Cheney: "I Was A Big Supporter Of Waterboarding"

Via Andrew Sullivan, from ABC's interview with Dick Cheney:

CHENEY: I was a big supporter of waterboarding. [. . .]

KARL: And you opposed the administration's actions of doing away with waterboarding?


It's not new but it remains news. And news mostly unreported -- the Bush Administration sanctioned and engaged in torture - a federal crime, a war crime and a crime against humanity.

Speaking for me only

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    Isn't this a public confession of sorts? (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by andgarden on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 08:03:58 AM EST
    I want someone indicted already.

    Was there ever (none / 0) (#9)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:46:34 AM EST
    the slightest shred of doubt about it, though?  He's always made it perfectly clear, whether he used those exact words in that exact order or not.

    I think Cheney could announce that (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Anne on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 08:13:13 AM EST
    he personally conducted the waterboarding and the reaction would be the same [crickets] that we're hearing now.  Oh, sure, someone might offer a head-shaking, tsk-tsking "Oh, that Dick Cheney, what're ya gonna do?" but that would be it.

    And why?  Because our esteemed president has exempted from accountability all those who designed and carried out these policies, even though I do not believe his powers are so all-encompassing that he can do that.

    I can't wait to hear the WH's comments, if any, on Dick's latest pronouncements.

    The torture kabuki (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by BDB on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 08:21:39 AM EST
    I'm beginning to think all of this discussion of torture - and how the Obama Administration has allegedly ended it - is just kabuki theatre designed to help Obama fulfill the role he was meant to play - giving our political elite plausible deniability for the torture that we're still committing and will, from what I can tell, continue to commit under this Administration.   The more Cheney speaks, the more it looks like torture is a thing of the past when it remains on-going (albeit possibly without waterboarding).

    I strongly recommend everyone read that link and the links in that link.  America continues to torture people.  Just as we continue to hold them indefinitely without charges and assassinate them.

    Pathetic (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 08:42:48 AM EST
    I am beginning to think that I've outlived my time. It disgusts me that so many of my fellow Americans have willingly accepted the distruction of the very moral fiber that this country was founded on.

    We were the ones that condemed regimes around the world for torture, rendition, surveillance cameras and wiretapping. Now we have a former vice president bragging about tortune on national television. Unreal.

    The terrorists did much more than destroy two towers. They seem to have succeeded in destroying our own moral conscience.

    Two points ... (none / 0) (#7)
    by nyrias on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:20:13 AM EST
    1. may be we should stop, as a nation, always try to seize the moral high ground and conduct foreign policies purely based on self interests.

    2. No .. they didn't destroy our conscious. It was never really there. Self-interests and reaction to perceived enemies are always there. Just look at what happened to japanese AMERICANS during WW2. Just look at how viet vets are treated.

    Do you really think most Americans give a damn about some perceived terrorists in a far away place? They would talk about it as if it is a tv show .. for 15 min ... until the next hot media thing arrived. I would expect most cares more about if they have a bonus this year, or even how LOST ends, or who is going to die next in 24, then whether the undie bomber is going to be waterboarded or not.

    very well said (none / 0) (#13)
    by Nathan In Nola on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:52:20 AM EST
    Yup (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 08:53:44 AM EST
    We now have Democrats in power, so where are the indictments? How can Cheney feel free to say such self-incriminiating things? I think the answer is that if Cheney were indicted, he would cough up names of aaaalll the Democrats who also agreed to and supported his philosophies.

    Slogan:  Democrats and Republicans.  They know where one anothers' bodies are buried.

    Dick Cheney (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by robotalk on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:08:18 AM EST
    shouts "I'm a war criminal, I'm a war criminal."  And no one does anything about it.

    Cheney (none / 0) (#2)
    by kmblue on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 08:07:16 AM EST
    would do it himself if he could.

    Okaying Torture + a realtime Biathlon clinic (none / 0) (#8)
    by Ellie on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:42:17 AM EST
    ... and why it works in an alpine environment can be seen here:

    In northern Marjah, an armored column came under fire from at least three separate sniper teams, slowing its progress. One of the teams came within ... 50 meters and started firing.

    Troops braced for the estimated ... four-kilometer march to link up with U.S. and Afghan troops who had been airdropped into the town. [totaling 15,000] Small squads of Taliban snipers initiated firefights throughout the day in an attempt to draw coalition forces into a larger ambush.[...]

