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Cheney's Evidence Prove He's Wrong About Torture Effectiveness

Torture does not produce good information. That's been proven over and over -- but those who approved the use of torture are still telling lies, claiming that torture produced reliable information.

And as he continues his laughable attempts to keep his torture-approving ass out of jail, there is no question that former V.P Cheney would like to selectively choose the memos and 'evidence' he presents to support his torture-loving ways.

Here's one bit of evidence he's sure to not cite -- and it was 'proof' that he himself presented to the nation back in 2004 -- asserting that Gitmo interrogation tactics had produced evidence of an al-qaeda/Iraq link.

It didn't:

Then-Vice President Dick Cheney , defending the invasion of Iraq , asserted in 2004 that detainees interrogated at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp had revealed that Iraq had trained al Qaida operatives in chemical and biological warfare, an assertion that wasn't true.

Cheney cited the information obtained through torture as evidence of an al-Qaeda/Iraq link, but further investigation over the course of the next few years failed to produce any real evidence to corroborate the bad information obtained through torture.

Just as the experts have been telling us -- torture doesn't work.

But at the time, Cheney was desperate to justify the invasion of Iraq - so Guantanamo interrogators were told to get the information Cheney wanted to hear - by any means possible.

Cheney's 2004 comments to the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News were largely overlooked at the time. However, they appear to substantiate recent reports that interrogators at Guantanamo and other prison camps were ordered to find evidence of alleged cooperation between al Qaida and the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein -- despite CIA reports that there were only sporadic, insignificant contacts between the militant Islamic group and the secular Iraqi dictatorship.

The head of the Criminal Investigation Task Force at Guantanamo from 2002-2005 confirmed to McClatchy that in late 2002 and early 2003, intelligence officials were tasked to find, among other things, Iraq -al Qaida ties, which were a central pillar of the Bush administration's case for its March 2003 invasion of Iraq .

Cheney ordered up the information he wanted to hear, and had the interrogators use torture until they got it.

"I'm aware of the fact that in late 2002, early 2003, that (the alleged al Qaida-Iraq link) was an interest on the intelligence side," said retired Army Lt. Col. Brittain Mallow , a former military criminal investigator. "That was something they were tasked to look at."

He said he was unaware of the origins of the directive, but a former senior U.S. intelligence official has told McClatchy that Cheney's and former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's offices were demanding that information in 2002 and 2003. The official, who wasn't authorized to speak publicly on the matter, requested anonymity.

During the same period, two alleged senior al Qaida operatives in CIA custody were waterboarded repeatedly -- Abu Zubaydah at least 83 times and Khalid Sheik Mohammed at least 183 times.

When the evidence Cheney and Rumsfeld wanted couldn't be produced - because it wasn't true -- Cheney and Rumsfeld encouraged the use of torture to get the words they wanted to hear -- never mind if it wasn't true.

A 2004 Senate Intelligence Committee report said that the two were questioned about the relationship between al Qaida and Iraq , and that both denied knowing of one.

A U.S. Army psychiatrist, Maj. Paul Burney , told the Army Inspector General's office in 2006 that during the same period, interrogators at Guantanamo were under pressure to produce evidence of al Qaida-Iraq ties, but were unable to do so.

"The more frustrated people got in not being able to establish that link . . . there was more and more pressure to resort to measures that might produce more immediate results," Burney said, according excerpts of an interview published in a declassified Senate Armed Services Committee report released on April 22.

And despite the fact that there was no evidence to support his contentions that there was a link between al-Qaeda and Iraq, Dick Cheney continued to lie and say there was.

A key proponent of the Iraq invasion and of harsh interrogation methods, Cheney has become the leading defender of such measures, which included forced nudity, prolonged sleep deprivation, stress positions and waterboarding, which simulates drowning.

The Rocky Mountain News asked Cheney in a Jan. 9, 2004 , interview if he stood by his claims that Saddam's regime had maintained a "relationship" with al Qaida , raising the danger that Iraq might give the group chemical, biological or nuclear weapons to attack the U.S.

"Absolutely. Absolutely," Cheney replied.

It was a lie, and Dick Cheney ordered torture to be used in an attempt to fabricate the evidence that was lacking.


