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Cheney Briefs on Interrogation

Our Readers Who Comment are all fired up this morning about the report that former Vice President Richard B. Cheney "personally oversaw at least four briefings with senior members of Congress" about the CIA's post-9/11 interrogation program, which included waterboarding.

As Paul Kane and Joby Warrick write, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was not present at any of those briefings, an important point because Republicans contend that top Democrats were aware that waterboarding was being used on terrorism suspects.

Readers both attack and defend Cheney and ask how much Pelosi knew about the interrogation methods. There are renewed calls for a truth commission. There is both condemnation and praise for waterboarding. And there are several comments wanting to know again why The Washington Post uses the euphemism "harsh interrogation" for torture.

We'll start with Acierto, who wrote, "Every politician is hiding on torture and wiretapping briefings like a rabbit down a hole... the CIA... will now be correctly charged with attempting to hide important details that should have been revealed. Keeping secret CIA employee names, fine. Keeping politicians names secret, no. By mixing spycraft with politics, the CIA is setting itself up to be the fall guy..."

But billyrockville said, "America can be thankful we have such brave men as President Bush and Dick Cheney. They made the difficult decisions, and they kept us safe for eight years. It is interesting to note, that Obama condemned the harsh interrogations as torture, but reserved the right to use them in extraordinary situations, hmmmm.... like thwarting a possibly terrorist attack?"

algasema asked, "What is the real purpose of torture? It is not security, but dictatorship. Dick Cheney, even if he escapes prison, as a cowardly Obama administration is likely to let him do, will be remembered by history as the Vice-President for torture and fascism."

cattheanimal wrote, "[Cheney] should be indicted. a special prosecutor should be appointed, as the white house created a doj [Department of Justice] in its own image. though we already know what he approved. has he ever, at any point, came out against any form of torture, any vicious interrogation?"

medogsbstfrnd predicted that "Pelosi will be vindicated. That process can be expedited by indicting Cheney for war crimes and bringing him before the "truth commission" otherwise known as a court of law..."

And fishingriver said, "Until our leaders are brought to justice for their disregard of the law, I will have no respect for the US system of justice. It is a sham that only applies to citizens without advantage. It isn't really justice at all."

But lure1 wrote, "Keep banging your spoons on the trays of your hi-chairs. It's hilarious and pathetic. There will be no truth commission. No on will be prosecuted, let alone convicted. Book on it. The fact is if the memos proved that waterboarding didn't work, they'd already be released. Aloha."

lottaaction said, "Cheney, Cheney, Cheney, Cheney Cheney! More terrible one-sided reporting by the Post. Of the 40 meetings mentioned that Cheney was supposedly a part of, why not mention who these "senior members of Congress" were? You're telling me there were 40 meetings and Pelosi never attended one?... C'mon WashPost, your liberal leanings are so transparent it's funny."

And Bobby06 wrote, "...Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House in 2007. The Republicans ran the Congress until 2007. Who was Speaker before Nancy Pelosi? Hint: it was a Republican. Why didn't they stop the torture, the waterboarding, the war in Iraq, the failures at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, etc., etc.?"

But TexanbygraceofGOD said, "No one ever said that she should have stopped it. Yes, I know she became the speaker in '07 but she was still present at the CIA briefings then lied about it! Thanks but no thanks."

lcarter0311 wrote, "This is nothing new... How many times does it have to be said that Cheney led the charge and ran roughshod over the U.S. Constitution and the Geneva Constitutions to torture Islamic detainees. The real question is, what is the U.S., Gov't going to do about it?..."

