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Torture Dumbassitude on Parade: Cheney’s Guilty as Hell

It’s becoming something of a spectator sport: who’s gonna top the dumbfuckery next? It’s a good thing I’m not playing a drinking game, because I’d be suffering chronic alcohol poisoning.

I think Rep. Pete Hoekstra won today’s event:

In a tense interview on Fox News today, host Shep Smith repeatedly pressed Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) if waterboarding is torture. Hoekstra initially dodged, saying, “I don’t know if it’s torture or not.” “I’d like an answer, sir,” Smith responded. Asked a fourth time, Hoekstra finally said he believes that interrogations used in the “immediate aftermath” of 2002 — which included waterboarding — were “consistent” with the law:

Q: And waterboarding is or is not torture?

HOEKSTRA: There is a wide range of waterboarding. I’m telling you, that I know waterboarding was used, Shep. I’m not mincing words. I’m saying that I believe the techniques used in 2002, in 2003, which included waterboarding in a specific format that I’m aware of how they used it, that I believe that was consistent with U.S. law.

“A wide range of waterboarding.” What kind of permanent brain damage do you have to be suffering in order to believe that? Was he dropped on his head repeatedly as a child, or did his terminal glue-sniffing just not come out during his campaign?

Joe Scarborough came in a close second:

Yesterday FBI agents who were involved in interrogating detainees testified to Senate that these techniques didn’t work and that they were able to obtain valuable information using traditional methods. Well that apparently doesn’t sit well with Joe Scarborough considering his new line of defense – the FBI agents are “exaggerating”.

They’re exaggerating their role in interrogating suspects. They are mudding up the facts and what we see here is the FBI trying to undercut the CIA – the FBI has always hated the CIA.

So Scarborough is essentially saying that the FBI is willing to perjure themselves just because of some grudge they have against the CIA.

Torture apologists stop at nothing to defend their passion.

Former SERE instructor Malcom Nance does violence to the whole “ticking time bomb” scenario, thus showing advocates of that idea up for the raging idiots they are:

Host Rachel Maddow then asked Nance if he would use SERE techniques in the “faulty” premise of a “ticking time bomb scenario.”

MADDOW: In the case of an actual ticking time bomb scenario, which is a faulty premise because things don’t work out this way in the real world, would you do SERE, these techniques on a prisoner in that scenario? […]

NANCE: No of course not, because one, it defeats the ticking time bomb scenario, in that all the prisoner has to do is not answer the question or, better yet, the prisoner will lie. And once the prisoner lies, especially with al Qaeda members. Let me tell you something, their ideology — they have a concept within their ideology called “al-warrah el barrah” (sp) and that is absolute devotion to their god, but absolute disavowal and hatred of anything that’s not their god.

Nance added that when these techniques were used, detainees knew they were were giving “gibberish,” thus seeing “that as a victory.” “[W]hat we’ve done is we created al Qaeda SERE school for them,” Nance said.

On the feigned outrage front, Cons and their fellow travellers are outraged, outraged I tell you, that Nancy Pelosi would ever question the integrity of our nation’s spies:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi apparently raised quite a few eyebrows today when she argued that CIA officials misled congressional leaders on interrogation techniques during Bush’s first term. Specifically, she said the briefings included “inaccurate and incomplete information.”

The usual suspects quickly lined up to express their outrage.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said today that he “totally disagrees” with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) assertion that the CIA regularly misleads Congress.

“No, on that specific point I totally disagree,” Lieberman told MSNBC’s Norah O’Donnell. “Over the 20 years I’ve been here, I’ve been briefed constantly by the CIA, and I’d say they’ve told me the truth as they see it.”

Republican lawmakers were, not surprisingly, far harsher in their rhetoric. Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.), for example, exclaimed, “It’s outrageous that a member of Congress would call our terror-fighters liars.”

Sure it us. Except, well, our “terror-fighters” are liars:

Bob Graham just appeared on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show. In addition to repeating earlier reports that he was never briefed on waterboarding, Graham revealed that the first time he asked the CIA when he was briefed on torture, it claimed it had briefed him on two dates when no briefing took place.

