An Open Letter to Liz Cheney on Torture

By
Sunday, February 21, 2010 at 11:24 am

Dear Ms. Cheney,

I don’t know if you saw ‘Meet The Press’ this morning, but a general you may have heard of named David Petraeus — he’s the commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East and South Asia and is the most distinguished Army general since Colin Powell — graced your television. He was asked about whether the U.S. ought to torture Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the deputy commander of the Taliban, recently captured in Pakistan. “I have always been on record, in fact since 2003, with the concept of living our values,” Petraeus replied. Every time the U.S. took what he called “expedient measures” around the Geneva Conventions, those deviations just “turned around and bitten us on our backside.” The effect of torture at Abu Ghraib is “non-biodegradable,” he continued, and boasted that as commander of the 101st Airborne in Iraq, he ordered his men to ignore any instruction to use techniques outside the Army Field Manual on Interrogations. Besides, the non-torture techniques that manual has long instructed? “That works,” he said. “That is our experience.”

But hey. You’re a former deputy assistant secretary of state! You obviously know better than the man who implemented the surge in Iraq. Why don’t you enlighten Gen. Petraeus about all the glories of torture? And since you consider “enhanced interrogation” so necessary to secure the country, perhaps there’s a full-page ad you’ll take out in a major newspaper?

Cordially,
Spencer

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Süpér Chùñdy
Comment posted February 21, 2010 @ 2:20 pm

Yeah! Spencer just sent Liz Cheney and her dad crying and running away to an undisclosed location!


monkey99
Comment posted February 21, 2010 @ 5:47 pm

Spencer,

Do you think it will have an impact? I mean, everybody's been telling Liz and her dad to shut up and fade away, Yet here they still are. I hope it will, but you know how it goes with persistent idiots and war criminals…..


vabelle
Comment posted February 21, 2010 @ 6:34 pm

David Petraeus may be a military “big brass” but it's the Cheneys who have big, brass balls. And cement foreheads. Nothing, but nothing is going to penetrate through those defences.


Petraeus Distances Himself from Bush/Cheney Torture Policies « SpeakEasy
Pingback posted February 21, 2010 @ 6:51 pm

[...] prompted Spencer Ackerman to ask Liz Cheney a question in an open letter. After noting that Petraeus positioned himself far from the [...]


Spencer Ackerman is a reporter. I cut and paste. « Whatever Works
Pingback posted February 21, 2010 @ 11:50 pm

[...] The Commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East and South Asia today: [...]


oddjob
Comment posted February 21, 2010 @ 11:58 pm

The only thing that will make any real difference, for better or worse, is to try Dick Cheney for war crimes, and if convicted, to imprison him accordingly.


The General « Just Above Sunset
Pingback posted February 22, 2010 @ 2:19 am

[...] But on Meet the Press, Petraeus positioned himself far from the positions Liz Cheney espouses, specifically on torture, and Benen points out that prompted Spencer Ackerman to ask Liz Cheney a question in an open letter: [...]


Spencer Ackerman’s Open Letter to Liz Cheney « Desperado’s Outpost
Pingback posted February 22, 2010 @ 4:28 am

[...] Craig @ 3:27 pm Tags: Liz Cheney, open letter, Spencer Ackerman, torture, Washington Independent Spencer Ackerman at the Washington Independent has an “Open Letter to Liz Cheney on [...]


narciso
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 8:22 am

What he didn't answer how do you get information out of the likes of a KSM, how is the ISI getting information out of Baradar, I doubt tea and biscuits is the way. Of course leaking those memos makes it possible for AQ to do their own SERE against any prospective interrogation


From General Betray Us to liberal icon « Don Surber
Pingback posted February 22, 2010 @ 10:01 am

[...] Spencer Ackerman wrote an open letter to Liz Cheney on Sunday, which began, “I don’t know if you saw ‘Meet The Press’ this morning, but a general you may have heard of named David Petraeus — he’s the commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East and South Asia and is the most distinguished Army general since Colin Powell…” [...]


b.
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 10:05 am

[Petreaus] ordered his men to ignore any instruction to use techniques outside the Army Field Manual on Interrogations. Besides, the non-torture techniques that manual has long instructed? “That works,” he said. “That is our experience.”

Bollocks.
Appendix M was added to allow for “compound stress” torture that is illegal under law and treaty.
http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/383/t/4089…


eetrinko
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 10:06 am

Yeah right like she actually cares! What a joke. Shes not fooling anyone.

