Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dick Cheney's Tortured Logic

"Should the United States of America be using forms of torture dating back to the Spanish Inquisition?"

Ray McGovern
(No relation to George. Honest!)

Do you want to know why I love Jesse Ventura so much? Because he pisses EVERYBODY off. The other night on Larry King Live, Jesse said, "I'll tell you what: you give me a waterboard, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders." I can top that one easily. Just give me two hours with the hideous thug and I'll have him confessing that he was part of the Lincoln Assassination conspiracy
. Oh, hell - give me three hours and he'll be saying that he framed Judas! And speaking of Judas....

NOTE TO THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT: Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross. You folks might want to rethink your position on torture. Just a thought.

Ah, Dick Cheney! As the clock was counting down on the final hours of the Bush administration, I have to confess that I was feeling kind of blue. It would never again get half as weird or one tenth as entertaining as it was when Richard Bruce Cheney held center stage. I just assumed that the dirty old dingbat would slither away into that good night of ignoble obscurity and that would be that. But he didn't go away. Not only that, at a time when the GOP is desperately trying to mend its image and undo the irreparable damage that was done to it by the Bush Mob, the Dickster is in the final stages of pounding the nails into the GOP's coffin. He knows he's in big trouble and is looking at a very long stretch in federal prison. He's out there talking as loudly as he possibly can to as many interviewers he can con into letting him into their studios. It is pitifully obvious that he is trying to contaminate any potential jury pool. You think such a blatantly opportunistic ploy is beneath him? You don't know Dick.

And he is not the only member of the Cheney Klan spewing the propaganda on the media circuit. Yesterday morning, daughter Liz Cheney could be seen debating Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Eugene Robinson on MSNBC's Morning Joe - if you want to call it a "debate". Her idea of discourse was to talk loudly over whatever point Robinson tried to make in defense of his piece that had been published earlier in the day in the Washington Post - a piece which was decidedly critical of dear old Dad. That's the only way people like that know how to operate. It's the old Josef Goebbels strategy: Just keep repeating the lie over and over and over again. Eventually, the people will start to believe it. In spite of Liz's subterfuge, Gene held his own quite nicely, thank you very much. And here's to you, Mr. Robinson!

From "The Rant", December 16, 2007:

"For the record: "Waterboarding involves strapping some poor bastard down, taping a piece of cloth over his face, and pouring torrents of water over him. He then gets the overwhelming sensation that he is drowning. When an investigator asked the CIA to perform the procedure on him, even though he knew he was in no danger of dying, he found the duration of the ordeal unbearable and extremely frightening. His conclusion? Waterboarding is torture. PERIOD. Sixty years ago, several Japanese military commanders were sent to prison for many years for committing the same crime. Some were even executed! You see where I'm headed here, don't you. Okay, I'll stop."

And you thought the only thing George W. Bush was torturing all those years was the English language! And do you remember the word Alberto Gonzalez used in describing the international laws against torture? "Quaint".

"Did you see that, Lester? That there feller's entire respiratory system just shut down! Aw, sheeeit! Ain't that quaint?"

I hate be a party pooper here, but I have a funny feeling that in an international court of law, none of Cheney's defenses regarding torture would hold much water (No pun intended). I've always had this quaint notion that the United States is bound by tradition - and honor - to abide by the Geneva Conventions. To say that these so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" (Paging Dr. Orwell) were successful is, to put it as politely as I can, disingenuous. Were they able to extract any reliable information from these guys via the use of torture? It depends on whom you ask. But this much may be ascertained beyond a shadow of a doubt: a waterboardee will eventually tell the waterboarder anything and everything he or she wants to hear - anything to stop the extreme pain and terror. Human beings (being human beings) are kind of funny that way, you know?

Under the right (or wrong) conditions, a person in duress will confess to damned near anything. When I was a kid, I once admitted to a guy who was twisting my left index finger, that late at night when no one was watching, I liked to sing
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes while dressed in a Coco Chanel negligee. Hey! A guy's gotta go what a guy's gotta do! As you can imagine (and has been proven beyond a doubt) most of the information the CIA received during these interrogations was absolutely bogus.

