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Call Cheney's Bluff


Cheney on Fox News last night.

Former vice president Dick Cheney, widely suspected to have been the prime mover behind the Bush administration's adoption of torture as an interrogation technique, last night dared President Obama to release more memos, these ostensibly chronicling the "success of the effort."

Obama last week released four deeply disturbing documents, in which government lawyers attempted to justify, in chilling detail, flatly unconscionable and illegal acts such as waterboarding, slamming detainees against a wall, and stuffing a prisoner with a fear of insects into a small box with a bug.

"There are reports that show specifically what we gained as a result of this activity. They have not been declassified," Cheney shot back last night in an interview on Fox News with Sean Hannity. "I formally asked that they be declassified now....If we're going to have this debate, you know, let's have an honest debate."

Please, Mr. President, call Cheney's bluff. But don't stop there. Also urge people involved in or knowledgeable about the interrogations to speak publicly about what happened. And encourage the Senate Intelligence Committee to hold its planned hearings on the subject promptly and in public.

Because, while Cheney is not entirely bluffing -- the fact is that there are inevitably a host of cover-your-ass memos that went up and down the chain of command, attempting to justify the unjustifiable -- the Bush administration has already made its best argument that torture made America safer. They've already given it their best shot, declassifying plenty of information to do so. And their claims fall apart under even modest scrutiny.

For Cheney to portray himself as the victim of secrecy is more than laughable. His signature modus operandi was for Bush aides to selectively leak or declassify secret intelligence findings that served their political agenda -- while aggressively asserting the need to keep secret the information that would discredit them.

So time and time again, when it was politically necessary, the Bush White House declassified material ostensibly related to terrorist plots thwarted by heroic means.

Back on October 6, 2005, for instance, to back up a speech he was making in an attempt to rally support for the war in Iraq, Bush declassified a "Fact Sheet" listing 10 terrorist plots he claimed had been disrupted by the United States.

But as Sara Kehaulani Goo wrote in The Washington Post at the time, the list was exaggerated at best: "The president made it 'sound like well-hatched plans,' said a former CIA official involved in counterterrorism during that period. 'I don't think they fall into that category.'"

In a February 2006 speech, responding to pressure to justify his warrantless domestic spying program, Bush suddenly went into more detail about one alleged plot, this one to crash a hijacked commercial airliner into the Library Tower, the tallest skyscraper in Los Angeles.

At that point, Peter Baker and Dan Eggen wrote in The Washington Post that "several U.S. intelligence officials played down the relative importance of the alleged plot and attributed the timing of Bush's speech to politics. The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to publicly criticize the White House, said there is deep disagreement within the intelligence community over the seriousness of the Library Tower scheme and whether it was ever much more than talk.'

And in September 2006, partly in response to The Washington Post's disclosure of a network of secret CIA prisons around the world, and partly as a political gambit during the mid-term election campaigns, Bush delivered another speech. In this one, he described what he called an "alternative set of procedures" used by the CIA on key detainees, and went into great length about the valuable information he said Abu Zubaida -- the first detainee to be tortured at the direct instruction of the White House -- had provided as a result.

That same day, the Director of National Intelligence obligingly declassified a Summary of the High Value Terrorist Detainee Program.

But as I've written at length before -- see my March 30 post, Bush's Torture Rationale Debunked -- many of Bush's assertions have been repeatedly contradicted by investigative reporting.

And as Jane Mayer wrote in her book The Dark Side, "whatever their motives, it appears the President and the Director of Central Intelligence gave the public misleadingly exaggerated accounts of the effectiveness of the abuse they authorized. Some might impute dishonest motives to them. But it seems more likely that they fooled not just the public, but also themselves."

Very much along the lines of Cheney's argument, former Bush speechwriter Marc A. Thiessen returns to the Washington Post op-ed page this morning with more circular arguments, citing unsupported justifications written by torturers and their enablers as irrefutable proof of the value of what they did.

Thiessen writes that one of the memos released last week notes that "the CIA believes 'the intelligence acquired from these interrogations has been a key reason why al Qaeda has failed to launch a spectacular attack in the West since 11 September 2001.'...In particular, the CIA believes that it would have been unable to obtain critical information from numerous detainees, including [Khalid Sheik Mohammed] and Abu Zubaydah, without these enhanced techniques."