I didn’t get Graham’s exact quotes (and the quotes below are rough approximations), but when asked to respond to Philip Zelikow’s assertion that members of Congress from both parties had been briefed on this program, Graham said that when he asked the CIA when he had been briefed on the program, the CIA gave him the dates of four briefings, two in April 2002 and two in September 2002, when they claimed they had briefed him about the program. But after Graham consulted his own records, he pointed out that on two of those dates, he had not attended any briefing. After Graham pointed this out to the CIA, they conceded their own dates were incorrect.

Yup. Liars. Unless, o’ course, you prefer to believe our vaunted terror-fighters are complete fucking idiots who don’t know how to keep records or use a calendar. Sooo… are Cons then calling our terror-fighters complete fucking idiots?

Speaking of liars, check out Darth Dick deciding to order people tortured in order to
perpetuate his lies
:

This is incredible but not surprising news. Robert Windrem, who covered terrorism for NBC, reports:

*Two U.S. intelligence officers confirm that Vice President Cheney’s office suggested waterboarding an Iraqi prisoner, a former intelligence official for Saddam Hussein, who was suspected to have knowledge of a Saddam-al Qaeda connection. *The former chief of the Iraq Survey Group, Charles Duelfer, in charge of interrogations, tells The Daily Beast that he considered the request reprehensible. *Much of the information in the report of the 9/11 Commission was provided through more than 30 sessions of torture of detainees…read on

Read the entire story. What this report says is that the Bush administration took an active role in how torture was being used and their purposes were purely political and not to keep America safe. Richard Wolffe says the same thing to Nora on MSNBC.

Cheney and his band of inquisitors wanted to find something that could justify the Iraq war to the American people after all the lies were uncovered for us to see. And there was nothing. NO WMD’s in Iraq and no connection between Saddam and al-Qaeda. Cheney willingly promoted the use of torture for his own political gains.

Did we really expect anything less of the man who shoots his friends in the face?

For those in the audience who lurves them some torture and tend to believe that such bombshells are just liberal hysteria, there’s Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff of the Department of State, who knows a thing or two about what was going on. He absolutely annihilates Cheney on a myriad of points, and if you read nothing else on torture, you should read his piece. Here he is absolutely destroying the “ticking time bomb” argument, and showing that Cheney ordered torture:

Likewise, what I have learned is that as the administration authorized harsh interrogation in April and May of 2002–well before the Justice Department had rendered any legal opinion–its principal priority for intelligence was not aimed at pre-empting another terrorist attack on the U.S. but discovering a smoking gun linking Iraq and al-Qa’ida.

So furious was this effort that on one particular detainee, even when the interrogation team had reported to Cheney’s office that their detainee “was compliant” (meaning the team recommended no more torture), the VP’s office ordered them to continue the enhanced methods. The detainee had not revealed any al-Qa’ida-Baghdad contacts yet. This ceased only after Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, under waterboarding in Egypt, “revealed” such contacts. Of course later we learned that al-Libi revealed these contacts only to get the torture to stop.

There in fact were no such contacts. (Incidentally, al-Libi just “committed suicide” in Libya. Interestingly, several U.S. lawyers working with tortured detainees were attempting to get the Libyan government to allow them to interview al-Libi….)

If America can’t get its shit together and prosecute these evil fucks, I sure as shit hope the Hague does it for us. Bring on the Spanish Inquisition. Anything. I don’t care who nails these fuckers just so long as they get nailed.

This nation can’t recover one iota of moral authority until these lying, conniving, torturing fucktards are rotting in prison.

Prosecutions. Now.

Comments

  1. says

    Oh where to start…First, if you want prosecutions now, why not demonstrate the female equivelant of testicular fortitude and call for those investigations to cover every administration? Or is it possible you don’t want the public told what went on under our previous Democratic administrations? Me thinks Dana likes revenge much more than justice.The next thing, please, please, please for the sake of entertainmnet, hitch your wagon to Nancy Pelosi and then call the other side liars in the same post. As someone said yesterday, “Her lies are so transparent birds are flying into them.”If you could turn off the fountain of liberal rage for 5 minutes and think about this with some common sense…the President (you know the one you gushed about so much last year)is trying to stop this. Have you ever considered the notion that he knows that either A) Bush is going to end up looking like a hero when the intelligence results are revealed and/or B)He knows a bunch of Dems have dirty hands too?I would think you would have some more trust in the big O.