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Comments (20)

If EIT are so ineffective why is Obama fighting the release of the documents Cheney has requested be de-classified? Shouldn't Obama help Cheney beclown himself by de-classifying documents that detail the failure of enhanced interrogation to produce viable intelligence?

Or is it that Cheney knows exactly what's in those memos and Obama doesn't want Americans to find out just how much information we got by dampening three terrorists poor widdle heads?

Facts about the use of EIT have sure left your heroic Speaker of the House looking foolish. Obama's merely trying to avoid the same fate by obscuring the truth. Until he grows a pair and releases all the data Americans will never know the whole truth.

Allen:

Baron, you mean the ex-vp didn't keep a copy of his records? Also, he had plenty of time to declassify items before he left office, didn't he?

Lee Ward:

"Grows a pair" - I love it when homophobic Republicans demonstrate their obsession with men's genitals...

Cheney is lying again - and everything Cheney is doing is all part of an effort to keep his lying ass out of jail. The body of evidence shows that torture was ineffective - here's yet another example:


At the F.B.I., says a seasoned counterterrorist agent, following false leads generated through torture has caused waste and exhaustion. "At least 30 percent of the F.B.I.'s time, maybe 50 percent, in counterterrorism has been spent chasing leads that were bullshit. There are 'lead squads' in every office trying to filter them. But that's ineffective, because there's always that 'What if?' syndrome. I remember a claim that there was a plot to poison candy bought in bulk from Costco. You follow it because someone wants to cover himself. It has a chilling effect. You get burned out, you get jaded. And you think, Why am I chasing all this stuff that isn't true? That leads to a greater problem--that you'll miss the one that is true. The job is 24-7 anyway. It's not like a bank job. But torture has made it harder."

Torture reproduced bad info:

Several of those I interviewed point out the dearth of specific claims the administration has proffered. "The proponents of torture say, 'Look at the body of information that has been obtained by these methods.' But if K.S.M. and Abu Zubaydah did give up stuff, we would have heard the details," says Cloonan. "What we got was pabulum." A former C.I.A. officer adds: "Why can't they say what the good stuff from Abu Zubaydah or K.S.M. is? It's not as if this is sensitive material from a secret, vulnerable source. You're not blowing your source but validating your program. They say they can't do this, even though five or six years have passed, because it's a 'continuing operation.' But has it really taken so long to check it all out?"

Officials who analyzed Abu Zubaydah's interrogation reports say that the reports were afforded the highest value within the Bush administration not because of the many American lives they were going to save but because they could be cited repeatedly against those who doubted the wisdom of ousting Saddam by force.

"We didn't know he'd been waterboarded and tortured when we did that analysis, and the reports were marked as credible as they could be," the former Pentagon analyst tells me. "The White House knew he'd been tortured. I didn't, though I was supposed to be evaluating that intelligence." To draw conclusions about the importance of what Abu Zubaydah said without knowing this crucial piece of the background nullified the value of his work. "It seems to me they were using torture to achieve a political objective. I cannot believe that the president and vice president did not know who was being waterboarded, and what was being given up."

One of the most specific claims Bush made in 2006 was that secret black-site C.I.A. interrogations "helped foil a plot to hijack passenger planes and fly them into Heathrow [airport] and London's Canary Wharf." Could that be true?

One man who knows is Peter Clarke, head of Scotland Yard's Anti-terrorist Branch from the spring of 2002 until May 2008, and as such the U.K.'s chief counterterrorist official, who succeeded in stopping several jihadist attacks that were in advanced stages of planning. Clarke, who has not publicly discussed this issue before, says it is possible that al-Qaeda had considered some project along the lines suggested by Bush, but if so it was nowhere near fruition. "It wasn't at an advanced stage in the sense that there were people here in the U.K. doing it. If they had been, I'd have arrested them."

