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Cheney Acts As If Lying More Aggressively Is Exculpatory

It’s getting worse with each hour after Dave’s post. Last night former Vice President Dick Cheney elided the distinction between valuable intelligence that came from detainees and valuable intelligence that came from enhanced interrogation techniques. He did so for a simple reason: he said publicly, for months, that he was “a strong proponent of our enhanced interrogation program” because it was “legal, essential, justified, successful, and the right thing to do,” but the documents that he insisted would vindicate that position do no such thing.

Some journalists have been pointing this out. Now, Ben Smith at Politico asks Cheney’s camp about the distinction, and this is the answer he got:

“As the vice president has said repeatedly, the Enhanced Interrogation Techniques provided critical intelligence that saved lives and prevented terrorist attacks. The documents released yesterday demonstrate that conclusively. Anyone who doubts that hasn’t read the documents,” said the Cheney source.

Ben’s source is simply lying to him and daring the media not to point out the distinction. The documents *do not say *that the enhanced interrogation techniques provided critical intelligence. They say that detainees, some of whom were subjected to the techniques, at unspecified points, provided critical intelligence, and a great deal of that was of a historical nature. The CIA inspector general’s report specifically talks about the indeterminacy of the techniques’ effectiveness — at great and judicious length.

Don’t take my word for it. These are the documents Cheney asked the CIA to declassify to vindicate his position on torture. This is the CIA inspector general’s report. This is Cheney’s May speech at the American Enterprise Institute. (One conspicuous line from that speech: “People who consistently distort the truth in this way are in no position to lecture anyone about values.”) Read them together. It’s not a he-said-she-said matter.

*You can follow TWI on Twitter and Facebook. *

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