Does Cheney Want To Be Prosecuted For Sanctioning Torture?

Scott Horton writes:

What prosecutor can look away when a perpetrator mocks the law itself and revels in his role in violating it? Such cases cry out for prosecution. Dick Cheney wants to be prosecuted. And prosecutors should give him what he wants.

No he doesn't. Glenn Greenwald gets it right:

In general, people who commit felonies avoid publicly confessing to having done so, and they especially avoid mocking the authorities who fail to act.[But Cheney has] gradually escalated his boasting about having done so throughout the year. Why? Because he knows that [. . .] he will never be prosecuted no matter how blatantly he admits to these serious crimes. [. . .] Does anyone doubt that Cheney's assessment is right? And isn't that, rather obviously, a monumental indictment of most everything?

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    Never say never. (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by robotalk on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 01:03:07 PM EST
    History is sometimes a funny thing and those smug smiles are not etched in Mt. Rushmore quite yet.

    It's at least (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Edger on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 01:32:27 PM EST
    a moral indictment of Holder and Obama...

    I agree with Glenn, too. (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 01:41:05 PM EST
    It's not that Cheney wants to be prosecuted, but that he knows he won't be; one year gone in the Obama presidency, and Obama now has his own record, a record that would immediately come under investigation should any actions be initiated against the Bush/Cheney cabal.  I would pretty much call that an ironclad insurance policy for Cheney.  And he knows it; you can't adhere to that doctrine AND prosecute your predecessors for it at the same time.  And, shoot, by 2013, the proud-to-be-authoritarian party will be back in power, so, no worries for Cheney.  

    Heck, he's probably trying to keep himself in shape so he'll be ready to run the next administration's House of Horrors.

    I could seriously weep for my country, that it is being run by those who can so easily justify what has been done in our names; with no accountability for their actions, there is no reason anymore for those who lead us to choose principle over power.

    Cheney should be persona non grata, not treated as a hero by the talk shows and Politico; if our system of justice won't hold Cheney to account, the least that could be done would be to ostracize him into irrelevance - instead of keeping the blood-lust alive week after week after week.

    Is this who we are now?  Kind of hard to argue that we aren't when someone like Cheney can be venerated.

    John Lanchester, a British business writer (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by esmense on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 01:52:11 PM EST
    makes the point in his book about the recent financial mess that for decades capitalism was challenged by alternative systems -- fascism, communism, socialism -- and therefore, in the interest of proving that it was better than its competitors, there was an incentive to behave with a minimum of ethics and to follow policies that provided broader benefit.

    I thought that was an interesting point. I also think the same phenomenon is at work in terms of human rights and foreign policy. Without a powerful enemy/competitor like the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany (whose bad acts we can condemn, and who we want to claim moral superiority to) our own brutal exercise of power has become much more blatant and shameless.  

    Well, there is the threat of (none / 0) (#30)
    by observed on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 04:28:22 PM EST
    cronyism and oligarchy. I hope our capitalist banking class can rise to THAT challenge.

    Exactly when was (none / 0) (#39)
    by ricosuave on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 06:39:32 PM EST
    this supposed golden era of ethical corporate behavior?  During the 40s? 50s? 60s? 70s? 80s?  Each had its share of corporate horrors.  Things like United Fruit, decades of arms sales, anencephalic babies, ddt sales abroad, Pinto explosions, S&L crises, union busting, burning rivers, and Union Carbide must have slipped down the memory hole.  (Sorry to sound like a Billy Joel song.) The glory of outshining the commies and the fascists didn't produce solid corporate citizens any more than it produced government officials unwilling to break into psychiatrists offices.

    We didn't have a period without corporate scandals and poor ethics.  We just haven't seen fit to talk about it so much.


    The Marshall Plan, for instance, was structured (none / 0) (#47)
    by esmense on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 09:07:56 PM EST
    to encourage and support unionization in Europe after WWII -- precisely because we feared that the European working class would embrace communism if working people did not realize significant benefit from the post-war recovery efforts.

    The suggestion isn't that competition with socialism and other economic ideologies created a "golden" era "without corporate scandal" -- only that that competition provided a self-interested reason to support, or at least pay lip service to, policies that provided some broader benefit. Self-interest that, for instance, in the immediate post war period encouraged more support for (from the government) and more tolerance of (from industry) unions than anyone feels obliged to even pretend today. That competition also provided self-interested reasons for keeping the gap between executive pay and that of the average worker in some semblance of reasonable check, encouraged the spread of secure health and  retirement benefits, encouraged more support for regulation of financial institutions, etc. All things which were quickly and shamelessly abandoned as we began to perceive US capitalism as "triumphant."


