Did Cheney Admit to Authorizing Torture? – nannymm

In an interview with ABC News, Cheney seems to acknowledge that he not only knew of but also  approved of the use of torture.

From Cheney’s interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl:

“Cheney was matter-of-fact and unapologetic about the harsh techniques used against the detainees — including waterboarding, a form of simulated drowning considered torture since the days of the Inquisition. “I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared, as the [Central Intelligence] Agency, in effect, came in and wanted to know what they could and couldn’t do,” Cheney said. “And they talked to me, as well as others, to explain what they wanted to do. And I supported it.”

Earlier in that same interview, Cheney categorically denied that the United States tortures.
“On the question of so-called torture, we don’t do torture. We never have. It’s not something that this administration subscribes to. Again, we proceeded very cautiously. We checked. We had the Justice Department issue the requisite opinions in order to know where the bright lines were that you could not cross.”

So let me get this straight. The Bush-Cheney administration waterboards “very cautiously.” And that waterboarding isn’t torture because the Justice Department says it isn’t. Does that mean the administration can beat detainees as long as they do it carefully and can get the Justice Department to say it’s legal? How about using drills in detainees’ skulls? Or gouging their eyes out? What else do Bush and Cheney think they can do? What else have they done?
I find it so difficult to reconcile the Bush-Cheney “logic” with reality. Since when does “proceed{ing} cautiously” make an illegal act legal? Since when does the Justice Department have the authority to declare an illegal act legal? Haven’t the people in this Administration read the Constitution? Have they ever read the the UN Conventions Against Torture?

Personally, I am appaled that I have heard so little about this in the mainstream US press. The foreign press has shown far more interest in this than our own American press. It’s a disgrace that compounds the original offense.
Now I, like so many others, am left to wonder what Barack Obama and the new Congress will do about this. My guess is they will do nothing unless we pressure them to take action. Cheney has given us new ammunition to use in the fight for real justice for these war criminals. Let’s use it! Let’s show the world that We The People do not support the criminal actions taken by Bush and Cheney. Let’s demonstrate how our Justice system is supposed to work. We can’t undo the torture but we can and we must take steps to find out exactly what was done and hold the torturers, especially Bush and Cheney,  accountable.  We must also fight to ensure that it never happens again.



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52 responses to “Did Cheney Admit to Authorizing Torture? – nannymm

  1. Good piece nann, very good. It’s going to be more than interesting to see how the next congress and new admin deal with all the info that is coming out about all this. Also I’d be curious to find out can a former pres or VP claim executive priv and refuse to testify if called in front of a congressional committee. I think we could be in for some very interesting shows after the first of the year.

  2. chefsheila

    With the all the theoretical talk about Bush pardoning Cheney, I’m just wondering if that shoe is going to drop on the 20th of January

  3. chefsheila

    BTW, Well said Nanny!

    I wonder what will be done and how soon after taking office?

    SOOOOO many crisis’ of the first order on his plate, left by the Bushies.

  4. And Aaron Burr thought he was in deep shit!

  5. dog's eye view

    Excellent post, nanny. Bush, Cheney and other high officials must be held to account — no pardons allowed. Addington and Yoo and others may deserve prison, and can be assured their care will be more compassionate. Any laws that enabled this must be amended, rescinded or rewritten.

    Maybe Patrick Fitzgerald or someone of similar stature can investigate and prosecute.

    I wish the press and public would show more interest. I’m concerned that too much of the public and media (especially Fox, etc.) will depict this as sour grapes and Bush is already out of office, so what’s the point?

    If they proceed with Congressional panels, too many of the idiocrats that got us two Bush administrations will complain of extreme partisanship and let’s move on.

  6. dog's eye view

    I read your column more carefully, nanny. Obama and Congress will take this up, no question. They have a lot on their plate, but this is crucial. Something along the lines of South Africa’s truth and reconciliation commissions have been mentioned, for bringing those who worked in the torture apparatus forward.

    It is up to us to insist on more coverage.

    Here’s Mark Benjamin’s November Salon article.

    Nov. 13, 2008 | WASHINGTON — With growing talk in Washington that President Bush may be considering an unprecedented “blanket pardon” for people involved in his administration’s brutal interrogation policies, advisors to Barack Obama are pressing ahead with plans for a nonpartisan commission to investigate alleged abuses under Bush.

    The Obama plan, first revealed by Salon in August, would emphasize fact-finding investigation over prosecution. It is gaining currency in Washington as Obama advisors begin to coordinate with Democrats in Congress on the proposal. The plan would not rule out future prosecutions, but would delay a decision on that matter until all essential facts can be unearthed. Between the time necessary for the investigative process and the daunting array of policy problems Obama will face upon taking office, any decision on prosecutions probably would not come until a second Obama presidential term, should there be one.


