Cheney’s Tortured Logic

By
Sunday, March 15, 2009 at 12:11 pm

I don’t know if former Vice President Dick Cheney just misses being in the spotlight, or if he actually believes the stuff he spews on television these days, but he conveniently skipped over at least one important problem when he told CNN’s “State of the Union” today that President Obama’s changes to the Bush administration’s anti-terrorism policies has made Americans “less safe”:  we now can’t prosecute all those terrorists tortured with Cheney’s approval.

I know Cheney isn’t a lawyer, and neither was President George W. Bush, which is maybe why they leaned so heavily and easily on the more bizarre opinions from former Office Of Legal Counsel lawyer John Yoo and his colleagues to justify what Cheney today called “alternative” interrogation tactics — such as vicious beatings, sleep deprivation, simulated drowning, hanging, temperature extremes, food deprivation, threats against prisoners’ families, and blaring rap music 24 hours a day.

But it’s a pretty big omission to forget that when you torture people, you have a really hard time holding them accountable for anything later on. That’s true even if you create your own special court — like the U.S. military commission implemented by the Bush administration.

Remember Mohammed al-Qahtani, the alleged 20th hijacker on Sept. 11?  Susan Crawford, the Pentagon official responsible for charging terror suspects on behalf of the military commissions, had to withdraw the charges against him, even before he faced a military commission, because he’d been tortured — in accordance with Cheney’s policies. His confession was therefore inherently unreliable, Crawford ruled. Apparently, the government had also failed to get any other usable evidence against him.

Crawford is no liberal: she was general counsel for the Army during the Reagan administration and Pentagon inspector general when Dick Cheney was secretary of defense. That’s in addition to being a senior Pentagon official under George W. Bush. But unlike Cheney, she is a lawyer, and she does have some respect for the rule of law.

Cheney and his war council might have thought it wise to throw out those rules in the name of making us all safe from terrorism. But even setting aside the widely known fact that information extracted through torture is unreliable, we’re not going to be very safe when we eventually try bring to trial all those alleged terrorists we’ve been holding, and then have to let them go free because their “confessions” don’t hold up in court. Cheney’s idea that the president could create a “special” court to get around that didn’t work either, as the Supreme Court made clear in it’s Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld ruling that even a military commission has to meet certain minimum standards of fairness.

Only the most tortured logic could allow Cheney to believe that his “alternative” interrogation techniques will ever meet those minimum standards.

Update:  I added a link above to Mark Danner’s remarkable op-ed in Sunday’s New York Times describing the treatment of 14 “high-value” detainees, based on a confidential Red Cross report. For anyone who still finds it hard to believe that the U.S. really tortured prisoners, Danner’s piece is a must-read.

Comments

60 Comments

William Day
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 11:29 am

Who cares what Cheney says? Everytime he has opened his “bazoo” he has been wrong, if not criminal! They man should be in jail where he belongs.

William E. Day
Torrejon del Rey, Spain


A L Lamar
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 11:36 am

Although Phoenix Renewable Energy Technology is orgaizing into a promising rival conglomerate of the Bush/Cheney administration, I must admire Cheney's views above any other in that administration's service. He was ahead and above the rest of the world's perception ( while investors played golf and CPA's were closing down “W” on the weekends), warning us of the monsterous potential of Russia's grip on energy as a hostile economic weapon from 2000-2008. He saw that waterboarding was a necessary tool for terminal aggression against out way of life, something trained to defy our ability to competently defend ouselves and our economy against. Waterboarding strikes fear and dread in the mind of the enemy so effectively that it compels an argument to amend the Geneva Convention. I am certain as a result of personal experience that warrantless surveillance strikes fear and apprehension in the mind of any subversive who makes plans on US soil, against airports, tall buildings, bridges, or any other American interest. There is no holy “ollie-ollie-oxen-free” zone where a terrorist can drum up violence and organized crime against our world because people like Dick Cheney took the lead ( as in heavy metal) out of big government and moved earth. Cheney's mind has shown breadth, depth, and committment rarely seen in the career of a public servant, and we were damn lucky to have him. Stay healthy and live long, Dick. People who kept pace and think for themselves love you.
A L Lamar
Chairwoman
Phoenix Renewable Energy
Plano, TX 75023


rvk52
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 11:58 am

I respectfully wish Mr. Cheney would shut up. He is the one adding to the risk of this country every time he gives his opinion about the war on terror.
The president has always said he did not want to dwell on the past, but Mr. Cheney is making it quite easy for the President to change his mind.
There will be plenty of time within the next year for Mr. Cheney to give his opinion under oath at his war crimes trial. I am sure he can not wait to give a reason why he turned the executive branch into a dictatorship with an abuse of power I hope to never see again. He brought the U.S. down to the level of the Terrorists.
Should be an interesting year Dick!