    Marshall plan rocked (none / 0) (#63)
    by ricosuave on Fri Feb 19, 2010 at 05:16:04 PM EST
    But it is not an example of what you are describing in the original post.  It is a good point, however, and a fine example of the fact that our politicians are politically willing to do things as part of highly visible plans for foreigners that they are unwilling to do for us domestically.  As you said, the Marshall Plan recipients got all kinds of benefits that were at the same time being eroded back home.  Our right-wing politicians were perfectly happy to pay for healthcare, nationally run schools, infrastructure projects, and gun control for Iraqis which they would fight tooth-and-nail here.

    Yes, we were much better at covering up our bad (none / 0) (#44)
    by jawbone on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 07:11:23 PM EST
    deeds when we needed to be a moral beacon for the world, the nation standing against the Evil Empire, for example.

    Now? Now we're free to mess around brazenly.


    During the Vietnam era we prosecuted (5.00 / 0) (#14)
    by esmense on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 02:36:39 PM EST
    Americans for waterboarding and we have charged our enemies who indulged in the practice with torture. It is pretty established historically that the US position has always been that waterboarding is torture.

    I don't believe that Cheney actually is claiming it's not torture (although some of his apologists are). His position is that torture is justified as an instrument of war and power.

    Exactly (none / 0) (#18)
    by shoephone on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 02:58:19 PM EST
    He's promoting the "24" theory.

    Cheney is a big fan of "24" (none / 0) (#19)
    by MKS on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 02:59:38 PM EST
    An avid watched of that t.v. show.....

    "watcher" (none / 0) (#20)
    by MKS on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 02:59:54 PM EST
    With one hand... (none / 0) (#57)
    by jondee on Wed Feb 17, 2010 at 03:08:51 PM EST
    ...on the remote.

    Operation Phoenix (none / 0) (#55)
    by jondee on Wed Feb 17, 2010 at 03:06:07 PM EST
    The CIA conducted Operation Phoenix in Vietnam, which was like Torture Inc for a few years.

    The U.S based School of the Americas trained military and intelligence personnel from Latin American countries in "harsh interrogation" techniques for decades.


    Operation Phoenix (none / 0) (#56)
    by jondee on Wed Feb 17, 2010 at 03:06:40 PM EST
    The CIA conducted Operation Phoenix in Vietnam, which was like Torture Inc for a few years.

    The U.S based School of the Americas trained military and intelligence personnel from Latin American countries in "harsh interrogation" techniques for decades.


    Given that Pelosi and others (none / 0) (#1)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 12:42:55 PM EST
    knew about it then it would be a most interesting trial.

    I doubt Pelosi knew the extent (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by MKS on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 01:15:38 PM EST
    She received some pro forma briefing I'm sure, but the interrogation part was most likely very, very vague.

    Cheney is not new to torture.  I firmly believe that he was involved in running, or knew about, the torture chambers in Guatemala in the late 80s early 90s. At that time, Cheney was Secretary of Defense.  Thomas Stroock, of Casper, Wyoming, was then the U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala.  He got Cheney into Yale and went to Yale with Bush, Sr.

    While Stroock was U.S. Ambassaor to Guatemala, Sr. Dianna Ortiz, a Catholic nun from New Mexico, was abducted, raped and tortured.  She was released from the torture chamber by a blond man who spoke spoke Spanish with an American accent who was the boss of the torture chamber, and who has since been identified as a CIA agent.  He told Sr. Dianna to forget about what had happened to her.  

    Stroock pooh-poohed Sr. Dianna's story.  His subordinate at the U.S. Embassy told the press that the 112 cigarette burns on Sr. Dianna's back were due to rough lesbian sex.  Stroock publicly ridiculed Sr. Dianna.  And Stroock rebuked her, telling her that she should be grateful for what he had done for her--inadvertently admitting he got her out of the torture chamber.

    My research of public records shows Cheney visiting Stroock in Guatemala within a few months of the time Sr. Dianna was released from the torture chamber.....

    The U.S. knew about and apparently had direct control over the Guatemalan torture chambers....and Cheney was there.


