Monday, August 31, 2009


Dick Cheney says torture investigation "offends the hell out of me."

With all due respect, Dick Cheney is a vile loathsome liar with the ethics of a Gila monster. His lies helped us get into the Iraq War. "There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction." Cheney consistently ridiculed dissent, strong-armed opponents, lined the pockets of his Halliburton cronies, and encouraged Gestapo tactics in our military.

It's not surprising that this vicious blowhard opposes the torture investigation. He has been howling against Obama for looking into the matter, though not as loudly as if an army field telephone to his genitals. That's an "enhanced interview technique," after all. Watch this interview.

Should we investigate torture and possible war crimes? Some people don't want to know--and they certainly don't want to be tried for war crimes. We will undoubtedly have more reports of torture if investigations are allowed to proceed. Back in the Vietnam days, the Cheneys of the time also stonewalled attempts for investigations. Sadly, Cheney isn't unique.

Just a few days ago, Lt. William Calley, who was held responsible for the deaths of hundreds of men, women and children at My Lai, made a public apology. At the time, the Cheneys of the day claimed the dead were combatants and stonewalled an investigation.

My Lai, Vietnam

“There is not a day that goes by that I do not feel remorse for what happened that day in My Lai,” William Calley told members of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Columbus today. His voice started to break when he added, “I feel remorse for the Vietnamese who were killed, for their families, for the American soldiers involved and their families. I am very sorry.”
From the New York Times, Aug. 24, 2009

My Lai, Vietnam---"Q: And Babies? A: And Babies." From a CBS interview of one of the soldiers who participated in the My Lai massacre.

I remind you all that maybe we aren't aware of something on the level of My Lai in Iraq, but we wouldn't have been aware of My Lai either if the coverup had been successful back then. The Dick Cheneys of that era were also "offended as hell" that anyone would question the US military ops in Vietnam. Thank God some soldiers weren't only brave in battle but brave enough to speak up.

Abu Ghraib, Iraq

Could it be THAT bad? Maybe a little waterboarding, or sleep deprivation, but how bad could that be? According to Glenn Greenwald, writing in Salon, it's much worse then we know. Many deaths by US torture have been kept hidden.

"The interrogation and detention regime implemented by the U.S. resulted in the deaths of over 100 detainees in U.S. custody -- at least," says Greenwald. "While some of those deaths were the result of "rogue" interrogators and agents, many were caused by the methods authorized at the highest levels of the Bush White House, including extreme stress positions, hypothermia, sleep deprivation and others. Aside from the fact that they cause immense pain, that's one reason we've always considered those tactics to be 'torture' when used by others -- because they inflict serious harm, and can even kill people. Those arguing against investigations and prosecutions -- that we Look to the Future, not the Past -- are thus literally advocating that numerous people get away with murder."

Abu Ghraib, Iraq

Read the Salon story on the suppressed deaths by US torture here.
Read the NYT story on Calley here:

1 comment:

Bob Rini said...

Someone asked about the reference to an army field telephone. Sadly, it's been a part of the US torture repertoire for many years--first made famous in Vietnam (reports in Korea, also) but then used throughout Latin America (the contras loves this inexpensive portable shock shop). Not long ago, a Chicago police detective got into trouble for using the technique. "This technique bore a striking resemblance to what American troops in Vietnam called 'the Bell telephone hour'--shocking prisoners by means of a hand-cranked army field phone." MPs described it as a common method, "the common practice was to attach one wire to the finger, and the other to the breast or testicles." When asked why they didn't report this, MPs said they felt powerless. "We kept our mouth shut since it would be my word against an officer's." There are countless references. Ironically, many worried about "storm trooper" government, at least regarding health care, never want to investigate torture on our side. Call it selective perception.