  7. dnd

    Two words: The Hague.

  8. I agree with dnd, I would much prefer to see this handled by The Hague, while I don’t think any of the higher ups will do any jail time and indictment in The Hague would prevent them from traveling overseas to earn killer speaking fees.

  9. dog's eye view

    They do deserve The Hague.

    But our fellow Americans need a lesson on this too, and they’ll duck the issue if justice is handed down by old Europe and jurists from countries that did business with Saddam, etc.

    Maybe it could be a twofer, with trials both in the US and abroad.


    Also: the WWII interrogators need to be interviewed on film. Makes for a fascinating story, and from what I’ve seen, they don’t agree with torture as a method either.

    They can be the Tuskegee Airmen of this story, there as a moral example and evidence of what we used to be.

  10. Nannymm

    Good morning, everyone! Glad you all agree with my premise. Bush-Cheney Co. need to face the consequences of their illegal actions. But unlike dog, I’m not convinced that Obama and Congress will get the job done. As she says, there are so many crisises to deal with. It’s always tempting to “let the past remain buried’ and “let bygones be bygones.” We need to push so that doesn’t happen. This is far too important to let it go.

  11. If anyone is counting on Bush, Cheney, or Rummy doing jail time you would be wise to give that notion up.

  12. Nannymm

    I missed the comments about The Hague, but do agree that I would love to see all of them on trial in The Hague. The significance and symbolism of that would be enormously powerful. As to dog’s point about some Americans not accepting the decision if a trial were held in The Hague, I suspect that those very same Americans wouldn’t accept a guilty verdict from the US courts either. The B-C Koolade drinkers will never be persuaded.

  13. Nannymm

    Sadly, I agree with you, Brian. But I can dream, can’t I?

  14. Nannymm

    I knew this was coming:

    Paulson: Administration will seek rest of TARP funds
    By Silla Brush
    Posted: 12/19/08 10:47 AM [ET]

    Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Friday that the administration will seek access to the second half of the funds in the $700 billion rescue package to continue stabilizing financial markets.

  15. horsedooty

    I saw this on Huffpo and could not resist bringing it over here. The future mother in law of the pregnant Palin daugter has been arrested for possibly running a meth lab out of her home in Alaska. What next?

  16. Nannymm

    But can she see Russia from her house?

  17. I’m double posting on today’s blog and yesterday’s as I wanted to thank Brian and Sheila for welcoming me back from holiday.

    “Thanks, Brian and Sheila, for the welcome back. My “holiday” was to go to North Carolina to be with my son and his family as he underwent quadruple bypass open heart surgery. He did wonderfully well in not only getting through the surgery but he’s well on his way back to full health. It was a bit scary when he was told that his main artery was 100 percent block and that he was really lucky to discover it when they did or else he might not be with us today. Modern medicine is truly great.

    It is nice however to be in front of my computer again and reading old friends’ posts and writing a post or two myself.”

  18. Glad it went so well eprof, and glad you’re back in front of the computer!

  19. horsedooty

    welcome home eprof2. I hope your son recovers totally as I am sure he will.

  20. Great post, Nanny. When I saw Olbermann’s piece on this the other night I thought maybe, just maybe, this will nail down Cheney and Bush and their war crimes once and for all. I too doubt that either of these SOB’s will ever end up in the docket but this, along with the shoe tossing episode, might nail down their places in history as two sorry asses who cost this country so much in lives and treasure over the past eight years. And, it looks like they’re not finished yet with all the rule changes on everything from abortion to screwing the environment before they leave office in exactly one month. I’m hoping for the fastest month in history right about now!

  21. Nannymm

    Thanks, eprof, and welcome back. I’m glad your son is doing well. That’s a rough surgery to recover from.
    As for this coming month going by fast, I’m with you on that. The sooner Bush and Cheney are gone, the better.

  22. dnd

    Glad to hear your son’s doing well. I agree, modern medicine is truly great.

  23. dog's eye view

    good to see you, eprof, and good to hear your son is on the mend.

    You picked an especially good day to pop by; lots of news and — please God — the end of Bush-Cheney in sight.


    Is there any way to prevent Bush from pardoning himself, Cheney, Cheney’s torture enacters (Addington, Yoo, whoever else)?

    Or to rescind any pardon?

    Torture and lying us into Iraq is so far worse than anything Nixon did.

