Obama: How many terrorist have actually been brought to justice under (The Bush System)? It hasn't made us safer.
The answer to that question is one - Jose Padilla. 6 years, one conviction.
As was previewed yesterday by muzikal233 President Obama slapped down hard on the notion that he's made us "less safe".
Transcript via Huffpo
I fundamentally disagree with Dick Cheney. Not surprisingly. You know, I think that-- Vice President Cheney has been-- at the head of a-- movement whose notion is somehow that we can't reconcile our core values, our Constitution, our belief that we don't torture, with our national security interests. I think he's drawing the l-- wrong lesson from history.
The facts don't bear him out. I think he is-- that attitude, that philosophy has done incredible damage-- to our image and position in the world. I mean, the fact of the matter is after all these years how many convictions actually came out of Guantanamo? How many-- how many terrorists have actually been brought to justice under the philosophy that is being promoted by Vice President Cheney? It hasn't made us safer. What it has been is a great advertisement for anti-American sentiment. Which means that there is constant effective recruitment of-- Arab fighters and Muslim fighters against U.S. interests all around the world.
Obama's comments have to be looked at in the context not only of self-serving ramblings of John Yoo, but also Col Larry Wilkerson - Colin Powell's former Chief of Staff at the State Department who states that Cheney and Rumsfeld knoew that only 24 detainees at Gitmo were actual terrorists and that over 700 innocent people held for years without reason or justice.
Wilkerson's response to Cheney via the Washington Note.
Simply stated, even for those two dozen or so of the detainees who might well be hardcore terrorists, there was virtually no chain of custody, no disciplined handling of evidence, and no attention to the details that almost any court system would demand. Falling back on "sources and methods" and "intelligence secrets" became the Bush administration's modus operandi to camouflage this grievous failing.
In addition, it has never come to my attention in any persuasive way--from classified information or otherwise--that any intelligence of significance was gained from any of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay other than from the handful of undisputed ring leaders and their companions, clearly no more than a dozen or two of the detainees, and even their alleged contribution of hard, actionable intelligence is intensely disputed in the relevant communities such as intelligence and law enforcement.
So not only were the vast majority of the people held in Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, and Bagram AFB completely innocent - even the little information we received from the "real" terrorist was bogus.
What a waste.
Particularly since this system, this treatment, has been the number one thing Al Qaeda has been using to recruit more fighters according to the interrogator who took out Abu Zarqawi.
I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Our policy of torture was directly and swiftly recruiting fighters for al-Qaeda in Iraq. ... It’s no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse. The number of U.S. soldiers who have died because of our torture policy will never be definitively known, but it is fair to say that it is close to the number of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. How anyone can say that torture keeps Americans safe is beyond me — unless you don’t count American soldiers as Americans.
Former Gitmo Prosecutor Col Vandeveldt's experience completely supports Wilkersen and Obama - not Cheney.
What Cheney doesn't understand - or apparently care about - is that THIS IS NOT JUSTICE. This system can't be allowed to stand and doesn't make us "safer" - it does the exact opposite.
Obama is dead right, Cheney is dead wrong.