Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cheney demands transparency!

During a hard hitting and highly critical interview from ace investigative journalist Sean Hannity, Dick Cheney asserted that he has "formally asked" the CIA to declassify memos revealing all the important information that the United States got from torturing prisoners.

This claim appears to be dubious. Next, I'm sure, former VP Cheney will demand that the lost interrogation videos (all 92 of them) be revealed so that we can see that no one was tortured.

Update: Cheney's request actually went to the National Archives.

My guess is that if there is anything to be released, it will be more of the sort of bogus and selective claims about the effectiveness of "enhanced interrogation" that the administration has previously made.

[Scott Horton]:This week Scott McClellan, Bush’s press secretary, so famous for pronouncing that “we do not torture,” issued a retraction in an interview with ABC’s Jake Tapper, admitting that he could not “honestly deny” the Administration’s acceptance and use of torture techniques. President Bush has specifically defended the program with a series of claims concerning Abu Zubaydah. Do his claims stand up to scrutiny?

[Jane Mayer]:President Bush has repeatedly defended the need to use “enhanced interrogations” in order to get life-saving intelligence, and has pointed to Abu Zubayda’s case as an example. I went over the claims in this case carefully, and found them highly dubious. Bush claimed three breakthroughs from coercive tactics used on Abu Zubayda.

First, he said, Abu Zubayda told the CIA that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was the terrorist behind the 9/11 plot. But, if one reads the 9/11 Commission’s detailed report on what information had reached the CIA prior to the 9/11 attacks, it is clear that the CIA already had this information.

Second, President Bush said that Abu Zubayda revealed that an American-born Al Qaeda figure was on his way to attack America. This is widely understood to be a reference to Jose Padilla. But numerous published accounts indicate that Abu Zubayda gave this information to interrogators prior to being physically coerced. So it’s not accurate to describe it as an argument for coercion.

Third, the President said Abu Zubayda gave up information leading to the capture of another top Al Qaeda terrorist, Ramsi Bin Al Shibh. But circumstantial evidence, as well as previously published accounts, suggest that Bin Al Shibh was more likely located by the United States as the result of an interview he gave to Al Jazeera.

Meanwhile, although President Bush has argued that “enhanced” interrogation had led to numerous breakthroughs he has never publicly acknowledged the false and fabricated intelligence it has yielded, too. One former top CIA official told me, “Ninety percent of what we got was crap.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is such a cheapshot by Cheney.

a) Firstly, these will never be placed in context. How many thousands of bad videos did you have to sift through before you figured what info was good?

b) No way to say whether this information would not have been procured through other behavior

c) Torture is wrong. Is Cheney going to ask the US administration to apologize to the Nazis and the Japanese after WW2 who were prosecuted for war crimes? Because they were doing the same stuff the Americans were over the last 6 years, and were branded (by Americans) as the worst of the worst. Except, unlike the USA over the last 6 years, those guys were doing it during an actual war! The US is doing it during peacetime!