Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Being Dick Cheney III

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was before the House of Representative Foreign Affairs Committee today. When asked if President Obama would declassify other documents that would prove Dick Cheney's assessment of the administration's interrogation program as being a "success," she replied, "It won't surprise you that I don't consider him (Cheney) a particularly reliable source."

Secretary Clinton also added that she supports a "nonpolitical," "nonpartisan" review of the Bush administration's interrogation program. "I believe we ought to get to the bottom of this entire matter," she said. "I think it is in the best interest of our country and that is what the President believes."

Does Dick Cheney not care about how history will view him?

6 comments:

dave wheeler said...

Judith,

It would seem that a full declassification of documents is the only way to test and validate the former Vice President's position. Why not release them all and let the public decide?

My job in the military enabled me to review the debriefs of the experiences of many of our POW's from the Vietnam War. There are also several superior books on the subject like "When Hell Was in Session" that detailed the types of treatment these hero's received from their captors. I believe water boarding would have been viewed as "refreshing" by men like Jerimiah Denton, James Stockdale, Robbie Reisner, and John McCain given the physical and emotional TORTURE they endured. The facts are there for those who choose to see the other side of the issue,,,or view things from the perspective of those who are in harms way.

Release the documents and then we all can decide based on the facts, not political posturing on either side of the aisle!

judith ellis said...

AMERICA DOES NOT TORTURE!!!

FIRSTLY, let me say that the former Vice President needs to go somewhere and SHUT THE $%$# UP! (You will excuse me, please!) If he wanted to be helpful he would have gone to President Obama in private. He went public with criticisms after the SECOND WEEK of the new administration with scare tactics. Dick Cheney wants to call the shots from the sideline. He seems like an ego maniac, not a great defender. His words also seem like a kind of instigation of our enenmies, a speaking of ill things into reality. Sick indeed! WE ARE AWARE WE HAVE ENEMIES! Going to CNN and Fox New discredits his intent of great love for America; this seems like a personal campaign--nothing else. It also seems like the best defense being a great offense. Cheney may very well be investigated and prosecuted--even if granted ammunity after all of these investigations are completed.

SECONDLY, Dick Cheney is no longer calling the shots. He needs to retire to Florida or Texas or wherever he's from and get the hell out of Washington. THIRDLY AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, TORTURE, WHETHER WATERBOARDING PERFORMED 186 TIMES OR THE BREAKING OF BONES REPEATEDLY, IS NOT PERMITTED IN THE CONSTITUTION, NOT TO MENTION THE INTERNATIONAL TREATIES WE HAVE SIGNED THAT ARE SUPPOSE TO GOVERN CIVILIZED NATIONS. The BIG PROBLEM with this is that WAR ITSELF IS UNCIVILIZED!!!!

OK! Release the documents. But should we release the documents in order to prove that TORTURE WORKS? TORTURE IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL! SHOULD WE THEN AMEND THE CONSTITUTION??? If so, how would we know that other would not work? AND, what about our soliders that are again, as was the case in Vietnam, caught? How would we like for them to be treated? The very fact that lawyers devised schemes of torture is evidence of wrongdoing. There have even been deaths. Is there a difference betweeen physical and mental torture? What about humiliation as we have seen in Abu Ghraib? For some in other countries the would rather have their bones broken and beaten than be so humiliated. Shall there be no rules of engagement in this regard? I find the "refreshing" comment offensive.

AMERICA DOES NOT TORTURE!!!

Anonymous said...

There was a 911 type event that was stopped early in 2002. Supporters of water boarding point to this as a justification of this type of torture. The problem with that logic is that water boarding did not start until after the plot was uncovered.
Countdown reported Wednesday that the torture was originally started because people in the Bush administration wanted to get evidence that Iraq was involved in 911. If this turns out to be the true motivation for water boarding the debate is over. Its goal would not have been to protect american lives, it was just used to justify an invasion of Iraq.

judith ellis said...