Dick Cheney Still Does Not Understand How To Prevent Terrorist Attacks - Liberal Values - Defending Liberty and Enlightened Thought
Pingback posted March 15, 2009 @ 1:06 pm

[...] exactly will stopping torture increase the risk of another attack? As The Washington Independent points out, it is a  “widely known fact that information extracted through torture is [...]


st
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 12:15 pm

The Obama administration wants to end global terror by inviting everyone to a piece pipe smoking circle and when we do catch a barbarian that is planning to blow our brains out, we obtaine critical information by offering them a lay-z-boy and a beer. Yeah, that should all work just swell.


Nik Green
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 12:19 pm

This latest spewage from Cheney is mighty rich. This is the official who was most vocal in refusing, for 441 days, to allow an inquiry into the worst breach of national security on US soil. In the words of Commission co-Chairs Kean and Hamilton, the resulting “inquiry” was deliberately set up to “to fail”, and the Office of the Vice President (under Cheney's tenure) played a major part in that failure by refusing to cooperate with the Commission. To add insult to injury, Cheney in person even lied to the Commission regarding his whereabouts that morning, as shockingly revealed in (former) Transportation Sec. Norman Mineta's testimony, under oath. Any words from the mouth of Cheney, now proven a liar *and* a traitor, should be treated with the greatest of skepticism.


ron
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 12:38 pm

cheney's just an a&&, Nobody wanted to listen to him when he was vp and I surely not want to listen to him now.


kalliope
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 12:40 pm

Cheney needs to go crawl back under the rock that he came from, and never, ever surface again to hurt this country. He should seek refuge in another land that shares his hate and venom. Awful man.


Linda T
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 12:44 pm

I wonder if Cheney would share exactly how much money he has made from Halliburton on this war in Iraq. I mean he worked for them and left with a huge stock package, I'm sure. Then he worked out a sweet deal on a no bid contract for them to provide military support in Iraq for the last six years. I'm sure financially he is a lot better off today than he was six years ago. As far as I'm concerned he lost all of his credibility years ago with that. I wouldn't believe a word that he uttered out of his mouth.


Cheney: Ending torture puts us in danger « Later On
Pingback posted March 15, 2009 @ 1:51 pm

[...] in Bush Administration, Daily life, GOP, Government, Torture at 9:51 am by LeisureGuy Daphne Eviatar in the Washington Independent: I don’t know if former Vice President Dick Cheney just misses being in the spotlight, or if he [...]


Socratic1
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 1:05 pm

Cheney has terrorized this country long enough. The way he works reminds me of Hitler, except he hid behind the President of the US. The truth may never be revealed though.


Ira Goldberg
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 1:32 pm

I wish Cheney would suffer the same tortures that were imposed on those detained by the US. I know he would change his mind MIGHTY fast.. Torture is NOT the way to get information.


John Citizen
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 1:34 pm

No, people like you put America in danger. Worthless fucks like you who never gave an ounce of service to the country but encouraged others to rape what they could in any way they could. Cheney, let me know when your heart gives out again so I can cheer.


William 5
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 2:23 pm

I hear some annoying buzzing sounds – oh that's the former President, sorry, Vice President. He is spot on with one quote “don't blame Bush for the current economic situation”. Indeed, that idiot was a puppet for this idiot.

Thanks Dick, for everything, next time tho, can you keep the rash to yourself instead of sharing with the American people?


GW Braindead
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 2:31 pm

Why is anyone giving this pr**k Cheney a voice? Haven't we heard enough of his lies for the past 8 years? This man, along with GWB are the most vile traitors this country has ever had. I hope they all rot in hell!


Larry
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 2:35 pm

This country is at risk for a terror attack no matter who is leading the country or what their policies are. Locking a man in a hole and never letting him out prevents that man from ever being a terrorist. However, if you sweep up the innocent and guilty together, never make a real effort to tell them apart and abandon any notion of justice you may well suffer other consequences. I believe that the risk of mistakenly letting a terrorist get away is less than the risk of being branded (and being) an evil empire. We should fight the terrorists, but do it in a way consistent with the best of our values and not in a way consistent with a loss of values based in fear.


