Dick Cheney is lying.
Dismissing out-of-hand a new Senate report that is widely believed to condemn the “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” used on senior Al Qaeda leaders in the years after 9/11, Cheney continues to insist that the torture was “absolutely, totally justified.”
Dick Cheney has always defended the interrogation techniques used by the C.I.A. and denies that they fit the true definition of torture. But if mock-drowning, waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and dietary manipulation don’t constitute torture, then what exactly does?
Cheney denies having read the report but states that the content will not change his mind about the effectiveness of the torture program.
“What I keep hearing out there is they portray this as a rogue operation, and the agency was way out of bounds and then they lied about it. I think that’s all a bunch of hooey. The program was authorized. The agency did not want to proceed without authorization, and it was also reviewed legally by the Justice Department before they undertook the program.”
One of the more contentious issues is the conclusion by the Senate Intelligence Committee that the C.I.A. misled the White House; which Mr. Cheney describes as “just a crock.”
“They deserve a lot of praise. As far as I’m concerned, they ought to be decorated, not criticized.”
It appears that Dick Cheney is in no mood to concede any ground whatsoever and even goes as far as to say the torture was “the right thing to do, and if I had to do it over again, I would do it.” But is Cheney about to regret his stance? And is the report about to expose one of the most damning moments in the history of the C.I.A and America?
The Senate report is certain to focus all eyes on America and inevitably attract criticism and condemnation from around the world. The findings will have far-reaching implications and will likely identify other complicit countries and influential figures, as well as exposing a network of secret, unacknowledged prisons around the globe.
In addition to this, the committee are believed to provide evidence that torture is actually an ineffective intelligence gathering technique; a finding substantiated by previous serving agents. Writing in Politico Magazine, Mark Fallow, a former special agent in charge of the criminal investigation task force in Guantanamo Bay, Afghanistan, and Iraq, asserted “no valuable information came from waterboarding.”
“The Senate Intelligence Committee—which had access to all CIA documents related to the “enhanced interrogation” program—has concluded that abusive techniques didn’t help the hunt for Bin Laden.”
Fallow does agree that torture makes people talk, but unlike Cheney, believes that what they say is often untrue.
“Seeking to stop the pain, people subjected to torture tend to say what they believe their interrogators want to hear.”
As the fallout begins, we’re going to be hearing an awful lot from Dick Cheney about how torture – the delivery of pain – was necessary in order to keep Americans Safe.
But we’ve already heard evidence of how it doesn’t work and why it should never be used again. In a progressive, democratic country, there is simply no place for the administration of torture; no matter the lies pedaled by Dick Cheney.
[Image: AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta]