Dick Cheney Says CIA Torture Report Is 'Full Of Crap' — Then Admits He Hasn't Read It

from the judging-a-book-by-its-cover dept

It’s no secret that those most closely responsible for the CIA’s torture program are pulling out all the stops to attack the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the program, trying out a variety of defenses from “it actually saved lives” to “it’s just a partisan hack job.” So it should come as no surprise that former Vice President Dick Cheney has been making the cable TV news appearances to help attack the report. After all, many have argued that the real person behind the torture program was Cheney and his staff — and to date, Cheney has insisted that everything that was done was perfectly reasonable and he’d do it again. Thus there’s no surprise when Cheney appears on Fox News (because, of course), to claim that the report is “a bunch of hooey” and “full of crap” and “deeply flawed” only to then admit ” I haven’t read the report.”

Wait, what?

Even the Fox News interviewer was taken aback — and Cheney must have realized how stupid he looked, because he then tried to backtrack, arguing that he hadn’t read “all 6,000 pages,” but then saying he’d read “parts of it” and “summaries.” Yes, we’ve all read “summaries.” But some of us have sat down to read the whole 500 pages (minus the redacted bits, of course). You would hope that if Cheney was going on TV to respond to questions about the report that he might have done so as well, rather than just repeating the talking points handed out to folks associated with the program. Apparently not.

From there, Cheney shifted over to his other key talking point — one that is entirely debunked by the report itself:

?How nice do you want to be to the murderers of 3,000 Americans??

Yeah, great. Except the report makes it fairly clear that many of the people tortured had absolutely nothing to do with the attacks on 9/11. In fact, the only real “revelations” from the torture program was that the CIA torturers concluded that the people being tortured really didn’t have any relevant information. Furthermore, the “how nice do you want to be” line is incredibly revealing and disturbing, because it sets up an unending war. What’s to stop millions of people angry at America from justifying new terrorist attacks on us based on “how nice do you want to be to torturers from America?”

No one was saying that we should buddy up with the people responsible for 9/11, but to pretend the only other option is to torture many innocent people is psychopathic.

It won’t surprise anyone, really, that Cheney will defend the torture program that he oversaw. But his comments here are sickening and should be quite eye-opening about the level of cognitive dissonance from the powerful people who were responsible for this incredibly shameful period in US history.

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Comments on “Dick Cheney Says CIA Torture Report Is 'Full Of Crap' — Then Admits He Hasn't Read It”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Honestly, I can’t imagine they’re all that comfortable traveling domestically anymore. Their gilded cages may be incredibly nice, but they’re going to be more & more obviously recognized as cages as the bars are drawn in. Maybe they’ll finally understand why sacrificing liberty for security is so abhorrent to the rest of us.

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: wat

A sad thing is that the people that did kill thousands of Americans suffered less than the people the CIA tortured. Heck, even if the hijackers had survived (say they did it by installing remote control autopilot or something), and had been caught, they would have had a trial, been convicted, and been sentenced to either life in prison (solitary confinement being likely) or sentenced to death. Sure, dead is dead, but torture is pain. Every one of the victims of the CIA’s torture probably wished for death at some point. Some tried to get there by starving themselves.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: "How nice do you want to be"

So according to Cheney, US torture policy is driven not on the
the need for intelligence, not on good of the people, not even on the progress of US corporate interests, but good old fashioned bloodthirsty revenge.

Thanks, Dick. We just out-barbarian’d the barbarians.

Break the skin of civilization and you find the ape, roaring and red handed.
— Robert E. Howard, calling this bullshit for what it is.

bob says:

Re: Re:

Something people forget to mention is that the report was originally compiled by the CIA itself and so they did all the interviewing that was needed. The fact that the staffers didn’t interview people is irrelevant.

Bottom line is that the report shows illegal activity happened and that the activity was hidden from the public eye to avoid the consequences of wrong doing. Which means that both the committers of the crime and those that covered it up should be charged and tried in a court of law.

