Cheney insisted on torture of prisoners

Dick Cheney is, without question, the most powerful American Vice President in history. His power within the Bush Administration is, for the most part, unchecked and his rule is absolute.

More than anyone else in the White House, Cheney has promoted the notion that the Administration is above the law and does not have to answer to the Constitution, Congress or the Supreme Court.

Nowhere is that abuse of power and law more evident than in Cheney’s belief that torture is an accepted form of interrogation of prisoners and the terms of the Geneva Convention can, and should, be ignored in Bush’s so-called “war on terror.”

Write Barton Gellman and Jo Becker in The Washington Post (excerpted from the series Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency):

Shortly after the first accused terrorists reached the U.S. naval prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on Jan. 11, 2002, a delegation from CIA headquarters arrived in the Situation Room. The agency presented a delicate problem to White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales, a man with next to no experience on the subject. Vice President Cheney’s lawyer, who had a great deal of experience, sat nearby. The meeting marked “the first time that the issue of interrogations comes up” among top-ranking White House officials, recalled John C. Yoo, who represented the Justice Department. “The CIA guys said, ‘We’re going to have some real difficulties getting actionable intelligence from detainees'” if interrogators confined themselves to humane techniques allowed by the Geneva Conventions.

From that moment, well before previous accounts have suggested, Cheney turned his attention to the practical business of crushing a captive’s will to resist. The vice president’s office played a central role in shattering limits on coercion in U.S. custody, commissioning and defending legal opinions that the Bush administration has since portrayed as the initiatives, months later, of lower-ranking officials.

Cheney and his allies, according to more than two dozen current and former officials, pioneered a novel distinction between forbidden “torture” and permitted use of “cruel, inhuman or degrading” methods of questioning. They did not originate every idea to rewrite or reinterpret the law, but fresh accounts from participants show that they translated muscular theories, from Yoo and others, into the operational language of government.

Comments

  1. Charlie Couser

    Charlie Couser

    May I suggest term limits?

    One six (6) year term for the President & the Vice President. One four (4) year term for both the Senate and the House. Supreme Court Justices would serve one eight (8) year term. All Federal appointee’s term would end with the termination of the current administration’s term. Also, nobody would be able to lobby any branch of government, including the military, for three (3) years after their term of office has expired or after retiring, resigning or whatever.

    This, coupled with ‘Recall Elections,’ is the only way we can stop the graft & corruption that currently pervades every branch of government.

  2. darknyt4

    I forget who it was that remarked that voters get the government they deserve. If that is true, we must have ROYALLY SCREWED UP, to be saddled with this bunch of low-rent facist wannabees. But that is not the point I wanted to make.

    The one thing the Bush Crime Family has demonstrated is a complete understanding of how to manipulate the rules to their best advantage. Cheney being the most prodigious of them. It is no coincidence that Cheney’s Secret Service code name is “Angler”. He has the angles figured out already. I would admire him, if he weren’t so consumately evil.

    ****************************************************
    As they say around the Texas Legislature, if you
    can’t drink their whiskey, screw their women, take their money, and vote against ’em anyway, you don’t belong in office.-Molly Ivins

  3. mary cali

    Mary

    I used to think the term Fascist was too extreme when the left wing used it to describe the right wing. Now, I am not so sure it is extreme.

    As for the Ds in congress, remember that they do not have the numbers for impeachment nor much else unless some Rs go along and that is not likely to happen in the case of impeachment. We need to elect more Ds to counteract the “Fascist” leaning wing of the Republican party. There, now I am using the term I once thought extreme.

  4. Ardie

    I wonder what else Bush and Cheney can do to drag the reputation of our country in the mire of history? Never have so few done so much harm in so little time. And many of us voted for these monsters–these nation wreckers–what the duce were we thinking?

  5. shag11

    I am so sick of folks on the Left calling the new Congress all of the disparaging names. They were just elected, don’t have a super-majority, and are successfully opening investigations into many areas largely ignored, the past several years, under the Republican-led Congress.
    Just look at the polls, the majority of people want the war ended, but they don’t want our troops left unfunded. It’s a tricky proposition. Give them some time, they are working their way towards that goal. You’d be better served trying to convince so many of our non-voting bretheren to vote, so we can increase our numbers in Congress.
    The reality is that, most people are Centrist. I was a child of the sixties and saw how Lefties can flame-out. Get over it, and let’s work together.