    Well (none / 0) (#52)
    by jondee on Wed Feb 17, 2010 at 01:05:09 PM EST
    We had to do something to keep the Rooskies from obtaining a new warm water port in Guatemala.

    Plus those nuns is known socialists, what with all their commie Sermon on the Mount propaganda..


    Actually (none / 0) (#2)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 12:55:55 PM EST
    that was proved to be a lie but I know they don't tell you those things on talk radio.

    Frankly, I think Cheney should be tried as a war criminal along with Bush. They will never leave the country because of it. they knwo that other countries WILL arrest them and try them.


    A link? (none / 0) (#5)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 01:12:40 PM EST
    A link to where that was "proven to be a lie"?

    About Pelosi? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 01:34:53 PM EST
    Yep. (none / 0) (#12)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 02:02:50 PM EST
    Where her alleged prior knowledge of waterboarding was proven to be a lie. From press reports quoting her assistants, I gathered that she knew.  If she didn't know, I want to see the articles stating that she didn't know.

    Well (none / 0) (#16)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 02:52:02 PM EST
    there were some later reports that refuted it. She apparently was not in the meetings that Cheney claimed she was in. They were on the bipartisan blog i post on but I dont have time to look them up today.

    Yes, I remember that (none / 0) (#21)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 03:03:27 PM EST
    There were sources corroborating her, I believe.

    Pelosi knew per this NY Times article (none / 0) (#23)
    by vicndabx on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 03:10:55 PM EST
    George W. Bush has traveled to Canada (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 02:17:50 PM EST
    since he has been President.

    Oh, that's (none / 0) (#17)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 02:52:52 PM EST
    true I had forgotten about that but isn't the current government conservative?

    Talk Radio? No, but the Wa Post?Yes! (none / 0) (#29)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 03:53:06 PM EST
    Here ya go. Enjoy.

    A top aide to  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attended a CIA briefing in early 2003 in which it was made clear that waterboarding and other harsh techniques were being used in the interrogation of an alleged al-Qaeda operative, according to documents the CIA released to Congress on Thursday.

    Pelosi has insisted that she was not directly briefed by Bush administration officials that the practice was being actively employed. But Michael Sheehy, a top Pelosi aide, was present for a classified briefing that included  Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), then the ranking minority member of the House intelligence committee, at which agency officials discussed the use of waterboarding on terrorism suspect Abu Zubaida.

    A Democratic source acknowledged yesterday that it is almost certain that Pelosi would have learned about the use of waterboarding from Sheehy. Pelosi herself acknowledged in a December 2007 statement that she was aware that Harman had learned of the waterboarding and had objected in a letter to the CIA's top counsel.


    BTW - Hartman's letter was written in March of 2003.


    You (5.00 / 0) (#43)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 07:05:28 PM EST
    are not listening to the more recent information. You are posting what was originally said not what came out later.

    Oh sure (none / 0) (#49)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 10:06:58 PM EST
    Pelosi's aid never told her



    LOL (none / 0) (#50)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Feb 17, 2010 at 05:39:59 AM EST
    Well, you are saying that she would be liable under the law and now you are saying that only her aid told her? That's why I have to laugh constantly at conservatives.

    If you are so sure that she knows something then indict Bush and Cheney and then let the chips fall where they may.


    No, I didn't say she would be liable (none / 0) (#51)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Feb 17, 2010 at 12:52:14 PM EST
    for anything, just that if Cheney was charged it would be an interesting trial because she, and others, would be called and placed under oath.

    And yes, her aid told her, unless you believe that the aid didn't bother to brief her about one of the hottest subjects around.... And then we have her 12/07 comments.

    So we'll just have to find something else to agree on... like (maybe) Georgia has given us a great football coach!


    Well (none / 0) (#53)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Feb 17, 2010 at 02:33:43 PM EST
    if the article is true then she heard it from an aide is not something that any attorney would want for the prosecution I would imagine and it's pretty thin gruel to try to indict someone on.

    You're choosing to believe that when there are contradictory claims out there. You're assuming a lot of things not based in fact.

    Like I said, indict Bush and Cheney for what they have done and if the evidence is there for Pelosi too so be it.


    The post was about Cheney (none / 0) (#54)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Feb 17, 2010 at 02:45:22 PM EST
    so I have no idea as to why you think we were talking about trying Pelosi.. unless you know she's guilty...


    Seriously. You do no one any good defending her.

    She knew but chose not to say anything. There is no confusion.


