Torture Works: Cheney Unrolls New Campaign to Justify War Crimes

225px-richard_cheney_2005_official_portraittorture -abu ghraibAfter 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.

325 thoughts on “Torture Works: Cheney Unrolls New Campaign to Justify War Crimes”

  1. Thanks again Bron for the well reasoned and thoughtful response. I don’t have time to respond now as I have to run. But appreciated. TTYL

  2. Scott Rumpf:

    one of the problems with this is, it is almost the equivalent of the “Life Boat” morality qustion. Who do you throw out if the boat is sinking?

    I used to think it wasnt torture, my borther had undergone it as part of his training and he said it was definitely “panic” inducing and he knew it wasnt for real. There are many sides to this issue but dosent it come down to limiting the power of government? I am not going to equate GW and DC to NAZI’s but had enough people in postions of power protested at pretty much any point during Hitler’s rise to power the world would have been spared a good deal of pain and suffering.

    You cannot have government lawyers creating laws so an executive can do something he wants to do. It really isnt about torture, its about the concept of remaining a free people. Once a government lawyer can make a case for an executive to do something contrary to the rule of law America ceases to be free.

    It really isnt about whether waterboarding is torture its about whether torture is prohibited by our laws and the length the DOJ can go in supporting a president.

  3. Alan Dershowitz, 2007, on waterboarding:

    “This brings us to waterboarding. Michael Mukasey, whose confirmation as attorney general now seems assured, is absolutely correct, as a matter of constitutional law, that the issue of “waterboarding” cannot be decided in the abstract. Under prevailing precedents–some of which I disagree with–the court must examine the nature of the governmental interest at stake, and the degree to which the government actions at issue shock the conscience, and then decide on a case-by-case basis. In several cases involving actions at least as severe as waterboarding, courts have found no violations of due process.

    The members of the judiciary committee who voted against Judge Mukasey, because of his unwillingness to support an absolute prohibition on waterboarding and all other forms of torture, should be asked the direct question: Would you authorize the use of waterboarding, or other non-lethal forms of torture, if you believed that it was the only possible way of saving the lives of hundreds of Americans in a situation of the kind faced by Israeli authorities on the eve of Yom Kippur? Would you want your president to authorize extraordinary means of interrogation in such a situation? If so, what means? If not, would you be prepared to accept responsibility for the preventable deaths of hundreds of Americans?”

    I know Dershowitz doesn’t know how simply this issue is. They are guilty of War Crimes!!! Why doesn’t the intelligentsia here educate the poor uneducated ignorant Mr.Dershowtiz. There is clearly only one right opinion here, easily gotten to “I hate Dick Cheney, I hate George Bush=War Criminals.” What biased simpletons.

  4. Hey Now don’t forget Dick Nixon. But for Ford he would have been charged. And Spiro Agnew, I am stretching here, but did he not resign over some disagreement with the Department of Treasury?

    I may have my Administrations mixed up. And did not Spiro has some issue with golf and a reporter?

    I am wondering if Cheney had shot a reporter would it have gone on as long as he did. Come to think about it, I believe that both counties are in south Texas.

  5. Buddha,
    Good job reminding Troll Scott that torture is illegal even if he doesn’t think so. It is getting a little tiring to have to continue reading the nonsense that this troll continues to spew, but I guess that is his intent. His job as the torture troll is to distort the discussion as much as he can and to chase as many people away from the site that he can. He is good at his job, but it would be nice if the job description included knowledge of some facts. However, a pesty troll should not stop us from discussing the fact that Cheney is very busy these days trying to keep himself out of jail. Have we ever had a former VP or a former President or even a former cabinet member indicted for activities during their tenure on the job? Cheney could become the first former VP to shoot a friend in the face and then get indicted for war crimes. What a legacy.

  6. No Sir, I do not go there. I think some Christian Group would complain.

    Scott do not come back and if you do learn some manners. That is not really too much to ask is it?

