Friday, May 15, 2009

Cheney Failed Over and Over Again To Keep America Safe- Yet Mainstream Media Treats Him As A Hero

Cheney claims to have kept America safe
First he failed to do so on 9/11
Cheney makes the bogus claim that the use of torture prevented further attacks
the fact is that the use of torture and abuse of prisoners helped fuel the insurgency in Iraq & Afghanistan
America's brutal and barbaric tactics boosted recruitment for Al Qaeda and other Violent Jihadists
Cheney keeps lying in order to save his own skin
The Pro-Torture Pro-Bush lobby just want to protect Bush's legacy.
Waterboarding is torture
The so-called "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques " are Torture Techniques
Obama is still too complacent about American War Crimes & seems destined to add more War Crimes during his tenure.

Cheney defends his torture program
May 10, 2009

Jesse Ventura Bitch Slaps Dick Cheney-May 12, 2009

Paul Begala argues that it is ridiculous for Dick Cheney to insist that Obama is leaving America less safe by not employing torture techniques which the Bush regime used. The intelligence collected using torture was not reliable yet it was used to justify going to war with Saddam. But what Dick Cheney wants everyone to forget is that he and the Bush administration after getting a number of warnings before 9/11 about a possible Al Qaeda attack on the US they did nothing and in fact refused to help or provide the resources to the FBI , CIA or Pentagon with their plans for monitoring Al Qaeda & terrorists activity.

Mr. Cheney, You Did Not Keep Us Safe by Paul Begala at Huffington post , may 13, 2009

...Indeed, the public record offers evidence that torture has endangered American security. Not only by breeding more terrorists, but by producing false intelligence - which Mr. Cheney and President Bush used to mislead America into invading Iraq.

The case of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi is instructive. Al-Libi was a senior al Qaeda operative captured trying to make his way out of Afghanistan into Pakistan. In US custody, he initially said he knew of no connection between Saddam and al Qaeda, and, according to Newsweek, "he had difficulty even coming up with a story about the relationship between the two." An FBI agent urged that al-Libi be read his rights and be treated with respect, "as a shining example of what we feel is right." There was a practical, as well as moral, reason not to torture al-Libi: veteran interrogators believe establishing a rapport with a prisoner is the key to obtaining actionable intelligence. There are reports that, after hours of bonding with his FBI interrogator through discussions of religion, al-Libi provided useful information about alleged shoe-bomber Richard Reid and Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called "20th hijacker" who was arrested just before 9-11.

But even after the bonding experience, al-Libi continued to deny a link between Iraq and al Qaeda. He was rendered to Egypt, where he faced certain torture. "You're going to Cairo, you know," a CIA agent reportedly told al-Libi at the airport. "Before you get there I'm going to find your mother and I'm going to f*** her."

...In Egypt, al-Libi was placed in a coffin-sized box for 17 hours, then beaten. Al-Libi cracked. He gave the information Cheney and his crowd most wanted: a direct link between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda. Al-Libi, (who reportedly died this week in Libya), said Iraq had provided al Qaeda with training in the use of chemical and biological weapons.

Bingo! Vice President Cheney and others cited the information to justify the war in Iraq. Trouble is, it turned out to be false. As early as February, 2002 - just two months after al-Libi's "confession" -- the Defense Intelligence Agency reported to the White House and the National Security Council that it had doubts about al-Libi's charge.

...The timing here matters. In December, 2001 al-Libi, under torture, claims Iraq trained al Qaeda in chemical and biological weapons. Two months later, the Pentagon's intelligence agency says he was probably lying. And yet on September 25, 2002, Condoleezza Rice continued to spread the myth, telling PBS's The News Hour, "We know too that several of the (al Qaeda) detainees, in particular, some high-ranking detainees, have said that Iraq provided some training to al Qaeda in chemical weapons development." Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, President Bush and several other leading Administration officials kept banging the al-Libi drum.

...It may well be that torture was used to advance the Bush-Cheney march to war in Iraq rather than to obtain intelligence about al Qaeda plots against the American homeland. A former senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the interrogation issue told McClatchy Newspapers, "Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people were told repeatedly, by CIA . . . and by others, that there wasn't any reliable intelligence that pointed to operational ties between bin Laden and Saddam, and that no such ties were likely because the two were fundamentally enemies, not allies." Senior administration officials, however, "blew that off and kept insisting that we'd overlooked something, that the interrogators weren't pushing hard enough, that there had to be something more we could do to get that information," he said.