  24. Nannymm

    As far as I know and have been able to ascertain from research, the answer is no; nothing can be done to stop Bush from issuing any pardon he chooses to issue. The power to pardon is absolute.

  25. Nannymm

    This man iis either insane or shameless. Or BOTH!

    Cheney Defends Torture: It ‘Would Have Been Unethical Or Immoral’ For Us Not To Torture
    In a new interview with the Washington Times, Cheney stridently defended the Bush administration’s torture policies, saying, “I feel very good about what we did. I think it was the right thing to do.” He added emphatically that he would “do exactly the same thing again.”
    Most audaciously, Cheney specifically defended the morality of torture, suggesting that it would have been immoral for the United States to not torture:

    “In my mind, the foremost obligation we had from a moral or an ethical standpoint was to the oath of office we took when we were sworn in, on January 20 of 2001, to protect and defend against all enemies foreign and domestic. And that’s what we’ve done,” he said. […]

    “I think it would have been unethical or immoral for us not to do everything we could in order to protect the nation against further attacks like what happened on 9/11,” Mr. Cheney said.

  26. dog's eye view

    Put down the coffee before clicking on this link. Your keyboard will thank you.

    Chicago artist finishing portrait of a naked Governor Blagojevich on his imagined first day in jail; painting to hang in a local ale house.

    Where it will join a portrait of a naked Sarah Palin (mountains and presumably Russia behind her), already prominently displayed. (You see it very quickly in the video.)

    Artworks from Bruce Elliott’s “Naked Governor” series.


  27. dog's eye view

    Here’s earlier story with photo of the nude Sarah Palin portrait. He got the shoes right.


    There’s allegedly a “scared moose” in the painting too, but it’s obscured. See for yourself!

  28. dog's eye view

    meant to post this earlier; seeing the inventor interviewed on CNN, and bless him!

    Hollywood movie producer (and Brit) Peter Samuelson invented a portable shelter for the homeless; calls it the EDAR (for “Everyone deserves a roof”).

    “I’ve always believed society is defined by how we deal with our weakest links,” he said. “The best of America is when we take care of the less fortunate.”

    His first instinct was to build shelters, but then he did the math. Building a bed in a facility runs $50,000 to $100,000. The cost to house all of the county’s street denizens would run into the billions. Besides, many of them resist services. So he thought: What is there that’s better than a damp box on a rainy night even if it’s not as good as a bed?

    The idea of a mobile, single-person shelter popped to mind.

    Samuelson sponsored a contest at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena to design his “widget.”

    Eric Lindeman and Jason Zasa took the honors, with a mobile shopping cart-like apparatus. The cart features bins to hold cans, bottles and other recyclables collected by day. It folds out to create a sleeping platform, topped by a canvas cover with zippers and windows.

    Samuelson labeled it an EDAR, and established the EDAR Foundation, whose slogan is: “Thinking outside the box.”


  29. BevnTempe

    We all know they’ll never serve time, but we can dream , , , , , What will be the next big announcement Shrub makes before he leaves ? Wasn’t the Medical Conscious thing enough? Glad I’m not on BC pills and way past the age of considering an abortion. Hope Obama changes that soon.

    Now that Dub Shrub has given the Bg 3 some money, other repug are upset.

    Oh for January 20th. It can’t come soon enough.

  30. horsedooty

    former mayor of Dallas Ron Kirk selected to head up US Trade post.

  31. The Noose Tightens

    Rumsfeld, Ashcroft and other top Bush officials could soon face legal jeopardy


  32. chefsheila

    Thought I would share where Moveon.org will be concentrating on this next year.

    On December 17th, MoveOn members began 2 days of voting to decide our top goals for 2009.

    Each member was able to vote for 3 goals. Here are the final results, with the percentage of members who included each goal in their top 3.

    1. Universal health care 64.9%

    2. Economic recovery and job creation 62.1%

    3. Build a green economy, stop climate change 49.6%

    4. End the war in Iraq 48.3%

    5. Improve public schools 21.6%

    6. Restore civil liberties 16.8%

    7. Hold the Bush Administration accountable 15.2%

    8. Gay rights/LGBT equality 8.6%

    9. Increase access to higher education 7.6%

    10. Reform campaigns and elections 5.7%

  33. chefsheila

    Thanks Brian. Nice catch. I have been foaming at the mouth waiting for some one to start guestimating what could happen to those jerks.

  34. dnd

    That’s interesting what Moveon.org ranks as important. As I’ve said so many times before, I think universal health care coverage could help business, and consequently help with the economic recovery, particularly with the big 3, particularly with GM.

  35. chefsheila

    Yes, Myself and a couple of million others voted on what Moveon was going to concentrate this next year.

