Cheney Lied

Dick Cheney has been claiming that torture did work, and claims he wanted more documents declassified to prove this. This sounded like he was just trying to come up with some justification for his war crimes. I hope some day he has to more formally defend his actions before a war crimes tribunal. For now we are left to the media and blogosphere to evaluate his claims. Greg Sargent looked into Cheney’s claims of trying to get more documents declassified:

Did Dick Cheney really “formally” ask the CIA to release reams of intelligence allegedly showing that the torture program worked, as Cheney claimed last night on Fox News?

An intelligence source familiar with the situation says the answer is No.

“The agency has received no request from the former Vice President to release this information,” the source told me a few moments ago.

In an update Sargent adds, “A Cheney spokesperson is refusing to say what he meant when he claimed to have made a ‘formal’ request for this info.”

In this case I think “formal” is Cheney-speak for “imaginary” or “non-existent.”  This formal request is like the WMD in Iraq. Cheney will keep going on Fox and claiming that classified documents prove he did the right thing. We will see these documents  sometime around the time when we see Richard Nixon’s secret plan from 1968 to end the war in Vietnam.

Update: More information in.


  1. 1
    Christopher Skyi says:

    Let’s hope this is the end of it.  The sooner we can close the book on that sad chapter of American history, get back to the meaning and intent of the Geneva Conventions, and resume the moral high ground (and not just for our own sakes), the better.  The last thing we need to get dragged back into that moral swamp.

  2. 2
    Christopher Skyi says:

    One more thing — just published an article in the DC Examiner called “Of Course It Was Torture.”

    It’s a particularly effective, damning and scathing rebuttal of Bush partisans insistence that the “legal” methods weren’t  torture.  Of course they were.

    Some highlights from the article:

    “Let’s start with waterboarding. If it’s not torture, then maybe we owe an apology to the Japanese soldiers we prosecuted for it after WWII. It felt “like I was drowning,” Lieutenant Chase Nielsen testified in a 1946 war crimes trial, “just gasping between life and death.”

    “Imagine if, shortly after 9/11, someone had told you that the US government would adopt an interrogation policy based on Chinese Communist techniques designed to elicit false confessions. You’d have thought that person was pretty cynical. But he’d turn out to be exactly right.

    To craft its torture program (and that’s what it was), the Bush team consulted experts from the military’s SERE program (for “Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape”). SERE was adopted in the wake of the Korean War to train American soldiers to resist abuse by rogue regimes. After 9/11, we put those techniques to work to interrogate terrorist suspects.

    It’s hardly surprising, then, that, as one former high-ranking intelligence official told the Washington Post:  “We spent millions of dollars chasing false alarms.” Beaten savagely by Egyptian torturers, one victim of our “extraordinary rendition” program concocted a story about Saddam Hussein giving Al Qaeda WMD training. That story made it into Colin Powell’s UN Security Council speech selling the Iraq War.
    In his ill-fated presidential campaign, Republican congressman Tom Tancredo got his biggest applause line when he cheered for torture in a May 2007 debate: “I’m lookin’ for Jack Bauer!” The real thing is a lot less glamorous—and a lot less effective—than what you see on TV. Around the same time Tancredo was mugging for the cameras, General David Petraeus issued an open letter to his troops warning against the use of torture: “Adherence to our values distinguishes us from our enemy.” That’s a principle we should keep in mind going forward.”

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