    Once (none / 0) (#59)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Feb 17, 2010 at 06:23:13 PM EST
    again, you are using thin gruel to make your case against Pelosi but are making excuses for the architects of torture: Bush and Cheney.

    If you think believe what you say then shouldnt Bush and Cheney be indicted for war crimes? I mean if you believe that Pelosi knew and said nothing then what does that say about your heroes Bush and Cheney?

    I said that if there is the evidence against Pelosi is there fine but first you must indict Bush and Cheney much as we started at the top during the Nuremburg trials and worked the way down.


    All of them ... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Andreas on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 12:59:15 PM EST
    ... should be indicted, convicted and punished appropriately.

    Cheney wants to be an irritant (none / 0) (#15)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 02:48:56 PM EST
    Who does he hate as much if not more than terrorists? DFH's. Who will be maddest at Obama for not locking his a** up? DFH's.  I'm not saying we should stop sputtering with our impotent rage just because Cheney likes it...that would be like not invading Afghanistan because Osama bin Laden wanted us to.

    Cheney is the equivalent of Osama's videos.

    The Cheney public blabbing on his role in torture (none / 0) (#22)
    by KeysDan on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 03:08:53 PM EST
    sure has been puzzling.  It seems apparent that Cheney adheres to the Nixon assertion that if the president orders it, it is not against the law, any law at all--and, particularly, in times of "war". This arrogance of power, of course, is derivative to the vice president. So, in his heart (or what is left of it) he truly believes waterboarding or other torture is acceptable for the greater good, and he has defined the greater good.  It was probably just other faint of hearts, such as Bush, who felt more comfortable with the Bybee/Yoo legal fig leafs.  Now, with public and frequent utterances along these lines, including chastisement to Obama for not using the key word to the Cheney doctrine, i.e., war, enough he may hope that his offense will become a commonplace defense.

    A question for a legal defense site (none / 0) (#24)
    by abdiel on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 03:11:00 PM EST
    if Cheney were charged with the various felonies, would you defend him and his right to be considered innocent until proven guilty?

    And yes, I know (none / 0) (#25)
    by abdiel on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 03:11:45 PM EST
    this is close to trolling, if it isn't blatantly so.  I'm just curious what defense you think Cheney would provide for himself.

    I (none / 0) (#28)
    by lentinel on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 03:49:06 PM EST
    believe that this site would indeed argue that Cheney should be granted his full rights as an American citizen under the law.
    I have never seen them not do that.

    Personally, I wouldn't mind if Cheney were "rendered" - figuratively and literally. Drawn and quartered. Guillotined in the public square.
    Placed in stocks where people could throw shoes at him. Placed in quicksand. Placed in the middle of the Sahara desert. Placed in a cage with red ants.

    But I digress.
    This site has integrity and I'm a nut.


    So the position against the death penalty is ... (none / 0) (#34)
    by nyrias on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 05:51:30 PM EST
    selective and depends on WHO the defendant is?

    If you would like to see him guillotined, how about mass murderers? serial murderers? or just plain murderers?

    Should those in the dead row gets quicksand too?


    He is a rather special case.. but (none / 0) (#42)
    by lentinel on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 06:59:56 PM EST
    Look. I represent nobody.
    I'm saying what I said about what I would like to happen to Cheney based on his deliberate lies to the American people. Lies that lead to the invasion of Iraq and the deaths of thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.

    If he were to be brought to trial for this, I would be in favor of his getting all the rights that are due any American citizen. No problem.

    I was just expressing my personal contempt for the man based on what I personally witnessed during his abominable tenure. It had nothing to do with my views of the death penalty or anything. It was pure ranting based on anger.

    I admit to being schizophrenic about this.
    I am opposed to the death penalty.
    But I admit that in his case, I would find myself with a half smile if photos of him were to appear on the front page of the Times looking like Saddam looked in his last public appearance.


    This is a hypocritical position ... (none / 0) (#60)
    by nyrias on Wed Feb 17, 2010 at 11:24:15 PM EST
    You are opposed to the death penalty and just not oppose "enough" if the criminal is Cheney.

    Do you actually have a criterion or are you just random? How about Bin Laden? He killed thousands of Americans.

    I guess it is ok to be hypocritical. We are all human.


    I don't (none / 0) (#61)
    by lentinel on Thu Feb 18, 2010 at 07:02:57 AM EST
    think that what I am saying is hypocritical. I am not proposing a policy.

