Thursday, May 21, 2009


Dick Cheney in his speech today claims that "releasing the interrogation memos was flatly contrary to national security interest . . . " Does Cheney mean information in Bybee's opinion of August 1, 2002? Such as, "The waterboard . . . inflicts no pain or actual harm whatsoever [and] . . . does not inflict 'severe pain or suffering.'" And Cheney thinks this gives terrorists "a lengthy insert for their training manual." What bull!

Here's another Cheney doozie: "Across the world, governments that have helped us capture terrorists will feel that sensitive joint operations will be compromised." I suppose Cheney is referring to countries like Poland and Romania that hosted the "black sites" where Cheney's henchmen worked their dark science? Governments like these should worry that the World Court will take action against them for assisting Cheney and the Bush regime in the pursuit of torture.

Cheney again: "And at the CIA, operatives are left to wonder if they can depend on the White House or Congress to back them up when the going gets tough? Why should any agency employee take on a difficult assignment when, even though they act lawfully and in good faith, years down the road the press and Congress will treat everything they do with suspicion, outright hostility, and second-guessing?"

Cheney claims that CIA "operatives" "act lawfully." Cheney of course means that administration lawyers like Jay Bybee, John Yoo and Cheney's own David Addington came up with bogus "legal memoranda" bestowing an imprimatur on the most outrageous, cruel and medieval interrogation methods. The question, however, should be whether anyone in the CIA could possibly think that the legal blessings survive the laugh test. We all know that Cheney put continuous pressure on the CIA to demonstrate a non-existent link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. Given that pressure, anyone in the CIA who thought that waterboarding was permitted, or that stuffing a prisoner in a small box for hours on end was allowed, or that sleep deprivation for up to seven days was not cruel and inhuman - anyone who thought that such practices were legal needs to undergo reevaluation of his common sense.

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