Liz Cheney: I’m Proud My Daddy Is the Prime Mover of Torture

The biggest piece of news from this exchange? Liz Cheney’s assertion that (only) two of the three detainees who were waterboarded (speaking of Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed) provided valuable intelligence. Or, to put it another way, Rahim al-Nashiri did not provide valuable intelligence. 

Shorter Liz Cheney: "In addition to frivolous waterboarding number 83 for Abu Zubaydah my Daddy ordered up, he also ordered Rahim al-Nashiri to be frivolously waterboarded. And I’m proud of my Daddy’s torture because torturing someone 83 times for 10 pieces of intelligence is very effective."

Here’s the, um, transcript. At least this is what I heard…

Norah: Was your Daddy the "prime mover" of this process?

MiniCheney: I won’t answer the question. Instead let’s talk about why Eric Holder didn’t read the "Effectiveness Memo" created as a prop for the Bradbury torture memos to refute the IG Report’s conclusion that the torture program wasn’t effective. 

Norah: We”ll get to whether torture justifies the ends in this program.

MiniCheney: Norah, just because everyone knows this is torture doesn’t make it so. We have a SERE program so people are exposed to how false confessions are created. And we took that SERE program and exceeded the guidelines on the SERE program. But that’s not torture at all, not at all. In fact, it’s a very effective means to generate false confessions.

Norah: MiniCheney, the CIA on its own stopped waterboarding. The US prosecuted people for waterboarding. 

Norah: Dennis Blair said we don’t know whether the information could have been obtained by other means. The damage that is done has far outweighed what we got.

MiniCheney: Blair said we got understanding, but I’m going to call that very important. The White House censors, I just make shit up. 

Norah: Why doesn’t your Daddy own up that he was the prime mover in this?

MiniCheney: Once again, I won’t say whether or not Daddy was the prime mover. But he didn’t direct any lawyers. And besides, did you know that OLC included limits on this torture that those who developed this program, like my Daddy, had no intention of following? That proves that this is not torture. But I won’t answer questions about whether my Daddy was the prime mover of this program. 

Norah: Let me show what the memos actually say.

MiniCheney: Eeeeek!!!! Not the memos!! I’m melting!!!!

Norah: Your Daddy and Condi were in these meetings. But Powell and Rummy weren’t. Why won’t you say your Daddy was the prime mover of this program?

MiniCheney: I’m going to blame Powell anyway.

MiniCheney: The lawyers’ opinions were sought to make sure that the program that the NSA … wait a second. Are we talking about Daddy’s illegal wiretap program or Daddy’s illegal torture program? Oh yeah! … Torture! CIA!! to make sure the CIA stayed within the law. 

Norah; Listen to you!!! "How far we can go"?!?!?

MiniCheney: That’s right! Isn’t that cool?!

Norah: This is an important point.

MiniCheney: Yes, little girl, it’s a very very important point. Now now. But don’t you know? We Cheneys control the agenda on NBC. So I’m not going to let you make that point. 

Norah: Geneva Convention. America. Beacon in the world.

MiniCheney: [Glaring condescendingly at such childish foolishness]

MiniCheney: I get your point Norah, now shut up. We used a program of false confessions, and therefore this is not torture, it’s a program to create false confessions.

MiniCheney: This argument about the Geneva Conventions is all very emotional and girlie, Norah.

MiniCheney: And I think it’s important for the American people to hear only our argument laid out. 

83 replies
  1. GregB says:

    This rotten apple didn’t fall too far from the poisonous tree, did it?

    I’m getting sick to my stomach listening to the degraded state of affairs in this nation.


  2. phred says:

    Ummm, on what grounds is MiniCheney speaking on behalf of her Daddykins? Wasn’t this shit all classified six ways from Sunday? It’s not like he should have been discussing it at the table during Sunday Brunch and surely even though MiniCheney was over at State she wasn’t in a need-to-know position on interrogation… This makes no sense. Why even give her a platform?

  3. Mary says:

    miniCheney – and I’m especially proud of the way we managed to craft false confessions of al-Qaeda training camps in Iraq out of al-Libi, in plenty of time for Powell to us them in his UN speech and for America to believe them.

    Watching my daddy play with soldiers and create the largest refugee crisis in the world was keeeeewwwweeeeeeeellll.