Perhaps the most dangerous of the plots disrupted on Clarke's watch was through Operation Crevice, the 2004 bust of a gang of seven who had 1.3 tons of homemade explosive material, with which they had intended to blow up targets including a nightclub and a shopping mall. But the lead that led to Crevice came not from torture, Clarke says, but an electronic intercept. He says he can think of only one arrest made by his team that could be said to have been partly the result of C.I.A. interrogations--that of Dhiren Barot, sentenced to life, in 2006, for conspiracy to murder stemming from his plan to attack a range of British targets. But even here, the original lead, reportedly given up by K.S.M., was vague. "All we had was a nom de guerre, Esa al-Hindi, and the claim that he was a serious player and a Brit," Clarke says. "We had no idea who he was. It took weeks and months of painstaking work to identify and find him."

In an interview in London in April 2008, I remind F.B.I. director Robert Mueller of the attacks planned against targets on American soil since 9/11 that his agents have disrupted: for example, a plot to kill soldiers at Fort Dix, New Jersey, and another to wreak mayhem at army recruiting centers and synagogues in and around Torrance, California. These and other homegrown conspiracies were foiled by regular police work. The F.B.I. learned of the Fort Dix plot from a Circuit City store where a technician raised the alarm when asked to copy firearms-training videos, while the Torrance cell was rounded up when cops probed the backgrounds of two of its members after they allegedly robbed a local gas station.

I ask Mueller: So far as he is aware, have any attacks on America been disrupted thanks to intelligence obtained through what the administration still calls "enhanced techniques"?

"I'm really reluctant to answer that," Mueller says. He pauses, looks at an aide, and then says quietly, declining to elaborate: "I don't believe that has been the case."

Remember when Cheney and his Republican "grow a pair' pals were denying left and right that torture was used?

Now they admit that they were lying, and now their lies regarding effectiveness are being full revealed also.

Mac Lorry:
Torture does not produce good information. That's been proven over and over -- but those who approved the use of torture are still telling lies, claiming that torture produced reliable information.

You're trying to prove a negative, Lee. All anyone can say is the no good information was produced in a particular case, but it's impossible to extend the specific to the general. I'm sure you know that, but it doesn't serve your purpose.

Cheney has called for the release of two specific memos that he claims show that, in at least one case, enhanced interrogation techniques did produce good information. Until they are released it looks like Obama is hiding the truth and that he lied about having a transparent administration. Also, if you are so sure that Torture never produces good information then you should support the release of these memos, because if you are right, they will completely discredit Cheney. Isn't that what you want to do?

Mac Lorry:
Baron, you mean the ex-vp didn't keep a copy of his records?

Upon leaving office no one gets to keep copies of classified documents. They may get them letter once they have been declassified, but that's not the case yet with the specific memos Cheney is asking for.

Also, he had plenty of time to declassify items before he left office, didn't he?

The VP has no authority to declassify documents. Now that Obama has declassified the documents that reveal our interrogation methods the damage is done and there's no reason to withhold the specific documents Cheney is asking for other than to hide the truth that EIT's were effective in getting good information.

Steve Crickmore:

It seems self-evident that five deferments/ 'I had other priorities' Cheney ordered and reordered torture for his wanton satisfaction and political backside.

So furious was this effort that on one particular detainee, even when the interrogation team had reported to Cheney's office that their detainee "was compliant" (meaning the team recommended no more torture), the VP's office ordered them to continue the enhanced methods. The detainee had not revealed any al-Qa'ida-Baghdad contacts yet. This ceased only after Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, under waterboarding in Egypt, "revealed" such contacts. Of course later we learned that al-Libi revealed these contacts only to get the torture to stop.

There in fact were no such contacts. (Incidentally, al-Libi just "committed suicide" in Libya. Interestingly, several U.S. lawyers working with tortured detainees were attempting to get the Libyan government to allow them to interview al-Libi....)

With Cheney, it could be said that "patriotism (or the war on terrorism, which really was american foreign policy and nothing else from 2001-2008) was the last refuge of the scoundrel".

Lee Ward:

"Until they are released it looks like Obama is hiding the truth and that he lied about having a transparent administration. "

Cheney's request was denied by the CIA for specific reasons.

At the same time, the CIA has denied a request by former Vice President Dick Cheney to declassify documents that he said would show the harsh interrogations were effective. The agency isn't permitted to declassify documents that are the subject of pending lawsuits, it said."