But quoting the CIA's belief doesn't really settle anything. And much of what Thiessen writes today is basically a repeat of his January 22 Post op-ed (itself a repeat of Bush's September 2006 speech) which I debunked here.

For instance, Thiessen writes: "Specifically, interrogation with enhanced techniques 'led to the discovery of a KSM plot, the "Second Wave," "to use East Asian operatives to crash a hijacked airliner into" a building in Los Angeles.'...The memo explains that 'information obtained from KSM also led to the capture of Riduan bin Isomuddin, better known as Hambali, and the discovery of the Guraba Cell, a 17-member Jemmah Islamiyah cell tasked with executing the "Second Wave."' In other words, without enhanced interrogations, there could be a hole in the ground in Los Angeles to match the one in New York."

But remember, this is the same plot that some intelligence officials told The Post in 2006 may have never been more than just talk.

So, yes, by 2005, senior Justice Department and CIA officials were in full CYA mode -- trying to defend what they had done and tell the White House what it wanted to hear -- and they most assuredly generated a lot of paperwork to support their views. But that doesn't make what they said true.

And, indeed, when it comes to the detainee whose interrogation we know the most about -- Zubaida -- accounts from outside the complicit chain of command suggest the assertions that torture worked are nothing less than delusional. As I noted just yesterday, Scott Shane writes in Saturday's New York Times that Zubaida provided some valuable information -- but before the torture began. Shane quotes a former intelligence officer involved in the case as saying that after the torture began, Zubaida "pleaded for his life... But he gave up no new information. He had no more information to give."

There is something crazy about arguing over whether torture works or not. After all, it really doesn't matter, if you believe that torture is never justified. But since at least early last year, the main defense of the Bush apologists has been to argue that the ends justified the means. And you can't just leave their assertions unaddressed.

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 21, 2009; 12:30 PM ET
Categories:  Torture  
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Next: Obama Lets Loose the Hounds

Comments

Absolutely, Obama should call Dick's bluff and release the memos. This is part of the accounting the American public deserves. Were there plans we haven't yet heard about, which were heading toward fruition? Or are the defenses of torture as circular as they sometimes seem? Americans deserve to know.

Posted by: whizbang9a | April 21, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Looks like America's Dear Leader and his precious AG have overplayed their hands with the "Torture Memo" declassification with Cheney throwing the gauntlet down. Well played Mr Cheney, well played. Show these POS’s whats what.

Posted by: SharpshootingPugilist | April 21, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

An for the record, I like Froomkin’s verbal acrobatics here, working every angle he can for his own CYA: All documentation Cheney is referring to is a lie made up to justify what was done (no matter what the documents say) and even if it did work, its still doesn’t excuse it.

Posted by: SharpshootingPugilist | April 21, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

"All documentation Cheney is referring to is a lie made up to justify what was done..."

Froomkin has documented his position chapter and verse. The documentation you're referring to, what of it has been seen so far, is not merely a lie. It is a completely debunked lie.

The professional interrogators all agree: torture is a complete waste of an intelligence opportunity.

Posted by: fzdybel | April 21, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

What's needed here is more evidence. The repeated claims about the Chicago bombing and the LA plot were long ago revealed to be more fantastic than real. The British plot to use trans-Atlantic flights was stopped by British agencies. If there's real evidence that torture worked, the public needs to know it. Likewise, if there's none. (And I do agree that blanket assertions, like we've heard endlessly from Cheney and the others, prove nothing.) The proof, or lack of, will be in the specifics.

Posted by: whizbang9a | April 21, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse


Christians were tortured by the Romans
unbelievers were tortured by the Catholic Church
Jews were tortured by Nazis
Communists tortured political prisoners
Jesus was tortured by the Romans

All were officially sanctioned by their respective authorities.
All these groups have renounced torture and have been judged harshly by history.

Middle East prisoners were tortured by Americans
Our leaders sanctioned it we even think we had good reasons.

Does it really matter wether torture works or doesn't work. We have already lost because now we are in the same company as my previously cited examples. Thats who we are now.. We are a nation that tortures

Middle Easter
All were sure they were justified.