Then steps should be taken to mitigate the possibility of crimes by the government (not just torture) occurring in the future and from being covered up.

tqk (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Since this is a Dem-only report …

Since Obama has allowed this war on terror to continue, has done nothing to stop it, has refused to close down Gitmo as he said he would, has personally overseen the death by drone program, has continued to allow NSA mass surveillance, …

You partisan hacks are moronic. Go blow your nose. You’re dripping snot all over your keyboard.

AnonyBabs says:

Re: Re: Re:

I don’t know why people don’t understand how senate reports work. It is compiled based on documentation. They had no obligation or even need to interview anyone. They ain’t Rolling Stone. Besides, all these people had already lied dozens of times to the senate; why would anyone think one more interview would matter?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I like this line from Cheney:

they didn’t bother to interview key people involved in the problem

Good to know: Cheney is all for releasing the Panetta report since that report was written from people interviewing the torturers and witnesses.

I have to agree with Cheney here: it definitely would seem that such a report written without the idea of being politically palatable and censored all around would be worth a lot more.

In the mean time, we have to deal with the whitehousewashed version which likely smells a good deal rosier than the crap that actually went on.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Hawking

“Now just imagine if something happened and he became president.”

Nothing would have changed. Cheney already made most of the decisions in the White House. Bush Jr. never disagreed with his “advice.” Cheney is most notable for being the most powerful “vice” president in U.S. history — the hidden hand inside the puppet that was George Walker Bush.

Anonymous Coward says:

I want to know who is being arrested for the lies that the report revealed, as well as those responsible for the whole thing?

I wonder how much of the facts Cheney or anyone outside of the CIA actually knew. From the parts I have read it seems like all the information on what the CIA was doing was scrubbed before it ever left the CIA. This was done to prevent full oversight of the program. So it is possible that Cheney thinks the report is full of crap because he was briefed on false information the whole time he was involved with the program.

Not to defend Cheney but it seems more like the CIA just did whatever it felt like while only cherry picking the information to divulge to officials.

Hope to see at least a handful of people arrested as a result of this.

Michael (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I want to know who is being arrested for the lies that the report revealed, as well as those responsible for the whole thing?

Nobody. DOJ will not prosecute and the US will not submit anyone to any kind of international law or tribunal.

I wonder how much of the facts Cheney or anyone outside of the CIA actually knew.

While it is possible that the CIA kept everything from Cheney and Bush, Cheney said in his interview that was untrue and that the President was fully aware of everything he needed and wanted to know.

Not to defend Cheney but it seems more like the CIA just did whatever it felt like while only cherry picking the information to divulge to officials.

If that were the case, you would see people being prosecuted by now. Neither Bush nor Cheney are above throwing someone under the bus when they are able to. If this information was being hidden from them, they would not be telling us otherwise right now.

Hope to see at least a handful of people arrested as a result of this.

I hate to crush your hopes, but that seems pretty unlikely. At most, this will be considered a “learning moment” in US history and “we won’t do it again”. Meaning our leadership will learn to keep this information hidden better next time.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Cheney also said the report was crap without having read it. And he states that Bush knew enough but doesn’t go into detail about what enough was. I wouldn’t doubt it that Cheney and those around him knew what was going on and failed to report it. Which is why he should be held accountable.

However I agree with your response that this will probably be only a “learning moment” lacking any real discipline.

Of course relying on the intelligence community to both suggest, execute, and self-enforce laws is like leaving a dog to guard a piece of meat left on a table. No matter how well trained the dog is eventually the meat will be stolen by the dog if the handler doesn’t intervene.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The things from the report was well-known on a rumour-basis among foreign soldiers. Cooperating with british and US torture programs has been part of several other countries investigations. And yes, the UK and the people they cooperated with was responsible for a lot of problematic incidents too. But the proof is less forthcoming and they were clever enough to cooperate with local enforcers…

So I would say that while CIA may have divulged less than all truth to the politicians, the politicians could easily have pressed for real information if they wanted to. I think plausible deniability is the true culprit again, again.