    After what we’ve learned from the memos about Yoo and Bybee and Bradbury relying so heavily on the presence of psychologists during the torture sessions, it kind of makes me look anew at this old (March 2003 – a time of missing emails) piece by Olga Craig for The Telegraph

    Last night CIA interrogators confirmed that the boys were staying at a secret address where they were being encouraged to talk about their father’s activities.

    “We are handling them with kid gloves. After all, they are only little children,” said one official, “but we need to know as much about their father’s recent activities as possible. We have child psychologists on hand at all times and they are given the best of care.”

    emph added

    Since the primary use of psychologists in the CIA interrogation program seems to have been to “clear for torture” and “clear for more torture” it’s not nearly as reassuring to read that again, now.

  4. valletta says:

    I thought Norah did an awesome job (and I don’t always feel that way about her, so I sent her kudos)
    The best part:
    Norah to Liz: “Why are you here?! Why is your dad out there?”

  5. yellowsnapdragon says:

    Anyone have a link to the story about Bush buying property in Paraguay?

    I wonder where the Cheney family will be spending their exile?

  6. emptywheel says:

    Agree, absolutely. Norah held her ground as well as I’ve seen anyone do since a bunch of women kicked Palin’s underprepared ass last fall.

  7. burqa says:

    Sooooooooooo, the duncelet is telling the world what treatment of American prisoners she would not object to and would not want to prosecute, should we catch any enemy interrogators.
    Way to support the troops, pinhead….

  8. Mary says:

    8 – With Saberi in Iranian hands and the two women journalists in North Korean hands, Cheney and lil’liz want to make sure that they advocate for torture of suspected spies, because it is so effective.

    They are so irresponsible it is mind boggling.

  9. klynn says:

    Blackwater’s contract was through the State Department Ms. Minicheney, Former Deputy Asst Secretary of State.

    • klynn says:

      Cheney the “blame Powell” boy has been blaming Powell for decades. This is not a new thought coming from a Cheney.

  10. fatster says:

    “Senate Leaders Oppose Interrogation Inquiry Panel”. Because, you see, it will detract from Big O’s forward-looking agenda and would “signal an intent to exact ‘retribution’”. Surprisingly, Pelosi seems intent on having an investigatory panel. !


    I always liked the Rule of Law concept myself.

  11. JTMinIA says:

    Liz Cheney was quite smooth. It will take a lot of effort to get rid of the (false) idea that what was done to KSM and AZ was the same as what’s done in SERE training. That Norah O’Donnell failed to point out this lie will not help one bit. That Norah O’Donnell was the first to change the topic away from legality to high falutin’ morality looks like an admission that she (O’Donnell) had lost the legal argument.

    Big step backwards in all ways other than keeping attention on the issue.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      I politely disagree, and here’s why:
      1. Norah showed that she was not going to let MiniCheney control the whole interview and repeatedly put up boundaries when Lizzie tried to divert. That had to be a tough interview on O’Donnell’s end.

      2. MiniCheney was strikingly incapable of **listening** to O’Donnell; whereas O’Donnell clearly didn’t want MiniCheney running over her, which is a bold (and much needed!) new step for the press.

      3. O’Donnell had done her homework, and MiniCheney’s absolutely insulting ‘you’re only reading headlines… {huff, spit, hairtoss}’ deserved a sharp retort along the lines of, “No shit, Sherlock, this is like, ya’ know, teevee and we don’t have the kind of time that C-SPAN does to go over ever word of these damn memos with a fine tooth comb — our job is to synthesize and you damn well knew that when you agreed to the interview so STFU and stop whining.”

      4. O’Donnell had the presence of mind to state to MiniCheney that a key problem here is how OUR troops will now be treated — the way MiniCheney blew that one off (or, because it doesn’t synch with her worldview, didn’t even hear it) was mighty interesting.

      I do wish that O’Donnell had looked MiniCheney in the eyes and said, “So, simply because the US utilitizes SERE to train our own personnel, you expect us to believe that we train them by waterboarding 183 times in a month?! C’mon, MiniCheney, that’s totally full of shit, babe. Even my dumbass cousin knows the difference between 1 and 183; please don’t come on my show to insult our viewing audience.” But I also thought that O’Donnell really stood her ground quite reasonably, and that in itself had to piss off MiniCheney, who does not appear to have much experience with ‘push back’.

