October 28, 2006

Cheney Is Coy About Torture


Today the news is all about how Cheney only endorsed "dunking" terrorists, and never endorsed waterboarding.

The White House said Friday that Vice President Dick Cheney was not referring to an interrogation technique known as waterboarding when he told an interviewer this week that dunking terrorism suspects in water was a "no-brainer."

Instead, press secretary Tony Snow said, Cheney was talking literally about "a dunk in the water," though Snow declined to explain what that meant or whether such a tactic had been used against U.S. detainees.

...On Friday, Cheney called reporters to his cabin on Air Force Two as he returned from a trip to Missouri and South Carolina.

"I did not talk about specific techniques and won't," the vice president said. "I didn't say anything about waterboarding. ... He (Hennen) didn't even use that phrase."

As the estimable Jonathan Landry reports, Cheney's answer in the interview was most certainly an endorsement of waterboarding, which Americans once prosecuted as torture when the Japanese used it on American prisoners. Unlike others who only reported on the "dunking" question, Landry wrote about the question leading to Cheney's "no-brainer" statement. From the White House transcript:

Q: ...And terrorist interrogations and that debate is another example. And I've had people call and say, please, let the Vice President know that if it takes dunking a terrorist in water, we're all for it, if it saves American lives. Again, this debate seems a little silly given the threat we face, would you agree?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I do agree. And I think the terrorist threat, for example, with respect to our ability to interrogate high value detainees like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, that's been a very important tool that we've had to be able to secure the nation. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed provided us with enormously valuable information about how many there are, about how they plan, what their training processes are and so forth, we've learned a lot. We need to be able to continue that.

So what was the "tool" that was used on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to extract that information? Would you be surprised to find out it was "waterboarding?"

According to the sources, CIA officers who subjected themselves to the water boarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in. They said al Qaeda's toughest prisoner, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, won the admiration of interrogators when he was able to last between two and two-and-a-half minutes before begging to confess.

Cheney stated "We need to be able to continue that." And then he said it was "a no-brainer." Nevertheless, our brain dead media parrots the words of the lying Dick Cheney and Tony Snow and forgets to look at the context.

One thing to note from this incident, even the White House now agrees that waterboarding is torture and seeks to hide the fact they use it.

Posted by Mary at October 28, 2006 09:21 PM | Human Rights | TrackBack(0) | Technorati links |

First of all, something is obviously wrong if Cheney is trying to cover up something as not being torture. Honestly, if dunking a terrorist's head in water was so harmless why would they even spit out any information if they didn't feel threatened?

Cheney is just trying to smooth things over saying that they "take a dunk in the water" because he doesn't want people to think they're torturing people. Bush's administration already screwed by deciding to have the "war on Iraq" and now they're trying to cover up how they use torture to extract information from people.

If this water dunking was as innocent as Cheney says it is, it would be equivalent to giving a prisoner a cookie. I mean come on, it's obivious they're torturing the guy, who's going to believe that it's not torture based on their description of dunking heads in water and getting information from these people? Not "waterboarding"? sure Cheney sure....dunking heads in water and making people feel like they're going to drown sounds like torture to me.

Posted by: Stephanie Ngo at November 4, 2006 10:33 PM