But Mac Lorry doesn't want the truth to come out - since he knows that the memos won't be released he can toss out lies about Obama preventing their release.

It's just more Republican lies and bullshit.

And while we're on the subject of lies and bullshit, Mac Lorry- you never answered my question about the source behind your statement that "Carrie Prejean is a Democrat."

Here's a link to refresh your memory... I'd appreciate an answer. Link

Mac Lorry:
But Mac Lorry doesn't want the truth to come out - since he knows that the memos won't be released he can toss out lies about Obama preventing their release.

Everyone know or should know that Obama has the ultimate authority on what's classified and he can declassify these specific memos anytime he wants.

You can spin and dance all you want, Lee, but it doesn't change the fact that the Obama administration is withholding information that Cheney claims will vindicate the use of EIT's. The longer Obama stalls and the more lame excuses he throws up the worse it looks for him. Obama has already lost credibility with the left for not releasing the photos, and now he's losing credibility with the rest of the public by stonewalling on the release of Cheney's memos.

What the voters see is that the whole "change" agenda is at risk because some dumb asses were more interested in going after Bush and Cheney than in solving America's problems. That's not going to play well in 2010 or 2012 and if Democrats were smart they would MoveOn.

Lee Ward:

"Everyone know or should know that Obama has the ultimate authority on what's classified and he can declassify these specific memos anytime he wants."

There you go - making up facts to support your previous lies.

"You can spin and dance all you want, Lee, but it doesn't change the fact that the Obama administration is withholding information that Cheney claims will vindicate the use of EIT's."

Ohhh, now it's the "Obama administration" - well, that's better than your previous lie that it was Obama blocking their release. He hasn't.

You forgot the link to back up your statement that Carrie Prejean is Democrat. This is the third time I've asked - I won't ask again. You can't just lie and walk away, Mac.

If you made a mistake say so. If you're wrong, admit it.

The lying must stop.

Allen:

Mac, you said the vice president cannot declassify documents. BS, Cheney declassified Valarie Plame status so her husband could be smeared. And he kept a lot of papers/notes, as a U haul was used to transport his files.

But don't let the facts both you. Torture may be wrong, but lying about what he did while he was vice president is worse. Same as Fat Al Gore, I hold them both in contempt. They are poor excuses for a human.

Tim:

At the F.B.I., says a seasoned counterterrorist agent, following false leads generated through torture has caused waste and exhaustion. "At least 30 percent of the F.B.I.'s time, maybe 50 percent, in counterterrorism has been spent chasing leads that were bullshit.

Or, put another way, "at least 50% of the F.B.I.'s time, maybe 70%, in counterterrorism has been spent chasing leads that were NOT bullshit." That ain't too shabby.

Steve Crickmore:

I understand someone like Cheney would take to torture and envy Torquemada like a duck, to a water, but I'm dissappointed at Nanci Pelosi, (even though I've never been a big fan of hers) and her tortured explanations of why she didn't protest when she learned from an aide that the Bush administration/ CIA was torturing in early 2003. I will never understimate the naivety of 'liberal' politicians in permitting conservative authoritative types do do what they they will under cover that the House or Senate is being informed. They have to ask questions constantly; they seem to be at pains to avoid doing so until it is too late. In this case going to war because off false information on chemical links of al-Queda to Iraq, given publicly to the UN by Powell, after countless and relentless torturing of a helpless prisoner, ordered over the CIA interrogators dissent and sense, by Cheney.

Mac Lorry:
There you go - making up facts to support your previous lies.

Obviously you flunked that subject in school. The President of the United States can control what information the executive branch of government classifies or doesn't classify. He could have even stopped the release of the first batch of memos by an executive order even though a court had ordered them released. You really don't have a clue about how powerful to office of the President is do you Lee.

Ohhh, now it's the "Obama administration" - well, that's better than your previous lie that it was Obama blocking their release. He hasn't.

It's Obama's administration and the buck stops with him.

You forgot the link to back up your statement that Carrie Prejean is Democrat.