      I remain convinced that the Cheney’s have some chromosome that causes them to view the entire press with contempt, useful only when they want to control information.

      The fact that Liz Cheney is coming on teevee makes me positively gleeful. Another ‘tea leaf’ that someone’s getting anxious. Heh.

  12. Mary says:

    13 – and that’s with the memos cross-referencing the fact that there’s an IG report and quoting from it that what was done was NOT what was done to to our own soldiers in SERE. That’s qualitative.

    On the quantitative front, go find the soldier who was waterboarded 183 times.

    Go find the soldier disappeared for 5 years in isolation as a part of the training exercise. Go find the soldier frozen to death in the SERE training and dumped in an unmarked grave. Go find the soldier whose children were kidnapped and used in his torture. etc.

  13. pdaly says:

    “MiniCheney.” lol

    Have they done this sort of thing before? Do we ordinarily send former VP daughters on a press junket?

    • Hmmm says:

      Have they done this sort of thing before? Do we ordinarily send former VP daughters on a press junket?

      Joke of the Day to pdaly!

      • pdaly says:

        MiniCheney said the phrase “the question the American people have to ask themselves…” and all I could see were questions scrawled in the margins in a certain person’s handwriting.

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          ; -)))))
          If they gave Oscars for thread comments, I’d nominate this one for an award.

          And at 37 — yeowsa, you are on a roll today ;-)))

  14. Hmmm says:

    MiniCheney: Once again, I won’t say whether or not Daddy was the prime mover. But he didn’t direct any lawyers.

    Uhm… No, but that’s only because Addington directed the OLC lawyers — telling them exactly what Dick wanted said. Also?: Addington’s a lawyer, Sunshine.

    • emptywheel says:

      You know, I was going to go back and add that line: “Of course, not. That’s what he has David Addington around for.”

      You think it needs that?

      • Hmmm says:

        Naw, I like people coming across it in the comments. But then, I’d be biased about that. (insert wry smiley here.)

  15. Mary says:

    From Christy’s chat session (which I missed) the point is made that we are looking at an 8 year statute on torture, with a lot of the torture activity that has been reported taking place in the fall of 2002. It’s no wonder why there is so much foot dragging.…..nt-1885823

    • pdaly says:

      That sounds like a ticking time bomb. We need to act quickly.

      If only we could make a crass argument for the private prison owners: more convictions means more money. And who doesn’t like a healthy business proposition?

    • emptywheel says:

      Well why not? they watched the SOL on wiretapping without even noting it.

      I guess we’ll have to mark the calendar for August 1 July 12, 2010 so we can mark that one go by too.

  16. JTMinIA says:

    Slightly OT: Speaker Pelosi came out today and said that her gang of however-many was NOT informed about waterboarding.

    This surprised me. Not that she wasn’t told; that seems par for the course. What surprised me is that she hasn’t said this before. After all, the ex-Admin used their briefings of the gangs of however-many as a cover quite often (and many still use it). So why the heck did she wait until today to say that this is a lie?

    My guess (yes, I know, objection: asked and answered): because she no longer needs to protect Jane Harman, since the latter is toast.

    • emptywheel says:

      She has said almost as much twice before–saying that the briefing was all prospective, that they weren’t told it had alreday been done. The waterboarding is a sort of new detail, but not by much.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      And another interesting fact: if Pelosi and the few in Congress were treated to a ‘virtual reality tour’ of detention sites, then we all know what that means in terms of Dick Cheney, GW Bush, or anyone approved by them to view torture in ‘real time’ so to speak…

      Cue up the ‘Dragnet’ theme…

  17. Hmmm says:

    Norah: Your Daddy and Condi were in these meetings. But Powell and Rummy weren’t. Why won’t you say your Daddy was the prime mover of this program?

    MiniCheney: I’m going to blame Powell anyway.

    We’re gonna need a scorecard to keep the teams straight pretty soon. Is it Dick and Rummy and Condi all on one side with Zelikow supporting?

    Also: Been meaning to mention I keep noticing that nearly all of these apologists keep saying the detainees gave up valuable information “after” they were waterboarded — not “as a direct result of” or “during” of “because of”. It’s very consistent, across many different speakers. Some kind of sleight-of-word parsing going on there? No interviewer ever seems to tug on that thread.