BillyBats says:

So, you snarky idiots actually think Feinstein or any other low IQ Democrat senator on that committee actually read the report that THEY issued? which is worse – Cheney not reading all of it, or the dopes who did the political hackjob (ahem, “investigation”) and then released it to the world not reading it? What a joke.

Aaron (profile) says:

Re: Re:

This is really quite an amazing comment. First you assume that the committee that commissioned the investigation didn’t bother reading it, then you assume that it’s both incorrect and motivated entirely by partisan politics, then you take your first assumption as a given and moralize about how much worse than Cheney not reading the report Feinstein not having read the report is.

(And, uh, why would a “political hackjob” about Bush reveal that the CIA lied to Bush about both the scope and the effectiveness of their torture? Why would the CIA hack into, lie about hacking into, and then eventually admit to hacking into the computers of the investigatory committee if the investigation was without merit and transparently political hackery?)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“trying out a variety of defenses from ‘it actually saved lives” to “it’s just a partisan hack job.'”

Question – did we torture/use “enhanced interrogation techniques?”

If you say no, then you’re contradicting the CIA’s own accounts of what they did.

If you say yes, then you’re admitting that the CIA committed war crimes.

Why does it have to be a partisan issue when it’s revealing that? Are you actually saying that admitting that the CIA committed war crimes is just something Democrats do and not something that a moral person would do?

If a Republican, say, I don’t know, John McCain came out and said that we shouldn’t torture, would that make you think otherwise? Um…because McCain did come out and say that.

David says:

Re: Re: Re:

But they haven’t read it.

There is this Laurel&Hardy film (“Sons of the Desert”?) where Hardy can’t find his glasses and Laurel cheerfully reads him a letter from his lover. She’s giving him the boot. So Hardy winces and sighs, and Laurel asks “What’s the matter?” — “Well, haven’t you just read the letter to me?” — “Yes, but I did not listen.”

Baron von Robber says:

Dick Cheney: Left as CEO of Haliburton when he became Vice Prez. After 9/11, goes to CIA dozens of times pushing the CIA like crazy to get dirt on Iraq, whether if it’s true or not. “Um, weapons of mass destruction?” Dick: “Great, let’s go with that” And guess which company gets a no-bid, multi million dollar contract to support that? Haliburton, go figure.
Shoots his friend, get appology from friend?
Now on Fox (is it?) News bitching about a report he hasn’t read.

I am Jack’s utter lack of surprise.

Anonymous Coward says:

Actions have now caused more terrorism

When you torture and kill people with no trial, it is tyranny. When you kill thousands of people with “drone strikes” again without any trial or even a formal declaration of war, that is tyranny. You have made this country less safe and secure by doing exactly the things you claimed to hate most in your “enemies” Since we do these things in any country we choose, with or without their permission, we have absolutely no recourse when they retaliate.

Hal Wilson says:

Has any single individual harmed America, EVER, than Dick Cheney?

I’ve been trying to think of a person — any person from anywhere, during any era — who has done more harm to America than Dick Cheney. I can’t think of one.

Osama? Don’t think so, at least not directly (I mean, one might say, “Well, Cheney couldn’t have done what he did without Osama” but that’s kind of like saying Jeffrey Dahmer’s mother is at fault for his serial murders.)

Hitler? Stalin? Bush II? Obama? Johnson? Greenspan? Bernanke?

Impossible to quantify, obviously, but all in all, seems to me that the nature of the harm done by Cheney is in a category of its own, akin to the damage some hypothetical President would do if he, say, slung a few nukes around.

America will pay very dearly for what would almost certainly have never occurred without Cheney’s active ring-leading.

The best thing America can do at this time in history to help redeem its reputation, protect its citizens present and future, and safeguard the integrity of the rule of law in America, is to bring Dick Cheney and many others to justice (i.e., try and then hang them.)