And you claimed she was "a spokesperson for Republican hatred towards gays." and being Obama also opposes gay marriage you statement is a lie unless you can provide a link proving she's a spokesperson for Republicans. If you do then your statement that "I've read her quotes, and she refuses to identify her political party." is a lie. Either way you lied, Lee. It's your blog and you set the standard. If you don't have to provide links to back up your statements then why should I? If you made a mistake say so. If you're wrong, admit it.

Mac Lorry:
Mac, you said the vice president cannot declassify documents. BS, Cheney declassified Valarie Plame status so her husband could be smeared.

Had Cheney, in fact, been able to declassify Valarie Plame's status it wouldn't have been a crime for anyone to talk to the press about it. Obviously, that wasn't the case.

And he kept a lot of papers/notes, as a U haul was used to transport his files.

Not everything the VP does is classified. Had Cheney walked off with classified documents the Democrats would be trying to investigate and prosecute him for that.

Allen:

Who gives a damn what party Prejean belongs to? I admire her for her honest answer to a stupid question.Why is she being raked over the coals for her answer? The flaming gays don't like it, TS, and the more they raise hell about her, the more people they are getting mad about gays. If they were smart, they would let it drop.

Lee Ward:

Mac - I didn't state Prejean was a Republican.

You stated she was Democrat, and it's now obvious that you lied when you wrote that.

You've been asked three times to produce support for your statement. Each time you not only failed to produce the evidence, you've called me a liar in the process.

Take care. You're out of here.

Paul Hooson:

My own grandfather, Captain John Einarson, was a victim of Japanese torture during WWII after the ship he was piloting was captured by the Japanese Navy. He either refused to give them information under torture or gave them wrong information. I should write about that sometime. Anyone here have a real experience about torture like this to write about about? Under torture, it is common for victims to make up wrong information to stop the pain and to deceive the captors.

Mac Lorry:

Lee,

Mac - I didn't state Prejean was a Republican

And I never said you did, but you did say she was a "spokesperson for Republicans", which is a lie.

Rather than face up to the truth you tied to ban me because you're not only a liar, but a coward.

I'm leaving on my own.

Mac Lorry

Lee Ward:

No, Mac, I didn't - and you know I didn't and you know you're lying.

In this comment you quote me accurately, citing the following remark made by me:

She's left her indelible mark on America -- as the pre-teen surgically enhanced hypocritical bimbo spokesperson for Republican hatred towards gays.

I didn't say she was a Republican, and I didn't say she was a Republican spokesperson - I characterized the cause for which she's a designated spokesperson as "Republican hatred for gays"... she could be a Buddhist, an Islamic terrorist for all I know - and I don't know - but in my opinion she's speaking to and in favor of the same Republican hatred that GOPers exhibit towards gays, people of color, the poor, etc.

Expressing that opinion is different than you stating a fact that turns out to be a lie you can't support.

When you responded with "Prejean is a Democrat" I fact-checked you, couldn't find any proof that supported your claim, and I then challenged you to provide some proof.

You not only failed to address the question, you repeatedly called me a liar, saying that I had said she was Republican and demanding that I prove that.

I never said she was a Republican. You failed to show where I did.

Words have specific meanings, and I'm careful about the words I choose to publish. Yes, sometimes (perhaps often) I choose words that dance on the edge of the definitions, but if I ever tell a falsehood it's unintentional and I'll correct it as soon as I'm aware of it.

You lied, intentionally, deliberately, calling me a liar in the process. I gave you a chance to just admit you'd made a mistake, and instead you lied some more.

You blurted:

Rather than face up to the truth you tied to ban me because you're not only a liar, but a coward.

More lies on your part, but now that you're banned you can also tell that lie and claim that I banned you because you disagreed with me and I was a coward, blah, blah, blah.

I banned you because I got sick and tired of your childish, immature lies. Sure, I made you angry, but if you're not adult enough to argue and want to tell lies instead in response - and not adult enough to admit that you were caught in a lie -- you are out of here.

You're smart enough to know the difference, and yet you will no doubt continue to tell lies.

Have fun telling your lies -- someplace else. There are plenty of places close by where other liars will applaud you - but not here.

Doubting Thomas:

Yeah, it's pretty clear you want all the applause for yourself, Lee. You and truth have a real shaky acquaintance.

See ya.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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