Cheney ignored warnings about Al Qaeda:

Next, consider this inconvenient truth: 9-11 happened on Mr. Cheney's watch. Tom Kean, the Republican co-chair of the 9-11 Commission, has said the attacks could have been prevented. He's right. That fact ought to weigh heavy on Mr. Cheney's conscience.

As should these:

* Before they took office, senior Bush administration officials were briefed repeatedly about the al Qaeda threat...

* Richard Clarke, the counterterrorism chief under both Clinton and Bush, presented the new Bush-Cheney administration with a plan to roll back al Qaeda. He briefed Dr. Rice on the plan. Nothing. In February, 2001, he briefed Vice President Cheney on the plan. Nothing. ..

* On May 8, 2001 - three months after being briefed by Clarke - Cheney was instructed to chair a task force on terrorism. It did not meet before the 9-11 attacks.

* The FBI asked the Bush-Cheney Justice Department for58 million to beef up its domestic counterrorism capacity by hiring more translators, more field agents and more analysts. The Bush-Cheney Administration told the FBI no.

* Congressional Democrats sought to shift 800 million in the Pentagon budget from Star Wars ...into counterterrorism. .. Congressional Republicans sided with Bush and Cheney, and blocked the Democrats from transferring the funds.

* In July, 2001, an FBI agent in Phoenix reported that Middle Eastern men - possibly al Qaeda - were taking flying lessons. He suggested that al Qaeda operatives might be trying to infiltrate the US civil aviation system. His warning was not acted on.

* On August 6, 2001 Pres. Bush received a classified briefing, the President's Daily Brief. On that day, the headline blared: "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." Dick Cheney...presumably received the same briefing. Neither Bush nor Cheney acted on it...

...Rather than finding a ticking time bomb, the al-Libi torture may have been used to build a spurious case for war - a war that has weakened America.

Perhaps what's most galling about Mr. Cheney is how, without irony, humility or apology, he holds himself out as someone who has protected America when in fact he shirked his responsibility before 9-11 and misled us into war after. ..

The erroneous Media story first aired on ABC in 2007 about the success of waterboarding has been debunked again and again and yet those in the Pro-Torture lobby keep referring to the erroneous story as being true. One cannot expect people like Rush Limbaugh or O'Reilly or Beck or Ann Coulter to ever admit that torture doesn't work since this would lead to questioning the policies of the Bush Regime which they contend was a shinning moment in US history. Their belief is that Bush represented Real America while Obama is unAmerican with a hidden agenda to radically change America and that he has fooled most Americans into believing he is one of them. As for Cheney and others in the former Bush Regime they want to keep the issue as muddy as possible to reduce the possibility of them being charged with criminal offenses or with War Crimes.

also see:The Plum LineGreg Sargent's blog Whoops! Lindsey Graham Cites Retracted Report As Proof Torture Worked may 13, 2009

" How ’07 ABC Interview Tilted a Torture Debate " By BRIAN STELTER at The New York Times,April 27, 2009

In late 2007, there was the first crack of daylight into the government’s use of waterboarding during interrogations of Al Qaeda detainees. On Dec. 10, John Kiriakou, a former C.I.A. officer who had participated in the capture of the suspected terrorist Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan in 2002, appeared on ABC News to say that while he considered waterboarding a form of torture, the technique worked and yielded results very quickly.In late 2007, there was the first crack of daylight into the government’s use of waterboarding during interrogations of Al Qaeda detainees. On Dec. 10, John Kiriakou, a former C.I.A. officer who had participated in the capture of the suspected terrorist Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan in 2002, appeared on ABC News to say that while he considered waterboarding a form of torture, the technique worked and yielded results very quickly.

Mr. Zubaydah started to cooperate after being waterboarded for “probably 30, 35 seconds,” Mr. Kiriakou told the ABC reporter Brian Ross. “From that day on he answered every question.”

His claims — unverified at the time, but repeated by dozens of broadcasts, blogs and newspapers — have been sharply contradicted by a newly declassified Justice Department memo that said waterboarding had been used on Mr. Zubaydah “at least 83 times.”

