I’m not so much surprised that Cheney, once again, used a public speaking opportunity to bitch and moan that Eric Holder is nodding briefly (but very ambivalently) toward the requirement to investigate the use of torture.
Cheney, speaking to the Economic Club of Southwest Michigan, was harshest when addressing a Department of Justice investigation into so-called “enhanced interrogations” used by the CIA and military on detained suspected terrorists.
“I find that absolutely abhorrent,” said Cheney, who served under George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009. “It bothers the heck out of me that we would go after those people who have been instrumental in preventing further attacks against the United States.”
The techniques, he said, were approved by Bush’s justice department and closely monitored by the CIA.
I’m surprised by the contrast. After all, last we saw Cheney, he was a babbling old fool who couldn’t seem to remember an attack on the CIA he had ordered up just a year earlier–or conversations he had had about those orders just seven months before. Yet here he was last night, talking about orders he gave to the CIA seven years ago, as if they were yesterday.
It’s remarkable, the way Cheney’s memory seems to be fresh all of a sudden.
But now that I think about it, Cheney still is–at heart–that same babbling old man, unable to remember basic facts about the events he has ordered, Consider these two details from his speech.
It did not amount to torture and broke no laws or international agreements, and the simulated drowning technique known as “waterboarding” was used only three times.
In all instances, he said, the methods used produced valuable information about terrorist operations.
Just to refresh old man PapaDick’s memory, waterboarding was used at least 268 times (83 times with Abu Zubaydah, at least 183 times with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and twice with Rahim al-Nashiri). With Abu Zubaydah, waterboarding produced no information that the FBI hadn’t already elicited using rapport-based interrogation. Not even Liz “BabyDick” Cheney claims waterboarding worked with al-Nashiri. And KSM provided a lot of information–much of it long after he was waterboarded, when the CIA had begun using rapport-based interrogation with him, too. I guess, too, old man PapaDick has simply forgotten how much inaccurate information these methods elicited.
So maybe I shouldn’t be surprised about Cheney’s apparently clear memory. Turns out he was the same doddering forgetful fool last night as he was on May 8, 2004, when he couldn’t seem to remember much of anything.
I guess I should be surprised, then, that MSNBC didn’t report this speech with a caveat, noting that Cheney’s memory has now proven to be completely faulty, and no one should treat his assertions about the CIA with any credibility.