Joe Dirt says:

So this morning, Dick Cheney assured his interviewer that Bush was NOT out of the loop and knew about the program and the torture techniques from the get-go. Translation: “If you want to bring me down, you’re going to have to take GWB down with me.”

The man is a monster. Sort of like a vampire and interestingly, for those unaware, Cheney, for about a decade, has been running on an artificial heart that pumps blood continually. That’s right, he has no heart beat. True story.

Rich Kulawiec (profile) says:

How "nice"?

““How nice do you want to be to the murderers of 3,000 Americans?””

I want to be as “nice” to them as the law, international treaties, and centuries of American principles demand that I be. I want to treat them humanely. I want to see that if they are accused of crimes, they are told of those accusations. I want to see if they are tried, that such trial is held in a timely manner and that they are provided with competent legal counsel and thus a robust defense. I want them to be able to confront their accusers via cross-examination and to be able to present witnesses in their favor. I want them to be fully accorded their rights under the Geneva Conventions and under international law and under American law at all times.

Because that’s how it’s done. That’s how civilized nations behave. That’s how proud, strong nations that aren’t afraid of a few trifling “terrorists” act. That’s how countries who refuse to be cowed by a mere pinprick of an attack (which is all that 9/11 was) respond. They do not throw their principles out the window in panic and they do not whimper like frightened children at the threats of bullies.

This isn’t a matter of being “nice” to them or not — although I’m sure war criminal Dick Cheney likes phrasing it that way. It’s a matter of principle, pride and patriotism. It’s a matter of truly being American, not in the flag-waving anthem-singing sense, but in the sense envisioned by those who founded this country.

Not so long ago, the United States and allies tried and executed people for doing exactly what Dick Cheney did. Not so long ago, the United States decried renderings and mock trials and extrajudicial executions and mass surveillance and political persecution and torture and all the other things that we said the Germans did, the Japanese did, the Russians did, the Chinese did. Not so long ago, the United States said that it was important to defeat those countries — either militarily or politically — to stop those things from happening. And now we’ve done them all, thanks to men like Dick Cheney: weak, frightened, lying, sadistic and cowardly men in positions of power.

History will not look kindly on them.

John85851 (profile) says:

Re: How "nice"?

While this is a great post, I disagree with the point that history will not look kindly on them.

History is written by the victors, and in this case, it’s the US. Sure, the report will get attention, but Cheney, Bush, and all the CIA heads will never go down in history as monsters. Like other people are saying, they won’t even be brought to justice.

And in all fairness, “justice” isn’t torturing them like they tortured people. Justice is what you said in your post: accuse them of a crime, bring them into a court of law, and lay out the evidence.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: "Written by the victors"

Something amazing I learned about history: Nero didn’t start the fire of Rome, and rather playing the lyre to the flames (or the fiddle, which hadn’t been invented yet), he coordinated fire control efforts.

Nero was popular with the people, not with the Senate, and it was very easy to point fingers in order to further political hatred. Nero himself would later blame the Christians. Fires started in Rome all the time, and sometimes they got out of control.

Caligula’s scandalous reputation, on the other hand, remains as steadfast as ever.

So I think that history does sometimes sort itself out. It may require that we go through archeological data, but we get a better idea. To be fair, we look at Rome more conservatively than it probably was, just as we were more excited by its scandals in the 20th century.

tqk (profile) says:

Re: Re: How "nice"?

History is written by the victors, and in this case, it’s the US. Sure, the report will get attention, but Cheney, Bush, and all the CIA heads will never go down in history as monsters.

I beg to differ. History is not written by the players. It’s written by the people; by historians who come from the people. The best the players can do is put some spin on the story, but the truth will out. Eisenhower’s final speech in office was damned good, but that’s the best they can hope for. These guys are nowhere near that good, they resurrected torture in 21st Century USA, and they’ll not be well thought of by posterity for it.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: I was once a LIHOPer

After considerable efforts researching, I finally came to the conclusion that the 9/11 attack were themselves carried out by members of bin Laden’s mujahidin.