"The United States DOES NOT TORTURE."

George W. Bush

Oh, really? Tell that to ibn al-Sheik al-Libi.

Under conditions of extreme torture, al-Libi agreed in 2002 to provide his interrogators with the political cover the Bush/Cheney cabal needed in order to invade the sovereign nation of Iraq. Libi made a deal with his captors. He would tell them everything they wanted to hear and then some. In exchange, they would stop the torture. At the moment this was happening, the now-infamous "Torture Memos" were being written. If there is a case to be made against that disgusting administration for war crimes (and there is - trust me on this one, campers) Mr. Libi has been described as the "smoking gun" .

Good news: HOORAY! We've got an Arab John Dean!

Bad news: Oh, damn. ibn al-Sheik al-Libi is dead.

They found his body last week. He appears to have committed "suicide" even though his family and friends insist there were no warning signs that he was about to kill himself and that such a self-destructive act was not in his nature. That's okay. I'm sure its all just an innocent coincidence. Never mind.

The ball is now in President Obama's court. It is disturbingly apparent that he lacks the will - the political courage - to have his Justice Department initiate the prosecutions against these murderous assholes. The only problem is the fact that it's not just his Department of Justice - it's ours, too. If the American people aren't very angry over the plight a bunch of tortured "A-Rabs", you can bet your last dollar that when they learn the reason those guys were tortured, they'll be seething with rage.

Let's put things in their proper perspective, Shall we?

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney (both failed oil men) were desperate to seize control of a country which possessed the second or third largest oil reserves on the entire planet. But before they could do that. they needed to prove to the clueless American people the following little bits of misinformation:

1. The ruler of that country, Saddam Hussein (Remember him?) was harboring dangerous Weapons of Mass Destruction.

2. He was somehow in cahoots with Osama bin Laden in the atrocity that was committed on September 11, 2001,

3. He was an imminent threat to the peace and security of the free world in general and the United States in particular.

The only problem was that they needed one crucial thing to make their case which they were seriously lacking - EVIDENCE. So how would they be able to get the evidence they needed so badly? Extract it
from hapless Prisoners of War by any means necessary. Torture was the means they used to achieve their ends. As a result, nearly five-thousand American kids - not to mention as many as a million Iraqi men, women and little children - are dead.

They were determined to invade a country that was a danger to no one but itself. They fabricated the reasons for that invasion out of thin air - much in the same way Adolf Hitler did when he invaded Poland on September 3, 1939. They cherry-picked a mole hill of evidence that claimed Saddam was a threat to America and completely ignored the mountain of evidence which conclusively proved that he was nothing of the sort. They wanted that fucking oil, baby! And they were determined to grab it - come hell or high waterboard.

I don't know about you, but I've got a funny feeling that when the American people finally figure all of this stuff out, they're going to be just a tad peeved, don'cha think?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Uncovered: The War on Iraq
A film by Robert Greenwald


At 5:11 PM, Blogger Prairie Waif said...

"It is pitifully obvious that he is merely trying to contaminate the jury pool.Not to worry about that Tom. Harry from Mass doesn't watch anything but sports and enough liberals like to brag about the fact that they don't watch TeeVee (not granola enough. . .). So, keeping that in mind, I think Cheney will have his day in court with a jury of his peers (i.e. Don't watch news (Faux Gnus' Gnatwerk is entertainment) and avoid thinking beyond themselves.).

At 8:25 PM, Blogger Saltwater said...

