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 May, 2009


 Another Attack by Dick Cheney

Presenting the Dick Cheney Show

Dick Cheney is at it again. He’s redoubling his efforts to separate torture from waterboarding.

You’ve heard this tired old blather before. Cheney doesn’t condone torture, but waterboarding isn’t torture.

Until recently, I’d thought Cheney was just trying to preserve his legacy. I was wrong. He’s trying to save that part of his anatomy that only a proctologist could love.

There is no difference between torture and waterboarding. You simply can’t have the latter without the former – period.

Moreover, I don’t care what artfully crafted document Cheney pulls from the dust covered Bush Administration’s vault of apparent war crimes – even if waterboarding/torture worked as intended – it’s still very much against the law.

This - “The detainee is lying on a gurney that is inclined at an angle of 10 to I5 degrees to the horizontal, with the detainee on his back and his head toward the lower end of the gurney. A cloth is placed over the detainee's face, and cold water is poured on the cloth from a height approximately 6 to 18 inches. The wet cloth creates a barrier through which it is difficult or in some cases not possible to breathe” - is against the law.

It’s not materially different from, “The victim was bound or otherwise secured in a prone position; and water was forced through his mouth and nostrils into his lungs and stomach until he lost consciousness.”

The first quote was proffered by Justice Department attorney’s who allowed that carefully conducted waterboarding was ok, when it deal with detainees.

The second quote came from the trial record of the International Military Tribunal of the Far East that was published on November 1st, 1948.

Waterboarding was defined as torture 61 years ago, it’s still torture today.

Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz have criss-crossed the TV universe on their current “charmless offensive” to refute reality.

The International Military Tribunal was formed by an American military icon (Gen. Douglas MacArthur) and it functioned through representatives of the governments of Allied countries, under the auspices of the United States government.

In short, we sent people to jail and to their executions for, among other things, WATERBOARDING.

The trial record of that case shows that 28 Japanese military and civilian personnel were tried and convicted for war crimes.

Among the charges against many of them was that they engaged in torture.

This might be unsettling to conservatives, whom a few weeks ago made light of the fact that detainees snared in the War on Terror were subjected to insects being employed in their interrogations.

Right wing talkers like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter had a few yucks with that one.

Unfortunately, those Japanese military personnel and civilians in the late 1940’s had done the very same thing. On page 1089 of the trial record, added proof of the inhumane treatment of prisoners revealed, “Other forms of cruel punishments frequently employed were binding the victim where he would be attacked by insects.”

It was no laughing matter then, and it’s certainly no laughing matter now.

Liz and Dick Cheney’s crumbling storyline that waterboarding kept us safe developed a few choice snags last week.

Ali Soufan, an ex-FBI interrogator, testified before a Senator Subcommittee that detainee Abu Zubaydah had furnished actionable intelligence after using established interrogation methods for less than an hour. That as soon as Bush approved “enhanced interrogation methods” were employed, Zubaydah clammed up.

And he also claimed that despite Bush Administration assertions that waterboarding led to the knowledge that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was the mastermind behind 9/11, Soufan claims the information was revealed before waterboarding was ever used.

Soufan and others offered strong testimony that stick pins in all of Cheney’s arguments regarding Bush sanctioned interrogation techniques.

Of course they were under oath. Cheney, though, will most likely fight appearing before such panels. He’d rather fight his case in the court of public opinion, where there will be no oath, no need to answer questions honestly and forthrightly.

I’d like to ask him just one question. Do you really think we’re all that stupid?

Edward A. Owens of Uniontown is Webmaster of “Red Raider Nation: Where Champions Live.” E-mail him at freedoms@bellatlantic.net