Posted by: rfee1 | April 21, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Froomiekins should be asking Obama why only 4 documents were released and not all of them. These are probably the worst of the bunch to serve Obama's purpose to try and appease the world population.

But it also is pretty darn apparent that Froomkin is on another witch hunt, just like the one for Scooter Libby, in which Frooms did not admit in his open articles about how it was Richard Armitage who was the source, and the trial was just window dressing.

Posted by: alutz08 | April 21, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

alutz08 you do know that Libby was prosecuted for lying to the special prosecutor right? Not for revealing Plame's name? You do know that don't you? Perjury hammpers investigations and helps hide crimes. If no crime was comitted, then there was no need for him to lie.

Posted by: m_mcmahon | April 21, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Sharpshooting pugilist not only has fragile spelling and weak grammar, his aim is terrible. He keeps missing what he thinks is the target.

Posted by: lowercaselarry | April 21, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

If this were to turn into an "honest" debate like Cheney wants it would be the first "honest" debate he's ever been involved in.

Posted by: blund | April 21, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Keep it simple, three tenets to remember:

1. Torture is illegal and nobody believes that if produces reliable information.

2. The US does not torture, hence we are considered the beacon of civility and human rights around the world.

3. Anyone who uses torture needs to be severely punished and reprimanded to demonstrate to theworld that we do not condone such actions.

If Cheney was responsible for the torture that took place he should be man enough to own up to his actions and take the medicine he so richly deserves. Alas, I fear he has another Scooter out there that will take the buck shot for him. So pitiful how far that man has fallen.

Posted by: fide | April 21, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Woops!! Looks like Cheney is LYING about this, too. Oy.
"Despite Claim, Cheney Didn't Really Ask CIA To Release Torture Evidence": http://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/torture/source-despite-claim-cheney-didnt-really-ask-cia-to-release-torture-intelligence/

Posted by: nffcnnr | April 21, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Dan,

Fine job as usual. What a pleasure to find well-researched, well supported arguments clearly explicated and logically ordered. You are a journalist.

Posted by: joebanks | April 21, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

The Central Intelligence Agency told CNSNews.com today that it stands by the assertion made in a May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo that the use of “enhanced techniques” of interrogation on al Qaeda leader Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) -- including the use of waterboarding -- caused KSM to reveal information that allowed the U.S. government to thwart a planned attack on Los Angeles. Before he was waterboarded, when KSM was asked about planned attacks on the United States, he ominously told his CIA interrogators, “Soon, you will know.” According to the previously classified May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo that was released by President Barack Obama last week, the thwarted attack -- which KSM called the “Second Wave”-- planned “ ‘to use East Asian operatives to crash a hijacked airliner into’ a building in Los Angeles.”
--------------

Hey Froomkin, you should bust out the fork because you and you buddy our Dear Leader are going to have to eat a lot of humble pie.

Posted by: SharpshootingPugilist | April 21, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Pugshot: You freakin' m o r o n. You copied and pasted Thiessen, the very column Froomkin just debunked. Do you actually read what you write?

Posted by: joebanks | April 21, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Dan. Please continue to present these points. They are the irrefutable antidote to the wave of obfuscation that is sure to come after the stonewalling tactic is defeated.

Posted by: savethecountry | April 21, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Dan. Of course, by even having this debate about torture - if we actually gained any useful intelligence from it - we demonstrate the weakness of our ethics. By continuing to justify the program by insisting that torture extracted useful information Cheney only reveals his true sadism, as do the wingnuts who support him. I wonder what SharpshootingPugilist's posts would look like if he were waterboarded on Cheney's orders a couple hundred times.

Posted by: gposner | April 21, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I totally agree. Call his bluff. They didn't destroy those interrogation tapes because they were full of evidence of the effectiveness of torture and all the goodies that were gleaned. They destroyed them because they were evidence of torture. If they vindicated or exhonorated, they would still exist.

Posted by: SarahBB | April 21, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

It's important to remember that the torture was going on at the same time that the CIA was cooking the books on WMD in Iraq -- at the insistence of Big Dick himself. Remember? He made almost daily trips to the CIA to demand evidence of his fantasies about Saddam? Remember how he relentlessly pressured our spies to come up with the evidence he needed to start Bush's war?