    • bobschacht says:

      Is it Dick and Rummy and Condi all on one side with Zelikow supporting?

      They will be nervously watching each other, looking for signs of who’s the latest person to be thrown under the bus. Before long, they’ll be pointing fingers at each other.

      I remember however the masterful job Dr. Maddow did the other night, calling attention to the parallel CIA and DOD torture regimes, noting that they are united only at the top, and that the similarity in their torture regimes implies coordination at the highest level (I’m looking at YOU, George).

      I think maybe Dick and Rummy conned Condi into giving the first official approval, as a rite of initiation to the Boys Club of Manly Men, so I predict that Condi will eventually produce something to show that they put her up to it. She was never particularly close to either of them, anyway, IIRC.

      Bob in HI

      • Hmmm says:

        I think maybe Dick and Rummy conned Condi into giving the first official approval, as a rite of initiation to the Boys Club of Manly Men, so I predict that Condi will eventually produce something to show that they put her up to it. She was never particularly close to either of them, anyway, IIRC.

        Makes sense, and it’ll be very interesting to see whether she can muster a Get Out Of Jail Free card as you suggest. On reflection, I’m basically seeing the old Team W vs. Team Dick split. W couldn’t care less if Dick, Rummy, Addington, Bybee, and Yoo all go down, though per the family CIA ties W would probably not be happy to see any agency regulars impacted. Condi was definitely part of Team W at first, though maybe a jettisonable part at this point; maybe yesterday’s WaPo Condi/Dick piece was in part a Team Dick attempt at dragging her down along with them.

        • Citizen92 says:

          Regarding Rice, the phrase “useful idiot” comes to mind.

          In early 2002, no doubt Condi was still trying to prove herself to the boys’ club of Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz et all. It probably didn’t help that Steve Hadley, her “deputy” was also one of the neocon flock. It probably didn’t help that Cheney and his staff were :bcc’d on all of the NSC’s e-mail.

          “Condi went along because she didn’t know any better” was the storyline I think Phil Zelikow was trying to plant yesterday and the day before.

          But Condi did eventually wisen up.

          I’ve shared this before, but I was told by a friend who served in the NSC that, on more than one occasion, Rumsfeld actually turned the lights off in offices and conference rooms where meetings with Dr. Rice had occurred, and where she remained sitting after the meetings. No respect.

  18. Hmmm says:

    BTW may I just quickly add?: Liz Cheney appears to be a thoroughly, thoroughly awful human being.

    • emptywheel says:

      She’s the devil spawn of Dick and Lynn Cheney.

      I mean, if there were ever a doubt about genetics I think she proves they guide a lot of a person’s characteristics.

          • Loo Hoo. says:

            I vote for lizard. (Good one, MadDog!) She is a reptile.

            She is proud of her daddy’s work. Course if Cheney were really proud of it, he’d have fessed up the minute 60 Minutes showed us the Abu Ghraib stunts. Or at least kept Lindy and BF out of jail.

            Who was the enlisted guy who turned the photos over? Really a hero, and deserves a lot of credit.

  19. bluejeansntshirt says:

    Looks like there’s a Part 2 of Norah with Darthette.

    (I’m always lost in comments, but there’s always something good to read)

    Thanks ew.

  20. antibanana says:

    You know, as much I don’t like Cheney, I am becoming increasing uncomfortable with all of the attention focused on the OVP, while everyone just seems to write-off Bush’s complicity because he was so obviously unqualified for the job that he held.

    I also don’t like what I hear coming out of Rove’s mouth these days. Once again, Bush has managed to appear to be above the fray, but has put himself in a position to benefit from his minions’ efforts.

    • yellowsnapdragon says:

      It seems to me that Bush is incapable of understanding the details of the maneuvering of his staff. IMO he comes off as clueless rather than above the fray.

    • john in sacramento says:


      I have a theory that Shrub was coked up sometime in the 90’s and was watching SNL one night and watched the Ronald Regan Mastermind skit…..mastermind

      And said to himself that he would model his presidency on this skit if he ever got the chance

      Only contrary to the skit there are real people getting killed

  21. pdaly says:

    In the movie version some day of this news broadcast do you think miniCheney could be played by ex-figure skater and ex boxer Tonya Harding?

  22. antibanana says:


    Above the fray may not have been the choice of words. I do not think that Bush was clueless, either.

