Sunday, May 10, 2009

Cheney Torture Lies Continue to Unravel

Original Link:

By Taylor Marsh

Proclaiming the Bush-Cheney torture policy worked doesn’t make it so.

Enter Liz Cheney, in a desperate solo performance on MSNBC today, stating that the torture policy of Bush-Cheney was not only “very effective,” but that it was “not torture.” She would do well to quit pontificating from her father’s talking points, and instead, listen to someone who actually was in the room when torture occurred. I doubt she has an informed answer on F.B.I. director Mueller’s dissent, which included actions to get his agents as far away from the CIA’s enhanced techniques as possible.

So, if you read on thing today, read this:

It is inaccurate, however, to say that Abu Zubaydah had been uncooperative. Along with another F.B.I. agent, and with several C.I.A. officers present, I questioned him from March to June 2002, before the harsh techniques were introduced later in August. Under traditional interrogation methods, he provided us with important actionable intelligence.

We discovered, for example, that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. Abu Zubaydah also told us about Jose Padilla, the so-called dirty bomber. This experience fit what I had found throughout my counterterrorism career: traditional interrogation techniques are successful in identifying operatives, uncovering plots and saving lives.

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.
As more unravels for the Cheneys, McClatchy has a very interesting article up today naming Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice has instrumental to starting the U.S. down the road of torture.

From a new report on the narrative, just declassified, by request of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is the story of the decision making process regarding torture (posted just last night).

According to CIA records, because the CIA believed that Abu Zubaydah was withholding imminent threat information during the initial interrogation sessions, attorneys from the CIA’s Office of General Counsel met with the Attorney General, the National Security Adviser, the Deputy National Security Adviser, the Legal Adviser to the National Security Council, and the Counsel to the President in mid-May 2002 to discuss the possible use of alternative interrogation methods that differed from the traditional methods used by the U.S. military and intelligence community. At this meeting, the CIA proposed particular alternative interrogation methods, including waterboarding.

As the above eye witness interrogator offers, what the “CIA believed” was in their heads. Now, you can’t imagine what was going on at the CIA at the time, but there were innumerable news reports of the pressure Dick Cheney was bringing to bear on the Agency at the time. That might have something to do with their belief, coloring it, in fact.

It will take a lot more than his daughter to rescue former Vice President Dick Cheney from the shame of George W. Bush’s torture policy, in which Cheney is increasingly pictured as having the lead role, something we all suspected. The full court press of the Cheneys to prop up their torture policy reveals a desperation that is not only unraveling under the facts and with the transparency being offered by the Obama administration, but reeks of fear for their own place in this storyline.

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