CIA Documents Fail To Support Cheney’s Claim

Spencer Ackerman has former VP Cheney’s statement about torture and the claim ( made in 2005) that certain CIA documents would reveal that torture saved the U.S. from further terror attacks,

“I haven’t talked about it, but I know specifically of reports that I read, that I saw, that lay out what we learned through the interrogation process and what the consequences were for the country,” Cheney said. “I’ve now formally asked the CIA to take steps to declassify those memos so we can lay them out there and the American people have a chance to see what we obtained and what we learned and how good the intelligence was.”

The “interrogation process” referred has been known for decades as torture. There is no doubt that questioning suspects yielded information. If anyone argued against questioning suspects it was someone made of pure straw. The issue, as Cheney well knows, is whether torture was required to get good and actionable intel. The documents recently released by the CIA in no way give credence to Cheney’s claim that torture saved us all. Five Important Revelations From The CIA Inspector General Report

4. The CIA IG concluded that while high-value detainees did produce valuable intelligence, the measurement of the effectiveness of harsh interrogation techniques “is a more subjective process and not without some concern.” The CIA lists four reasons for this muddled view. First, “the Agency cannot determine with any certainty the totality of the intelligence the detainee actually possesses.” Second, “each detainee has different fears of and tolereace for” harsh techniques. Third, “the application of the same” harsh technique “by different interrogators may have different results.” The fourth reason that the effectiveness of harsh techniques could not be known objectively remains classified, and was redacted from the released document.

Let’s entertain for a moment the possibility that some actionable intel was obtained by torture and is buried under the redact. There is no proof that Dick Cheney seems able to supply that will support his claims and those of his kowtowing apologists that torture, a clear violation of established law, was the one and only  way to get suspects to talk. What every American should be made to learn about the IG Torture Report

(2) As I wrote rather clearly, numerous detainees died in U.S. custody, often as a direct result of our “interrogation methods.”  Those who doubt that can read the details here and here.  Those claiming there was no physical harm are simply lying — death qualifies as “physical harm” — and those who oppose prosecutions are advocating that the people responsible literally be allowed to get away with murder.

Dick Cheney gets up every morning and uses a fire before putting on his pants. That’s a given that no doublespeak from from the Weakly Standard or conservative pundits can bury. All the conservative faux outrage and sniveling is probably unnecessary. As much as Dick and George should be sharing a cell with Bernie Madoff ( an amateur conman compared to Dick and George) it looks as though the DOJ investigation will be limited to low level operatives, The Center for Constitutional Rights has issued a statement blasting the AG

Responsibility for the torture program cannot be laid at the feet of a few low-level operatives. Some agents in the field may have gone further than the limits so ghoulishly laid out by the lawyers who twisted the law to create legal cover for the program, but it is the lawyers and the officials who oversaw and approved the program who must be investigated.

The Attorney General must appoint an independent special prosecutor with a full mandate to investigate those responsible for torture and war crimes, especially the high ranking officials who designed, justified and orchestrated the torture program. We call on the Obama administration not to tie a prosecutor’s hands but to let the investigation go as far up the chain of command as the facts lead. We must send a clear message to the rest of the world, to future officials, and to the victims of torture that justice will be served and that the rule of law has been restored.

Cheney is on record as having approved of the use of EITs. Cheney Told CIA To Hide Program From Congress

Former Vice President Dick Cheney directed the CIA eight years ago not to inform Congress about a nascent counterterrorism program that CIA Director Leon Panetta terminated in June, officials with direct knowledge of the matter said Saturday.

[   ]…Cheney played a central role in overseeing the Bush administration’s surveillance program that was the subject of an inspectors general report this past week. That report noted that Cheney’s chief of staff, David Addington, personally decided who in Bush’s inner circle could even know about the secret program.

I wonder if Cheney and apologists will be playing another round of let’s blame Speaker Pelosi. These are the very same people that think America should trust them when they talk about health-care.

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