After refusing to release even unclassified materials as Vice President, former Vice President Dick Cheney is now calling for the release of all interrogation reports to show that torture works. This is the same Cheney who supported the denial of such evidence to courts and criminal defendants and Congress. However, now that calls for prosecution for war crimes are increasing, Cheney suddenly believes in transparency in government. In the meantime, Obama has reversed earlier statements and indicated that he will not rule out prosecutions of Bush officials. We discussed this latest development on this segment of MSNBC Countdown.
“One of the things that I find a little bit disturbing about this recent disclosure is they put out the legal memos, the memos that the CIA got from the Office of Legal Counsel, but they didn’t put out the memos that showed the success of the effort. And there are reports that show specifically what we gained as a result of this activity. They have not been declassified. . . .I formally asked that they be declassified now. I haven’t announced this up until now, I haven’t talked about it, but I know specifically of reports that I read, that I saw that lay out what we learned through the interrogation process and what the consequences were for the country. . . .And I’ve now formally asked the CIA to take steps to declassify those memos so we can lay them out there and the American people have a chance to see what we obtained and what we learned and how good the intelligence was, as well as to see this debate over the legal opinions.”
This is part of the new strategy where torture is defended because it works. This is the same argument that I faced yesterday in a debate on NPR with Professor Robert Turner, click here. The media is being sucked into this false debate, debating how successful the torture program was in extracting information. Under domestic and international law, we are not allowed to torture people regardless of how successful it might be. In the same fashion, we are not allowed to beat and torture criminal defendants like Dirty Harry with post hoc rationalizations. International treaties and cases expressly reject such claims.
In his latest round of interviews, <a href=”click here.”>Cheney added “I don’t think we’ve got much to apologize for.” As we have previously discussed on the air, Cheney is the walking example of the dangers of Obama’s policy of blocking any investigation, click here. Not only is Cheney walking around casually discussing war crimes, he is wholly unrepentant. He and others are now trying to corrupt this country’s values even further by defining the issue of war crimes as to whether they resulted in actionable intelligence.
For the Fox News interview, click here.