Tag Archives: enhanced interrogation

It's Cheney who's 'full of crap'

Richard Bruce Cheney doesn’t believe, apparently, in the same America many millions of others do.

Oh sure. Many millions of other Americans support the former vice president’s world view. I respect that. I just happen to fundamentally disagree with Cheney. No surprise there, right?


It’s that report on torture that’s got Cheney all wadded up.

The report released by Senate Intelligence Committee Democrats asserts that the United States employed illegal interrogation techniques on alleged terrorists taken captive immediately after the 9/11 attacks. Cheney’s view — as if anyone expected otherwise — is to say the “enhanced interrogation techniques” produced “actionable intelligence” that protected Americans from further attacks.

The report says otherwise.

I also am going to climb aboard the same wagon as a bona fide American war hero, Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain, who speaks from personal experience in expressing his support for what the Intelligence Committee Democrats say about torture techniques. McCain’s view of those “EITs” is formed by his own experience as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. He said that captives will say anything to stop the pain and that the information they give to the enemy is more bogus than believable.

Cheney continues to defend tactics that are not in keeping with the values we hold dear in this country. Yes, we’re at war with some loathsome organizations that employ equally loathsome tactics on the people they capture. Does that mean we should sink to that level of barbarism? No.

It means we employ our own sophisticated interrogation techniques to glean information.

And no, no one is saying we should kiss the captives on the cheek, as some have suggested.

What the Senate panel is saying, as I understand it, is that the United States must be true to its claim of being better than the enemy we’re seeking to destroy.




GOP fires back at torture report

To no one’s surprise, U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee Republicans have their own version of whether “enhanced interrogation techniques” made America safer in the wake of 9/11.

They say the tactics saved lives and protected the country against further harm.

The GOP senators say the tactics were necessary to gather intelligence that led eventually to the killing of Osama bin Laden.


Intelligence panel Democrats are standing by their assertion — correctly, in my view — that American intelligence officials and military leaders could have obtained all of that information and protected Americans without subjecting terror suspects to torture.

So there it is: yet another political schism has erupted on Capitol Hill.

As Politico reports: “The GOP report decried the (Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne) Feinstein study, arguing that it contained ‘faulty analysis, serious inaccuracies, and misrepresentations of fact’ to create a series of false conclusions about the counterterrorism program’s effectiveness and the CIA’s interactions with Congress and the White House.”

So, the other side has responded with what it contends is accurate analysis and objective examination of the facts. Is that what they’re saying?

I’ve noted already that this discussion is going to turn into a liar’s contest over time. One side is going to accuse the other of deceit. It’ll go back and forth.

I’ll just stick to my assertion that “enhanced interrogation” can — and should — include tactics that do not include the physical torturing of enemy captives. I’d even allow for sleep deprivation that would include round-the-clock badgering of detainees as a way to make ’em squeal.

Still, the debate rages on.

Torture report to cause some grief

A controversial report is due out Tuesday. It’s going to raise some hackles here and likely over there — meaning the Middle East.

It’s going to detail how the U.S. government used “enhanced interrogation” techniques on terror suspects immediately after the 9/11 attacks. It’s also likely to report that military officials gained little, if any, actionable intelligence from the techniques that included sleep deprivation and waterboarding.

How will the Middle East react? Probably badly, some folks fear.

Well, let them gnash their teeth.

I’ll await the release of the report before commenting in too much detail on it.

However, I do want to refer to comments made by a U.S. senator who knows a thing or two about torture.

Republican John McCain was held captive in North Vietnam for more than five years during the Vietnam War. The enemy subjected him to unimaginable pain through torture.

McCain once said the United States shouldn’t torture captives. He knows of what he speaks. He also believes the U.S. employed torture techniques on al-Qaeda terror suspects.

He condemned the action.

The world awaits this CIA report.