If you really want to know the true ideals of someone, simply listen to their arguments for or against something. The Senate’s CIA Report is giving us a window into the souls of several people who were in government and/or involved in what the right wants to call “enhanced interrogation techniques” which the rest of the world calls “torture”. It is also easy to define the morals of anyone simply by listening to them as well.
I served 20 years in the military. Torture is torture no matter what funny names you give it. My time in the military began during the Vietnam war. We knew that our enemy was torturing our personnel being held as POWs. That was something we were all concerned about.
During WWII, the Japanese conducted torture on POWs as well. The odd thing was that the Germans who committed genocide throughout the war against Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals, Slavic People, and the Mentally Insane did not torture our POWs.
After the War, there were military tribunals who tried and punished the enemy for these crimes including the torture of POWs. One of the techniques used and called “torture” was waterboarding. There was a case before WWII where an American Military Officer was court-martialed for conducting waterboarding in the Philippines. So, as you can see, waterboarding has been considered “torture” long before 2001.
Not only is the U.S. signees to the Geneva Convention, it is also signees on the UN Ban on torture. The Bush administration broke both of those agreements when it decided that torture was “legal”. They will tell you it was “legal” because the lawyers they brought in to tell them it was legal said it was legal.
Dick Cheney is totally unapologetic in his defense of the torture his administration conducted. In an appearance with Fox News’ Bret Baier Wednesday night he said “People have been very concerned about waterboarding, calling it “torture,” Cheney said. “First of all it was not deemed torture by the lawyers, and secondly it worked.”
The lawyers he is talking about were his lawyers. He brought in several lawyers to determine what is torture, basically told them what he believed and miracle of miracles they said that waterboarding was not torture despite the fact an American Officer was convicted of torture for doing the exact same waterboarding in our past. I guess these lawyers don’t believe in precedent.
As to whether or not the “technique” worked, the report by the Senate Report, Senate Armed Services Committee, and the CIA’s own Inspector General contradict his claim and say it did not work. All three reports that the one person the right loves to cite as an example of it working, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, started talking long before he was subjected to these “techniques”. They report the “techniques” were not necessary to get information from him.
But the real killer or indicator of Dick Cheney’s lack of moral character came when Baier asked Cheney about Gul Rahman, the detainee who died in a CIA “black site” in Afghanistan in 2002 after being chained half-naked to the floor of a freezing room and left overnight. Cheney’s response was “Three thousand Americans died on 9/11 because of what these guys did. And I have no sympathy for them. I don’t know the specific details, I’m sure there were instances cited in the report, I haven’t read the report.”
He always comes back to the same argument. “Americans died in the attacks” as if that is justification to purposely hurt people with “techniques” that we have promised not to use and prosecuted others who have used them in the past. And, remember, they did this in our name!
But lying to the American people is second nature to Dick Cheney and the rest of the Bush administration. Remember the lies they told us about why we had to go to war in Iraq? Or, how they lied to us when memos about the authorization of the use of torture leaked in 2002? Their response was “that nobody was being tortured, that existing laws were being observed, that it has abided by international conventions barring torture, and that detainees at Guantanamo and elsewhere have been treated humanely.”
Or, how about when Marc Thiessen, who was a speechwriter for Bush, wrote in his 2010 book that “no one was tortured, maybe a few people were roughed up, but no deaths in custody took place in the C.I.A. interrogation program.”
If anyone had any doubts about the twisted, sick mindset of Dick Cheney and his cronies, this report is giving us clear vision into their souls. Fox News is also showing us their true colors in their utter fictional insistence that these techniques were not torture and saved lives.
Torture does not save lives. Torture only allows sick, twisted, evil people to “have fun” with people they despise. That is not justice. That is not interrogation. That is pure evil, and that is what Dick Cheney has let loose in our name.
For a long time, I thought that Cheney should be tried for his crimes. I am now beginning to believe that since he doesn’t consider these “techniques” as torture, we should subject him to the same “techniques” to see if he changes his mind and tells us the truth for once. But I doubt it will work. In my opinion, Dick Cheney is the face of Pure Evil!