Jess
http://www.online-anonymity.vze.com


Jonathan
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 10:21 am

Admiral Dennis C. Blair, Obama's national intelligence director, disagrees with Petraeus. But then again, he's actually SEEN the intelligence gathered by these techniques; Petraeus hasn't. And what does Blair say? That the techniques yieled “high value information.” And, for the record, he's against the use of these techniques.

Give it a rest. The “it doesn't work” theory is bunk and even an administration opposed to the techniques openly admits that. If people on both sides of the political fence with access to the intelligence gathered say it works, they're probably right. After all, their opinion conforms with historical usage, as well.


Milan
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 11:02 am

Two opinions, take them as you will:

1) Morally, I think torture is wrong, but that's just my opinion.

2) If I were involved in terrorism, domestic or foreign, I'd operate under the assumption I'd one day be caught and protect myself from knowing anything about my terror operation that could compromise it. I would know as little as possible to get things done. So I could spill everything I know and it would have very marginal utility to my captors.

But hey maybe I'm just crazy!


nadingo
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 11:45 am

Jonathan – you might want to check your sources better before you start citing them as proof of anything. Here's part of his actual statement:

“The information gained from these techniques was valuable in some instances, but there is no way of knowing whether the same information could have been obtained through other means. The bottom line is these techniques have hurt our image around the world, the damage they have done to our interests far outweighed whatever benefit they gave us and they are not essential to our national security.”

So valuable information was gained by torturing people, but there's no way to know if torture was the only way to get that information. Moreover, it's possible that they could've gotten more information out of the detainees if they had used less violent interrogation methods. If you click on this link:

http://thinkprogress.org/why-enhanced-interroga…

You can read lots of actual intelligence experts claiming that rapport-building produces better intelligence than torture. Also, what is this “historical usage” that you're referring to where torture produced valuable information? The Spanish Inquisition? The Khmer Rouge? “24″?


An Open Letter To Liz Cheney On Torture | WeCharts.com
Pingback posted February 22, 2010 @ 12:11 pm

[...] Go here to see the original: An Open Letter To Liz Cheney On Torture [...]


ernesthua
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

Jonathan, etc …

It is actually far more complicated than what you've stated. Some people are far more concerned about 99% to 100% certainty before they act on information. Some people are perfectly happy to act with 75% to 90%. Hopefully, we are not hiring 51% people in the CIA.

FBI, structurally request the 99% to 100% certainty. That is what we demand of them when they do what they do so that they are not likely to pull any funny business on us, the citizens of US. We think of FBI like the action scenes of big police shootouts, but mostly, they are doing the laborious tasks of figuring out who the bad guys are, and gathering enough evidence to convince judge and jury alike. The guns-a-blazing part is mostly a Hollywood fantasy; they have time and money on their side, so they can do the 99% job.

CIA and soldiers, by definition, must work with guesses. We hope they are not killing and maiming people based on 51% guess work, but no one should be surprised that they occasionally do. Most of the “atrocities” are at least partially explained by negligent guess work.

So the big question is, what are we trying to do? Are we trying to do a “quickie” and get justice done in a day or two? Out in the battlefield, that might easily occur. But most of us don't believe for a moment that an domestic airliner is a battlefield. It is politically convenient for the neo-conservatives to push this idea, but very few of us would actually accept it.

The thing is, we don't really know how the CIA/FBI catches bad guys. These two organization have different kinds of mandates. It is not clear to me that tell them how to do their job is necessarily a good thing.

The question of whether KSM should or should not be subject to XYZ technique right now should be the CIA director's call. It should not be Dick's or Liz's job to decide operational details. (Dick Cheney should have only been responsible for setting goals, not micromanaging the CIA.)

The question of whether XYZ technique actually works should be CIA's own internal process evaluation: How do you know that what KSM said is really true? Is that a 51%, 75% or 99% certainty? Do you have enough evidence (even if after the fact) to be sure that you got the right info? Any chance he fed you only partially correct information to throw you off the trail of the really big plans? And, frankly, if your techniques work (99%), why don't you tell your FBI counterparts how to quickly get the most out of the interrogation?

The morality question is interesting, but only over a cocktail at a diplomatic dinner. For most of us, the real question is whether the government is making real progress in catching the bad guys.

I have trouble seeing liberals accepting torture-lite if it turns out that the techniques do have tangible results.