    Manners and Respect.

    But Scott has crossed the line way too much in his pursuit of intellectual dishonesty.

  7. Allow me to clarify:

    You claim that accusing someone of torture is equivalent to convicting someone of torture. Incorrect; since if prosecution of crime was as easy as you say, O.J. would have been convicted of a double homicide.

    You implicitly make the anemic claim that one cannot be accused of torture since, you argue, there’s no agreed definition of the term. This is a lame attempt at using Xeno’s Paradox type reasoning for the smoke and mirrors you’d need to convince your listeners that it’s essentially impossible to prosecute anyone of the crime.

    Torture, for federal prosecution purposes, is defined, as Buddha pointed out, in 18 USC 2340.

    The elements of the crime of torture are spelled out in 18 USC 2340A—A000-.html

    Instead of whining about people accusing Cheney of Torture have somehow already convicted him, you may want to focus on the the elements of the law that could help in the defense of your overlord.

    For example, what does “outside the United States” mean?

    (a) Offense.— Whoever outside the United States commits or attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life.
    (b) Jurisdiction.— There is jurisdiction over the activity prohibited in subsection (a) if—
    (1) the alleged offender is a national of the United States; or
    (2) the alleged offender is present in the United States, irrespective of the nationality of the victim or alleged offender.
    (c) Conspiracy.— A person who conspires to commit an offense under this section shall be subject to the same penalties (other than the penalty of death) as the penalties prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy.

    And can you save your precious political favorites from getting their necks caught in a subsection c conspiracy?

    Finally, please note that expressing your feelings and opinions about an argument does not constitute a counter-argument. Your failure to realize this makes you look like you couldn’t argue your way out of a paper bag.

    Your courtesies in connection with this matter are greatly appreciated.

  8. I must be a real intellectual giant, I scared Scott away. You know in hind sight I think Scott was right, I am a mean, venal, low life scumbag, anti-intellectual blog Nazi.

    I have the brain of a marsupial.

    Scott come back I love you Scott dont leave me!

  9. Did Scott go, where is Scott. I have a need to have my questions answered. Scott, can you do that. Please????

  10. I guess your keyboard got stuck. Its hard being the Pivot isn’t it Scott?

    You sent it twice and its not rice

  11. Scott Rumph 1, April 24, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    Another intellectually and stimulating response. . . . Personally attack when You can’t respond with reason. You are the polar opposites of what you claim to be.

    I could not agree more

  12. Scott,

    Sticking my nose. . . . circle jerk here?

    And Do You Feel You Are the Pivot?

  13. Another intellectually and stimulating response. We will crush any dissent! Personally attack when we can’t respond with reason. You are all the polar opposites of what you claim to be.

  14. Another intellectually and stimulating response. We will crush any dissent! Personally attack when we can’t respond with reason. You are all the polar opposites of what you claim to be.

  15. Sticking my nose where it doesn’t belong? You mean on YOUR blog? Are you a nazi? You are so concerned with the Constitution aren’t you? I see some inconsistencies here. Do you prefer the self admiration alleged intellectual circle jerk here? We will crush any dissent! How American, you are so intellectually contradictory it is sad.

  16. Is Scott the Torture Troll here? What has happened to the Torture Troll?

  17. Scott,

    I did not hear that you got invited. Did you? I guess you are sticking your nose, yet again, where it does not belong.

    I would think that most people would consider you a bore. At least a Boar has a useful purpose. I am still trying to figure out why you are such a protagonist, do you have any ideal?

    Has anyone ever stated to you that you are a protagonist? If so, under what circumstances? Why do you not have respect for your fellow man? Is it because you feel the need to take control? Do you fee the need to talk until people agree with you? That is not friendship, have you been told that Scott?

    Do you easily get frustrated? Are you an aggressive Driver? Have you ever gotten ticketed for wreckless driving? Do you think that you are being that way here?

Comments are closed.