Jon
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 2:43 pm

Perhaps if we didn't go rambo and blow up countries after a terrorist attack people wouldn't be so critical of Cheney. If the solution to terrorism is to blow up countries, then dare I say there won't be any countries left after we kill the last terrorist!


Fr. Scott West
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 2:45 pm

Some day Cheney will lay dying and Obama will walk up to him and take over his plastic head to expose his undying evil brain and Cheney will say :Barack, I am your father,as he takes his last evil gasps.
The Obama will say- ya right…
Go away Cheney- We fired you!


Anonymous
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 2:47 pm

Hello All:

As a Military Veteran, I feel compelled to voice my opinion on this article regarding Cheney's thoughts on President Barack Obama. First, I would like to talk about those interrogation techniques. I would like to state that things like Abu Gharab have been going on for years and were nothing new. The Bush Administration got “smart” and blamed soldiers for carrying out these interrogations, thus going to jail. These harsh interrogations DO NOT WORK and yet Cheney still believes that we should have them. For those of society who think that some people deserve these interrogations. Well…I would like to state that a lot of those detainees that the United States Military seizes have NO information to give and that is the honest truth. Why keep something (harsh interrogations) that is not working? These harsh interrogations create p*&^%% off people and in turn create even more animosity than was there to begin with (i.e., creating more terrorists). In addition, if a detainee that endured these harsh interrogations comes to court, their “information” would be possibly inadmissable due to “coercion.” How smart is that? Look at the research in regular U.S. police interrogations on “suspects.” False confessions do occur due to the 10 plus hours a person is interviewed by police. Imagine yourself in that situation…you have not done anything wrong and yet subjected to this behavior.

And then Cheney has said that Iraq has achieved democracy. This will never happen. Why? There are hundreds of years of a nondemocratic state and that will never change. You know what? The minute that the U.S. pulls out, yes, there are going to be pissed off Iraqis, BUT they will be pissed off because our overpriced contracts and big money given to them will significantly decrease. How do I know this? Well, in Afghanistan for example, the United States shelled out about one million dollars for a one-mile cobble stone road that the Afghan people did not appreciate in the first place. One million dollars. Of course they will be pissed off because they lose the money they want. We used to be buds with Bin Laden back in the day, once our “funding” was cut, that is when the real problems occurred.

In a nutshell, Cheney, your 8 years of “fame” is over. NO ONE CARES what you think now. Enjoy your million dollar home while everyone else is struggling.


ack
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 3:01 pm

Go back to your beer and your bong, and leave the thinking to the rest of us. Your brain must hurt from writing these two sentences. Seriously.


David
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 3:02 pm

Very wise and very true!


ack
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 3:03 pm

I'm glad you're not running the country. You scare me with your ignorance.


David
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 3:04 pm

st is an idiot. Thank god this group dwindled in the last election.


A L Lamar
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 3:12 pm

“Imagine yourself in that situation…you have not done anything wrong and yet subjected to this behavior.”
Ok , Anonymous.I just imagined myself…I would know to immediately get out of the U.S. at all costs, to flee to a safer haven for my activity and philosophical convictions, and I would do that at any expense.
For America vs.Terrorists, America wins a round….and UNTIL the countries that spew insurgents get full control of what undermines U.S. policy toward the international community ( too often linked to organized terror), those who've done nothing wrong must loudlyl object to the adverse impact within government that terrorism will have in addition to impeding global business development. True for Americans, true for Islam, true for China, true for India, true for Jews, true for Russia, true for every world citizen and governing body. Until internationals can live-and-let-live peacefully, there is nothing. No funding and no development until there is no subversive terror. The new rule is: think twice if you are part of a sub-group that typifies terror and you want to live unnoticed in foreign lands.


Anonymous
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 3:27 pm

A L Lamar:
I agree with what you have just stated…but…the ones involved in terrorism are not as logical of you and me. It would be great if the world was a perfect place with logical thinkers. In addition detainees who have no information do not have the means to object. It is difficult to swallow that we create these terrorists. Not too many people know that at the beginning of the war, one of Bush's “colleagues” decided it would be a good idea to disban the entire Iraqi Army. That means that there were thousands of people unemployed, ergo the Taliban buying these people out. I do not agree with terrorism or anything of that nature at all. I will say that the people who join terrorist groups in Iraq and Afghanistan do not think like Americans or the World consequences that may occur. They do it for the money, beliefs, etc. I am not advocating terrorism. I am advocating for policies that work and some common sense. The United States is not perfect in their past dealings or dealings they keep quiet from the public. We are not perfect angels in this either. As far as the “live and let live” philosophy is concerned, that is not probable. These deep seated religious convictions will not change no matter how hard we work to change them. It would be nice if that could occur but I seriously doubt it.