Bob22003 said, "Cheney isn't defending "enhanced interrogation" because of his concern for national security but rather because of his concern that he will be identified as America's cheerleader for torture..."

thebobbob wrote, "Cheney's actions were criminal. It doesn't matter if he believed they made America safe. It doesn't matter if he thinks that information they got was useful. It doesn't matter if they got an incompetent lawyer to 'advise' them that it was OK. Water boarding is Torture and against American Law and International Law. Prosecute."

george32 said, "it has always struck me as ironic that senator mccain, one of the few americans subject to torture by a hostile power, had concerns about the interrogation program, but a cowardly draft dodger and his non serving buddies thought it was just fine..."

frodot wrote, "Cheney has a forceful and persuasive presence, even when he is mistaken or lying... It has taken years for the majority of the public to realize that Cheney's passion is pathology, not insight."

But jeeemusna wrote, "Thank God for Dick Cheney!"

We'll close with this sarcastic summation from boyduenas, who said, "The defenders of the coward Cheney have only two words to say: Nancy Pelosi."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  June 3, 2009; 8:04 AM ET
Categories:  CIA , Cheney , Torture , Waterboarding  | Tags: CIA, Cheney, Pelosi, Torture, Waterboarding  
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Next: Obama in Cairo: Sellout or Outreach?


Obama administration opens door for Iran's uranium enrichment program!!!

Coward liar Barack HUSSEIN Obama "Apologist in chief", how can he keep his nonsense promise during his campaign, that is, negotiating with U.S. enemies such as North Korea and Iran, which have never respected any treaty with U.S., when North Korea just launched many missile and nuclear tests and illegally arrested two American journalists Laura Ling and Eunu Lee, while Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an extremist who has called for Israel to be wiped off the map and denied the holocaust, again defied U.S. and Europe with his racist hate speech against Israel at a U.N. anti-racism conference? Is Obama going to bow to Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejas as he did to King Abdulla of Saudi Arabia to gain his peace deals? Is he willing to convert to Islam, his Kenyan father and Indonesian step father's religion, to meet Osam Bin Laden's requirement that in order to end the Iraq war, U.S. troop withdrawal is not enough, Americans must reject their democratic system and embrace Islam? Just recently, Obama said that he would support Iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy with rigorous inspections, giving a green light to Teheran's ambituous uranium enrichment program, which can be used for nuclear bomb development as well, without suffering sanctions and economic isolation as it currently endures. Does Obama want Iran to become another North Korea using its nuclear power to terrorize the U.S and its allies?
As for waterboarding tactic used by CIA, Obama ordered to stop it even it worked well on terrorist suspects like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-describer planner of 9-11 attacks who provided CIA with valuable information, preventing another 9-11 attack and saving thousands of American lives.

Posted by: TIMNGUYEN1 | June 6, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Torture clearly works! Do you remember the witch hunts of the middle ages? Torture resulted in quick confessions of whatever the witches were accused of. It also resulted in the implication of other practicing witches. Those witches knew they had to say what needed to be said to get the torture to stop. The indisputable facts obtained were used to control the populace and bring about social order. Torture worked then to root out witches and it works today to root out terrists.

Posted by: cmatrix | June 4, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

General Taguba says he has seen pictures & videos of US captors raping detainies. The pentagon has denied the 2000 pictures they may have to release ivolve rape. I would like Washington Post to explain which pictures Taguba is talking about and who is in possesion of them. Those are the the pictures that need to be released. That will get the investigations started and hopefully put the torture program animals where they belong.

Posted by: joejoe2000 | June 4, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I have a question to those who support torture because 'it works': I know what one of the first, if not THE first question I would ask is. So please do tell me, since it works: When and where did we capture Usama Bin Ladin?

Answering this question will reveal the truth about how well 'it works'!

Posted by: AMviennaVA | June 3, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

if it is ok to break the law against torture because it works then it must be ok to rob banks if you get money. cheney is a criminal and should be prosecuted.

Posted by: dgates1 | June 3, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Could we please get a deep analysis on whether or not Al Qaeda violated Mr. Dyer's civil rights by beheading him? Thank the stars we did not have to hear that he was waterboarded.

Posted by: clarity007 | June 3, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

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