Tuesday, February 16

Cheney is Still a Fact-Mangling Dick

After slipping out from his undisclosed bunker, Richard B. Cheney appeared On This Week and yet again criticized President Obama for not following in his torture-monger foot steps.

Via Raw Story

"I think you ought to have all of those capabilities on the table," Cheney told ABC's Jonathan Karl Sunday.

Cheney also said he opposed the Obama administration's ban on waterboarding.

"He announced when he came in last year that they would never use anything other than the U.S. Army manual, which doesn't include those techniques," Cheney said. "I think that's a mistake."

Before I get into the meat of this let me first give Dick some credit for correctly pointing out that Sarah Palin is a War-mongering Super Wingnut for suggesting Obama should go to War with Iran to get re-elected, and for exposing John McCain as a liar and hypocrite for ignoring the Militaries own decision making process on "Don't Ask Don't Tell".

Not that he put it in those terms exactly.

After that though, it was all down hill.

Full Transcript.

As I pointed out just yesterday there is no evidence - ZERO - that Cheney's Torture-Lite(tm) techniques would have given us better information that what we're already getting from Omar AbdulMutallab by gaining the cooperation and support of his family.

For the record, he's wasn't Mirandized until 9 Hours After his arrest. Richard Reid the "Show Bomber" whose still isn't an American Citizen was Mirandized in the first five minutes back in 2001.

And yes, what Cheney is suggesting is Torture - Cheney's own former Chief of Staff at the Pentagon Ruled that it was in Military Court with a detainee who wasn't even water-boarded.

These techniques were developed by Communist Countries in order to illicit false confessions for political purposes - the same way that Cheney tried to have the Iraqi Head of Security Water-boarded so that he would claim Saddam had something to do with 9-11.

(Sorry about the bad audio)

Those tactics don't get you the TRUTH, Cheney should know that since FBI Director Mueller has announced they didn't Foil a Single Terror Plot with information from Coercive Interrogations.

Also the system that Cheney continues to champion that he and Bush "put in place" was smashed to bits by the Supreme Court as Unconstitutional as Hamdan v Rumsfeld in 2006.

(c) Because UCMJ Article 36 has not been complied with here, the rules specified for Hamdan's commission trial are illegal. The procedures governing such trials historically have been the same as those governing courts-martial. Although this uniformity principle is not inflexible and does not preclude all departures from courts-martial procedures, any such departure must be tailored to the exigency that necessitates it.


(d) The procedures adopted to try Hamdan also violate the Geneva Conventions. The D. C. Circuit dismissed Hamdan's challenge in this regard on the grounds, inter alia, that the Conventions are not judicially enforceable and that, in any event, Hamdan is not entitled to their protections. Neither of these grounds is persuasive.

Now Bush and Congress responded to this decision with the Military Commissions Act, but even the tribunals established under this act have had a Rocky Road with at least SEVEN Prosecutors who've resigned in protest because of the disorganization of the Commissions and slipshod handling of the evidence.

"I am highly concerned, to the point that I believe I can no longer serve as a prosecutor at the Commissions, about the slipshod, uncertain 'procedure' for affording defense counsel discovery."

Even before Hamdan in 2004 the CIA Inspector General had ruled that the program was deeply illegal and ineffective.

The real trouble began on May 7, 2004, the day the C.I.A. inspector general, John L. Helgerson, completed a devastating report. In thousands of pages, it challenged the legality of some interrogation methods, found that interrogators were exceeding the rules imposed by the Justice Department and questioned the effectiveness of the entire program.

Because of this Cheney's pet interrogation program was all but dead by 2005.

And even if AbdulMuttalab had been put into the Military System, he would have still be required to have a lawyer as per a decision from former Federal Judge (And Bush Attorney General) Michael Mukasey ruled in the Jose Padilla Case.

Via Glenn Greenwald

I want to highlight one extremely relevant consideration concerning Judge Mukasey -- the impressive role he played in presiding over the Jose Padilla case in its earliest stages. After Padilla was first detained in April 2002 and declared an "enemy combatant," he was held incommunicado, denied all access to the outside the world, including counsel, and the Bush administration refused to charge him with any crimes. A lawsuit was filed on Padilla's behalf by a New York criminal defense lawyer, Donna Newman, demanding that Padilla be accorded the right to petition for habeas corpus and that, first, he be allowed access to a lawyer. That lawsuit was assigned to Judge Mukasey, which almost certainly made the Bush DOJ happy.

But any such happiness proved to be unwarranted. Judge Mukasey repeatedly defied the demands of the Bush administration, ruled against them, excoriated them on multiple occasions for failing to comply with his legally issued orders, and ruled that Padilla was entitled to contest the factual claims of the government and to have access to lawyers. He issued these rulings in 2002 and 2003, when virtually nobody was defying the Bush administration on anything, let alone on assertions of executive power to combat the Terrorists. And he made these rulings in the face of what was became the standard Bush claim that unless there was complete acquiescence to all claimed powers by the President, a Terrorist attack would occur and the blood would be on the hands of those who impeded the President.

Both Jose Padilla and Ali Al-marri, the only two persons arrested for terrorism on U.S. Soil who actually were placed in Military Custody, were both ultimately tried and convicted in civilian courts.

So essentially what Cheney suggests shouldn've been "on the table" really isn't even legally viable. It's nowhere near the table, in fact it's not even in the same room as the law and the Constitution.

Speaking of "Granting Terrorist the Rights of Americans" - I thought Conservatives believed that the one thing that makes America unique and "Superior" to other countries was idea that Human Rights are granted By God rather than by government, isn't that what makes them "Inalienable"?

Dick Move Number 2 was Cheney's attempt to take Credit for the Iraq Withdrawal, which conventiently ignores how long Bush and Cheney both argued as recently as last June that the last thing we should do in Iraq - is set a date for Withdrawal or else chaos might erupt as the insurgent simply "Wait for us to leave".

Mr. Cheney told The Washington Times’ America’s Morning News radio show that he is a strong believer in Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, and that the general is doing what needs to be done.

“But what he says concerns me: That there is still a continuing problem. One might speculate that insurgents are waiting as soon as they get an opportunity to launch more attacks.

Unlike the Bush Administration the Obama Presidency actually has a chance to "Win" the War on Al Qeada by aggressively pursuing them in Afghanistan (where a brand new massive offensive was just announced) and working closely with our allies in Pakistan as well as drying up their recruitment and re-enforcements by recommitting our country to the Rule of Law, our own Constitution, Ideals of Justice, Fairplay and the Geneva Conventions.

Y'know - everything that you FAILED to do - Dick.


P.S. And Cheney et al. may not entirely be out of legal jeopardy on this, there's considerable evidence the Abu Zubaydah was abused long before the Yoo, Bybee memos were even written. The British inquiry into the Iraq War has found that Binyam Mohammed was brutally tortured also before the OLC Authorizing Memos.

The U.S. Prosecuted and Executed Japanese Soldiers for Water-boarding Americans, and even court-martialed and dishonorably dischared the U.S. Soldier pictured in the left of this photo for helping to water-board a member of the Vietcong.

In 1983 a Texas Sherrif was prosecuted and sentenced to 10 Years for water-boarding a suspect. All of that was before the President Reagan signed the U.N. Convention against Torture in 1988, and the War Crimes Act as passed in 1994. With Eric Holder's Special Prosecutor still out there investigating this issue, Cheney is a long way from being entirely "Safe".

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