This is a must read for those who want to follow the steadily unfolding truths behind Cheney’s commitment to torture and violence. That it comes from a commtted fellow Republican in a very senior position makes it even more credible. Read the whole article by Laurence Wilkerson here. The essential lie that Cheney keeps telling is that President Obama is endangering the country by not following Cheney’s commitment to torture. Below are excerpts:
First, more Americans were killed by terrorists on Cheney’s watch than on any other leader’s watch in US history. So his constant claim that no Americans were killed in the “seven and a half years” after 9/11 of his vice presidency takes on a new texture when one considers that fact. And it is a fact.
There was absolutely no policy priority attributed to al-Qa’ida by the Cheney-Bush administration in the months before 9/11. Counterterrorism czar Dick Clarke’s position was downgraded, al-Qa’ida was put in the background so as to emphasize Iraq, and the policy priorities were lowering taxes, abrogating the ABM Treaty and building ballistic missile defenses.
Second, the fact no attack has occurred on U.S. soil since 9/11–much touted by Cheney–is due almost entirely to the nation’s having deployed over 200,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and not to “the Cheney method of interrogation.”
Those troops have kept al-Qa’ida at bay, killed many of them, and certainly “fixed” them, as we say in military jargon. Plus, sadly enough, those 200,000 troops present a far more lucrative and close proximity target for al-Qa’ida than the United States homeland. Testimony to that fact is clear: almost 5,000 American troops have died, more Americans than died on 9/11. Of course, they are the type of Americans for whom Cheney hasn’t much use as he declared rather dramatically when he achieved no less than five draft deferments during the Vietnam War.
Third–and here comes the blistering fact–when Cheney claims that if President Obama stops “the Cheney method of interrogation and torture”, the nation will be in danger, he is perverting the facts once again. But in a very ironic way.
My investigations have revealed to me–vividly and clearly–that once the Abu Ghraib photographs were made public in the Spring of 2004, the CIA, its contractors, and everyone else involved in administering “the Cheney methods of interrogation”, simply shut down. Nada. Nothing. No torture or harsh techniques were employed by any U.S. interrogator. Period. People were too frightened by what might happen to them if they continued.
What I am saying is that no torture or harsh interrogation techniques were employed by any U.S. interrogator for the entire second term of Cheney-Bush, 2005-2009. So, if we are to believe the protestations of Dick Cheney, that Obama’s having shut down the “Cheney interrogation methods” will endanger the nation, what are we to say to Dick Cheney for having endangered the nation for the last four years of his vice presidency?
Likewise, what I have learned is that as the administration authorized harsh interrogation in April and May of 2002–well before the Justice Department had rendered any legal opinion–its principal priority for intelligence was not aimed at pre-empting another terrorist attack on the U.S. but discovering a smoking gun linking Iraq and al-Qa’ida.
So furious was this effort that on one particular detainee, even when the interrogation team had reported to Cheney’s office that their detainee “was compliant” (meaning the team recommended no more torture), the VP’s office ordered them to continue the enhanced methods. The detainee had not revealed any al-Qa’ida-Baghdad contacts yet. This ceased only after Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, under waterboarding in Egypt, “revealed” such contacts. Of course later we learned that al-Libi revealed these contacts only to get the torture to stop.
It is so important, in the wake of these astonishing realities, that Americans of both parties try to find a bipartisan way to cleanse the office of the presidency from the war crime stains that have cast a pall over our country. I don’t know whether ultimately President Obama will allow investigations to proceed or not, but I do know that the world needs from us a bipartisan commitment to a different future, replete with apologies, repentance, regret. I touched the arm of a man tortured in Abu Ghraib, as those of you who know me are well aware of. I apologized to him in Syria in front of three thousand Muslim worshippers and cameras, as I will recount in my forthcoming book. But it is the American people that must touch the hands of these thousands of young men who were tortured, and who we now know were mostly swept off the streets with absolutely not a shred of evidence against them, but under pressure to meet quotas for interrogation. We must do this as a people in order to cleanse our government and our way of life, amd in order to set an example for other countries with violent pasts.© Marc Gopin