    I was expressing, or meant to express, the emotion I would feel as an American should Cheney be subject to the type of "justice" that he has felt free to deal out to others.

    That doesn't mean I would encourage, wish for or justify his being waterboarded and hung.


    Wouldn't the crimes (none / 0) (#33)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 05:50:13 PM EST
    be war crimes and be tried as such?

    I think (none / 0) (#26)
    by lentinel on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 03:43:22 PM EST
    that if someone were to ask Obama whether Cheney should be prosecuted for advocating torture, something he freely admits doing, he would mumble something about moving forward.

    Of course, no one will ask him.

    C&L writes:

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding," Cheney said in an appearance on ABC's This Week on Sunday. He went on to explain that Justice Department lawyers had been instructed to write legal opinions to cover the use of this and other torture techniques after the White House had settled on them.

    Section 2340A of the federal criminal code makes it an offense to torture or to conspire to torture.

    If that is so, how can anyone in public office justify letting Cheney off the hook.

    I just have the feeling that nobody in the Obama administration gives a hang.

    And I also suspect that they want to reserve the right to be as brutal as their predecessors without fear of legal consequences.

    How is "conspire to torture" defined? (none / 0) (#36)
    by nyrias on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 05:55:38 PM EST
    Just an opinion that torture is a good thing is NOT a felony. In fact, first amendment protects his right to express such (even if it is unpopular) opinion.

    And i don't think it is the Obama administration who does not care. it is the American people. I highly doubt many will think about waterboarding much. They probably care more about how Jack Bauer is going to kick terrorists ass in the next episode of 24.


    More (none / 0) (#41)
    by lentinel on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 06:50:28 PM EST
    C&L (Susie Madrak) goes on to say:

    Cheney told Jonathan Karl that he used his position within the National Security Council to advocate for the use of waterboarding and other torture techniques. Former CIA agent John Kiriakou and others have confirmed that when waterboarding was administered, it was only after receiving NSC clearance.

    Hence, Cheney was not speaking hypothetically but admitting his involvement in the process that led to decisions to waterboard in at least three cases.

    That sounds like participating in a conspiracy to me. It's more than a guy giving an opinion.

    And I do think that Obama doesn't care.
    He has said as much. He wants to "look forward".



    so far, i've yet to see (none / 0) (#31)
    by cpinva on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 04:54:59 PM EST
    anything that documents mr. cheney's actual involvement in torture, or him authorizing it.  as vp, he had no constitutional authority to give anyone orders, absent specific authority from the president or congress. that he supported torturing detainees is merely proof that he's a psychopath, in itself not a criminal act.

    absent proof that he had legal authority to order/authorize torture and used it, that he tortured people himself, or he engaged in a conspiracy to torture detainees, i don't see anything actionable in his comments.

    am i missing some critical bit of information here?

    This WAPO article was the one that convinced me (none / 0) (#48)
    by shoephone on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 09:11:40 PM EST
    that Cheney was not only fully aware, but fully in control of the Bush Administration's entire torture regime.

    In my opinion, it's strong eveidence that he is a war criminal and should be held accountable at the Hague.


    Cheney Off the Hook in US (none / 0) (#32)
    by squeaky on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 05:02:31 PM EST
    He was following US law, even if it was a law he wrote..  Congress OKed the Millitary Commission Act, and Bush signed it into law in 2006. Times may be different now but not when Cheney was drooling about the US torture chambers..

    After declaring waterboarding a "no-brainer," Cheney said, "Thanks to the leadership of the president now, and the action of Congress, we have the authority and we are able to continue the program."

    Cheney was referring to the 2006 Military Commissions Act, the sweeping legislation that creates a system of drumhead military tribunals and allows the president to lock up anyone as an "unlawful enemy combatant" on his sole say-so. Bush signed the measure into law October 17.....

    The law also cedes to the president the right to decide what interrogation techniques are lawful under the Geneva Conventions and US law, in effect giving the Bush administration a blank check to continue its torture methods.

    It is clear from Cheney's comments that the White House sees this act, passed by a substantial majority by both houses of Congress, as not only a license to torture, but an affirmation that the president as "commander-in-chief" has the power to do whatever he likes in the name of waging the so-called "global war on terror."


    Speaking to the New York Daily News editorial board on October 11, Clinton said she recognized that in some situations interrogations called for "severity." According to the newspaper, the conversation included mention of waterboarding, hypothermia and other methods recognized internationally as torture.