Jonathan
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 12:55 pm

Actually, that's from a statement released AFTER the private memo discussing the yielding of high value information went public. Also, he never said it didn't work, he merely said that the use of the techniques hurt our public image (which is wholly unrelated to whether it worked) and that there was no way to know whether they could have gotten the information through other means, just as there's no way to know that they definitely could have gotten the information through other means. That's hardly a “it doesn't work” argument. In fact, it's quite the opposite. It did work. Whether it was NECESSARY is another question altogether.

I think the Gestapo used it pretty darned effectively against British operatives during WWII. But the difference between you and me is that I can recognize that something is effective, even if it's not morally right. I never claimed that it was “right” or “morally acceptable.” I'm just saying that whether you approve or not, the techniques led to some valuable information that nobody can know whether we'd have it but for the techniques.


The flailing falsehoods of America’s war criminals | TheWorldPolitics
Pingback posted February 22, 2010 @ 1:04 pm

[...] How will media stars and right-wing polemicists justify their claim that only fringe Far Leftists care about and oppose “enhanced interrogation techniques” now that General David Petraeus has joined so many other military leaders in resoundingly rejecting the morality, legality and wisdom of those tactics? [...]


nillionaire
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 1:42 pm

In anti-insurgency, our public image and our success are intimately tied together. If you torture someone into revealing the location of a cache of IEDs you could save the lives of dozens of soldiers, but if it causes 10,000 Iraqis to radicalize and join violent organizations, then on the balance the torture didn't work very well at all.

I swear some folks give the impression that they think there is some limited pool of terrorists and that if we kill the inhabitants of that pool then there will be no more terrorists. Petraeus, to his credit, turned the Iraq war around because he applied obvious and intuitive counter-insurgency lessons (e.g., not pissing off the local populous constantly by acting like a bunch of thugs) that, despite being learned 90 years ago, were ignored by Bushphiles because they sounded too liberal.


Jonathan
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 1:52 pm

The issue was whether the techniques were effective at gathering valuable information, not whether they were effective at ending the war. Your analysis, though well-reasoned and articulate, simply does not apply.

I fully agree that it harms our national image and, indeed, harms the war effort, not only by rousing the base of new insurgents, but by harming our ties to our allies.

But that's not at the heart of the “it doesn't work” theory, which is what I take issue with. If you want to argue that it's morally unacceptable, that it harms by the war effort by alienating allies, that it helps create a cesspool of terrorists, by all means, make that argument. Torture is a bad idea for a lot of reasons; ineffectiveness isn't one of 'em.


brittybear90
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 2:05 pm

Maybe sitting in an 6 by 6 foot prison cell convicted of war crimes will do the trick.


nillionaire
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 2:33 pm

Seems like sort of a pedantic point to make, but sure–if you don't mind the loss of moral authority, the damage to the larger war effort, the dangerous precedent, and of course the sky-high rate of false positives, then torture will work.

True, some liberals are wary of saying this, because they know it leads directly to the “what about the ticking time bomb scenario?” However, given how rare such a situation is, I don't think think it should be taken into account when we debate what the law of the land should be. I would much rather an interrogator be forced to stake his career on whether or not it truly is a ticking time bomb scenario, then let our existing institutions of jury nullification and especially pardons prevent him or her from getting sent to prison for being the exception that proves the rule.


Jonathan
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 2:55 pm

I'm not trying to make infinitesimal distinctions; I'm trying to make a very broad distinction — torture isn't bad because it's ineffective, it's bad for a whole host of other reasons.

It may seem pedantic when the end-result is the same, but, honestly, it's the WHY that matters. If it didn't matter, what sort of logic-empty black-hole will we fall into? What if some crazy from the other side said torture was bad simply because we don't just murder the suspected terrorists as soon as we catch them? The end result is the same, after all: discontinued use of torture.