A L Lamar
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 4:20 pm

The governments that train and send out subversive armies are where the buck should come to a dead stop. Deny funding. They should be pressured to prohibit foreign-sponsored training camps. International citizens must put pressure on their native governments which create these movements and the way they are resultingly regarded worldwide, movements that will impede everyone's abilities to participate in peaceful, stable, orderly, economic development. Unresponsive governments are bad governments. Theoretically, bad governments are overturned and wealth is redistributed with historic predictability that solidly parallels Newton's Law of Gravity in natural science. Good governments survive; bad governments languish; but the theory of peaceful development can only be tested if a host-country's government is respected and it policies toward terror are feared– while native countries that train stereotypical sub-groups are pressured to STOP or BE STOPPED by their own, from within.
Thanks for the wonderful discourse, Anonymous.


American
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 5:21 pm

Shut the hell up you bleeding heart liberals, how about we get these terrorists to stay at your homes instead of Guantanimo. President Bush kept us safe and the economy only started to tank when the news of the socialist Obama was winning the election, we will not only be bankrupted by him, we will also be open to attack because of him (Obama).


jack
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 5:25 pm

I wish Hell had cameras. So I could see Cheney when he goes there.


jack
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 5:26 pm

Let us know when you live in the real world. Bush used fear to keep us in line. Nothing more.


John2225
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 5:31 pm

Absolutely it does. Wake up America. Stop burying your head in the sand like a stupid ostrich! You LIbs deserve what ever you get.


Jasin
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 5:32 pm

Agreed with Cheney!. We need to water board everyone of the Bush crime syndicate to find out the extent of conspiracies against the republic.


john2225
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 5:32 pm

Stop bashing BUSH. He is one of the hottest dudes in the west and I want him


Anonymous
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 6:14 pm

Jasin:

Do you know what water boarding entails and what it feels like? We will never discover these “conspiracies” that you speak of. If we do discover these conspiracies, it will not mean anything in court because of what was done to achieve them. I suppose you agree with raping and pillaging also to gain “information.”

I suppose you agree with Americans hired by the U.S government to create the Atomic Bomb. These Americans did not know what they were doing and were exposed to harmful chemicals that they took home to their families. Their children, wives, and family members were all affected. They did what they were told. The government has yet to pay them and I doubt they ever will. When does the torture end? It gets us nowhere. I do not agree with terrorism. Water boarding is just the tip of the iceberg concerning what we have done to innocent people. By using these torture “techniques,” we are sinking to the terrorists level and thus creating P(*&&& people. By the way, I am from the Common Sense party and a Military Police Army Veteran.


Steve
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 6:15 pm

Bush used fear? Obama spews fear everyday, you must hate Obama too.


Anonymous
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 6:23 pm

We are open to attack with or without Bush. You think Bush can stop these attacks. I do not think so. As a matter of fact, wasn't Bush in office when the 9/11 attacks occurred? Secondly, the economy has been crappy for more than 2 years before Obama came into the picture. Not to mention, Wall St. had a little bit to do with the economy.

We will be open to attack because of the things that Bush created. In my blog below you will see what I mean. Was it smart for Bush NOT to have a concrete plan for war? Fact: He did not have one. He also hired an individual who thought it would be smart to disband the Iraqi Army at the beginning of the war. What happened there? The effects are obvious. A lot of angry people. Thousands of people were unemployed in one second. That created animosity and lack of money turned into being against America. Sir, have you ever been deployed? Have you seen what goes on over there? I have. By the way, the terrorism plot of 9/11 began in Afghanistan NOT Iraq and where were more troops sent…..I rest my case.


Dave
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 8:16 pm

And how pray tell is Cheney even relevant?


joe baraka serra
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 8:37 pm

hog wash!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


joe baraka serra
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 8:42 pm

who the bigger moron dick, rush,bush? it a close race!!!!!


joe baraka serra
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 8:46 pm

rep are liberal on guns and conservtive on taxes liberal on hookers,drugs,crime!!!!!!


JustLucky
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 9:03 pm

I think the most remarkable part of this whole thing is not what Cheney said but the fact that cnn's John King was blatantly baiting him to bash President Obama. I came to the cnn site specifically to protest. I used to enjoy cnn, but it's quickly morphing into a fox clone.