It is entirely within possibility that, at the same time he was doing this, he was demanding more and more torture of his prisoners, insisting that if they were "dunked in the water" enough times (hundreds!) they would confess.

We already know that the original interrogators pleaded with the White House to stop the torture ... they said the their prisoners had already given up all they had. But Big Dick wanted more.

No wonder he's out there, lying still. Wouldn't it be something if he ends up in jail after all? That is, after he confidently sent his lapdog Liddy to take the rap, the truth might get the old Dick anyway? I live for the day ...

Posted by: Casey1 | April 21, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Do the waterboarding tapes still exist? I find it hard to believe they were all destroyed. Someone kept a copy I think. Now whom????

Posted by: WOW9 | April 21, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Oops! Apparently the dog ate Cheney's request for the CIA to declassify the torture "success" information. Those guys say that he hasn't requested anything. What a surprise!

Posted by: shyde1 | April 21, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Good Job Dan! You continue to prove that your sole existence at the Washington Post is to be a cheerleader for anything Barack Obama does. They need to change the title from White House Watch to "White House Whitewash: How/Why I Love Barack Obama and He Can Do No Wrong."

Get a journalism degree Dan, and pick up a dictionary and look up the word objective.

Posted by: PLU482 | April 21, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I seriously wonder if some of the tapes still exist somewhere. If push came to shove I'll bet they turn up.

Posted by: m_mcmahon | April 21, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

All you have to do is look at the run up to the war. Where are these WMD's 6 years later? They lied on that, so only an inept cretin would believe anything Cheney says now....

Posted by: rharring | April 21, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely call Dick's bluff.

The era of selective declassification for proof by cherry-picking is over.

Declassify all the relevant documents. Let the weight of all the evidence speak for itself. The evidence thus far leaves little doubt that there could be no better way to destroy the Bush administration's claimed justification for torture then to examine the record.

Posted by: jpk1 | April 21, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

...If Cheney was responsible for the torture that took place he should be man enough to own up to his actions and take the medicine he so richly deserves. Alas, I fear he has another Scooter out there that will take the buck shot for him. So pitiful how far that man has fallen.

Posted by: fide | April 21, 2009 2:23 PM
********************

Correct, and here's another corollary: SINCE Cheney believes valuable info was gained, that's an explicit acknowledgment that the techniques in the memos were used. That's a new statement from this crowd, per Thiessen's piece elsewhere today. Now all that needs be proven is that waterboarding is torture (easy), Yoo and Bybee deliberately misconstrued clear law and treaties to serve their own ends (easy), and Cheney was in on it. That last bit is, likely, where the "Scooter" comes into play: Yoo takes the fall, in my view.

Posted by: abqcleve | April 21, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Perfect timing now that the news is reporting that the info the CIA got with their use of torture(debatable), stopped a 9/11 type attack on LA. Priceless

Posted by: thebink | April 21, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Perfect timing now that the news is reporting that the info the CIA got with their use of torture(debatable), stopped a 9/11 type attack on LA. Priceless

Posted by: thebink | April 21, 2009 5:34 PM
*(****************

Please cite a source. All I currently see for this long-discredited notion is Theissen's repeated lie and a story originating on CNSNews.com (hint: CNSNews is not a reputable news source.):

"The Central Intelligence Agency told CNSNews.com today that it stands by the assertion made in a May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo that the use of “enhanced techniques” of interrogation on al Qaeda leader Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) -- including the use of waterboarding -- caused KSM to reveal information that allowed the U.S. government to thwart a planned attack on Los Angeles."
(http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=46949)

I have a question: why on earth is the CIA giving interviews to CNSNews? Self-serving interviews, at that. Do those clowns still think Bush/Cheney are in office?

Posted by: abqcleve | April 21, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Wow just look at the angry GOP knucklewalkers, STILL defending Bush and Cheney when everyone else but a few GOP trolls concluded long ago that they're nothing but a pack of liars.

I just love how much they hate Obama, and most of all how they hate the high esteem the rest of us hold him in. Gonna be a long eight years for those creeps.

Yes by all means release the memos in full, let's hear about all those "plots" they "foiled." Why they came almost as close to taking down Library Tower as Jose Padilla cam to building a dirty bomb!