I have no problem with people disagreeing with the use of torture on any number of grounds. I'd even argue that the other reasons are far more persuasive than its empirical record. Just don't expect me to buy into a theory that not only lacks evidence, but ignores it.


stevec1003
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 3:26 pm

So…you are arguing in favor of the deaths of dozens of soldiers ( due to not discovering the cache of IEDs) instead of and increased level of interogation which may very well reveal the location of the IEDs ? Well, as a former soldier of 25 years, I don't think I appreciate the way you so easily trade my life, the life of my son or my fellow soldiers from your comfortable armchair. I would love to see you enlist, go to Iraq or Afghanistan and walk the roads, clear buildings and put your own ass on the line. One more thing….Petraeus is a 4 star and these Generals are not walking the roads or clearing the buildings etc. ….the like being political and many are careerists….Powell is a famous careerist and completely out of touch with reality. The last battlefield he saw was in Viet Nam. If you speak to the average soldier in the field you will find a completely different perspective….my life and the life of my fellow soldiers I will always regard…in every situation, before the enemy and if that means that more insurgents volunteer….so be it…we will kill them too. Not all of these folks are crazy enough to volunteer to blow themselves up with C4. There is absolutely no proof that increased interogation techniques have led to increased volunteerism of insurgents…..just a LIBTARD argument from armchair soldiers.


J.D.G.
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 3:46 pm

Jonathan,
What makes you think that Gen Petraeus hasn't seen the intelligence reports garnered by ALL information gathering techniques. Use a little common sense. Would you, as Commander in Chief handicap your field commander by not apprising him of all available intelligence?
As for Cheney, as far as I, a former Air Force Officer, am concerned, is a coward, (five deferments to stay out of uniform), and has continued his cowardly way by sending his daughter to take cheap shots at the sitting President. His daughter is simply a product of her upbringing.


GmanGerry
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 3:55 pm

From my perspective, when one raises the topic of effectiveness associated with torture techniques, then one must step back to see the big picture.

There seems to be a chain of interrelated issues that ultimately lead to one simple goal… saving lives. If you think that effectiveness of torture is measured by the quantity of valuable information the process procures, then you also need to understand that the process also has negative derivatives as well. Thus one could conclude that torture is highly ineffective when it comes to its usage in relation to its ultimate goal… saving lives.

Is torture effective? It certainly can be in terms of obtaining data and information. How effective is it in relation to other techniques??? This is highly debatable and I suspect that none of us lack the security clearance to weigh in on that debate.

Is torture minimally effective, maximally effective, or somewhere in between? To properly analyze this data, cost impacts need to be evaluated. In other words, how much are we gaining by using this process versus the cost it has on our image, our passification efforts, the reduction of radicalization of our enemies, reduction on false-positives (I would say anything to stop the torture process, even lie), etc…

If a technique being used is counterproductive, then you can hardly argue that it is effective.

I'll be honest with you in saying that my perpective is tainted with business management practices. No one running a Fortune 500 introduces a business process without first performing a BIA analysis (business impact analysis), a SWOT analysis (Strength Weakness Opportunities and Threats), a GAP analysis, etc. To me, torture is a process. Every process has inputs, outputs, enablers, resources, goals and objectives… You get the general idea. Implementing any processes requires careful examination as to whether it has positive or negative impacts on the function of the business. In this case, I contemplate how torture affects the country as a whole. Needless to say that I support the notion that torture is ineffective as it doesn't support the vision and goals of saving lives. It only adds to its perilous state.

Lastly, maybe the notion of effectiveness versus efficiency should be brought up. All cars can get me from point A to point B… not all do it well or efficiently. I think that we may be arguing about the wrong noun. Torture *might* be effective, but its efficiency may have less clout.

That said, I enjoyed reading everyone's analysis on this. There's some pretty smart folks here on both sides of this hot topic.


Jonathan
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 4:02 pm

As far as I'm aware, Petraeus only deals with the areas between Egypt to Pakistan. While a majority of terrorist-related information concerns that area, there is much that doesn't. Do you really think he has access to EVERYTHING?

Do you think he has access to information mostly-unrelated to the area under his command? Sure, you don't want to handicap your commanders, but do you want to entrust state secrets with more people than necessary?

But when it comes down to it, when the NSA of two different administrations (whose opinions differ widely on the use of these techniques) both disagree with him, I'm much less inclined to believe him or believe that he has access to ALL of the information.

I'm inclined to believe he hasn't seen all of the information when his opinions of the information so widely disagree with the opinions of the national security advisors of two different administrations. It is of note that Obama's NSA had, prior to becoming NSA, stated his belief that the techniques employed were wholly ineffective.


Leo
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 4:03 pm

You might consider renaming to The Washington Liberal.


RWBurkett
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 4:03 pm

Here you have a father and daughter team, both of whom have “never served” in one of the military branches before, and all of a sudden, they're experts in the area of modern warfare. Just because you served in high profile jobs, doesn't make you an expert in the field of modern warfare. If former VP Cheney and his daughter had served in the US military, they might have learned something – but I doubt it because they know far more than most.

Both would do well to go and refrain from discussing military tactics because they are both sorely lacking in intelligence. Moreover, one is unqualified and speaks out of both sides of her mouth, and the other chose deferments to avoid the military during the Vietnam era.

A college grad who spent over 20 years of active military service and knows what he's talking about…


Jonathan
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 4:09 pm

This is a thoughtful and well-reasoned analysis. I've only personally seen the effectiveness argument used pertaining to effectiveness at gathering information (in particular, the argument that all of the valuable information was gathered prior to torture), rather than saving lives, but I'm sure there is some disconnect between what has been presented by some commentators and what the layperson means.

Which just goes to show that we must use clear and precise language when discussing any issue so as to avoid the confusion that can be created by the sloppy use of certain terms.


voteRush2012
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 4:49 pm

And our CommunityOrganizer-in-Chief has exactly what experience at anything except training ACORN agitators, teaching the “wonders” of Saul Alinsky, and attacking the private sector!


voteRush2012
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 4:50 pm

Hey Spencer, do you believe that we should be able to do to terrorists at least what the Clinton administration did to innocent women and children at Waco!


drew
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 5:01 pm

@voterush2012

are you serious. rush limbaugh? fuck you man


truthseeker17
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 5:12 pm

The Cheney family is a cancer on american values. We need to cut them out – forever!


truthseeker17
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 5:18 pm

oh yeah, and as others have noted dickless cheney is a chicken-hawk!

In the immortal words of Foghorn Leghorn:

“I say, I say now wait just a minute there boy, you ain't a chickenhawk you're a chicken!”


nillionaire
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 5:26 pm

It's bad because it's immoral, because its a PR disaster, and because it's ineffective (which isn't the same same as “never works”). There's no reason to pick and choose, it can be all of these things at once.


Lincwright
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 5:55 pm

Stevec1003,
Here's your proof that “increased interrogation techniques” lead to more terrorists:

National Intelligence Estimate of 2006:
http://www.dni.gov/press_releases/Declassified_…

Matthew Alexander, the pseudonym of the Air Force Major and interrogator who extracted the information – without using torture – that led to finding Abu Musab al-Zarqawi: “I listened time and time again to foreign fighters, and Sunni Iraqis, state that the number one reason they had decided to pick up arms and join al-Qaeda was the abuses at Abu Ghraib and the authorized torture and abuse at Guantanamo Bay. My team of interrogators knew that we would become al-Qaeda's best recruiters if we resorted to torture.”


nillionaire
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 5:56 pm

And what of the soldiers killed by the 10,000 new insurgents? Say the kill ratio of insurgent to US soldier is 50-1. That means 200 soldiers would have to give their lives to undo the damage done by those who would violate our own values, to say nothing of the Iraqi civilians who those insurgents would take out with them. You might say there's no proof that torture makes the Islamist cause look better, but what if the tables were turned? What if some Caliphate empire invaded the US for 'our own good' and to find weapons that never existed? What if they then started torturing those who took up arms to defend American soil (or, in many cases, those who were only _accused_ of doing so, often by people who were given a cash reward for their alleged information)? Would that not make you more likely to join the resistance? I'm just a liberal pussy but I'm pretty sure even I'd be mixing up explosives in my basement if that went down.

I respect what you guys do a lot. I'll never forget the time I spent hours talking to a Marine freshly returned from deployment about his experiences during the siege of Fallujah; as far as I'm concerned its impossible to overfund the VA. If I had had my way, this country would never have invaded Iraq and no soldier would have had to go through any of that. But since we are there, and in Afghanistan, sometimes American soldiers will have to pay the ultimate price to carry out their mission. Yes, I pulled those numbers out of my ass, and yes those decisions aren't mine to make (thank god). But that's _exactly_ what four-star generals are for.


Jonathan
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 8:40 pm

It could be all of those things at once if they were all true. Unfortunately, they're not all true.

But hey, why bother making a worthwhile argument when nobody questions your ridiculous reasoning, no matter how much the reasoning disagrees with the evidence that actually exists.


xanderlih
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 10:59 pm

“Meet the Press” that's a laugh. Hasn't been a credible discussion or interview since Russert gave the Bush adminstration the mic for six years.

