By RJ Schinner, 10/27/06
This week on a conservative talk show, Dick Cheney came out and said what anyone who’s paying any attention knows what is going on: the US government is using and advocates water-boarding. From the interview:
Cheney’s open advocation of torture came in the midst of a highly contested midterm election. The Democrats quickly seized on the opportunity, condemning the torture systematically carried out by the Bush administration, and vowing to end such practices if they gain a majority in Congress. Okay that part didn’t happen. The Democrats have been running on a “we can fight the war on terrorism better” platform. And that means more torture, more war, and more domestic police state measures.
Q Would you agree a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: It’s a no-brainer for me, but for a while there, I
was criticized as being the Vice President “for torture.” We don’t
torture. That’s not what we’re involved in. We live up to our
obligations in international treaties that we’re party to and so forth.
But the fact is, you can have a fairly robust interrogation program
without torture, and we need to be able to do that.
Just what is water-boarding?
This is not a matter of splashing some water in someone’s face. The
Washington Post reported, “A prisoner is generally strapped down with
his feet higher than his head. Water is then poured on his face while
his nose and mouth are covered by a cloth. The technique produces an
intense sensation of being close to suffocation and drowning, according
to interrogation experts and human rights advocates.” Former CIA
director Porter Gross called this a “professional interrogation
This is exactly what Cheney is talking about, and what is going on
behind the closed doors of secret CIA blacksite prisons. This is a
form of torture brought back from midevil times. And this and other
horrors are exactly what got made legal when Congress voted for and
Bush signed the Military Commissions Act.
After the truth slips out comes the double-speak
The Bush administration quickly went on a PR campaign, outrageously
claiming that Cheney was not talking about water-boarding. White House
Press Secretary Tony Snow tried to argue to the press that Cheney was
just talking about merely dunking detainees’ heads in water (as if this
is alright), and Bush repeated the usual “we do not torture” claims. Cheney himself in the interview advocated torture while at the same time claiming the government doesn’t torture.
This regime defines reality in accordance with its objectives. Torture
is whatever they say it is (and isn’t what they do). The Iraqi people
are being liberated. A military attack on Iran would be great for its
people. Global warming isn’t real. And on and on.
While hearing this twisted logic might invoke laughter, and Bush might
sound like an idiot saying these things, the implications of the most
powerful government on the planet saying, and in some cases actually
believing all this is deadly.
You’ve seen the pictures. And if you’ve been reading this website, you
know that these scenes are not only continuing but are now perfectly
legal. That which you will not resist and mobilize to stop, you will
learn – or be forced – to accept.
Cheney’s “robust interrogation program”: