Thursday, November 02, 2006

Dick Cheney: First he was For Water-Boarding before he was Against It!

Vice-President Dick Cheney has not hesitated to try to get some mileage off of the Kerry gaffe. His contribution:
"Of course, now Senator Kerry says he was just making a joke, and he botched it up," Vice President Dick Cheney said in remarks prepared for a campaign appearance in Montana. "I guess we didn't get the nuance. He was for the joke before he was against it."
That is almost funny. Clearly the Vice-President is better at delivering lines than John Kerry!

Unfortunately, he isn't as well-controlled when talking to Scott Hennen at WDAY Radio:
"Friday, October 27, 2006; A09
Excerpts from an interview of Vice President Cheney in Washington on Tuesday by radio broadcaster Scott Hennen of WDAY in Fargo, N.D.

HENNEN : I've had people call and say, 'Please, let the vice president know that if it takes dunking a terrorist in water, we're all for it, if it saves American lives.' Again, this debate seems a little silly given the threat we face, would you agree?

CHENEY: I do agree. And I think the terrorist threat, for example, with respect to our ability to interrogate high-value detainees like Khalid Sheik Mohammed, that's been a very important tool that we've had to be able to secure the nation. Khalid Sheik Mohammed provided us with enormously valuable information about how many there are, about how they plan, what their training processes are and so forth -- we've learned a lot. We need to be able to continue that. . . .

HENNEN: Would you agree a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?

CHENEY: Well, it's a no-brainer for me, but for a while there I was criticized as being the vice president for torture. We don't torture. That's not what we're involved in. We live up to our obligations in international treaties that we're party to and so forth. But the fact is, you can have a fairly robust interrogation program without torture, and we need to be able to do that."
So I guess he was FOR water-boarding at that time.

The White House immediately DENIED that Vice-President Cheney was talking about water-boarding:
" Lee Ann McBride, a spokeswoman for Cheney, denied that Cheney confirmed that U.S. interrogators used water-boarding or endorsed the technique.

"What the vice president was referring to was an interrogation program without torture," she said. "The vice president never goes into what may or may not be techniques or methods of questioning."
But Scott Hennen himself indicated he was obviously talking about water-boarding of terror suspects:
"Bottom line: Water-boarding is NOT torture. We even use it in training our own troops. And according to a Brian Ross story on ABC, the use of the water-boarding technique with KSM produced key information that disrupted planned attacks and saved lives. So to the critics I ask this: Would you rather we not have a robust interrogation program, short of torture, and let people die? Not me!

Posted by: Scott Hennen on 10/27/2006 at 5:55 AM"
But Cheney denied that this discussion was about water-boarding at all. As was reported:
"Washington: Vice-President Dick Cheney has said he was not referring to an interrogation technique known as "waterboarding" when he told an interviewer this week that dunking terrorism suspects in water was a "no-brainer".

Cheney told reporters aboard Air Force Two on Friday night that he did not talk about any specific interrogation technique during his interview on Tuesday with a conservative radio host. "I didn't say anything about waterboarding. ... He didn't even use that phrase," Cheney said on a flight to Washington from South Carolina."
It is very hard to keep track of this Orwellian spin.

But it gets better. That story continues:
"Earlier on Friday, White House press secretary Tony Snow told reporters that the vice-president was talking literally about "a dunk in the water", though neither Snow nor Cheney explained what that meant or whether such a tactic had been used against US detainees. "A dunk in the water is a dunk in the water," Snow said.
Oh really?

Was the Vice-President talking about putting terror suspects in a carnival dunk tank?

I guess according to Snow he was.

But I don't think so.

What exactly is water-boarding? And is it torture?

As reported:
"6. Water Boarding: The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.

According to the sources, CIA officers who subjected themselves to the water boarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in. They said al Qaeda's toughest prisoner, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, won the admiration of interrogators when he was able to last between two and two-and-a-half minutes before begging to confess.

"The person believes they are being killed, and as such, it really amounts to a mock execution, which is illegal under international law," said John Sifton of Human Rights Watch.

The techniques are controversial among experienced intelligence agency and military interrogators. Many feel that a confession obtained this way is an unreliable tool. Two experienced officers have told ABC that there is little to be gained by these techniques that could not be more effectively gained by a methodical, careful, psychologically based interrogation. According to a classified report prepared by the CIA Inspector General John Helgerwon and issued in 2004, the techniques "appeared to constitute cruel, and degrading treatment under the (Geneva) convention," the New York Times reported on Nov. 9, 2005.

It is "bad interrogation. I mean you can get anyone to confess to anything if the torture's bad enough," said former CIA officer Bob Baer.

Larry Johnson, a former CIA officer and a deputy director of the State Department's office of counterterrorism, recently wrote in the Los Angeles Times, "What real CIA field officers know firsthand is that it is better to build a relationship of trust … than to extract quick confessions through tactics such as those used by the Nazis and the Soviets."
The report continued:
"According to CIA sources, Ibn al Shaykh al Libbi, after two weeks of enhanced interrogation, made statements that were designed to tell the interrogators what they wanted to hear. Sources say Al Libbi had been subjected to each of the progressively harsher techniques in turn and finally broke after being water boarded and then left to stand naked in his cold cell overnight where he was doused with cold water at regular intervals.

His statements became part of the basis for the Bush administration claims that Iraq trained al Qaeda members to use biochemical weapons. Sources tell ABC that it was later established that al Libbi had no knowledge of such training or weapons and fabricated the statements because he was terrified of further harsh treatment.

"This is the problem with using the waterboard. They get so desperate that they begin telling you what they think you want to hear," one source said.
So sometimes, the torture is so severe, that you get confessions of anything you want to hear. Now that is hard to believe! And yet this evidence is now admissable under the new Military Tribunal law.

Shame on this President and his Republican pals to pass such Medieval legislation!

Watch this video if you don't know what water-boarding is about!

It is time for change in America! It is time for a Vice-President who advocates torture to apologize to the American people and for America to investigate these unknown 'interrogation techniques'!

Keep on coming John! You may be 'for the joke before you were against it' but you were never for torture!



Blogger FlyingJunior said...

Cheney is a monster

2:40 AM  

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