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Monday, February 15, 2010

Former VP Dick Cheney Says it was a "Mistake" for Obama to Take Enhanced Interrogations "Off the Table" - Video 2/14/10

Here is video of former Vice-President Dick Cheney yesterday on ABC News' This Week saying CIA interrogators should have had all available options at their disposal to question Terrorist Bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab - including Waterboarding if they deemed it necessary.

Cheney said the did not have those options because President Obama took those "off the table," which Cheney said "was a mistake."


Anonymous,  February 15, 2010 at 11:19 AM  

Dick Cheney is 1000% right.

Torture should never be taken off the table. We can only keep America and its values safe by inflicting unbearable pain upon detainees. Even though we never get any actionable intelligence from tortured detainees, it's still funny to watch them squirm.

Jack Bauer always gets his man on "24". Let's make him the next CIA Director.

Where's Torquemada when you need him?

Brian February 15, 2010 at 12:02 PM  

It's not torture, we have gotten intelligence that has prevented attacks, and no harm has come to those very few key detainees with whom enhanced interrogation has been used.

I know that does not jive with the liberal talking points, but those are the facts.

Anonymous,  February 15, 2010 at 1:02 PM  

You're absolutely right, I was confused. Waterboarding is only torture if we call it torture, like when the Japanese did it to our guys in WWII. When the US does it to alleged terrorists, we call it enhanced interrogation and it isn't torture.

Since you're so in favor of waterboarding, why not just admit that it's torture, but it's OK torture in your Republican playbook? That would at least be honest,if still immoral.

Brian February 15, 2010 at 1:31 PM  

It's not torture. It has only been used in very limited, critical situations to save lives. I favor it being available to those who are trying to save our lives IF THEY DEEM it necessary.

We'll just have to agree to disagree on this.

Anonymous,  February 15, 2010 at 6:15 PM  

"Waterboarding is a torture technique that consists of immobilizing the victim on his or her back with the head inclined downwards; water is then poured over the face into breathing passages, causing the captive to believe he or she is drowning. In contrast to submerging the head face-forward in water, waterboarding precipitates an almost immediate gag reflex. It can cause extreme pain, dry drowning, damage to lungs, brain damage from oxygen deprivation, other physical injuries including broken bones due to struggling against restraints, lasting psychological damage or, if uninterrupted, death. Adverse physical consequences can manifest themselves months after the event, while psychological effects can last for years."

"Dating back to the Spanish Inquisition, the suffocation of bound prisoners with water has been favored because, unlike most other torture techniques, it produces no marks on the body. CIA officers who have subjected themselves to the technique have lasted an average of 14 seconds before capitulating. According to at least one former CIA official, information retrieved from the waterboarding may not be reliable because a person under such duress may admit to anything, as harsh interrogation techniques lead to false confessions. 'The person believes they are being killed, and as such, it really amounts to a mock execution, which is illegal under international law'."


Brian February 15, 2010 at 8:21 PM  

Here is what an ABC News report found to be the six "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques":


"As a result of Hayden's decision, officials say, the most extreme technique left available to CIA interrogators would be what is termed "longtime standing," which includes exhaustion and sleep deprivation with prisoners forced to stand handcuffed, with their feet shackled to the floor.

The most effective use of waterboarding, according to current and former CIA officials, was in breaking Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, known as KSM, who subsequently confessed to a number of ongoing plots against the United States.

A senior CIA official said KSM later admitted it was only because of the waterboarding that he talked.

Ultimately, KSM took responsibility for the 9/ll attacks and virtually all other al Qaeda terror strikes, including the beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

"KSM lasted the longest under waterboarding, about a minute and a half, but once he broke, it never had to be used again," said a former CIA official familiar with KSM's case.

ABC News first reported on waterboarding in November 2005 as part of a George Polk Award-winning series of reports on the agency and its practices. In that report, CIA sources outlined for ABC News a list of harsh interrogation techniques approved by the Bush administration in a "Presidential Finding," which authorized the use of the techniques on a narrow range of "high-value" targets.

The CIA sources described the list of six "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" instituted in mid-March 2002 and used, they said, on a dozen top al Qaeda targets incarcerated in isolation at secret locations on military bases in regions from Asia to Eastern Europe. According to the sources, only a handful of CIA interrogators are trained and authorized to use the techniques:

1. The Attention Grab: The interrogator forcefully grabs the shirt front of the prisoner and shakes him.

2. The Attention Slap: An open-handed slap aimed at causing pain and triggering fear.

3. The Belly Slap: A hard open-handed slap to the stomach. The aim is to cause pain, but not internal injury. Doctors consulted advised against using a punch, which could cause lasting internal damage.

4. Longtime Standing: This technique is described as among the most effective. Prisoners are forced to stand, handcuffed and with their feet shackled to an eye bolt in the floor for more than 40 hours. Exhaustion and sleep deprivation are effective in yielding confessions.

5. The Cold Cell: The prisoner is left to stand naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees. Throughout the time in the cell the prisoner is doused with cold water.

6. Waterboarding (as demonstrated in the picture above): 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 waterboarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in."

As you can see, waterboarding DID work on KSM, getting very important information from a man who would not cooperate without it.

If you take waterboarding out of the equation, which of the other five techniques do you find acceptable to obtain life-saving information from terrorists who are bent on killing us?

Anonymous,  February 16, 2010 at 2:07 PM  

You're conflating two separate issues:

1. Waterboarding is torture

2. Waterboarding may be effective.

Nobody's debating that waterboarding may be effective... but taht doesn't mean it's not torture. It is.

KSM may have confessed to bein ghte WTC mastermind, but he probably also confessed to being the offspring of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, too. And don't sell us the line that it was only used on KSM once. He was waterboarded 183 times in one month, according to intelligence sources. And the useful stuff was gotten by the FBI, before the CIA ever got involved.

As for which technique I find acceptable: it isn't up to me. Let's consult the Geneva Conventions for what's torture and what's not. This make-it-up-as-we-go stuff is bullcrap.

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