Hey GOP trolls: (1) dry up and (2) blow away

Posted by: chrisfox8 | April 21, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Please call his bluff! No bad could possibly come from it.

What a wonderful idea! Cheney's ego, spite and inability to keep his mouth shut actually becoming the reason for his own undoing!!

Please, please, please do it today!!!

Posted by: buzzsaw1 | April 21, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Good Job Dan! You continue to prove that your sole existence at the Washington Post is to be a cheerleader for anything Barack Obama does. They need to change the title from White House Watch to "White House Whitewash: How/Why I Love Barack Obama and He Can Do No Wrong."

Get a journalism degree Dan, and pick up a dictionary and look up the word objective.

Posted by: PLU482
*******************
Are you serious? Honestly, ARE YOU SERIOUS?

If so, you must not understand the difference between being a journalist (that is, a reporter) and being a columnist. You might want to get a dictionary yourself.

Reporters go out and dig up the facts; ideally, they present those facts warts and all so that ordinary citizens know what's going on.

Columnists take the facts and provide an interpretation of what they mean.

Columnists (like Pulitzer-winner Eugene Robinson, to take one example) are not *supposed* to be objective; they are there to offer an opinion and provide a point of view.

Dan's columns have taken a sharp look at the Bush Administration. That said, I haven't seen him back down and "play nice" with Obama-- he's been critical and disappointed and demanded that the president live up to his rhetoric.

Which makes me wonder: why are you bothering to post a comment, if you disagree with everything Dan F writes?

Posted by: drewbitt | April 21, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Cheney and Bush either looked the other way and allowed it to happen, or they were directly complicit in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Then they let Bin Laden escape when the US forces had him in the cross hairs at Tora Bora. Then they attacked Iraq which had nothing to do with 9/11, nor had weapons of mass destruction. All of the purported 9/11 hijackers were from next door - Saudi Arabia. It just goes to prove that there is a terrorist behind every Bush.

Posted by: db11232 | April 21, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Good comments today.

It seems the strategy is to release documents and build up the public momentum for trials. Cheney get yourself a lawyer!

Posted by: troyd2009 | April 21, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

This is a shrewd political move along the lines of the UFO debate. If Pres. Obama actually does release ALL the memos, Cheney can simply say that the President hasn't released ALL the memos and claim foul, and any debate, prosecution, or further discussion is stopped right there. Then, like with Roswell, the government is stuck trying to prove a negative.

Interestingly, Cheney is saying that the President is withholding any memo showing "success". Now, those I would love to see, just to get an indication of what Cheney considers "successful".

Posted by: whizkidz1 | April 21, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

The coercion was aggressive but short of torture. Torture is defined as "the act of inflicting excruciating pain"The memos cite conduct that is indisputably torture from a court case involving Serbs abusing Muslims in Bosnia: “severe beatings to the genitals, head, and other parts of the body with metal pipes and various other items; removal of teeth with pliers; kicking in the face and ribs; breaking of bones and ribs and dislocation of fingers; cutting a figure into the victim’s forehead; hanging the victim and beating him; extreme limitations of food and water; and subjection to games of ‘Russian roulette.’

Therefore it is relevant to know whether the Library Tower, now the US Bank Tower was saved by aggressive interrogation. The word of those most closely involved should not be discarded solely because of unexamined allegations of bias.

Posted by: webrand | April 21, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

The coercion was aggressive but short of torture. Torture is defined as "the act of inflicting excruciating pain"The memos cite conduct that is indisputably torture from a court case involving Serbs abusing Muslims in Bosnia: “severe beatings to the genitals, head, and other parts of the body with metal pipes and various other items; removal of teeth with pliers; kicking in the face and ribs; breaking of bones and ribs and dislocation of fingers; cutting a figure into the victim’s forehead; hanging the victim and beating him; extreme limitations of food and water; and subjection to games of ‘Russian roulette.’

Therefore it is relevant to know whether the Library Tower, now the US Bank Tower was saved by aggressive interrogation. The word of those most closely involved should not be discarded solely because of unexamined allegations of bias.

Posted by: webrand | April 21, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

fide,
minor correction to one of your tenets
1. Torture is illegal and nobody believes that if produces reliable information.