Hi Tom
When I heard today that President Obama had changed his mind about the release of those torture- oops, "enhanced interrogation"- photos, I was very disappointed. Then I thought, wonder if The Rant has anyting to say about this? So am glad to see you wrote a column today.
I just spent hours reading on the web- mainly at Daily Kos and Huffpost- and the articles and diaries about this subject elicited thousands of comments from readers. Some say good decision, some say bad. Then I watched the Newshour and listened to Gwen Ifill's interview with Eric Holder, and felt like screaming- why won't the guy come out and SAY something, instead of bobbing and weaving and ducking? That was my impression.
And meanwhile, Old Scratch... er, I mean Dick Cheney- seems to be everywhere- why, it seems he is getting as much or more press than Obama lately, and I'm thinking, WTF is going on here? Why is Cheney even allowed on television? He is out of office, yet is being given a platform to do his little lying spiels. I even started to wonder, "God, is Cheney STILL president? I thought we elected a new one." (yeah, i know, Bush, not Cheney, was president... I think.)
Also, I was pleased with Jesse Ventura's remarks- I didn't see him, just read his comments- now, there's a man who is not afraid to tell the truth just because it is the truth.
There is a lot of CYA going on these days. I still have some faint hopes that Obama, Holder, or SOMEone will do the right thing and that one of these days we will see indictments against at least one of the people who got us into the wars, or authorized torture. But I am not holding my breath.

I believe the American people need to see those torture photographs. Obama says (something like) there is nothing extraordinary about them. Or whatever he said about it. Well, if that's true, why not release them? Maybe because they are more shocking and awful than we expect? I don't know. I voted for Barack Obama but am wondering, as so many others are wondering, if his campaign promises were just empty.
Of course, Obama knows things we don't. But my faith in a new transparency in government is starting to wane pretty fast.

Meanwhile, the war in Afghanistan is being escalated, there are nearly a million refugees fleeing the war zone in Pakistan- a war zone which would not exist if the U.S. hadn't declared war (unofficially) on the Taliban.
Looks like Ike was right- beware the military-industrial complex. It seems that the MIC has the government by the...uh... short hairs.
Anyway, thanks for your rant. We gotta keep trying to get the truth out, since the liars are working very hard to get their lies out and keep them in circulation, and the sheeple of this country are so gullible.
That's why we need to see those photos, in my opinion- to wake up our own country to the reality of the monstrous fraud called the "global war on terror".
I would change one letter in that phrase... replace the "n" with an "f".
Pogo was right, wasn't he. "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

At 9:32 PM, Blogger Prairie Waif said...

Somewhere amongst all the "Talking Heads" of today on the subject of Torture Photo Release, someone mentioned making them accessible to a Special Prosecutor (i.e. Fitzgerald, non-Ken Starr) type of independent Prosecutor and hold an accounting of who and what was going on in those photos.

Sounds like a good idea, until you remember Ken Starr. However, some Military Families may not want the legacy of their son, holding an Iraqi woman up as a trophy after he has beaten and raped her, put in the county archives for all the descendent's to see. For that matter, standing over the bodies of the "Collateral Damage" wouldn't be nice in the family Genealogy either, especially if the smoke is still belching from the guns.

The idea that everyone in over 2,000 photos has been prosecuted, is ridiculous. We need those photos seen by a Special Prosecutor or the light of day, to hell with the family genealogy (The Aussies lived down there prisoner heritage and now celebrate it and feel bad if they didn't have an ancestor sent to the "prison island" for stealing bread, rape, and/or murder).

Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Well then, similarly, Ignorance of the crime does not negate its occurance, prosecute ALL war crimes: in theater: by troops, contractors, etc. and out; troops contractors, lobbyists, politicians, etc.


At 8:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its really becoming obvious that nothing is going to change in this country until the tree of liberty is refreshed.

At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll be sure to say a prayer for al-Sheik al-Libi at church on people have got to be kidding...
I can just picture you guys shedding a tear on 9/11 and then moving on with life on 9/12. I hope non of your friends or family were victims or knew of victims on that day.
As far as I'm concerned...every single prisoner deserved what they got. Your messiah finally saw the light yesterday and decided to keep those photos out of the publics eye. However the nut jobs at the ACLU will fight this and who knows what happens then. God forbid the messiah makes an executive decision on this so we can move on.
Good for Liz Cheney for sticking up to her father...unlike Pelosi, Holder and even the messiah, she actually cares for her family, country and the victims from 9/11.
Human Rights my ass...I praise Bush and Cheney for what they did. Seeing Pelosi stumble and bumble yesterday was great! Having that Ass Holder (Coward) travel the world and try to pass these thugs on to other countries tells me all I need to know about him..I wish those two would get Waterboarded multiple times...