  2. says

    Mike, this is ridiculous. Records previous to 25 years ago are now declassified by default. Any enterprising journalist or political operative can research them to find evidence of torture prior to the 1980s.So, let’s ask ourselves who is served by “investigating” torture all they way back to 1947, shall we? Generally speaking, anyone involved is either dead or out of government by now. Certainly, few criminal prosecutions would result.There is also this fact to consider. In the 25 year period prior to 2009, Republicans have been President for 17 years, Democrats for eight. Hmmm, let me think who benefits from expanding an investigation to 1947, where Democrats were in office for 27 years and Republicans 33 years. We still have a GOP lead here, but there’s plenty more possibility for misconduct by Democrats when they were the ones who were in office most while a real enemy, the Soviet Union, existed.Let’s examine the real reason for the GOP’s sudden interest in investigating torture all the way back to the Stone Age. There are three obvious motivations:- Produce so much information that most people will give up trying to understand it all- Pass off the use of torture as something that “everybody” does, including Democrats- Widen the net so far that everyone is included, whether guilty or not. This is the motivation for the CIA’s nonsense about Pelosi.In principle, I think it’s a fine idea to investigate practices under the Clinton Administration. First, these are claimed to be the inspiration for the Bush Administration’s policies. I think that this is obviously self-serving nonsense, but it should be investigated. Second, the Clinton Administration is the first one that had to take international terrorism seriously. Comparing and contrasting the two administrations’ approaches to this issue could be instructive, regardless of the outcome.As for Pelosi’s story, it is backed up by the few facts available. There are other reasons to believe that the CIA is either inaccurate or lying in its statements about her, as well. This is another example of how the Bush Administration and their remaining sycophants in the government, have been selectively using classified information to distort the truth.When you demonstrate the wingnut equivalent of enough gray matter to catch onto this, you can start lecturing us on common sense and liberal rage.

  3. says

    The point is, the torture that went on during previous administrations was undocumented and a lot more secret. Where the Bush administration differed from their predecessors was when they actually tried to do things legally instead of the traditiional dark ops approach. Secondly, I don’t hear many people suggesting we open up investigations going all the way back but I know from my perspective I am suggesting it as a way for Democrats to demonstrate that they this is really about justice. I mean seriously, who are you trying to fool when you pretend this is about anything other than revenge? Going all the way back is an opportunity to bring all the bad guys who authorized torture to justice. Carter, Bush I, Clinton and Bush II are all still alive. Dozens if not hundreds of former officials are still alive. Why wouldn’t you want them to also be brought to justice? We both know that they all broke the law in the interest of national security. I think a thorough investigation would help us determine when we want our administration to step outside the law and when we don’t.

  4. says

    That’s complete nonsense, Mike. What’s worse is that it’s obvious nonsense, given the subject of this article. The Bush Administration kept this and its other illegal practices, wiretapping, rendition, etc., a secret until they got caught at it. They tried to protect themselves by having the hack lawyers they installed at OLC draw up some inane justifications for torture, and then called them legal justification when they were finally caught at it.It was only after the Abu Ghraib pictures came out that they tried, unsuccessfully at first, to push laws through Congress that legalized what they were doing.As far as I can tell, Mike, only the people who support torture or other illegal activities think of this as revenge. Considering the lack of thought displayed by such people, I’m not overly impressed by what they think is “obvious”. The people who will be out for revenge don’t live here. They live in the countries where the relatives of our victims reside. If we don’t want to go through the humiliation of seeing our former leaders tried in The Hague, we’d better investigate it properly ourselves.

  5. says

    It’s quite simple: Justice should be thorough and should have no time limit. (You may have seen the news about the concentration camp guard just deported back to Germany despite his advanced age). You have to either be in denial or uninterested in the truth to believe torture began with Bush. So if we’re serious about justice, let’s be thorough. i think your excuses on why we shouldn’t look beyond bush is evidence enough that you are only interested in seeing one administration prosecuted, when we all know they weren’t the only ones. that fits my definition of revenge, or at the very least, selective justice.