    I actually thought it would be the economy. But then I’m an old person now. 😆

  36. dnd

    You’re not old. Now Brian, he’s old 😉

  37. dog's eye view

    I would vote for universal health care as priority #1 too, because it will greatly improve the economy and Americans’ peace of mind. (The two top concerns are very close in %, and pretty much interrelated.)

    Think of the new businesses people could start if they didn’t have to attach themselves to a large employer to secure benefits for their families.

    Companies/entrepreneurs could concentrate on their core business with one less major concern to worry about.

    You would see a lot more dynamism.

    I would like to see the middlemen/gatekeepers who exist to deny services take it on the nose.

  38. Nannymm

    LOL..no comment on that one.

  39. Nannymm

    I voted for the first two in that order. Had restore civil liberties 3rd, and hold the Bush Administration accountable 4th. I don’t remember how I ranked the rest.

  40. chefsheila

    I voted 2, 3, and 1 in that order.

  41. dnd

    1, 2 and 3 are all tied together IMHO.

  42. chefsheila

    And dnd, I think you have a wringer there. They are interchangable and not separate. I think President Obama is going to threat them as such.

  43. Good evening everyone.

    Well I got the computer back together except for the coaxial connection to my coax amplifier from the amplified antenna to the computer video card. So no computer television while I’m online.

    However, I still have my old set right behind me so I can still watch and listen to two channels at a time. Tomorrow I’ll see if the coaxial cable I have will reach from the amplifier to the coax connection on my video card.

    I still have to setup my Blu-Ray and connect and install the network on the television to the router for internet access to Samsungs content online.

    I also need to read up in the monster Samsung manual for setting up the sharing of my pc to the television through the internet for photos, music and movies stored on my pc. It allows me to watch slide shows, go through picture files, play MP3 or other music content on my computer as well as watch any movies, avi’s, mpeg’s or other video content from my computer.

    The other way to do this is to copy them onto a USB Thumb Drive and insert it into the USB connection on the Television. Once the USB is connected the Television downloads it onto its flash memory for viewing.

    If anyone is interested in what this new set does they can go to Samsungs website and read the information on the LN52A850 LCD TV or browse the manual available to read in Adobe PDF format.

    Lots of work in getting this right and I hope I’m done soon.

    As to holding this administration accountable it sure won’t be here since many in the committees in the House and Senate knew what was being done and kept silent about it.

    Their just as guilty as the administration that instituted, authorized and condoned War Crimes and they sure as hell don’t want to be held accountable for their actions or inaction’s allowing Torture and Crimes Against Humanity take place.

    Only those countries that are or were signatories to the Geneva Conventions in the Hague can now hold them accountable and even try them in abstention. Can we all pray that one of those countries will uphold its obligations under the conventions and indict and prosecute them whether their in there countries or not.

    I sure hope and pray they do.

    Anyway that’s it for me tonight. Need to get some rest as its been a long day. Even being off I still get up at 5am in the morning. Catch you all tomorrow.

    Take care and …

    God Bless.

  44. dog's eye view

    anon p: you have a good point about complicity of Congress in providing no oversight. Many will have a big CYA (Cover your Ass) incentive to backbench a full investigation.

    Maybe this is where the “blogosphere” can shine. CNN may drop the ball, except for some weekend “special report” they’re confident few watch, but Andrew Sullivan and Josh Marshall and many other serious bloggers will not.

    Larry King devoted another full hour last night to the Caylee Anthony dead toddler case.

  45. dnd

    Today is Bristol Palin’s due date. I hope her future mother-in-law gets bailed out of jail before the blessed event.

  46. Morning peeps,

    Don Giovanni was amazing, very long be quite amazing!

  47. dog's eye view

    Per the Anchorage Daily News: the other grandmother’s legal troubles are due to oxycontin possession and distribution. Meth is not mentioned in this story.


    ‘Wasilla resident Sherry L. Johnston, mother of Bristol Palin’s boyfriend, faces a Jan. 6 court date for an oxycontin-related arrest at her home by Alaska State Troopers.

    Little additional information was available Friday on the case as authorities remained unusually tight-lipped about details. But Palmer court records listed her scheduled court date and a troopers spokeswoman said in a release late Friday afternoon that the charges “are in relation to the drug oxycontin.”

    … She was arrested around noon Thursday by troopers serving a search warrant in an undercover drug investigation. A standard press released issued by troopers said Johnston was arrested on six felony counts: second-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance — generally manufacturing or delivering drugs — as well as fourth-degree misconduct involving controlled substances, or possession.”

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