  6. KayInMaine

    I knew it! When George W. Bush came out of the White House and into the Rose Garden to beg for torture (Military Commissions Act), I said at the time he was doing that for Cheney’s shadow government run through the CIA…and looky here! It’s mostly true, though, I’m sure at some point the shadow gov/CIA part will be come out.

    http://www.whitenoiseinsanity.wordpress.com

  7. Thumper

    Why on earth would anyone think for a minute that Cheney would allow the Congress to start impeachment actions. He has them conviently cowering in a corner and afraid of both the Bushies and themselves.

  8. Carl Nemo

    Focusing correctly is the issue. The Bushistas are bad guys and out of control, but people who come to CHB hail from every state and territory of the U.S. must realize the real focus of the problem is your two Senators and your Congressional District rep. They are are sent as your duly elected representatives to Washington, but they are ignoring your needs and obeying the commands of their shadowy corporate master’s once they get there.

    So my best advice is to contact your reps and to summarily demand accountability and if none is forthcoming then summary impeachment is necessary regardless of the chance of success. Tyranny must be challenged and the success of winning the encounter is secondary to simply doing what’s necessary.

    When you email or call their offices, don’t grovel but be succinct and to the point as to what your needs are as a citizen. Make the phone representative understand that if Bush/Cheney are not taken to task you will not be voting for them when their next election cycle comes due and then live up to your threat! Bush/Cheney can only prevail because Congress all 435 of them and 100 Senators are enabling these mattoids. They are no longer a representative body of we the people, but have become simply a “politburo”; i.e., rubber-stamping edicts from AmeriKa’s first dictators. I’ll provide the duty links so concerned citizen/patriots can fire their “thought-shot” across the bow of dreadnaught “Tyranny”. As they say…”just do it”!

    Use 10-10-987… just 3 cents a minute! Rarely will you get an answering machine; a polite rep will answer and log your sentiments. You must be willing to supply your name and address and so too on emails. If you are fearful of doing so because you might end up on a list, then you are already “toast” and deserve the government of your darkest imaginings! You should also send regular emails to their offices too. Get in the habit of calling and emailing their offices; letting them know who you are and what you want as a citizen!

    http://www.conservativeusa.org/megalink.htm
    http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home/

    Carl Nemo **==

  9. Sam.

    He’s a sadist. He is thrilled to slaughter caged and trapped animals. He likes to see them stagger and try to run when they’re wounded and in pain. He tries to wound and not kill them right away. Their agaonized cries give him a sexual thrill. Ask his aids. He laughs. Others’pain is the only thing that gives him a feeling. That’s why him and Ted Bundy Bush get along so well. They have a lot in common. cheney “accientally” shot a man in the face and got away with it. He kills with relish and enjoys torturing people emotionally and physically when he gets a chance. Did you witness the delight he took in abusing John Edwards in the debate? I truly believe John was surprised and taken aback by the face of evil he saw that night. cheney is sick and evil. That’s the way he operates. I hope he dies a slow and extremely painful death. I’ve been so pleased to see he’s looking sickly and pale lately. He’s thinking his ghastly secrets may be revealed – especially now that Stoolie Convict Libby may tell a few secrets if cheney doesn’t save him, even though libby got a very light sentence. cheney knew he was a snake….what does he expect from his handpicked minion? Maybe libby will die mysteriously. If not, then cheney may be held accountalbe for once in his vile life. His mother had consensual sex with satan, then excreted the egg under a lava rock and cheney crawled out after maggots opened the shell. He has a reptilian brain. He’s cold and beyond evil.

  10. kent shaw

    Sam, in regard to that Dick, Cheney, you haven’t even scratched the surface in your description of his evilness. Good start, though, good start.

  11. mary cali

    Mary

    Shag11, I couldn’t agree with you more. Maybe it is our maturity that gives us a more realistic sense of the possible. Speaking of realistic, those who call for ousting all of those in congress are unwise and unrealistic. Even if it were doable, which it is not, a congress full of novices is not what is needed in these difficult times.

    Some present this unwise and unworkable idea as though getting rid of all of “them” would right the ship of state when it would only serve to sink it further. I am not saying that the current power of incumbency is a good thing, but we do need to retain some experience as we usher in new blood.

    I would further add to Shag11’s comments, those lefties in Florida who voted for Nader enabled Bush to become president. They voted for Nader because Nader convinced them, with the help of GOP dollars, that Gore was not pure enough. Keep that in mind as you rail against the current congress.