.So if you take this a few steps further then it becomes debatable about whether Bush lying to the people about Iraq's non-existent WMDs was right or wrong-since according to the Pro-Bush lobby and the Neocons it all becomes a matter of opinion.
Remember as part of the ideology of the Neoconservatives telling lies to the public is not wrong because sometimes there are policies which must be pushed forward no matter what the citizenry believe. The facts are that the United States attacked Iraq under false pretenses based upon lies and propaganda and not facts. Some "intel" was cooked up in order to make their case for invading Iraq whether by merely lying about the intel or fabricating intel or torturing people to supply them with blatantly false intel based upon the false confessions. Yet many Americans still believe everything Dick Cheney or Karl Rove or Alberto Gonzales or Condoleezza Rice tell them . One should reiterate that Bush & co, did not say they were going into Iraq to free Iraqis from a brutal dictator but rather because he was an imminent threat to his neighbors and to America and to the world which he was not. Saddam did not have Weapons of Mass Destruction or an ongoing program for building Weapons of Mass Destruction. Saddam had no connection with Al Qaeda or with the 9/11 attacks Yet a large percentage of Americans believe WMDs were found after the invasion of Iraq and that there was conclusive evidence that Saddam was involved with Al Qaeda and with the 9/11 attacks. As long as Fox News and other Media outlets continue to equivocate on these matters or out-rightly lie about these issues then Americans are going to believe that which is not the case.

Dick Cheney over and over again has claimed that all those held at Guantanamo are guilty of terrorists activities and represent the worst of the worst but it appears that when given a fair hearing it is found that many of these detainees are being held based on flimsy evidence based on hearsay or as circumstantial evidence and the testimony of unreliable witnesses or witnesses who were abused and tortured.

This should come as a startling revelation which should make more Americans question the policies of the Bush Regime but most Americans have been so propagandized by Cheney & the Bush Regime & FoxNews and other Mainstream Media that they believe that anyone detained at Gunatanamo or other US run facilities must be guilty as charged and for them that's the end of the story. To raise doubts about the guilt of those held makes Americans uneasy for the next thing some would insist is that these detainees have a right to fair hearings like anyone else accused of a crime.

But like Obama these Americans would prefer it if they never heard about these people ever again. They would be just as happy it appears if the detainees had been just summarily executed and then America could move on . Americans want to believe that the Bush Regime did what was necessary and thereby kept them safe even if this were a lie. They also don't want anyone pointing to any facts which suggest that the Invasion & occupation of Iraq was wrong and that the invasion constitutes war crimes.

Judge Condemns 'Mosaic' of Guantánamo Intelligence and Unreliable Witnesses by Andy Worthington at May 14, 2009

David Remes, an attorney for 16 Yemeni prisoners in Guantánamo, claimed today that the government’s detention policy was “in tatters,” after District Court Judge Gladys Kessler (photo, below) comprehensively demolished the Justice Department’s case against a Yemeni prisoner held in Guantánamo without charge or trial for seven years.

Judge Kessler ruled last Monday that the government had failed to establish, “by a preponderance of the evidence,” that Alla Ali Bin Ali Ahmed was “part of, or substantially supported, Taliban or al-Qaeda forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners,” and stated that the government “should take all necessary diplomatic steps to facilitate“ his release.

This was not the first time that a judge had ordered a prisoner freed from Guantánamo because of the weakness of the government’s evidence. Since the Supreme Court reinstated the prisoners’ habeas corpus rights last June, judges have ordered the release of 25 prisoners in the 29 cases that have so far been heard.

and he concludes his article pointing out that the Bush Regime rounded up people after 9/11 based on little or no evidence or on hearsay and circumstantial evidence ie being a foreign Arab residing in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Many of these men were in fact staying at houses which were more like what we would call a hostel. Just because a person is an Arab and living temporarily in Pakistan that does not mean one is automatically a terrorists or that having a relative who is an active terrorists means the whole family is therefore terrorists or by having a terrorists in one's village or neighborhood means that everyone in that village or neighborhood is a terrorists.

The government’s failure to comprehend the scale of the Bush administration’s cruelty and ineptitude

As a result, the administration might want to reflect on its reasons for claiming, as defense secretary Robert Gates stated two weeks ago, that there are 50 to 100 of the remaining 241 prisoners “who we cannot release and cannot try,” and who, it was suggested, might be held under some new kind of legislation authorizing preventive detention. If many of these cases are looked at closely enough, I suspect that it will be become apparent that the reasons that the government does not want to put them forward for trial is because the evidence against them is unreliable (in other words, that it was obtained through the use of torture, coercion or bribery), and that, moreover, much of it is composed of exactly the sort of “mosaic” of intelligence that, under close scrutiny, is revealed to be full of holes.