CORRECTED
1. Torture is illegal and nobody CAN DEMONSTRATE that if produces reliable information.

as fzdybel writes
"The professional interrogators all agree: torture is a complete waste of an intelligence opportunity."

To the puglist - You are obviously not a professional interrogator. If you require some good reading that would help school you into how it works, just ask.

Posted by: boscobobb | April 21, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

I concur with many others,
Call Cheney's Bluff.

Cheney literally is out of ammunition, not to mention out of his league. Cheney can no longer rely upon fear to keep current and former interrogators silent. They will rise up, just as Matthew Alexander did in writing his book.

Posted by: boscobobb | April 21, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

When some one reports that "CIA sources said" remember that there are essentially three "CIA"s. The first is the hardcore, career, politically disinterrested CIA, people who do the job, quite often because, even if it doesn't pay all that well down in the analyst and distribution levels, it is such a fascinating world that they are loathe to even think about leaving. They hold their SECRETS close, and keep their own counsel, so they can stay in that most fascinating world. Above them are the mid to upper level career technicians, analysts, and communicators. Many of them have been drawn into the political aspect of the Company, but they are still more Company men than Party men.

Then there are the top level, mostly politically connected, whose loyalties are highly questionable, as well as their credentials, since they are shovwed into the Agency from without, because their bosses want their own men in there running things.

You may bet that the sources speaking for torture are of the last category, and their opinions came before their experience. There is just far too much history of torture to study, all of it of a piece to affirm that torture doesn't produce truth, it produces either heroic martyrs, or motivated liars. Sadistic B..t..ds of far more imagination and malevolance that anything Dick Cheney could recruit have ruled this pit of human depravity, and they had no more luck in getting real, usable truths out of their victims than any of our "enhanced interrogation" specialists were likely to get.

Now the Pro Torture gang are claiming that they learned these things from the Korean War, and (simultaneously) that their training sessions intended to insure that just such techniques didn't work on trained Americans caught and "enhanced interrogated" by our enemies.

Apparently we can train our boys to stand up under this torture, but our enemies cannot. There is this fundamental contradiction in everything that the Torture is OK for us crowd says that, carefully understood, makes their repeated lies even easier to refute.

Oh! And the GI's who provided those propaganda statements in the Korean War? They weren't tortured, they were treated very well, and the dissonance between what those POWs expected and what they experienced was what the Soviets, Chinese, and North Koreans used to break down their POWs.

Torture wasn't necessary.

Posted by: ceflynline | April 21, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Now this is interesting

Exclusive Text: What Waterboarding Revealed

Not one of the liberal pundits decrying the use of enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs) appears to have read the complete set of memos released by President Obama. I know this because I cannot find a single, plain-text version of the scanned memos anywhere on the web. And, the most critical section -- the results obtained from EITs -- is nowhere to be found.

Most of the anti-American leftists seems strangely incurious regarding the key question asked even at The Huffington Post: what did the enhanced interrogations reveal?

I herein present the actual results of the EITs as described in the partially redacted 5/30/2005 memo...

http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2009/04/exclusive-text-what-waterboarding.html

Posted by: unojklhh1 | April 21, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

cheney s trying to change the subject. He hopes he can scare enough people to quash the investigation of his nefarious crimes against humanity. however, let us take cheney's argument at face value. He thinks torture works, especially waterboarding. So, he should be brought in for questioning about the start of the Iraq war. Dunk his ghoulish kopf 2 or 3 times a day for a few months until he spills the beans about who cooked up the plot to lie about WMD, and don't stop until he produces actionable intellignece. Then we can move on to gonzo. Strap him to a wall nude in a freezing cold room and threaten to rip him to pieces with attack dogs unless he tells everything he knows about the attempt to polticize the American system of federal justice. Then we moc=ve on to rove. Strss positions and sleep deprivation until he confesses what he knows about voter purges in Florida in 2000, and confesses that he was in direct contact and was in fact directing the swiftboat liars for bush in the 04 campaign. Then, let's see - we can get the bunch of them and pile them in a naked human pyramid, elecrocute their private areas until they tell us who outed Plame.

If you think torture works, then why not? We should just torture everyone we think might have some usefull information, and if we torture a few innocents, so what? If we get more bogus information than real stuff, so what? So long as we get a bad guy once in a while who cares about the US constitution? Silly scrap of paper. Who cares about the UN Declaration of Human Rights theUnited States wrote and led the world with? Silly words for sissies.

