Thursday, December 18, 2008

Throw that all together and characterize it as torture policy

The Cheney Legacy Tour continued with an interview in the Washington Times (link, other link).

And what is Cheney’s legacy? Torture, of course. When pretty much all that even the Washington Fucking Times wants to ask you about is torture, you can be pretty well assured of how history will remember you.

Which is so totally unfair, because, he says, only 33 people were “subjected to enhanced interrogation” and only 3 waterboarded: “Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah and a third, al-Nashiri. Um, that’s it. Those three guys. Was it torture? I don’t believe it was torture.”

That “enhanced interrogation,” he said, was “reasonable” and “produced the desired result. I think it’s directly responsible for the fact that we’ve been able to avoid or defeat further attacks against the homeland for 7 1/2 years.” Indeed, “I think it would have been unethical or immoral for us not to do everything we could in order to protect the nation against further attacks like what happened on 9/11.” Heaven forfend he do anything unethical or immoral.

He makes a distinction between Guantanamo torture (good) and Abu Ghraib torture (bad): “People take Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and interrogation of high-value detainees and sort of throw that all together and say, you know, characterize it as torture policy. You’ve got to, I think, back off and recognize that something like Abu Ghraib was not policy.” Not because what took place at Abu Ghraib was immoral, of course, but because it just wasn’t productive: “And the people ... that were subjected to abusive practices there, I don’t think had any special intelligence understandings, if you will, or special intelligence information that we needed.” Otherwise, he’d have totally approved of torturing them.

TWENTY OR THIRTY YEARS? HOPEFULLY YOU’LL BE FINISHING YOUR PRISON SENTENCE RIGHT ABOUT THEN: “I’m personally persuaded that this president and this administration will look very good 20 or 30 years down the road in light of what we’ve been able to accomplish.”

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