Anonymous
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 9:49 pm

I was thinking the same thing the other day!!!


John888
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 9:54 pm

A guy who had 2-3 deferments and shoots ducks for fun, loves war and tortures for info! How mentally sick that is! Plus, he just can't shut up, He thinks he's always right and has no shame. The scary thing is there are many people resemble him and worship him. Their kids are wearing military theme clothes in the streets to look hip, yet they would pee in their pants if ever they were sent to Iraq or any war. They like tortures as long as they are not the one who are tortured.


David R
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 10:40 pm

Nobody cares what Cheney thinks. He didn't have anything pertinent to say for the last eight years, and has even less to say now. Head on back to Wyoming and leave us alone.


joe baraka serra
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 11:38 pm

dick and bush are guilty of human rights violation evil!!!!!!


joe baraka serra
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 11:41 pm

when you vote black!you cant go back! obama rules!!!!!!


ChickenHawkCheney
Comment posted March 16, 2009 @ 1:51 am

President bush was the president, and had BEEN the president, for NINE months, when we were attacked.
I guess you conveniently forgot that, huh???!!!


William Day
Comment posted March 16, 2009 @ 3:03 am

Yeah, the people who love you! All 20% or so, right?


Barbara L
Comment posted March 16, 2009 @ 3:03 am

Bush and Cheney will certainly go down as the worst Presidential team in history. They raped this country financially and lied ninety percent of their time in office. I still think they should be investigated and brought to justice for what they put this country through and the status it is at now. Obama, while I am not a personal supporting of his, DID NOT put this country in the sad shape it is in. It was super dumb BUSH AND CHENEY.


Barbara L
Comment posted March 16, 2009 @ 3:06 am

You degrate yourself and others when you make such a stupid comment. We are all Americans. Let's act like it !!


Ohiolady
Comment posted March 16, 2009 @ 5:03 am

JustLucky, I totally agree with you. CNN splashes all these articles on their website, but make it like looking for a needle in a haystack to say anything about it. I wrote three times yesterday when I finally did find a place to blog about Cheney on their site, and they did not publish one of them. John King and his wife and a few others at CNN ARE trying to push it to the right. If we wanted CNN to be like FOX news, we might as well turn to FOX. I have been watching MSNBC in the evenings, just to get away from Lou Dobbs, John King, Dana Bash, Ed Henry and even at times Campbell Brown.
All we want is fair and not colored one way or the other. It's sad that John King even considers Cheney newsworthy. People better go to church and stop watching his Sunday morning special!


uncle sam
Comment posted March 16, 2009 @ 5:50 am

The only terrorists that we should fear are the ones that were in the white house the past 8 years. The same ones who spied on us, lied to us and broke the laws because the felt they were above the law.
Well guess what – you are going to pay for your lies. I am hopeful you will all be investigated, indicted and sent to jail where you truly belong for the rest of your life.


J Johnson
Comment posted March 16, 2009 @ 9:31 pm

Listening to Dick Cheney is kind of like listening to the BTK killer teach Sunday School.


Robby
Comment posted March 17, 2009 @ 10:16 pm

I am now convinced that Dick Cheney is mentally unbalanced. He has brainwashed himself enough being in the white house with the whole white house team for the last 8 years, to believe the mistakes made were indeed justified. He is not going to be able to see the truth and clear these misconceptions for years to come. It could only happen sooner if there is some trained psychiatric help. The denial phase will last for sometime.


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nunya
Comment posted April 7, 2009 @ 9:32 am

You are a racist and a moron!!!!!


nunya
Comment posted April 7, 2009 @ 9:36 am

Your stupidity amazes me! How do you make it through a day without falling in a sewer drain or similar mishap. It seems to me you haven't the intelligence to chew gum, and walk at the same time. Wow, how do ppl like you even make it?


nunya
Comment posted April 7, 2009 @ 9:41 am

continue making statements such as that one, and you will see it all first-hand. Not an advisable circumstance.


nunya
Comment posted April 7, 2009 @ 4:32 pm

You are a racist and a moron!!!!!


nunya
Comment posted April 7, 2009 @ 4:36 pm

Your stupidity amazes me! How do you make it through a day without falling in a sewer drain or similar mishap. It seems to me you haven't the intelligence to chew gum, and walk at the same time. Wow, how do ppl like you even make it?


nunya
Comment posted April 7, 2009 @ 4:41 pm

continue making statements such as that one, and you will see it all first-hand. Not an advisable circumstance.


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