to an attorney...you know, stuff we have had since the Magna fucking Carta in 1215...

I was thinking more along the lines of Nuremberg or perhaps the War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia or Rwanda.

The alternative is for pigs like Cheney just get the same treatment Mussolini did...

So, which is it AL, fair trial or rough justice? Cuz remember sunshine, what's good for the goose is good for the gander...

BTW AL, I just read your profile.

Libertarian? Advocating the full horrors of state violence coercion be unleashed in individuals without due process?

Bullshit. Guys like Murray Rothbard would spit in your face.

You are a fascist.

Leftdog- Do you not see how ridiculous it is to compare Cheney to the Nazis? See, the Nazis killed millions of people who had done nothing wrong. That's really awful and needed to be addressed.

Whereas, I don't think Dick Cheney has broken the law at all, best I can tell. If so, it's somewhere at the margins, and ambiguous. For starters, the Geneva Convention absolutely does not apply to these Al Qaeda schmucks who do not wear the uniform of any government - let alone being a signatory to the convention.

I understand being uncomfortable with harsh interrogation techniques, and exactly what and who and why we're doing them. But there's absolutely no reasonable comparison between Dachau and waterboarding perhaps a dozen or so Al Qaeda jihadists. It's not even apples and oranges. It's more like apples and hand grenades.

It is not the same thing and does not put us on their level. There's all the difference in the world between the wholesale murder of Jews versus putting the squeeze on a handful of bastards who are doing bad things in order to get information. Both Jeffrey Dahmer and an old woman who shoots a burglar have killed someone - but it's not the same.

And would you feel better and more righteous if a few thousand more innocents got killed in Al Qaeda plots because we were too good to slap their agents around a bit?

My friend Al is not someone I would refer to as a 'fascist' ... Libertarian? yes .... residing on the Rightwing end of the spectrum? yes.

Al and I have found a way to maintain a respectful friendship coming at things from totally different directions. When he and I agree on something, we KNOW it's correct because of the two diverse world views we hold.

We don't agree on Cheney ... never will ... but Al is not a 'fascist'.

Al, I posted my last comment before I read yours.

The difference to me is one of degree, not substance. The Rule of Law is what has kept the USA a great nation. Those times when the Rule of Law has been abandoned (Nixon and Bush) are times when America has descended into much internal discord.

I will NEVER agree that 'roughing' up opponents OUTSIDE OF THE LAW is ever acceptable.

To do it once, means it will be done again and again ... and then we do find ourselves on a path to authoritarian fascism!

No Torture! EVER!! NEVER!

Mike- You simply labeling me a "fascist" does not in any way make it so. You seem to want to describe as "fascist" anyone who believes in dealing harshly even with people who are trying to kill US. Uh, that's not quite what the word means.

I have taken in recent years to describing myself as a "Goldwater libertarian." And Murray Rothbard was largely a fool. He could certainly never have been in charge of actually running the government, or - Rand knows - defending the country militarily.

For the record, I'm against innocent people being tortured and kidnapped - which the US military is certainly not doing. If such occassionally unfortunately happens, it's not by design or intention of Dick Cheney.

Indeed, my opposition to innocent people being tortured, kidnapped, terrorized and killed is exactly why I am inclined to cut the administration some slack on putting the squeeze on jihadists.

And no, these people at Gitmo do not have any legal or moral right to a trial under US law and protections. That has NEVER been the case in war situations. For starters, soldiers trying not to get killed in a war zone are not forensic scientists on CSI.

Nor does lack of admissable evidence to criminally convict a jihadist mean that they should be turned loose. Already, we've had numerous jackasses that we've released from Gitmo re-captured back in Afghanistan and Iraq back at trying to kill US. If anything, we're too lax.

Again, comparing Cheney to Mussolini or Hitler is just ridiculous on the face of it. Not even vaguely similar, any more than it would be appropriate to compare the socialistic Obama to, say, Joe Stalin.

Al. Many of those not wearing uniforms were protecting their country. Al, what if a Muslim country was powerful enough to invade your country and take over and feel in theirs hearts that Islam should be the law of the land? Would you not fight back?

Or, do you assume that everyone in Iraq fighting the occupation ia Al Queda? Last I heard, Al Queda has only made up leas than 10 percent of the fighting forces in Iraq.

Anyone who supports torture and the kind of police state tactics is not a libertarian of any kind, not matter what he says.

Libertarian's oppose the power of the state. Torture, Gitmo and things like renditions are the most vile, naked and ugly examples of the violence of state power that exists.

He can't favour them and call himself a libertarian.

He isn't.

Mike, it matters not to me whether you consider me a "libertarian" or not. I become more opposed with age to strict adherence to any ideology, lest a good idea become a dangerous dogma - per the Kevin Smith movie.

But all you're really doing here is name calling and acting like attaching a label to someone is in itself proof. You got a pretty odd idea of what constitutes a "police state" if you think I believe in such a thing.

Mike, before he leaves you should thank George Bush for keeping us safe and so secure that you can afford to indulge in these princess and the pea displays of sensitivity to the tender civil rights needs of ASSHOLES WHO HAVE BEEN TRYING TO KILL US.

You owe the president some debt of gratitude for having kept the country safe enough for you to be able to continue playing Candyland.

