Cheney: “I Was a Big Supporter of Waterboarding”

Former Vice President Dick Cheney came out this weekend in an interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl to proclaim “I was a big supporter of waterboarding.” It is an astonishing public admission since waterboarding is not just illegal but a war crime. It is akin to the Vice President saying that he supported bank robbery or murder-for-hire as a public policy.

The ability of Cheney to openly brag about his taste for torture is the direct result of President Barack Obama blocking any investigation or prosecution of war crimes. For political reasons, Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have refused to carry out our clear obligations under international law to prosecute for such waterboarding. Indeed, before taking office, various high-ranking officials stated that both Obama and Holder assured them that they would not allow such prosecutions. While they denied it at the time, those accounts are consistent with their actions following inauguration.

By the way, this is the same man who insisted that acknowledging waterboarding was barred under national security laws — a position accepted by ranking Democrats who were eager to avoid the issue during the Bush Administration.

We have now come to this: a Vice President who feels perfectly comfortable in bragging out his support for a torture program. It is a moment that is more of an indictment of Obama than (the unindicted) Cheney. It is fruit that comes from an Administration that chose politics over principle — even at the cost of precedent forged in the Nuremberg trials and the Geneva Conventions. Cheney’s statement should be a moment of unspeakable national shame.

For the full interview, click here.

192 thoughts on “Cheney: “I Was a Big Supporter of Waterboarding””

  1. As long as there are power-hungry madmen willing to sacrifice their followers in order to conquer our citizens, any means employed to discover and thwart their plans is justified … in my humble opinion.

    The Geneva Convention(s) have been writ and rewrit to the point of absurdity and still have not prevented atrocities of war, let alone a gnat’s ass stroke like waterboarding.

    The meek may well inherit the earth, but they probably won’t be alive when it happens. And don’t ever kid yourself that you’ll survive a conflict if your government tries to protect you with an army of lawyers.

  2. You have yet to provide anything but your opinion, Lil’ Timmy.

    And a wrong opinion as to the facts at that.

    So come on.

    Step up to the plate or step off. I have no issue with making you look further like a distortionist propaganda clown as long as you persist in acting like one.

  3. Your cup of propaganda runneth over, so how about you putting a sock in telling me what to do, troll.

    It hasn’t worked for any troll to date.

    Won’t work for you now.

    Refute my evidence.

    Oh, that’s right.

    You can’t.

    Waterboarding is a crime and a crime we’ve prosecuted. US v. Parker, et al. At the time, the New York Times reported the sentencing judge, Judge DeAnda, told Parker that the sheriff had allowed law enforcement to “fall into the hands of a bunch of thugs…. The operation down there would embarrass the dictator of a country.” You can’t deny that fact either.

    Well, you can but you’d be wrong.

    Just like you’re wrong that waterboarding isn’t torture.

    I’m going to hammer at you as long as you spread bullshit Neocon lies, sport. Because I can. If that’s too much for you, seek to spread your foul seeds of historical revisionism and rationalizations to protect domestic war criminals elsewhere where people aren’t such sticklers for, oh what’s that thing called, oh yeah!, the facts.

  4. Mr. Appleton: The only reason I have even discussed the facts of Japanese torture in WWII is because some of you seem to think that if the Japanese were condemned for some form of waterboarding (no matter what else they did), you are justified in condemning American interrogators’ waterboarding of three Islamic radicals. That’s simply a non sequitur…there is no rational connection between what the Japanese did and the waterboarding of the past few years. Here’s what I said earlier: “The US executed Japanese war criminals for torturing American and other Allied prisoners of war. The torture included very brutal methods, some of which are described in the Stanford list, above. Some of the Japanese war criminals had also used a much more severe form of waterboarding…” I don’t think that’s a provocative statement, and it is as factual as it is possible to be.

