[Ppnews] Cheney was key in clearing CIA torture
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Dec 16 12:48:27 EST 2008
From the Los Angeles Times
Cheney was key in clearing CIA interrogation tactics
The vice president says that the use of
waterboarding was appropriate and that the prison
at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, should stay open until 'the end of the war on terror.'
By Greg Miller
December 16, 2008
Reporting from Washington Vice President Dick
Cheney said Monday that he was directly involved
in approving severe interrogation methods used by
the CIA, and that the prison at Guantanamo Bay,
Cuba, should remain open indefinitely.
Cheney's remarks on Guantanamo appear to put him
at odds with President Bush, who has expressed a
desire to close the prison, although the decision
is expected to be left to the incoming
administration of President-elect Barack Obama.
Cheney's comments also mark the first time that
he has acknowledged playing a central role in
clearing the CIA's use of an array of
controversial interrogation tactics, including a
simulated drowning method known as waterboarding.
"I was aware of the program, certainly, and
involved in helping get the process cleared,"
Cheney said in an interview with ABC News.
Asked whether he still believes it was
appropriate to use the waterboarding method on
terrorism suspects, Cheney said: "I do."
His comments come on the heels of disclosures by
a Senate committee showing that high-level
officials in the Bush administration were
intimately involved in reviewing and approving
interrogation methods that have since been
explicitly outlawed and that have been condemned internationally as torture.
Soon after the Sept. 11 attacks, Cheney said, the
CIA "in effect came in and wanted to know what
they could and couldn't do. And they talked to
me, as well as others, to explain what they wanted to do. And I supported it."
Waterboarding involves strapping a prisoner to a
tilted surface, covering his face with a towel
and dousing it to simulate the sensation of drowning.
CIA Director Michael V. Hayden has said that the
agency used the technique on three Al Qaeda
suspects in 2002 and 2003. But the practice was
discontinued when lawyers from the Department of
Justice and other agencies began backing away
from their opinions endorsing its legality.
Cheney has long defended the technique. But he
has not previously disclosed his role in pushing
to give the CIA such authority.
Cheney's office is regarded as the most hawkish
presence in the Bush administration, pushing the
White House toward aggressive stances on the
invasion of Iraq and the wiretapping of U.S. citizens.
Asked when the Guantanamo Bay prison would be
shut down, Cheney said, "I think that that would
come with the end of the war on terror." He went
on to say that "nobody can specify" when that
might occur, and likened the use of the detention
facility to the imprisonment of Germans during World War II.
"We've always exercised the right to capture the
enemy and hold them till the end of the conflict," Cheney said.
The administration's legal case for holding
detainees indefinitely has been eroded by a
series of court rulings. Obama has pledged to
close the facility, which still holds 250 prisoners.
Cheney's remarks are the latest in a series of
interviews granted by Bush and senior officials
defending their decisions as they prepare to
leave office. Bush recently said his main regret
was that U.S. spy agencies had been so mistaken
about Iraq's alleged weapons programs. Cheney and
the Bush administration have been accused of
"cherry-picking" intelligence to support going to war with Iraq.
Cheney said that those mistakes didn't matter,
and that the U.S. invasion was justified by Iraqi
dictator Saddam Hussein's ability to reestablish
destructive weapons programs. The vice president
brushed off a series of findings questioning that
view, including a 2006 Senate report concluding
that Hussein lacked a "coherent effort" to
develop nuclear weapons and had only a "limited
capability" for chemical weapons.
"This was a bad actor and the country's better
off, the world's better off, with Saddam gone,
and I think we made the right decision in spite
of the fact that the original [intelligence] was
off in some of its major judgments," he said.
Miller is a writer in our Washington bureau.
<mailto:greg.miller at latimes.com>greg.miller at latimes.com
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the PPnews