If they would just ask these people tough questions, it be another thing. But letting some second lady come on the show, endorse torture, and not asking her to clarify, that's just bad reporting. Bad now, bad for years.


nillionaire
Comment posted February 22, 2010 @ 11:52 pm

Do you really need evidence to acknowledge that testimony under torture is unreliable, due to the fact that anyone who does not have the information desired by the torturer will fabricate it out of desperation?


biffjones
Comment posted February 23, 2010 @ 1:02 am

Bu, bu, but what about Clinton? its been 10 years since he's been in office get over him. America knows the truth about Waco, and the only murderer there was Koresh.


judgejewdy
Comment posted February 23, 2010 @ 1:36 am

Jewish Israelis overwhelmingly support torture. When asked if it works, they overwhelmingly replied they weren't sure.


Links 2/23/10 « Johnsenclan
Pingback posted February 23, 2010 @ 3:17 am

[...] General Petraeus vs. Liz Cheney [...]


southern man
Comment posted February 23, 2010 @ 8:39 am

By all means discount what Patreus said if that makes you feel better. But really let's look back on our experience.
US pilots shot down over Vietnam, did they give up info under torturous conditions? No. Were they willing to make statements in order to stop torture, yes. So nothing of value was gained bytorture and we kept the moral high ground despite carpet bombing civilian populations. So that really doesn't work on any level.
The fact is Liz is an idiot with no bona fides. NONE! She speaks out of her rather large doughnut eating tush. She like her father should seek a deferment.


Jonathan
Comment posted February 23, 2010 @ 9:52 am

When the claim directly contradicts what the national security advisors of two administrations say, yeah, I'd say you need evidence to support your outrageous claim. Especially when one of the NSAs insisted it was ineffective up until the point he got access to the information gathered.


Jonathan
Comment posted February 23, 2010 @ 9:56 am

And what about a four-star admiral who disagrees? Does he have any “bona fides”?


diannesrave
Comment posted February 23, 2010 @ 3:48 pm

I wish the Cheneys would go away. The revisionist, delusion form of rewriting of facts is frankly vomit inducing. Time and time again the rational sector has shown how these torture tactics have not worked and that psychologically the person being tortured will eventually admit to anything to stop the torture.

This perpetual backing of a criminal acts (their were Japanese officers executed at World War II for water boarding) simply shows how amoral these people are.

General Petreus should be listened to and his words should be taken as gospel on this topic. The Cheneys simply cannot admit that what was done to prisoners in the previous administration was wrong and ineffectual. One has to have a conscience to feel remorse or realize that simulation of drowning and the other tactics used were nothing else but the abuse and mistreatments of human beings and they had no right to authorize such behaviors.

It is a shame that this administration seems to be walking away without any punishment for the crimes they committed while they were in office.


AirmanSparky
Comment posted February 23, 2010 @ 5:46 pm

It's clear from the facts (i.e. the KSM torture timeline) that Bush/Cheney were doing what morally depraved tyrants throughout history have done: using torture to extract false confessions. In this case they were attempting an ex-post-facto justification for their war of aggression and its attendant slaughter of civilians by coercing KSM into signing off on a Saddam/terrorism nexus. It's strange to see the comments deriding Petreus as somehow lacking or out of touch when he was so recently the toast of the DC/media elite – Cheney's go to guy – The Man With The Plan.


dre in the morning » Blog Archive » Wednesday: Angry Day
Pingback posted February 24, 2010 @ 7:01 am

[...] An Open Letter to Liz Cheney on Torture You’re a former deputy assistant secretary of state! You obviously know better than the man who implemented the surge in Iraq. Why don’t you enlighten Gen. Petraeus about all the glories of torture? (washingtonindependent) [...]


Ankhorite
Comment posted February 25, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

Southern Man, you whittled down your credibility by talking about Liz Cheney's body. Wish you hadn't done that.


steve
Comment posted February 25, 2010 @ 2:27 pm

I had considered leaving out the the personal attacks, but that would raise the debate. She stokes the fires of fear calling it patriotism, while secretly harboring her desire for someone to attack us so that she will be poised to make a boatload of cash.
If her patriotic zeal were as strong as she claims she would defend her postions to those who would challenge her, most notably Rachel Maddow. As soon as she shows up there to defend her position I will refrain from the personal comments. Until then she should just keep on popping the Dunkins in that rather large piehole of hers.


steve
Comment posted February 25, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

Jonathan, here is the full statement, it changes what you quoted.
The information gained from these techniques was valuable in some instances, but there is no way of knowing whether the same information could have been obtained through other means,” Admiral Blair said in a written statement issued last night. “The bottom line is these techniques have hurt our image around the world, the damage they have done to our interests far outweighed whatever benefit they gave us and they are not essential to our national security.”
The whole truth


Jonathan
Comment posted February 25, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

Actually, as I already explained earlier, that is from a statement made THE NEXT DAY. Nice to see you're presenting “the whole truth.” *rolls eyes* Nice try.

