Miraculously, Dick Cheney is still alive. He's still alive and still the former Bush administration's most visible and tenacious historical revisionist when it comes to the tactics it employed in the Global War on Terror. So, naturally, Cheney was thawed from his cryo-chamber and wheeled out by Mr. Smithers or who whoever the hell is responsible for keeping his flesh animated these days, for an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday.
I've watched nearly all of Cheney's television interviews over the years, and this one was probably his most psychotic appearance, chiefly because he was less guarded and less political than previous spots, highlighting how dreadfully cold and unapologetically malevolent he truly is. For the sake of posterity, and to make sure his backwards, immoral revisionism is squelched with full force, let's go through the worst of the worst quotes from Sunday.
1) Cheney: “We were very careful to stop short of torture.”
This is not unlike a sexual predator saying, “I beat her within an inch of her life, but I was very careful to stop short of rape.” So, what Cheney is saying here is that his enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs) were almost torture, but not actual torture. Sorry, but almost torture is still a little torturous. In other words, we didn’t yank out any fingernails or employ the “Pear of Anguish” (that we know of), but forcing a detainee to stand on broken feet for hours if not days apparently “stops short” of torture. Okay. Cheney, John Yoo, the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) and the other administration architects of the EIT program somehow discovered a threshold between torture and almost torture — and it sounds like a completely random line. It didn’t quite look like Game of Thrones torture with flaying or rats or castration, so it wasn’t torture.
2) Cheney: “All of the techniques that were authorized by the president were in effect blessed by the Justice Department opinion that we could go forward with those [EITs] without in fact committing torture.”
Notice Cheney takes no responsibility for the decision, while hurling Bush and the DOJ under a bus. So much for the party of personal responsibility.
3) Chuck Todd described how Majid Khan was subjected to rectal feeding, then asked if this meets Cheney’s definition of torture. Cheney: “That does not meet the definition of what was used in the program.”
Astonishing. What he seems to be admitting here is that interrogators in fact engaged in something outside the mandates of the OLC definitions, and if so, then those interrogators went rogue and… committed torture? Most rational people would say “yes” that was torture. Not Cheney.
4) Chuck Todd asked Cheney again if the rectal feeding meets Cheney definition of torture, and Cheney reiterated, “It’s what 19 guys armed with airline tickets and box cutters did to 3,000 Americans on 9/11.”
It’s difficult to think of a greater example of cowardice, Cheney using the victims of 9/11 as human shields against accusations of criminal activity… CONTINUE READING