Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Let's Not Look Back

FVP Richard Cheney has been lobbying the White House to unclassify memos which prove that torture yeilded valuable information from terror suspects, back when we were still doing that. Here they are!

Surprise number 1: They don't prove that the valuable information came from torture.

The first document, issued by the CIA in July 2004 is about the interrogation of 9/11 architect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times in March 2003 and whom, the newly released CIA Inspector General report on torture details, had his children’s lives threatened by an interrogator. None of that abuse is referred to in the publicly released version of the July 2004 document. Instead, we learn from the July 2004 document that not only did the man known as “KSM” largely provide intelligence about “historical plots” pulled off from al-Qaeda, a fair amount of the knowledge he imparted to his interrogators came from his “rolodex” — that is, what intelligence experts call “pocket litter,” or the telling documentation found on someone’s person when captured.
Surprise number 2: Cheney says that they prove it anyway.

This intelligence saved lives and prevented terrorist attacks. These detainees also, according to the documents, played a role in nearly every capture of al Qaeda members and associates since 2002. The activities of the CIA in carrying out the policies of the Bush Administration were directly responsible for defeating all efforts by al Qaeda to launch further mass casualty attacks against the United States.
You may note that he avoids directly saying the TORTURE brought out the information, just that the people we tortured were the ones who gave us information. Distinction without a difference, if you regard torture as no big deal.

As a movie geek (news about that is a-comin', but let's not tangentalize) I can't help but think of Star Wars (A New Hope) or Marathon Man, or really, every single damn American movie up to 2004, in which the heroes were easy to spot because they were the ones who DIDN'T torture. The ones who torture are Nazis or stormtroopers. I know, I know, pre 9/11 thinking.


Publius said...

Funny how you say we shouldn't "look back" when it is YOUR president and HIS administration looking to go back to throw everyone from the previous administration in jail! I'm glad Hussein wants to move forward an' everything. How much of a Torquemada would he be if he wanted to look BACK!?

Danielk said...

My, aren't we hysterical! The AG went out of his way to point out that it's an ivestigation into whether a further investigation. If you take it as a foregone conclusion that there is enough back there to throw everyone in jail, you must have qualms about what was done.

Publius said...

Since when do kangaroo courts... or is that Donkey-roo courts... need any "proof" of anything?

wamk said...

To steal a line from a pices I just linked on my blog:

A few weeks ago, Eric Holder saw nothing wrong with Black Panthers using billy clubs to intimidate voters. Today, he thinks intimidating terrorists with cigars is a crime. Holder is the one who should be answering tough questions under oath.

Danielk said...

You guys just don't have any perspective. Most of history, and most of the rest of the world, thinks torture is bad.

Anyway, if they're wrong, the investigation is needed to establish that once and for all.

Mike said...

Everybody I know thinks torture is bad.

The question is whether waterboarding is torture, I say no.