Yes, anonymous, I heard that line before and it seems plausible. There will undoubtedly be a great many things to be revealed in the many reports that will soon be released. I believe this is why the president took a different stance, leaving all things on the table. I also thought it VERY strange that Dick Cheney's daughter did an interview this week with Nora O'Donnell of MSNBC.

It's not looking very good for the former VP. Why would his daughter be speaking out? She's never done so before and she is not in politics. It felt like a PR move. It also points to a comment I made here about the reason the former VP remained in Washington and the reason he is appearing on all of these shows. It's seems like an offensive tactic.

It also seem like my girl, Condi, is in on this too. As the mere voice piece for the policies of the United States at the behest of the President when she served as Secretary of State, I don't see how she could be directly implemented. Oh, BUT wait! Did she first serve as the security adviser to President G. W. Bush during his first term? Colin Powell was the Secretary of State during President Bush's first term.

dave wheeler said...

Judith,

We agree that war is uncivilized. Our Armed Forces are merely the means our elected officials use to project power and influence. My concern and sympathies lie with those who are placed in harms way...military, civilian, whoever.

We agree that all documents should be released. The release of the first four memos makes this essential and I noticed AG Holder said that is exactly what he would do. He stated he wasn't going to criminalize political differences. Release to validate if torture works...no. Release for full disclosure. Release to stop political posturing. Release to see if criminal acts have occurred that would justify prosecution. Our Vietnam era POW's endured horrific treatment...physical abuse, psychological abuse, refusal of medical treatment, food and water deprevation. While they were truly being TORTURED...they often gave information. Lies and fabrications that caused the abuse to stop for short periods of time. Armed Forces are trained on resistance techniques. If lives are saved and troops are able to leave harms way,

You find the "refreshing" comment offensive. I find the beheadings and murder of Americans being video taped and posted on the web offensive. I find the murders and beheadings of civilians by the illegal enemy combatants offensive. If our Armed Forces received the same treatment that we provide those we capture...that would be a terrific thing.

"AMERICA DOES NOT TORTURE"...you might very well be right! We legally sanction putting citizens to death but that's a different story. Waterboarding, sleep deprivation, stress positions. forced nudity are defined as torture by whom? One administration decides these are acceptable interrogation techniques. While the Articles of the Geneva Convention do not define here what you can do...here's what to avoid...no treaty does to my knowledge...each signatory defines their own process. An executive order has been issued to change the Bush policy. So the memo's were released for what purpose? Politics...pure and simple.

Judith...thanks for a space to visit that makes one think!

judith ellis said...

Dave - I agree that our Vietnam veterans received horrible treatment as prisoners of war. Yes, this is offensive to say the least. But should such treatment require other offensives by America half way across the world many years later? We are not responsible for what others do. We are only responsible for what WE do.

This does not include war treaties where all are responsible. I've also consider this militia organization, al Qaeda, is under a treaty of no kind, neither were the guerilla Viet Congs units. I think this is where the faulty thinking perhaps began in the Bush administration.

Perhaps it was reasoned that these al Qaeda members weren't legitimate warriors without thinking of the Muslim world at large and how our soliders would be treated if caught. This kind of thinking is understood but policy trumps this, not to mention the Constitution.

In fact, the conflict was declared a war that certain things could be persued. Remember "The War on Terror?" But why are we even judging a time of torture against another? What about our Constitution? We don't torture. Period.

Regarding the release of documents, I did not say that I agreed that all documents should be released. The crux of my thought process here is that IF they are released, OK. This administration, as all adminstrations beforehand, will make this decision. Postering on the right or left should not influence this.

People will poster no matter what's released. Some are doing so to save their hides. Some really bad stuff will probably come out after this is all said and done and those who participated in illegal activity, not only those who went to jail for having participated in such, but those who devised these torture tactics, should be held accountable in the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.

When all of those petty officers were going down some time ago, I was outraged that they isolated torture to a few as if this was not an accepted policy. As a former member of the Armed Forces for so many years, you well know that such actions had to be sanctioned. You can't even piss without first be granted permission. Well, that's not really the case after boot camp, but you get the picture. :-)

Always happy to have your comments, Dave.