Monday, May 11

Cheney wants to Testify about Torture? Let Him!

Dick - Mr. Cloak and Dagger/Man-sized Safe/Fourth-Branch - Cheney wants to go on record and "get the Truth Out" about the Bush program of detention and torture.

CHENEY: I think if you look at this intelligence program that when things are quieter, 20 or 30 years from now, you’ll be able to look back on this and say this is one of the great success stories of American intelligence.

I think this statement will go down in infamy right along side "greeted as liberators" and "there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction" and that 20 or 30 years from now most of the people involved will just be finishing their sentences for the commission of War Crimes.

But then, I always did try to look on the sunny side of things.

SCHIEFFER: Would you go back and talk to the Congress?

CHENEY: Certainly. I’ve made it very clear that I feel very strongly that what we did here was exactly the right thing to do. And if I don’t speak out, then where do we find ourselves, Bob? Then the critics have free run, and there isn’t anybody there on the other side to tell the truth. So it’s important — it’s important that we...

SCHIEFFER: Senator Leahy, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, was on this broadcast recently. And I said, do you intend to ask the former vice president to come up? And he said if he will testify under oath. Would you be willing to testify under oath?

CHENEY: I’d have to see what the circumstances are and what kind of precedent we were setting. But certainly I wouldn’t be out here today if I didn’t feel comfortable talking about what we’re doing publicly.

Cheney is current hanging his entire legacy on two current classified CIA memos, but already (possibly in direct response to his own pushing of this issues) reports are surfacing that - yet again - this claim is a pig in a poke. As has been pointed out in another rec'd Dkos diary the fact is that Cheney's "Holy Grail" is apparently made of pyrite, but I think there's even more to this story. I think we already know what that report is going to say, and that it's already been debunked.

That diary points to this previous released but redacted report by the CIA Inspector Generals Office.

Yet, other leaks of the redacted portion of this report have been springing up. via Thinkprogress.

Government officials familiar with the CIA’s early interrogations say the most powerful evidence of apparent excesses is contained in the “top secret” May 7, 2004, inspector general report, based on more than 100 interviews, a review of the videotapes and 38,000 pages of documents. The full report remains closely held, although White House officials have told political allies that they intend to declassify it for public release when the debate quiets over last month’s release of the Justice Department’s interrogation memos. [...]

Although some useful information was produced, the report concluded that “it is difficult to determine conclusively whether interrogations have provided information critical to interdicting specific imminent attacks,” according to the Justice Department’s declassified summary of it.

Oddly enough I've seen those words before. That's exactly the same thing that one of Cheney's "Little People" Stephen Bradbury wrote in his May 30, 2005 memo to CIA counsel John Rizzo, when quoting from the 2004 CIA Inspector Generals report.

Which in a section which has apparently not been included in the redacted PDF above, said according to McClatchy as quoted by Bradbury that :

"As the IG Report notes, it is difficult to determine conclusively whether interrogations provided information critical to interdicting specific imminent attacks. And because the CIA has used enhanced techniques sparingly, 'there is limited data on which to assess their individual effectiveness'," Bradbury wrote, quoting the IG report.

Yet Bradbury's memo also makes the following claim quoting from the famed "Effectiveness Memo":

before the CIA used enhanced techniques in its interrogation of KSM, KSM resisted giving any answers to questions about future attacks, simply noting, "Soon, you will know." Id. We understand that the use of enhanced techniques in the interrogations of KSM, Zubaydah, and others, by contrast, has yielded critical information. See IG Report at 86, 90-91 (describing increase in intelligence reports attributable to use of enhanced techniques). As Zubaydah himself explained with respect to enhanced techniques, "":"brothers who are captured and interrogated are permitted by Allah to provide information when they believe they have 'reached the limit of their ability to withhold ie in the face of psychological and physicaI hardships." Effectiveness Memo at 2. And,indeed, we understand that since the use of enhanced. techniques, "KSM and Abu Zubaydah have been pivotal sources because of their ability and willingness to provide their analysis and speculation about the capabilities, methodologies, and mindsets of terrorists,"

Some of the info Cheney is fishing for, and was alluded to by Bradbury may also have revealed by former Bush Speechwriter Marc Thiessen who claimed:

THIESSEN: The CIA developed these alternative interrogation techniques, and all of a sudden he started talking. Zubaydah’s information led us to Ramsey bin al Shibh, who was was one of the 9/11 hijackers. Together, they gave us the information that led the capture of KSM. Then, KSM gave us information about another al Qaeda operative, Majid Khan, who was in CIA custody. He told us that Majid Khan had been tasked to give $50,000 to an operative named Zubair, who was developing plots with a Southeast Asian group called JI.

These claims fly in the face of statements made by FBI Director Mueller denying any major plots were "foiled" by Enhanced Interrogation. As well as reports from FBI Interrogator Ali Soufan who categorically refutes Cheney's allegations since he's the one who actually did get good information from Zubaydah BEFORE he was Tortured.

There was no actionable intelligence gained from using enhanced interrogation techniques on Abu Zubaydah that wasn’t, or couldn’t have been, gained from regular tactics. In addition, I saw that using these alternative methods on other terrorists backfired on more than a few occasions — all of which are still classified. The short sightedness behind the use of these techniques ignored the unreliability of the methods, the nature of the threat, the mentality and modus operandi of the terrorists, and due process.

Defenders of these techniques have claimed that they got Abu Zubaydah to give up information leading to the capture of Ramzi bin al-Shibh, a top aide to Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and Mr. Padilla. This is false. The information that led to Mr. Shibh’s capture came primarily from a different terrorist operative who was interviewed using traditional methods. As for Mr. Padilla, the dates just don’t add up: the harsh techniques were approved in the memo of August 2002, Mr. Padilla had been arrested that May.

Torturing Zubaydah did not lead to capturing al-Shibh or Padilla. The dates don't add up - just like the claim that KSM gave up information on the Library Tower plot - only that had also already been foiled a year previously.

Yet again, all we have here - iS EPIC FAIL. Just like Iraq and WMD, or Saddam's link to 9-11 and al Qaeada (a large portion of which was jinned-up as the result of the Torture of the late Ibn al-Shayhk al-Libi)

All they have to offer is Fail!

Cheney is desperate to believe, and desperate to promote the idea that the people who authorized and promoted these program are "Heroes" - but if so, why did they try to suppress the opinion papers of Phillip Zelikow? Why did they knowingly, and with clear consciensness of guilt, perpetrate a Criminal Coverup by attempting to hide "high-value" detainees from the Red Cross which has the international duty to determine if Torture and War Crimes have Occurred. Which, eventually, is exactly what they did.

If Cheney is desd-set on having this out in public - fine, then let's give him what he wants. Let's stack him and Yoo, Bybee and Bradbury (who are about to get sanctioned by Bush's own OPR Report) against the real-life experience (not made up "24"-o-phallic theory) of Soufan, Matthew Alexander, and the contrasting legal arguments from Zelikow, NSA Counsel John Bellinger, and Secretary of State Counsel William Howard Taft and see which view remains standing after a full analysis of the facts.

Better yet, since Cheney is so convinced of his righteousness, his innocence and so desperate to testify, let's do it in front of a JUDGE AND JURY.

Yep, nothing like a War Crimes Trial to help clear the air.

Let him talk, it does the soul good. (The soul of The Nation I mean, not Cheney's - since his was replaced with a Endless Black Pit of SUCK years ago)


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