    Byron: Please allow me to refer you to my earlier posts on that point, and simply to state, again, that causing simulated drowning for 30 seconds, with no infliction of pain, no injury, whether transitory or permanent, no damage of any nature to the bodies of those subjected to such treatment is not torture, in my opinion. Look over the Stanford list…everything on that list is qualitatively and quantitatively different, to a very large degree, from the kind of waterboarding practice by American interrogators. When we devalue the currency of the language to the extent necessary to label waterboarding (as practiced by Americans in this instance) as torture, we have lost the ability to communicate with one another. It is only required of you to read the rants of
    Buddha to see what has happened to him.

    Buddha: Your cup of hatred runneth over. Take a break.

  5. Propagandist deserve vitriol and nastiness, Watson. Just like all liars do.

    You got a problem with that? That’d be your problem, sport. Backing traitors with revisionist history – which is just another name for A LIE – and you’re upset people are nasty to you?

    Awwwwww. Isn’t that precious, Winston. Aren’t you late for your interview at the Ministry of Truth?

    Get your fact straight before spreading lies to protect a traitor. My facts ARE straight.

    Oh, and there’s this from “DROP BY DROP: FORGETTING THE HISTORY OF WATER TORTURE IN U.S. COURTS” By Evan Wallach.

    “In trials, both before U.S. military commissions, and as a participant in the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE)16 American judges or commissioners heard American prosecutors roundly condemn the practice as it was applied to American servicemen, and voted to convict the perpetrators. The United States was not alone in prosecuting water torture before national tribunals, nor were the Japanese its sole practitioner. It is worth comparing those trials with Norway’s prosecution of German defendants for the same form of misconduct,17 and the United Kingdom’s trial and execution of Japanese interrogators who used the method.” From

    Evan J. Wallach is a federal judge of the United States Court of International Trade and one of the nation’s most foremost experts on war crimes and the law of war. You, on the other hand, are just a Neocon troll.

    I have provided this along with other cites.
    You, on the other hand, are offering your unsupported opinion. Proof of your assertion. Get some. Or you can stick your Neocon apologist lies where you clearly keep your head. But if you expect me to be nice to someone carrying water for that traitor Cheney? Let’s just say life is full of disappointments.

  6. Tim Watson:

    Why do you think it is okay to water-board and why don’t you think water-boarding is torture?

  7. Mr. Watson, the argument that military officers were not executed “solely” for waterboarding sidesteps the issue of its unlawfulness. It is true that Yukio Asano (who was a civilian, by the way) was given 15 years for waterboarding rather than being executed. The prison sentences imposed on Sheriff Parker and his deputies were affirmed on appeal in 1984. Lee v. United States, 744 F.2d 1124 (5th Cir. 1984). But the fact that these convictions resulted in jail time rather than hanging merely means that not all forms of torture merit the death penalty. You seem to believe that because waterboarding does not involve pulling out finger nails or cutting off limbs, that it somehow should not be classified as “torture” under the law. But it is, and neither your “opinion” nor mine (nor Dick Cheney’s)has any bearing on the matter. Calling for the prosecution of elected officials for either ordering or approving the commission of crimes is a perfectly rational demand, despite your insistence that it is motivated by a “collective hatred of Bush and anyone associated with him.” For that matter, if a crime has been committed, the subjective motivation behind its prosecution is immaterial. I favored prosecution because acts were committed which have long been recognized as crimes and because I believe that if this country does not stand for the rule of law, it stands for nothing. You obviously disagree, but it is intellectually dishonest to characterize your disagreement as a difference of opinion over the legality of waterboarding when it is really a difference of opinion over the appropriate consequences.

  8. Buddha: Your nasty, mean-spirited vitriol aside, I can only ask that you read history and not use news articles as your guide. You would really benefit from the exercise. The history is available. It’s pretty amazing, isn’t it, upon reflection, that you use John McCain as a source? Must be a first. Seriously, please read any standard history of the Japanese war trials (there were several, over several years), and try to follow the discussion. You will find that no one was executed for doing what American interrogators have done – no one.

    Mr. Appleton: Yours is a post filled with opinion. You are entitled to yours.