    (I elided most of the conversions from metric). So here's a perfect illustration of the craggy environment favoring the sniper, combined with why excusing torture was always wrong. Late in the article, one of the troops is quoted:

    "... [I]t's so hard to fight a war like this," said Lance Corp. Travis Anderson ... "They're using our rules of engagement against us," he said, stating that his platoon had repeatedly seen men dropping their guns into ditches before walking away to melt among civilians.

    The article also describes region as "a Taliban logistical center and a base for the lucrative opium trade that finances the insurgency."

    As much as the spokesman below tried to put a positive spin on this for the chickenhawks back home, no amount of numbers crunching -- and then dialing back -- can erase the plain fact that the snipers were able to get within a fraction of the US/NATO margin of error, and that the platoon still had to travel ~80 times the distance that one (later untraceable) sniper team could get with the platoon and then melt into the civilian population.

    The situation also provides the Taliban with superior intelligence in that they're dealing with quantifiables, while Zazai can only guess and assume.

    Brig. Gen. Sher Mohammad Zazai [said] Afghan and NATO forces have largely contained the insurgents and succeeded in gaining trust from residents ... "Soon we will have Marjah cleared of enemies" [...]

    However, the mission faced a setback on Sunday when two U.S. rockets slammed into a home outside Marjah, killing 12 civilians. NATO said Monday that the rockets missed their target by about 600 meters ... NATO had earlier said the rockets missed their target by just 300 meters.

    ... "Literally every time we stand up, we take rounds," warned one Marine over the radio.

    Marines said their ability to fight back has been tightly constrained by strict new rules of engagement that make their job more difficult and dangerous. Under the rules, troops cannot fire at people unless they commit a hostile act or show hostile intent. ... (Snipers harass US, Afghan troops moving in Marjah By ALFRED de MONTESQUIOU, AP, Feb 15, 2010)

    Except those "new" rules are anything but. They were shredded in the haste to attack Iraq, without a thought given to how this painted a bullseye on troops when the two quoted above were barely out of middle school.

    You can't just suit up and open fire indiscriminately (or hire paramilitary thugs to do so for 9 years) no matter how many times Cheney goes on TV and snarls out another "So?" when trapped in a lie.

    I'm deeply sorry to talk about this in "playbook" terms. I'm a pacifist. The classic martial arts (and Art of War) were developed for self-defense rather than brute conquest. Terrain, intel and tech will always favor the resistance.

    Kambei Shimada:  Defense is harder than offense. (1954 Seven Samurai (Shichinin no samurai))

    If they got what the wanted (none / 0) (#11)
    by robotalk on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:10:53 AM EST
    why couldn't they just drop an atomic bomb on Afghanistan.  If they want to kill indiscriminately, that would certainly be the more cost efficient method.

    It's so tragic to remember how frivolously ... (none / 0) (#12)
    by Ellie on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:19:13 AM EST
    ... the chickenhawk admin and their media cheerleaders, baying for blood, set off these powder kegs.

    Afghanistan is unconquerable and unwinnable, as is Iraq.


    Richard Cheney is protected by the Democrats (none / 0) (#14)
    by Andreas on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 12:15:49 PM EST
    He dares to speak like that because he is protected by the Democrats and the Obama administration.

    Protected by the Democrats AND (none / 0) (#15)
    by observed on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 12:51:33 PM EST
    Obama? That's double protection against torture indemnity!

    He's also protected by the major media (none / 0) (#16)
    by shoephone on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 01:21:27 PM EST
    As soon as he made his waterboarding comments, Jonathan Karl, the ABC interviewer, changed the subject to the KSM trial and where it shold be held. It's a little too much trouble for the major media to challenge the war criminal with follow-up questions about which tactics of torture he loves best.

    last time i checked, (none / 0) (#17)
    by cpinva on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 06:23:36 PM EST
    cheney wasn't president from 2001-2008, bush was. the president sets policy, not the vp. it really doesn't matter much what cheney did or didn't support, he's not the culpable party, bush is.

    unless you have video of cheney personally torturing someone, or documentation authorizing him to authorize it, and then documentation where he did authorize it, you got nothing.

    yeah, cheney's a psychotic scuzzball. fortunately, merely being a psychotic scuzzball is not, in and of itself, a criminal offense.