Posted by: John1263 | April 21, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

BTW -- the "actionable intelligence" argument, while bogus on it's face, is even more bogus given that the "important intelligence" obtained through torture turned out to be false. And on top of that because the bushies tortured those prisoners the evidence they gathered hindered the ones that were actully criminals (not the ones that got tortured for being in the wrong place at the wrong time and were subsequently released0 to justice.

Posted by: John1263 | April 21, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Destroying the tapes of torture will be grounds for obstruction charges. And for those still too slow to understand President Obama -- he is not playing checkers the way a six year old does. You need to break free of thinking that he is a simpleton like bush, or rove, or cheney. Presidnet Obama said he would not prosecute the bottom of the food chain operators who were assured by their superiors that the attorneys had gone over what they were asked to do and were asured it was legal. Remember, the bushies made a show trial of getting a few privates and sergeants and putting them on trial, while making sure to hide the guys who were rsponsible. by giving the operators immunity Preisnt Obama is really asking them to come forward and offer testimony, produce any of the duplicate data they may have squirreled away, and get the creeps who mattered. That is exactly why cheney is making in his depends.

Posted by: John1263 | April 21, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

While Chenneys running his big mouth like the expert he (isent) he should say where all those missing emails went.He should be arrested over there at fox noise while hes running his big mouth,even if he hides under insannity hannitys desk.

Posted by: smorrow | April 21, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Dick for making al Queda totally sympathetic in this torture stuff .

Posted by: grammy29649 | April 21, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Most of the anti-American leftists seems strangely incurious regarding the key question asked even at The Huffington Post: what did the enhanced interrogations reveal?

----------
Not every person capable of stopping Al Queda, dead in their tracks, believes in torture.

Meaning, there are smart people able to inflict serious damage who can actually control themselves, and their fear.

It's been the basis of American success for years, it's usually how you can tell the smart ones from the Cheneys and Brennans.

You dont know what that means, do you?

I was thinking today as I was reading about the high speed train CA will build, about the squandered opportunities Cheney had in regard to building the American infrastructure, and then I thought, "well, he managed the war."

But he's so stupid, and such a screw-up, he mismanged that one, too, even on the business side, with all that money.

The smarter people left, because they wouldn't hang out with a dumb, failed kook.

But it's OK, right?

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | April 21, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Once again Cheney has structured his argument such that he wins no matter what the outcome. Previously, it was a warning of an increased risk of a terrorist attack because of the Obama administration's different approach. If there is an attack, Cheney told you so. If there is not an attack, it was due to the success of the Bush administration's "War on Terror."

Now it's a challenge to release classified information that may or may not exist. If it's not released (because it doesn't exist), he claims he's telling the truth and the torture was justified.

Just stop paying attention to this psychopathic liar.

Posted by: grant5 | April 22, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

The US often tells "little" countries that they can not torture people, even if their very survival is at stake. How can we now ignore that legal opinion?

The real question is not whether the torture was effective (although there is no indication that it was), but that it was against US and international law as well as immoral.

The Americans that were involved in writing the treaties that forbade torture knew all about threats to our country.

Those that think that waterboarding 180 times is not torture should endure it 18 times before they repeat the claim.

Posted by: cyberfool | April 22, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

For Cheney to agree on any thing Obama does against the way Bush conducted his administration would be an admission of guilt. the torture is just the icing on the cake. War crimes against civilians in Iraq are the real crime. Bush even admitted that the war was a mistake. 500 thousand dead people is no mistake. Not hard to figure why Chavez hated Bush and its not hard to figure why the republican controlled American media ended Chavez's popularity.

Posted by: kimkimminni1 | April 22, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

There may be some things that absolutely can't be released for legitimate security reasons. Cheney can point to these and claim they would show success of torture, whether they do or not.

This sort of thing is one reason why former presidents and VP's are supposed to shut up.

Posted by: skeptonomist | April 22, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I think I should like to see how the term "high value" is parsed.

The only way to gather evidence is to guess at the prisoner's perceived value, torture the guy, and see what value he actually coughs up.

The only way to study that is for all the documentation to be released and for everyone in the chain to be deposed.