    "I have said that those are very rare, but if they occur there has to be some lawful authority for pursuing that," she responded. "Again, I think the president has to take responsibility. There has to be some check and balance, some reporting. I don't mind if it's reporting in a top secret context."

    Asked again about the permissibility of torture, she declared: "In those instances where we have sufficient basis to believe that there is something imminent, yeah, but then we've got to have a check and balance."

    Bill Van Auken, WSWS

    I think Obama has (none / 0) (#35)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 05:54:01 PM EST
    signed the same law.

    Yes (none / 0) (#37)
    by squeaky on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 06:13:23 PM EST
    The Military Commissions Act of 2009 amended some of the provisions of the 2006 Act to improve protections for defendants. The American Civil Liberties Union summarized the positive aspects as being "restricting coerced and hearsay evidence and providing greater defense counsel resources," though overall it argued that the law as amended still fell "short of providing the due process required by the Constitution." [7]


    Rep. King, who is a ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, must have also forgotten (or has never been aware) that in October 2009 President Obama signed the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act (which is called the "Military Commissions Act of 2009") which significantly altered the legal landscape in the interrogation of "terror suspects." The previous Military Commissions Act, enacted by King and his congressional colleagues in 2006, allowed coerced statements obtained through torture to be admitted into evidence against terror suspects tried before military tribunals. The new Act, which was law at the time of Abdulmutallab's arrest, no longer permits the use of such statements obtained through the "harsh interrogation" techniques supported by Dick Cheney and others. In a recent Findlaw column, Human Rights Watch attorney Joanne Mariner discussed the provisions of the revised 2009 Act:

    "The good news is that the revised MCA entirely bars statements made as a result of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.



    Cheney has a strategy (none / 0) (#38)
    by Babel 17 on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 06:37:59 PM EST
    He's following the same logic of the advice that Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford), in Clear and Present Danger, gave to the President regarding a friend of the President who was involved in a major scandal (laundering money for the Colombian drug cartels).

    "If a reporter asked if you and Hardin were friends, I'd say "good friends".
    If they asked if you were good friends, I'd say "lifelong friends".
    Give them no place to go, nothing to report. No story.
    I mean, it's no sense in|defusing a bomb after it's already...it's already gone off."

    Imo, the crimes of Cheney were made possible in part because in the past we chose "look forward, not back" in regards the crimes committed under Reagan and Bush I.

    If we let Cheney slide now there will be more incentive for others in the future to have a Cheneyesque contempt for the notion of accountability.

    In Cheney's case I hope he has made a tactical error. But I do think he is trying to set up for ridicule the patient people who are working to get him indicted.

    Ummm (none / 0) (#40)
    by squeaky on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 06:42:12 PM EST
    Imo, the crimes of Cheney were made possible in part because in the past we chose "look forward, not back" in regards the crimes committed under Reagan and Bush I.

    you forgot about Clinton..


    Bill Clinton?!! How dare you. (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by jondee on Wed Feb 17, 2010 at 04:23:16 PM EST
    Of all the..I'll have you know you're talking about the last truly progressive presidential nominee's husband.

    You're just begging to be troll rated, aren't you, Squeaky?


    Related but seperate (none / 0) (#45)
    by Babel 17 on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 07:25:27 PM EST
    There's a theme, and often recurring characters, to the crimes committed under Reagan and then Bush I and Bush/Cheney.

    Wrongdoings/Ethical lapses under Clinton*, imo, mostly followed a different theme and were gotten away with more because we dem's tolerated them.

    Reagan and Bush I never had a Ken Starr. :)

    *I still feel the disappointment over the political sellouts. All the deregulation and NAFTA come to mind.


    License to Torture (5.00 / 0) (#46)
    by squeaky on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 07:40:33 PM EST
    AKA: Extraordinary Rendition
    U.S.-run detention facilities outside U.S. sovereign territory or, alternatively, are handed over to the custody of foreign agents for interrogation. In both instances, interrogation methods are employed that do not comport with federal and internationally recognized standards. This program is commonly known as "extraordinary rendition."

    The current policy traces its roots to the administration of former President Bill Clinton.



    Play in Peoria (none / 0) (#62)
    by diogenes on Fri Feb 19, 2010 at 01:24:15 PM EST
    Go ahead.  Let the Democratic president prosecute Cheney for waterboarding terrorists.  Let's see how this plays in Peoria for the 2010 elections.  Cheney WANTS to be indicted for this very reason.