I'll go back to watching sports on TV now..

Enjoy your weekend folks!

Harry from Mass

At 6:32 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...


Although I find most of your ideas misguided to say the least, you at least took the time to wish us a pleasant weekend. Somewhere underneath that gruff, right-wing exterior, I detect a heart of gold. Please tell me I'm right - I mean, correct.

Tom Degan

At 7:54 PM, Blogger Anna Van Z said...

No Harry, just go back to watching Faux Noose, where you apparently learned all of your tiresome and utterly predictable talking points. "They all got what they deserved" - and you know this, Grand Poobah, how exactly? Since none of these people had so much as a hearing, let alone representation or the chance to clear themselves, that cannot be determined; especially by the likes of armchair pussies like yourself.
Did it ever occur to any of you geniuses that many of these people were victims of neighborhood sweeps, and corrupt neighbors turning in whomever they could for 5K from Uncle Sam? Most were NOT alleged "high-level al Queda" operatives.
Furthermore, why don't you idiots quit with the idea that Iraqis had anything to do with 9/11? Even your King stooge Bush has admitted that there was NO LINK - even if you are dumb enough to believe the government story line of 9/11.
Did you know that German and Japanese officers were executed after WWII for the exact same "enhanced interrogation" techniques employed by the U.S.? If you think that it's okay that Americans now behave like everyone we used to despise, then you don't deserve to be an American. You clearly don't grasp even the smallest comprehension of what this country used to stand for. Are you and your ilk really so small, so fearful, that you happily abandon our founding constitutional principles because of a handful of nutball Saudi Arabians? Do they really have that much control over you folks?
God, you're pathetic - the lot of you.

At 12:47 AM, Anonymous John said...

> As far as I'm concerned...every single prisoner deserved what they got.

Why is that?


> Pelosi...

She (along with 90% of congress) has acted against constitutional principles. She should be impeached. In any event, the voters of the 8th district of California should replace her. The reason for this position is that she became an accessory to the (*possible) crimes committed by the Bush administration.

* This is America. We have a trial or impeach to determine if an offense or crime has been committed. This is very simply defined in our founding documents. There is a question, this is how it is to be answered.

At 3:31 AM, Blogger JRD said...


Here is an article by William Rivers Pitt on the same subject.

Eventually, the full truth - or at least an approximation thereof - will come to light revealing just how barbaric was the Bush-Cheney Administration.

At 11:06 AM, Blogger PetitPoix said...

I would call my mentality that of the average American (unless the average has changed in the past seven years, I haven´t been living live in U.S.A.) I don´t like to read much, I get most of my news information off the mainstream internet pages, I might skim a news headline now and then. Is the general argument among the left-wingers that the bombing now going on in Afghanistan and it´s spill over violence in Pakistan is Bush´s fault? Bush got Al Quaeda and the Taliban mad and so they started recruiting like crazy? I need a stronger argument and in less than ten words please.

At 11:20 AM, Blogger PetitPoix said...

Because you see, i kind of lump all the islamic terroists into one. Al Quaeda, Taliban, Al-Jihad, PLF and all those other groups that may not get named in the papers as much. And when you lump them all together and add up their unprovoked attacks on innocent people in the last 30 years or so in the name of "Allah"....

I´m trying to say it looks like they had been picking a fight with the West for a while now. Sometimes an all out war is the only way to end things once and for all. Obama is a little more charming in the way he lays it out. Bush talked to us as if we were intelligent, that was his mistake and why he did not get the support he needed.

At 11:57 PM, Anonymous John said...