In other words, it's not going to happen for a long time. And not without a lot of immunity agreements. Perhaps in a great national healing and reconciliation moment and a group hug in 2020.

I know it's unamerican, but I have no problem with KSM being waterboarded hourly for the rest of his despicable life, whether or not he has another ounce of information to reveal. For torture, perhaps, could be better defined as begging to be killed, as opposed to begging for one's life. Then I think sawing his head off, while being streamed to the internet, would be an appropriate form of execution.

See, Dick's not so bad after all, eh?

Posted by: mrbradwii | April 22, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Please! How many American lives would we trade for the absence of tough interrogation methods? How do the terrorists handle captured Americans who are "lucky" enough to escape death?

Posted by: trumpeter63 | April 22, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Call his bluff and raise. Cheyney wants to play a rough version of poker, play it. But President Obama should not be the player. His opponent on the other side of the table should be the Justice Department. They should counter every card he plays with fact and then indict all concerned parties.

Posted by: coach777b | April 22, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

But... but... it was a few bad apples! We Americans don't torture, it was just a handful of misguided grunts. Right? President Bush said so himself.

It's a good thing the Republican leaders who set those military personnel up to take the blame were pro-military "support our troops" types.

Posted by: BigTunaTim | April 22, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I wonder what Dan Pearle would think of the Posts journalists. Of course he enjoyed some real world treatment. But we Obamahamians soon forget.....lets hug everybody and become complacent....like Lemmings.

Posted by: livefreeordie2 | April 22, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

The new golden Rule in America is to do unto others as they have or might do unto you. At least that is what I get from the torture apologists.

Posted by: m_mcmahon | April 22, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Obviously these horrible acts of torture (bugs in a box, throwing against a wall, slapping) were reminders to these meek Government leaders we now have, of the treatment they probably got in High School for being Sissies ! I am sure they would change their tune if we had a captive with info to save Washington and we had to extract it. Hot Bottom Frank could tickle it out of him I guess ! Is this post less offensive ?

Posted by: livefreeordie2 | April 22, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

After 9-11 we were told that this was an attack on our freedom. Given the policies the Bush regime enacted, the terrorists won this round.

Posted by: Pywacket1 | April 22, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I think that we are missing the point here. The Nazi and other torturers did not torture only to get information but to get confessions also and did not care if the confessions were true or not. We tortured in order to get them to say that there was a connection between Iraq and Alquaida for propaganda purposes, the Bush people knew that this was not true but needed something to tell the American sheep!

Posted by: Donna3 | April 22, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

If Cheney's comments had any validity, then the evidence to prove so would have been released. By the by, why hasn't Cheney's energy policy been released? The line was that it had to do with "National Security". I think that's because Cheney obviously told the oil companies who participated in the that secret energy task force that he planned on attacking Iraq and would "give" the oil fields to the American companies who had been blocked from partiscipating in the release of Iraqi oil by Saddam Hussein. Remember Wolfowitz who said the Iraqi oil would pay for the war? The Iraq War was another even bigger lie that the entire BushCo administration purported. That lie was a war crime and deserves that all the creeps involved to be investigated and prosecuted. The fact that torture was utilized merely has to do with the fact that Bush is criminally insane and revenge was the real motive to use torture. I used to think that Cheney is just another war criminal, but now I think that he's just like his buddy; criminally insane. All these lies should be prosecuted. Can anyone say, "special prosecutor"

Posted by: sailorflat | April 22, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

That which comes from an interview between Fox and Cheney is by its very nature a charade conducted among shills on behalf of Mesthopholese.

Posted by: BillKeller | April 22, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

One thing we need to know is How many people Cheney had put in positions to feed him intel and info after he left office. These Cheney moles need to be flushed out and any information source needs to be cut. This is nothing more then spying on America by an unauthorized person of mistrust.

Posted by: kimb54 | April 22, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Very well, Mr. Cheney, then if we decide the names of the members of your energy committee meeting are a matter of vital national security, we can waterboard you. Right?

Posted by: shaman7214 | April 22, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I suspect the irony of the fact that blacks were routinely lynched and tortured in America and the Justice Department did nothing is not lost on Holder.

Posted by: russell11 | April 26, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

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