Cheney Continues “Save My Legacy Tour”
Saturday’s lead story in the Washington Post bolstered Dick Cheney’s contention that torture works, and did wonders getting information from Kalid Sheik Mohammed. Crooks and Liars shows the relationship between Cheney’s appearances on Sunday talk shows over the years with concurrent articles published in mainstream publications like the New York Times and Washington Post. And Glenn Greenwald punches holes in the Post’s defense of the Cheney view.
But the CIA torture memos recently released tell a very different story. Greenwald shows the memos and underscores how illegal methods were used. Here’s a summary of what Greenwald writes from the memos:
• Threats of execution, using semi-automatic handguns and power drills
• Threats to kill detainee and his children
• Threats to rape detainee’s wife and children in front of him
• Restricting the detainee’s carotid artery
• Hitting detainee with the butt end of a rifle
• Blowing smoke in detainee’s face for five minutes
• Multiple instances of waterboarding detainees, of the type we prosecuted Japanese war criminals for using:
• Hanging detainee by their arms until interrogators thought their shoulders might be dislocated
• stepping on detainee’s ankle shackles to cause severe bruising and pain
• choking detainee until they pass out
• dousing detainee with water on cold concrete floors in cold temperatures to induce hypothermia
• killing detainees through torture techniques, whether accidental or not
• putting detainee in a diaper for days at a time to live in their own filth
Cheney may think the Washington Post article gives him cover to claim torture works, where it writes:
…the transformation of the man known to U.S. officials as KSM from an avowed and truculent enemy of the United States into what the CIA called its “preeminent source” on al-Qaeda. This reversal occurred after Mohammed was subjected to simulated drowning and prolonged sleep deprivation, among other harsh interrogation techniques.
But the Post article also has this passage:
John L. Helgerson, the former CIA inspector general who investigated the agency’s detention and interrogation program, said his work did not put him in “a position to reach definitive conclusions about the effectiveness of particular interrogation methods.”
“Certain of the techniques seemed to have little effect, whereas waterboarding and sleep deprivation were the two most powerful techniques and elicited a lot of information,” he said in an interview. “But we didn’t have the time or resources to do a careful, systematic analysis of the use of particular techniques with particular individuals and independently confirm the quality of the information that came out.”
And Mohammed, himself, says he purposefully gave false information to make the torture stop.
“During the harshest period of my interrogation I gave a lot of false information in order to satisfy what I believed the interrogators wished to hear in order to make the ill-treatment stop. I later told interrogators that their methods were stupid and counterproductive. I’m sure that the false information I was forced to invent in order to make the ill-treatment stop wasted a lot of their time,” he said.
…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.
The second newly released document — a June 2005 overview of information extracted from detainees — is, if anything, more caveated. In making a case that “detainee reporting” was “pivotal for the war against [al-Qaeda],” it says that “detainee reporting is often incomplete or too general to lead directly to arrests…
To sum up Cheney’s misstatements:
Cheney’s public account of these documents have conflated the difference between information acquired from detainees, which the documents present, and information acquired from detainees through the enhanced interrogation program, which they don’t.Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2009 Liberaland