Also, it's nice to see that this site has blocked comments from my username. Really trying to get out the truth, eh, Washington Independent?


Ankhorite
Comment posted February 25, 2010 @ 4:40 pm

Thank you for the detailed response, Steve, I really appreciate it.

I think personal attacks are okay if you're attacking her personality. For instance, I'll come right out and say Liz Cheney is a liar who was born to privilege and knows nothing of military life and apparently not much about military strategy. I'll say she's a freeloader trying to ride Daddy's reputation into public office of her own. I'll say some of her remarks criticizing current U.S. foreign policy have teetered on the edge of treason.

But attacks on her looks are not the kind of things that would get said by a man about a male politician who was behaving equally badly, so I don't think that even a creep like Liz Cheney should be subjected to that. If she can be attacked for her looks/shape/desirability, than so can any woman in public life. Attacks that are clearly gender-based weaken the legitimate attacks Ms. Cheney and her ilk so richly deserve.

I can't STAND Liz Cheney, and I hate like heck having to defend her on this point, but there it is. Politics ain't a beauty pageant (no matter what John Edwards and Mitt Romney hoped), and the contestants shouldn't be judged as if it were.

Thanks again for explaining where you were coming form. I love Maddow too and would deeply enjoy watching her take young Cheney (or old Cheney, too) apart.


Ankhorite
Comment posted February 25, 2010 @ 5:56 pm

Southern Man, you whittled down your credibility by talking about Liz Cheney's body. Wish you hadn't done that.


steve
Comment posted February 25, 2010 @ 7:27 pm

I had considered leaving out the the personal attacks, but that would raise the debate. She stokes the fires of fear calling it patriotism, while secretly harboring her desire for someone to attack us so that she will be poised to make a boatload of cash.
If her patriotic zeal were as strong as she claims she would defend her postions to those who would challenge her, most notably Rachel Maddow. As soon as she shows up there to defend her position I will refrain from the personal comments. Until then she should just keep on popping the Dunkins in that rather large piehole of hers.


steve
Comment posted February 25, 2010 @ 7:56 pm

Jonathan, here is the full statement, it changes what you quoted.
The information gained from these techniques was valuable in some instances, but there is no way of knowing whether the same information could have been obtained through other means,” Admiral Blair said in a written statement issued last night. “The bottom line is these techniques have hurt our image around the world, the damage they have done to our interests far outweighed whatever benefit they gave us and they are not essential to our national security.”
The whole truth


Jonathan
Comment posted February 25, 2010 @ 8:36 pm

Actually, as I already explained earlier, that is from a statement made THE NEXT DAY. Nice to see you're presenting “the whole truth.” *rolls eyes* Nice try.

Also, it's nice to see that this site has blocked comments from my username. Really trying to get out the truth, eh, Washington Independent?


Ankhorite
Comment posted February 25, 2010 @ 9:40 pm

Thank you for the detailed response, Steve, I really appreciate it.

I think personal attacks are okay if you're attacking her personality. For instance, I'll come right out and say Liz Cheney is a liar who was born to privilege and knows nothing of military life and apparently not much about military strategy. I'll say she's a freeloader trying to ride Daddy's reputation into public office of her own. I'll say some of her remarks criticizing current U.S. foreign policy have teetered on the edge of treason.

But attacks on her looks are not the kind of things that would get said by a man about a male politician who was behaving equally badly, so I don't think that even a creep like Liz Cheney should be subjected to that. If she can be attacked for her looks/shape/desirability, than so can any woman in public life. Attacks that are clearly gender-based weaken the legitimate attacks Ms. Cheney and her ilk so richly deserve.

I can't STAND Liz Cheney, and I hate like heck having to defend her on this point, but there it is. Politics ain't a beauty pageant (no matter what John Edwards and Mitt Romney hoped), and the contestants shouldn't be judged as if it were.

Thanks again for explaining where you were coming form. I love Maddow too and would deeply enjoy watching her take young Cheney (or old Cheney, too) apart.


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