Posts Tagged ‘waterboard’

The real reason Dick Cheney keeps talking shit about Barack Obama

April 21, 2009

If you’ve been watching cable news lately, you’ll know that Dick Cheney won’t keep his mouth shut about how unsafe we all are now that Barack Obama is President.  Cheney contends that terrorists provided crucial information to the United States when they were tortured.  Now that Obama has stopped all torture, they are less likely to provide more.  Click here to see a bit of what I will be discussing.

Cheneys a hater.

Cheney's a hater.

Cheney is banking on the fact that the American public doesn’t know much about the confessions of the supposed terrorists.  He is also saying that the methods, especially waterboarding, are so damn effective that we can’t possibly get good intel without their use.  Let’s analyze each of these premises in some detail.

Even though few people in the United States know it, torture is what got the United States to invade Iraq, at least if you are to assume that Cheney and company went to the waterboarding table in good faith (ie, had a conclusion to invade Iraq and just wanted to find any reason to do so).   Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, a trainer for al-Qaeda, was tortured by the United States until he “confessed” to a link between Iraq and al-Qaeda.  al-Libi said that “Iraq trained al-Qaeda in bomb-making, poisons, and gases” (George W. Bush, October 2002).

Now we now that this intelligence was completely bogus.  There was absolutely no link between Iraq and al-Qaeda.  No training, no trading, nothing.  The methods led to a false confession, which led to an illegal invasion.   So much for good intel.

Imagine if that were a US troop, in the hands of al-Qaeda.

Imagine if that were a US troop, in the hands of al-Qaeda.

The second premise from Cheney is that the torture methods used under the Bush Administration were so damn effective that no terrorist could resist a good waterboarding.  Unfortunately for Cheney, this is bullshit.

Recent memos released by the Obama Admistration that were written by the Bush Justice Department say that Abu Zubaydah, an operator of an al-Qaeda training camp, was waterboarded 83 times in a single month.  If waterboarding were so effective, why the additional 82 sessions?  Even worse was the torture of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who was waterboarded 183 times in one month.  Once again, if torture is so effective, why doesn’t KSM confess sooner?

Dick Cheney knows that torture doesn’t work.  He knows it leads to bad confessions.  But it’s almost as if he is on the campaign trial right now, disparaging Obama’s foreign policy constantly.   And that is exactly what he wants you to believe.

If the Obama Justice Department were to begin a special prosecution against Bush Administration officials that knowingly violated the Geneva Conventions  and the United Nations Convention against Torture, Cheney wants the public to view it as a political hitjob.  If Obama is seen by the public as playing politics by going after Bush officials, it may hurt him politically and may actually affect the outcome of the investigation.

Obama has to realize that the American people are on the side of law.  Torture is a crime in the United States.  Period.  If a lawyer from the Obama Justice Department were to write a memo justifying rape, rape would still be illegal.   And this whole “let’s just concentrate on looking forward” business is stupid.  Bernie Madoff could tell a judge that he already stole the money, let’s just look forward and not get bogged down in an investigation.  It sets a terrible precedent.

Now is the best time for this investigation.  If it gets dragged out, it’s more time the Republicans will have to convince the public that it is all a political game rather than justice for a group of thugs.   Leave the CIA agents that administered the torture alone.  But nail every motherfucker that ordered the Code Red to the wall.

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