  9. Tim Watson, you are simply wrong with your facts in this instance. You are correct in your assertion that it is easily researched. However, that still requires that the research be actually done. Buddha is absolutely correct and you would be aware of the truth if you followed any of the numerous threads on this issue on this site. The condemnation of Mr. Cheney is not based upon disagreement over interpretation of the law, but upon the fact that Mr. Cheney did not and does not care what the law says. He does not care because he long ago adopted a belief in an executive without boundaries. He believes that the president and vice-president are above the law on matters of national security. Therefore, debates about the permissible limits of executive action are essentially meaningless to him. The arguments advanced by his legal apologists are intended solely as so many scraps to throw into the academic arena for debate.

  10. Yeah, Watson, but it’s you spreading the bullshit propaganda.

    GOP Presidential Nominee McCain made the following claim: “Following World War II war crime trials were convened. The Japanese were tried and convicted and hung for war crimes committed against American POWs. Among those charges for which they were convicted was waterboarding.” – 11/29/07, St. Petersberg, FL.

    National Review Online, that bastion of right wing drivel, contested McCain’s assertion, saying that he was thinking of the case of Yukio Asano who received a sentence of 15 years hard labor.

    The bottom line is both you and the National Review are wrong, Watson. And you are wrong in the defense of a war criminal.

    The Pulitzer Prize winning Politifact of the St. Petersberg Times said (with multiple sources of historical confirmation) that “McCain is referencing the Tokyo Trials, officially known as the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. After World War II, an international coalition convened to prosecute Japanese soldiers charged with torture. At the top of the list of techniques was water-based interrogation, known variously then as ‘water cure,’ ‘water torture’ and ‘waterboarding,’ according to the charging documents. It simulates drowning.” Politifact also reported, “A number of the Japanese soldiers convicted by American judges were hanged, while others received lengthy prison sentences or time in labor camps.”

    So how about you stowing your Neocon revisionist history bullshit propaganda, Watson. There is a lie going on here and it’s yours in propagation.

    Waterboarding is Federal crime and we’ve not only prosecuted Japanese officers for the crime, but American law enforcement. In 1983, a Texas sheriff named James Parker got a 10 year prison sentence and the deputies who helped him got 4 year sentences. Their crime? Waterboarding confessions to drug offenses out of prisoners.

    So how about a little less blatant bullshit in your attempts at revision, sport. Because the facts will bite you in the propagandist ass around here.

  11. Mr. Cagle, that’s a cute reply, and somewhat insulting (intentional, I’m sure)…but for Christ’s sake, get any reputable history of the Second World War and its aftermath and learn the truth about the war crimes trials in Japan. This isn’t rocket science, and the truth is easy to find.

    You’ve been misled about the basis of the convictions of some Japanese military people, for the purpose, it seems clear, of persuading you that what Cheney supported has previouly been “declared”, in some fashion, by the American government to have been criminal action. If you’ll do a little homework you’ll learn this is not true, and that you have been duped. No need to apologize to me once you’re convinced…it’s enought for me that at least one more American will have been disabused of leftist propaganda.

  12. Mr. Watson:

    I’m afraid tis you that needs to do your homework, rather than letting Faux (er, I meant Fox) “News” think for you.

  13. Mr. Cagle: Quick answer: it didn’t.

    The US executed Japanese war criminals for torturing American and other Allied prisoners of war. The torture included very brutal methods, some of which are described in the Stanford list, above. Some of the Japanese war criminals had also used a much more severe form of waterboarding…

    You can research this information on the web…but you must be careful not to try to do so at a left-wing hate site like MoveOn.Org or the Daily Kos.

    Find a reputable source. Then take the time to read what the Japanese war criminals actually did to prisoners for which they were tried and executed. Then exercise your own curiosity and wonder why leftists who hate the US, Bush, and everyone associated with him would deliberately mislead you.

  14. If water boarding is neither torture nor illegal, why did the US execute Japanese soldiers for water boarding Americans during WW II, pray tell?

  15. Muttering for words….. Vision yes, wisdom……that is the answer that one seeks….sometimes both reek…..

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