    And one more thing I wanted to add, even though it’s off topic.

    Did anyone else notice the news that Fran Townsend has accepted a position with Baker Botts–the Baker being James Baker, of course. Curiouser and curiouser.

  23. Mary says:

    28 – 8 years for such a violent crime seems short to me, but there it is. The fact that over a year of it will be expiring under Obama’s admin hurts the issue of tolling the statute.

    21/24 – She’s responding IMO to the NYT article where they explain that even she says she WAS briefed on the techniques and their legality.…..etain.html

    Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, who in 2002 was the ranking Democrat on the House committee, has said in public statements that she recalls being briefed on the methods, including waterboarding. She insists, however, that the lawmakers were told only that the C.I.A. believed the methods were legal — not that they were going to be used

    Which is pretty ridiculous – you are called for a special super duper secret briefing of a made up Gang of 4 (that is circumventing the requirement of briefing the Gang of and they brief you on interrogation techniques and that they have gone over them with OLC and have a memo authorizing them and …okthnxbai… then everyone shrugs and says, golly, just thought we’d have a special meeting to tell you that there are legal things we aren’t doing and won’t be doing.

    Her denial non-denial from WaPo
    is a pretty tortured assortment of I didn’t know; well I knew they said they could but not that they were going to; well even if I had known they were what could I have done …

    Didn’t know:

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) today said congressional leaders were never briefed about the use of an enhanced interrogation practice, rejecting GOP claims that leadership was aware of the controversial tactics by late 2002.

    If I knew, I didn’t know they were going to actually use them:

    Pelosi said the select few lawmakers who were briefed about handling of detainees from the war on terror, were then forbidden from discussing what they had learned with their colleagues. This produced an environment in which the top lawmakers were told of the existence of legal opinions supporting the rationale for waterboarding detainees, but never told that it was actually being used, according to Pelosi.

    “We were not — I repeat — were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used. What they did tell us is that they had . . . the Office of Legal Counsel opinions [and] that they could be used, but not that they would,” she said

    If I knew they were being used, I couldn’t have done anything:

    “They don’t come in to consult. They come in to notify. They come in to notify. And you can’t — you can’t change what they’re doing unless you can act as a committee or as a class. You can’t change what they’re doing.”

    Of course you could have a) put impeachment on the table to get to the bottom of it, or b) refused to be briefed unless they allowed the full gang of 8 or staff or the full committee be briefed, or c) made protected on the floor comments that you have received information that you are concerned has been classified bc it is related to illegal activity by the Executive and call on the floor for the AG to commence a security cleared investigation and for the Executive to provide briefing to all members of the intel committee and allow staff access to evaluate the information, etc.

    And in particular – you put impeachment ON, not OFF, the table.

    In any event, I did think there was something interesting in the mildly competing NYT and WaPo narratives. The NYT indicated, about the Gang of 4 briefing, that end runs of the Nat Sec Act Gang of 8 requirements were “common”

    As was common with the most secret programs, the C.I.A. chose not to brief the entire committees about the interrogation methods but only the so-called Gang of Four

    and that

    The rest of the committee members would be fully briefed only in 2006.

    WaPo indicates that in 2003, the full gang of 8 was being briefed

    Pelosi continued receiving highly classified briefings when she became Democratic leader in 2003, as is custom to brief the top Democrat and Republican in each of the two chambers.

    I’ve only looked at EW’s timeline post from yesterday vis a vis the Senate narrative but I noticed that timeline a) doesn’t reference the House briefings – gang of 4 or 8 – so dates on Pelosi and who she was briefed with etc. are fuzzy, but also that there is nothing showing for Reid getting a 2003 briefing when supposedly Pelosi (per WaPo) was getting continuing briefing as the top Dem in the chamber. So do they mean continued torture briefings, with Reid as well, or do they just toss in, as a kind of non-sequitor, that she got some classified briefings once she was off intel that had nothing to do with torture at all?

  24. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Ms. Cheney has been right as often as her father. Why does it matter what she says? Why is it newsworthy that she defends the father who has been a sugar daddy for her career? How does that make her remotely credible?

  25. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Dick Cheney took lawyer Liz, who had little background in international or Middle Eastern Affairs, and appointed her to a senior State Department post, the one most involved in giving State’s views on his efforts to remake the Middle East in his image. Whatever State’s professionals might have advised regarding Iraq, they were filtered through Lil’ Liz when it mattered most to Dick.