Jymn, at this point there is no substantial civil insurrection in Iraq. There are a few ugly bombings here and there - largely random acts of violent harassment. All signs are that we've basically won, and the new Status of Forces agreement puts US on solid contractual terms with a democratic government and a timetable for withdrawal of most US forces. It's still fragile, but it seems to (finally) be coming together reasonably well.

And for crying in a bucket with that lame shoe on the other foot argument. What if a Muslim country decided to invade US? Well, there'd be no needful reason to. The US is not Iraq or Iran or North Korea. Do you not see a moral and practical difference?

Al. Of course no Muslim country is big enough. My question was if a Muslim country was powerful enough. Please don't lie about what I stated. Also, you misrerresented what I wrote earlier about Cheney and shame. I never said Cheney should show shame. I said he has none.

You're right that there are no current civil insurrections in Iraq. But Al, you won after Shock and Awe. It's just been one long torture of Iraq's citizens since then. The infrastructure has been torn apart. Millions displaced. Hundreds of thousands killed and millions injured. Electricity and water are at a premium. People live in total fear of each other and people feel much less safe than they did under Saddam.

Why don't you get your fellow right wingers together and fund a trip for you or another fan of the war, get a cameraman and travel outside the Green Zone and see how long you would last. That will show you how much progress has really been made in Iraq.

And, that whole keeping us SAFE is just a recital of Bush's legacy talking point. We were not safe from the Saudis who attacked the US on 9/11. Al Queda does not have a record of attacking US shores but every many years between.

Now, with the massacre of Iraq, the terrorists have grown and grown with more hatred than ever for the USA. A bunch of Saudis killed 3000 on 9/11 and the USA has killed many, many more than this attacking a country that despised Bin Laden. Not to mention the 4000 US troops Bush killed by sending them to a war without reason.

Thinking about this Bush kept us safe meme, the "numerous terrorist attacks" Bush is crowing about on his legacy tour sound to me to be totally bogus. At worst, these "attacks" were more aspirational than operational.

For example, the JFK oil tanks plot was nothing more than four guys dreaming of a plot, but just that, talk about it and nothing more.

Another example is Bush's claim of a plot to shoe bomb the Library Tower in LA from an airplaine. A senior counter-terrorism official, said in 2006, "There was no definitive plot. It never materialized nor did it get past the thought stage." Granted, Bush has kept us safe from thoughts.

Perhaps there are more substantial keeping us safe moments that bear more fruit. Can you help me out, Al?

Jymn, my point wasn't that no Muslim country is big enough to invade US, but that they would not vaguely have any legitimate reason to need to. The US are the good guys. We may sometimes come across as, per Team America, arrogant dicks - but we're trying to protect ourselves and the world, and help the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.

A mafia hit man and someone shooting a burglar have both killed someone - but it's completely not the same thing. You need someone to go stop the hit man. You need someone to give the homeowner who shot the burglar a ribbon or keys to the city or something.

The business about Cheney and shame seems like a distinction without a difference. If you're not saying that he SHOULD feel shame, what's the point? But you clearly ARE saying that he should feel shame as a supposed known liar.

You want to insist that Iraqis are worse off now than when we came in - but that's just objectively not true. You'd be hard pressed at this point to find anyone at all in Iraq who would say that, other than maybe former Baath party officials.

There's undoubtedly more nasty low level unofficial street crime in Iraq now - but that's largely because they have more freedom and judicial process and folks are not in deathly fear of the government. But that street crime (uh, not Cheney's doing) is WAY more than offset by doing away with the official crime, the rape rooms and mass graves and gassing of Kurds, and a bunch more. You're kidding yourself to think Iraq is worse off now. That's just not reality.

And their infrastructure was for crap after 35 years of Saddam's looting. Efforts to rebuild that infrastructure - on which the US has spent tens of billions of dollars - seem to be helping, but they've had to fight saboteurs.

In short, you're sounding like the Team America version of Sean Penn

And calling the observation of our lack of terrorist attacks for seven years a "talking point" does not mean that it isn't true. And you're utterly and foolishly self-deluding to argue that it's because they haven't been trying.

In short, you're twisting facts out of shape to get the left wing answers you want to hear, and just making other stuff up completely ie US "massacring" Iraq.

No Jymn, I can't help you out in understanding the averted terrorist attacks. There have been dozens of them reported - but you're determined not to believe it, so you won't.

Look, everyone gets to have their own opinions - but you don't get to have your own facts. Jihadists have been continually trying US. We were all caught unaware a few months into Bush's term with 9/11 - but Bush has been on top of it since, like a dog worrying a bone.

You might fault him for sometimes going too far with interrogation techniques or such, but you can't reasonably say that there's no threat or that he hasn't been effective on that count.

Your points would much easier to take seriously if you had some facts to back them up. But just relaying Bush talking points does not cut it. There are no documented substantial terrorist attacks that I have heard of. And Bush's current speaking points are lies. These are not credible threats he is spouting.

You are entitled to your opinion, Al. As are all of us. But an opinion is much stronger with some factual information to back them up. Don't always believe what you are told by your government. They don't always tell the truth. A healthy skepticism in the public breeds a healthy government. And no, I don't believe Obama, either.

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