They already had a considerable history attacking Americans, and a false flag operation of this magnitude would require an exceptional number of sociopaths to remain tight lipped.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

The point is someone like Cheney got into office.

This actually serves to illustrate a bigger point, namely that our electoral system does not prevent tyrants from achieving powerful office and then abusing that power to the ruin of the country as a whole.

Whether things were once different or not is irrelevant, the system fails to filter out the Joffreys and does not work.

At this point, we’d be better off selecting a dozen candidates every year randomly from the social security system (including infants and centenarians) to run for office.

DB (profile) says:

Chaney’s response might have been carefully considered.

He knew what had happened, and most of the report’s contents.

But by refuting that the report was accurate, while claiming not to have read it, he can avoid arguing over specific details or incidents that can be proven. He will be careful to be interviewed only by friendly parties to avoid being pinned down on any specific aspect of the report.

The real take-away is that he is defending rather than distancing himself from the program, and he is trying to President Bush to the decision. From that I conclude that his name is all over the reporting chain, and there is no plausible deniability that can be sustained over the long term. But he does think that President Bush might be able to deny knowledge and doesn’t want to risk becoming the scapegoat.

Padpaw (profile) says:

Re: Unending War

that’s just a by product of the process of turning America into a fascist tyranny.

You focus the people’s attention on an external threat, while saying dissidents are tied to said threat. You slowly make certain rights people used to have illegal while tightening your grasp.

Eventually you can come out into the open and break laws and ignore rights because people either do not care or they blindly believe the reasons you give them.

“to fight terrorism you must give up your freedoms” “sure thing” says the citizens.

Anonymous Coward says:

What’s to stop millions of people angry at America from justifying new terrorist attacks on us based on “how nice do you want to be to torturers from America?”

Another problem that I see is Cheney talkes about 3000 civilian Americans. Take a look at the civilian casualties in the various countries the US isnt at war with but bombs to their liking. Those are what? 50’000, 100’000? I lost count.
If the terrorists would think like Cheney then they could do whatever they want.
Not saying they should do it or that it’s a good thing(personally Im against torture of any kind) but if you compare the numbers then those guys more or less can make the Saw movies in real life and Cheney had to say “I get it, they are in their right to do that”, if he sticks to his argument.

So in my opinion, not the torture report was the thing that might make things worse but the reactions you see now that it is out.

David says:

Re: Re: Re:

Let me quote Hermann Göring:

Naturally the common people don’t want war…. But… it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship…. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

Similar principles hold for torture.

FM Hilton (profile) says:

It reminds me of Macbeth

He didn’t read the report because he knew in advance what it would contain: the total listing of the war crimes he enabled through his former company Halliburton with the CIA.

He knew in advance, because he got the memo from Yoo saying it was all right to torture people in defense of some other atrocity.

For the sake of justice, I’d personally like to see him and anyone who was connected with the program to undergo the exact same torture techniques that were used then to get the truth out from them now.

Heaven only knows it will be the only way we’ll ever get it.

David says:

Re: It reminds me of Macbeth

because he knew in advance what it would contain: the total listing of the war crimes

Uhm no? It contains those tidbits that survived self-censorship of the CIA and the hacking of the Senate Intelligence Oversight committee’s computers.

The total list of war crimes he is responsible for would be much much more ugly. Compared to that, the Senate report is a bunch of crap.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

"Dick Cheney is a war criminal"

Of course Cheney is a war criminal. He’s on the short list of those who knowingly endorsed the US torture program.

Cheney was also pardoned of all wrongdoing by the president and held harmless by a law passed by congress, so he’s out of reach of American justice. (well, legal American justice at any rate.)

Cheney was tried in absentia by a German tribunal who found him among those responsible for the US torture program. So he’s at risk of extradition to the EU to face charges, should he ever travel abroad.

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