    Sadly for America, she was only one of Dick’s Dirty (Several) Dozen acolytes spread throughout the federal bureaucracy. Liz’s husband took a leave from his lobbying law firm to be general counsel at the OMB, which gave Dick’s personal network one more route to unfettered government-wide access.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Oh, and EOH, you forgot to mention that Wolfie’s sweetie was given that plumb position at Dept of State working under this very same MiniCheney.

      No conflict of interests, I’m sure…. /s

  26. wavpeac says:

    I think the interview tonight signaled a significant sea change in regard to the media and the way this topic is being handled. While I wish she had said this or that, it reminded me of Frost/Nixon, having seen it last night. She was tenacious, and it was as if her demeanor was saying: “I am not going to let you off on this, it’s too important”. It’s the “feeling” of the interview that says “this is important” and that “the Cheney’s can and should be interviewed aggressively”.

    I think that this is a significant change.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Yes, and I’m still agog from Part 2 of the interview, in which MiniCheney basically as much as says, “Discussing Abu Gharib is partisan politics.”

      Then she also blames Abu Gharib on the soldiers — whoa, I hope KO shows a little clip of Karpinski’s visceral outrage over her soldiers being in jail, then does a side-by-side with MiniCheney blaming it all on Lynndie England.


      I’m with you on the sea change thing, and the interviews the past few days have really provided some outstanding information from a very wide range of people explaining why torture creates more problems than it solves, which makes it feel like things have really started to shift. Karpinski, Suskind, Zelikow have all been extremely credible interviewees with detailed, new information.

      Lots of dots are connecting this week; amazing to watch this shift from one week ago. (Rahm really stuck his foot in it on Sunday, which only added fuel to the fire.)

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Anything that embarrasses Big Dick or the GOP is deemed partisan politics according to the MSM, no matter how newsworthy it might be.

        Karl Rove knew pies would hit the fan as soon as he or the GOP gave up the White House. That’s one reason he spent years turning questions of fact into questions of opinion. To blunt the inevitable scandals.

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          Totally agree with you. But I just went over to the MSNBC website to see what’s up and re-view the Karpinski interview and had an interesting epiphany: it would be interesting to know when MiniCheney was invited to the interview with O’Donnell, and/or agreed to go on the teevee.

          Because it would be interesting to know whether MiniCheney is ‘increased damage control’ after that very powerful interview by Karpinski, and then also by Suskind last night. (And then also that pretty stunning Shephard Smith expression of utter derision for torture.)

          I’d sure like to suppose that MiniCheney going on the air today is because the red alert is out in CheneyVille that the hatches have been breached and the ship has been hit in at least 5 places and is taking on water at an alarming rate. Rove, Bush, and Cheney could not have predicted that these interviews would be this powerful, this credible, and that a statement like Smith made on Fox would ever actually happen.

          I think they’re flailing in deeper waters than they’d ever imagined.
          We may be finding out why GW Bush refused to even look at Cheney on Inauguration Day ;-))

          • bobschacht says:

            Because it would be interesting to know whether MiniCheney is ‘increased damage control’ after that very powerful interview by Karpinski, and then also by Suskind last night. (And then also that pretty stunning Shephard Smith expression of utter derision for torture.)

            I’ve seen a number of interviews with Karpinski, but in this one she got more emotional than ever before that I’ve seen her in her role as talking head. It may be that she was Rummey’s personal scapegoat (she was busted for following Rumsfeld’s orders, IIRC, and never allowed to adequately defend herself.)

            Bob in HI

    • bobschacht says:

      Also, nice h/t to Marcy today by Glenzilla:

      Glenn Greenwald, Thursday April 23, 2009 08:45 EDT…..index.html"> Three key rules of media behavior shape their discussions of “the ‘torture’ debate“


      UPDATE: As the recent debate-changing discovery of Marcy Wheeler demonstrated, one extremely important way to improve media coverage of these issues is to have independent journalists able to work on them. Marcy has long been one of the hardest-working and most important writers on these matters, yet has been doing it all for free, as a side hobby before and after her full-time job. FireDogLake is now attempting to raise funds to hire Marcy to enable her to work on her investigative journalism full-time. For those able to do so, contributing to that fund is something I’d highly recommend. That can be done here.