In addition, Attorney General Eric Holder would do well to focus significant attention on the pending habeas cases, and, preferably, to drop those which are infected by the testimony of liars (whether coerced or bribed) and are composed of broken “mosaics” of intelligence that will not convince judges seeking “findings of fact and conclusions of law.”

No one in the Obama administration should be surprised that so many of the Guantánamo cases will not stand up in a court of law, but I find myself surprised that senior officials seem to have been content to let a Bush-era approach to prosecution survive unchanged in the offices of the Justice Department and the Pentagon. Perhaps they haven’t been informed that the reason that there is no case against most of these men is because torture, coercion and bribery were used to fill in the blanks when the majority of these men were sold to the US military by their Afghan and Pakistani allies, who handed them over with a smile, and a simple phrase, “This man is an al-Qaeda/Taliban fighter. You owe me $5,000.”

This notion of collective guilt is part of what led American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to have little concern over the killing of Non-combatants ie civilians or what the US military and the US media now refers to euphemistically as "Collateral Damage". So if there are a couple of suspected terrorist in a village the American belief along with its allies such as Great Britain or in the case of Afghanistan its allies in NATO including Canada is just to wipe that particular village or a group of villages off of the map. Kill them all and let God sort out the guilty from the innocent . They also did this in their massive bombardment referred to as Shock and Awe in Iraq in which a few thousand civilians were murdered and hospitals , schools , water & sewage treatment plants along with power stations and major highways were destroyed in a series of War Crimes.

And now the US has the audacity to want to join the Human Rights Council at the United Nations this should lead to even more hypocrisy on the part of America and President Obama since America has not over the last seven years shown any interest in human rights except when making speeches . For instance the C.I.A. and white house engaged in torture of detainees claiming they had a right to do so. So why would any nation pay heed to anything an American administration has to say on the subject until they come clean about their own human rights violations and its on going War Crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Pakistan and their unwavering support and defense of Israel's War Crimes in Gaza and its human rights violations inside Israel and in the West Bank.

and :

In a typical CIA move they have refused to turn over documents of either detailed transcripts of videotaped interrogations nor will they the C.I.A. turn over written descriptions or summaries of the torture sessions - The C.I.A. argues that since the video tapes have been destroyed and there is an on going investigation into whether or not the destruction of the tapes was a criminal act they are not at liberty to release anything related to the destroyed tapes but this is a bogus argument.

" CIA Refuses to Turn Over Torture Tape Documents " by Jason Leopold at Truthout May 13, 2009

The CIA claims the integrity of a special prosecutor's criminal investigation into the destruction of 92 interrogation videotapes will be compromised if the agency is forced to turn over detailed documents to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) describing the contents of the tapes, according to newly released court documents.

In a May 5 letter to US District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein, Lev Dassin, the acting US attorney for the Southern District of New York, said the Justice Department recently had discussions with prosecutors working on the criminal investigation into the destruction of the interrogation tapes and was informed that "the production of documents ... would conflict and substantially interfere with the [criminal] investigation" into the destruction of the interrogation tapes.

Amrit Singh, an ACLU staff attorney, said the move is "a classic CIA delay tactic."

In court papers, she said the government is using the criminal investigation "as a pretext for indefinitely postponing" its obligation to produce documents related to the destruction of the videotapes.

"The Government makes no mention of an expected timeline for completion of [Special Prosecutor John] Durham['s] investigation," the ACLU said in court papers. "Nor has Mr. Durham provided a declaration in support of the Government's position."

Hellerstein seemed to agree. He pointed out in a two-page order that Durham had not stepped forward to state that his probe would be hindered if documents related to the destruction of the tapes were turned over to the ACLU.

In fact, in a March court filing, Dassin noted that a stay of the contempt motion filed by the ACLU seeking release of the tapes was allowed to expire on February 28 without a request for a continuation - signaling that Durham's investigation was complete. In January, Durham had indicated in a court filing that he expected to wrap up his probe by the end of February.

also see: " Cheney's Role Deepens " by Robert Windrem at & the Daily Beast, May 14, 2009

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