Cheney: No Problem With Torturing Innocent People “So Long As We Achieve Our Objective”

Former US Vice-President Dick Cheney made one of the most extraordinary appearances in the history of American news programs on Sunday. Cheney, attacking the premises and conclusions of the Senate's CIA Torture Report, argued that torture only applied to what bad people do to Americans, not what bad Americans do to innocent people in the world. Cheney believed, and apparently still believes, that anything the USA perpetrated in its war of bloodthirsty, vengefully criminal behavior, was justified by what happened on 9/11. The world Cheney's brain occupies is little different than a dank, dark level of Hell incarnate. The fact Cheney was for a long time a step away from being in control of the biggest nuclear arsenal in the world is just one more terror joke in the endless comedy of America's decline and fall.
So far in the weeklong debate on the Senate’s CIA Torture Report, the following has to be the most revealing—perhaps no longer shocking (considering its source)—confession to so far occur. Asked on NBC’s Meet the Press program yesterday if he had any problem with the fact the USA had detained and tortured so many people eventually assessed as innocent, Cheney replied:
“I have no problem [with torturing innocent people] as long as we achieve our objective. And our objective is to get the guys who did 9/11 and it is to avoid another attack against the United States.”
Cheney’s repeated defense of this view, that it is legal to proceed in this manner, is based on an absurd redefinition of torture that Bush regime legal counsels engineered to free up US military forces to commit massive numbers of war crimes.

Cheney in fact demanded that only one real definition of torture existed, the measure established, he asserted, by al-Qaeda on September 11, 2001. Unless, in other words, the United States unjustly attacked and tortured and killed thousands of innocent people, it could not be rightly accused of torture. The fact the United States has committed just those atrocities repeatedly in its endless wars on Muslims was of no pertinence to Dick Cheney.

Instead the former Vice President complained about the numbers of Gitmo detainees who were released by the United States and who then “returned to the battlefield”, in other words to fight against the USA in the Terror Wars. One might raise the possibility that after being kidnapped and tortured by the USA, that fact alone might have helped recruit the innocent and the unaligned to Qaeda’s cause.

In addition to the expected ridiculous—but also horrifying—performance by Dick Cheney, there was the almost worse performance by Chuck Todd, NBC’s new (and extraordinarily witless) chief softball pitcher at Meet the Press. This interview with Cheney was Todd’s big chance to confront the old torturer and war criminal and demand that he stop pretending his asinine ignorance is the same thing as facts.

But Todd failed to do this. And it was glaringly obvious that Todd was either afraid of Cheney, or he had been told by his superiors to avoid any confrontations—in other words any act of journalism.

For example, at one point Cheney was asked if waterboarding (which he plainly said was not torture) was done to Americans by ISIS (Islamic State), would ISIS waterboarders get a pass also on accusations of torture using that method?

Cheney responded:
“[An American's] not likely to be waterboarded, he's likely to have his head cut off. It's not a close call.”
Later, once again emphasizing this point—mainly since Todd was too cowardly or too ignorant to challenge it—Cheney was more explicit:
“Waterboarding, the way we did it, was, in fact, not torture. Now when you're dealing with terrorists, the likes of Al Qaeda or the ISIS, I haven't seen them waterboard anybody.”
Todd once again said nothing to object to this.

Yet, what Cheney said about ISIS not waterboarding people was factually wrong. And it was wrong in a way that helps to illustrate the problem with Cheney’s whole idea of the efficacy of torture-American-style. Not only does it not work to achieve the objectives it is aiming at through the commission of war crimes, but it inspires its victims, and Muslims who are outraged at their treatment by the USA, to adopt those same methods to obtain vengeance against Americans.

So, for example, you can read here about how ISIS does in fact waterboard people, including American captives it would also eventually behead. And of course, mimicking the standard detainee uniform in Gitmo, Islamic State forced American and other Western captives to wear that same style of orange jumpsuit.

Raising this to Cheney, pointing out he was wrong on the facts, and wrong to ignore the implications of the facts, would have been the correct thing to do.

But Chuck Todd did no correct things in his interview with Dick Cheney. He turned the interview over to Cheney, who ran away with it, making some of the most ignorant, most ridiculous, and most heinous comments any interview subject has ever uttered on Meet the Press.

And throughout the whole thing, Chuck Todd sought in every way to abandon any role as a journalist, or an advocate for the people, and instead he smiled, and nodded, and affirmed the evil pouring out of Cheney’s war criminal mouth.

It was disgusting to watch. It was also highly instructive to watch.

The corporate news is meaningless drivel. Chuck Todd is the very nadir of the decline of American journalism, which looked at 9/11, and especially the utterly evil Iraq War, as the biggest moneymaking, audience-making, opportunity imaginable. They embedded themselves in the ass of the enemy—which is to say the Bush regime and its generals and its warmongering criminal leadership—and they have never found their way out of that dark pus-hole to this day.