      I don’t know why the first link above isn’t formatted properly. If the mod can fix, I’d appreciate it.

      Bob in HI

  27. Slothrop says:

    More proof of Dick Cheney cowardice. He sends his daughter out to answer questions. So, we can add this to the 5 deferments to get out of Nam duty and his attempt to whitewash the shooting in the face down in Texas.

    Total, contemptible coward.

  28. SparklestheIguana says:

    Malcolm Nance: “It is inconceivable that Bush administration officials did not know the history of SERE, from which they drew torture tactics.”

    Reporting in the New York Times this week, however, suggests that Bush administration officials, including the director of the CIA, claim to have been unaware of the origins of the SERE program and the history of the techniques involved.

    If this is true, a whole myriad of CIA and Defense Department personnel need to be fired. It is virtually impossible for the administration not to know the origins of SERE methodology. It is the magnum opus of professional torture methods, drawn from the 230-year history of the American POW experience. SERE is a classified program, but every person informed of it is “read in” to the details of the program. Even the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency, which administers SERE, starts its PowerPoint presentation with a slide outlining the agency’s origins.

    Former Bush officials are feigning collective ignorance in this regard. As sworn elected officials and appointees, they had an oath to uphold and protect the U.S. Constitution. In this, they failed miserably. One former CIA official quoted by the New York Times called it “a perfect storm of ignorance and enthusiasm.” If so, it was willful ignorance and unbridled enthusiasm to mimic tough-guy torture techniques popularized on the TV show 24, and certainly not anything grounded in the reality of using proper interrogation techniques.


  29. burqa says:

    Listening again I could not fail to note that as the buck went up the chain of command, when it got to the desk of Vice President “Whatta” Dick B. Cheney’s desk, it did the honorable thing and took a u-turn….

    • pdaly says:

      Banality of evil, for sure. The singer did a great job to show just how crazy the memo’s lyrics are.

      It reminds me of this Greens Keepers video Lotion that I linked to a long while ago.

      • pdaly says:

        and darn it, if that poodle held by Buffalo Bill doesn’t still bear a likeness to GW Bush. Must be something about those eyes.

  30. CTMET says:

    I don’t really think Nora was prepared enough or tough enough. For example she should have called BS on the “Using SERE tactics is just what we put our people through” line.

    She should have also called BS on the “DNI was censored” as well.

    I would have like to have seen O’Donnell on with Mini-Cheney at the same time. Better yet I’d love to see Marcy take one of these liars. They would not know what hit them. Like I said yesterday – I’d do pay per view for that.

  31. Leen says:

    Nora really needed to trump Cheney. This woman never shut up, interrupted, spun and would not let Nora get a word in edge wise. Hello Nora this was your show

  32. robspierre says:

    What makes these people think that suspending the laws that protect others cannot possibly endanger them as well?

    Has it ever occurred to Ms. Cheyney that a Democratic Congress that had a spine and only a little less principle than the one we have now might at some point think that waterboarding her old man would yield a treasure trove of politically useful “information”? That said Congress might plausibly want to waterboard HER in order to further pressure her father? That it might be convenient for the Democratic establishment if Cheyney could be made to confess sole responsibility for war, torture, economic collapse economy, and maybe global warming?

    If it has not occurred to her, then I’m suggesting it now. If we are so far gone as to accept ANY justification for what Cheyney, Bush, and their minions did to men, women, and their children, then we need to use the new Cheyney toolset on its originators. Equal protection. There are cells in the Capitol basement, I’m told. I’m betting that there is running water and electricity too. Moistened copies of old Yoo memos can serve in place of towels.

  33. bobash says:

    Watching Liz Cheney defend her Daddy’s torture program was just incredibly surreal. Not sure what else to say about her that hasn’t already been said. Un-#[email protected]&ing-believable.

    I’ve been making a mental list of all those I’ve heard so far, either from the administration or from the media, argue that what is described in the four memos is not “torture”. To anyone I hear say this, I ask, “Have you read the memos?” If they say “No, but …”, I say STFU and go read the memos so you don’t make an idiot of yourself. If they say “yes”, and still argue that what this program administered does not constitute “torture”, I refuse to argue with them. Why waste the time? I just put their name on the list.

    I think someone should put up such a list on the web. It would greatly simplify this whole debate.

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