Here Come the Torture Apologists, Part 2.

I know this is cruel to say, but can Dick Cheney just go ahead and die already? This guy has already had five heart attacks, the first in 1978 at age 37.  He underwent four-vessel coronary artery bypass grafting in 1988, coronary artery stenting in November 2000, urgent coronary balloon angioplasty in March 2001, and the implantation of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator in June, 2001. And yet, somehow he’s still alive. And, naturally enough, defending the Bush administration’s clear and completely unwarranted use of torture after the 9/11 attacks.

Cheney showed up on Fox News of course and claims that the report “is full of crap.” (Look in the mirror, Cheney!)  Cheney admits in his interview that he “hasn’t read the report.” When challenged by host Bret Baier he backs up and says that he “hasn’t read all 6000 pages” — which aren’t part of the report that was released, of course — but that he has read certain “parts” of the report. Personally, I doubt he’s read any of it. I think he just read the media accounts and went on the attack.

So, the inevitable debate has begun about whether the “enhanced interrogation techniques” produced any “useful intelligence.” Current CIA Director Brennan claims that the answer to that question is “unknowable.” Sounds like a cop out to me. California Democrat Diane Feinststein, the Committee Chair, says that her Committee examined all of the “twenty cases” that the CIA cites as evidence and found that none of them held up. This is disputed not only by Dick Cheney, but also former CIA lawyer John Rizzo among others. In a longer piece on NPR, host Steve Inskeep talks with New York Times correspondent Matt Apuzzo about these questions and what the evidence actually show. The piece makes it clear that at the very best, there may be some “murky” evidence that there was “some” information that came out that may have been “somewhat” helpful. But not a single proverbial “smoking gun.”

All of which misses the larger point, which I made yesterday.

We’re the United States. We’re not supposed to be torturing people!
We’re not supposed to be torturing people!
We’re not supposed to be torturing people!

John McCain, to his credit, took to the Senate floor to defend the report and remind us all that we’re supposed to be better than countries that do torture. McCain is, of course, the only member of Congress who actually has ever been tortured . . . unless you count listening to members of Congress as torture.  Jon Stewart and the Daily Show, as they so often do, captured this beautifully with a piece on the return of the “good” McCain.

If you’re so inclined, you can read the read the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s report of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program here.

About a1skeptic

A disturbed citizen and skeptic. I should stop reading the newspaper. Or watching TV. I should turn off NPR and disconnect from the Internet. We’d all be better off.
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