Fabianna, it probably is not appropriate to lump all those groups together - or even apply the labels Islamic & terrorist universally (although there have been activities within some or all of those groups where the terrorist tag fits - but keep in mind that it may fit just as well for 'Christians' during the crusades or some of the patriot activities during the revolutionary war). In fact, that type of grouping was exactly what was used to justify attacking Iraq.

For perspective, you might sum up all the deaths attributed to terrorist activities by the groups you mentioned over the last 30 years and compare it to the summed deaths that have resulted from American military activities, orchestrated conflicts, covert operations and so forth over the same time frame. I don't know these numbers - but it is troubling that the comparison can be made. More troubling is that the second may dwarf the first.

The fact is that when bloodshed is utilized to achieve goals, it sucks. Does it make it any more righteous if your rational is to secure resources, religious or political in nature or just business? Is the cause more just if it is done by a nation - or our nation?

At 9:39 AM, Blogger Jill Peterson said...

right on, tom degan.

At 11:33 AM, Blogger Acedog said...

Tom, You have no doubt heard/read the revelations put forth in the recent GQ regarding the DOD briefings furnished to the White House by Rumsfield.
You may want to check out my blog at where I this recent revelation.

At 7:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very classy Anna...honey I only eat it..

Al Qaeda members are not entitled to international law protections, they don't belong to an army. They are our unlawful enemy. Al Qaeda and its allies have not agreed to any international laws which prohibit attacks on civilians, prohibit combatants from disguising themselves as civilians, and require protection of prisoners.

No pity from me....Americans have lost too many innocent lives for me to care about these pukes.

No Fox for me sweetie...Although I do admire Murdoch. Go read Huffi and watch Olbermann with your life size Bin Laden poster in your room that you admire so much.

Harry from Mass

At 2:44 PM, Blogger Anna Van Z said...

Well Harry, those who have no point resort to idiocy like "you have a bin laden poster on your wall." Waaah!
You sad, sad little man. You still don't have a clue.

At 5:28 PM, Anonymous John said...

There is hope for Harry. I suspect it takes a fair amount of processing power to hold all of his contradictory notions in mind. If he can let go of these, a formidable intellect might be released...

At 9:40 AM, Blogger Anna Van Z said...

John, while your efforts at charity are indeed noble, your optimistic postulation that there may be a "formidable intellect" lurking somewhere in the entity known as Harry is comedic, at best. (But ain't you just the bee's knees for tryin'!)

At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anna, four of your muslim buddies were arrested in NYC today...I heard that bail has been set at a $1000 and they will be required to attend 30 Obonomic meetings for probation..the meetings will always have refreshments and the 30th will have some "enhanced interrogation" as Michelle O will be giving tips on fashion and it's a win win for all.

Oh and yes Michael Vick finally got out of jail! now there is a man we should all feel for...however he killed animals and not humans..he must suffer you might say!

Hugs and kisses beautiful!

Harry from Mass

At 2:07 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Harry, I barely agree with a thing you say but I've got to hand it to you; at least you (unlike so many of your outlook) have a sense of humor.


Tom Degan

PS - And don't you be pickin' on my gal Anna, Buster!

At 11:33 PM, Blogger Anna Van Z said...

Oh, of course, Harry - anyone who believes in constitutional rights MUST hang out with Moslems, right? Moslem = "terrorist" is apparently the gist of your senile ramblings.
Guess what, Harry? I believe in civil rights even for people like you! I believe that even those blathering morons incapable of coherent thought deserve a fair trial. How wacko is THAT?! And all my radical ancestors who fought in the American Revolution had the same crazy ideas. Damn liberal rabble rousers...

At 9:03 AM, Blogger Prairie Waif said...


Have you remembered to renew your membership in "Daughters of the Revolutionary War?"


At 10:50 AM, Blogger Anna Van Z said...

Naw - not my scene. I love genealogy, but prefer uncovering the sleazy, scandalous stuff that most folks prefer not knowing.


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