Cheney: No, I Won’t Cooperate with a Torture Prosecutor

Far and away, here’s my favorite exchange in the Cheney interview:

WALLACE: If the prosecutor asks to speak to you, will you speak to him? 

CHENEY: It will depend on the circumstances and what I think their activities are really involved in. I’ve been very outspoken in my views on this matter. I’ve been very forthright publicly in talking about my involvement in these policies. 

I’m very proud of what we did in terms of defending the nation for the last eight years successfully. And, you know, it won’t take a prosecutor to find out what I think. I’ve already expressed those views rather forthrightly.

Wallace asks Cheney if he will speak with Durham, if asked. Cheney does not say yes. Instead, PapaDick immediately suggests he won’t cooperate with an investigation he deems as improper. 

He then takes a tack Karl Rove took in the US Attorney firings: claiming that his many public statements on the issue could substitute for an interview (or better yet, a grand jury appearance) about what role OVP had in establishing our torture regime. 

Cheney hides an obvious unwillingness to commit to cooperating with Durham behind his purported "forthrightness" about torture in the past.

Now, I’ll say more on this tomorrow in regards to DOJ’s ongoing claims that they need to suppress Cheney’s CIA Leak interview so high level White House officials will cooperate in the future. But for now, know that Cheney is already laying the groundwork to refuse to cooperate with Durham based on some claim that the investigation is improper.

46 replies
  1. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Mr. Cheney, no doubt, has discovered the Fifth Amendment, Fourth and Sixth Amendments, though like immunity from lawbreaking, they apply only to him and his immediate supporters, not the rabble.

    How refreshing that the target of an investigation should have the last word on that investigation’s scope and propriety. If that framework is good enough for banksters and insuresters, it’s A-OK for Big Dick. Couldn’t we elect a president who has actually read and taught the Constitution. Oh, wait….

  2. MadDog says:

    …He then takes a tack Karl Rove took…

    Weasels can be identified by a number of characteristics with weaseling taking the lead.

    Shorter PapaDick: “I am Weasel–hear me yowl!”

  3. Mary says:

    Ah yes, his forthrightness –

    And then Cheney discussed KSM’s children, his and Larry Thompson’s roles in sending off Maher Arar to be tortured in Syria, his roles in the decisions to send al-Libi to Egypt and the false torture intel on al-Qaeda training camps, Cheney’s later role in disappearing al-Libi off to Libya so that no one could interview him about how his intel was used to create a couple of million refugees, and finally how he advocated to have Khalid el-Masri permanently disappeared as a matter of policy.

    Yeah, right. Fox has asked him the tough questions and he’s been “fourthbranchright” in his answers.

    • cinnamonape says:

      I’ve been very outspoken in my views on this matter. I’ve been very forthright publicly in talking about my involvement in these policies.

      Bulldada. His role has been totally obscured by his demand that his communications be kept secret. There were secret documents sitting in his safe…he’s never explained why they were there, or why, if he was so detached from the process he even was even reviewing them.

      Of course he publicly lied about the one big “intelligence success” that the torture supposedly revealed…the “LA Library Towers” plot. The torture had nothing to do with that plot being unsuccessful anything the internal dissensions within Jema’ah Islamiya after 9/11 ended it. The Malaysian police had already discovered the “failed plot” (and reported it to the CIA) long before KSM was interrogated.

      But Cheney indicated that the torture prevented the attacks.

      Yeah…totally honest about his role and the benefits of the covert operations…NOT.

  4. MadDog says:

    …Wallace asks Cheney if he will speak with Durham, if asked. Cheney does not say yes. Instead, PapaDick immediately suggests he won’t cooperate with an investigation he deems as improper…

    PapaDick get’s some “help” from Senator Diane “The Wicked Witch of the West” Feinstein:

    A leading Democratic senator Sunday criticized a Justice Department investigation into abusive CIA interrogations of Al-Qaeda detainees as poorly timed, signaling broadening opposition to the probe…

    …Saying she, too, was “horrified” by a classified 2004 CIA report that detailed abusive interrogation practices, Feinstein said she understood Attorney General Eric Holder’s reasons for ordering a review of the interrogation program.

    “However, I think the timing of this is not very good,” Feinstein said.

    Feinstein said the intelligence committee was already well along in conducting a bipartisan “total look” at the interrogation and detention techniques used on so-called high value detainees.

    “And candidly, I wish that the attorney general had waited,” she said…

    With “friends” like this, who needs enemies?

  5. ART45 says:

    Cheney ought to go on a speaking tour.

    Out among the American people.

    So he can see and feel how much he’s loved.

    • PJEvans says:

      Unfortunately, he gets secret service protection for a long enough period that he’ll probably die of heart failure before he learns anything from We the People.

  6. SmileySam says:

    Just once I would love to see Cheney interviewed by a real Liberal Media. Someone like O’Donnell or Moyer could get his goat fast. No softballs, and calling him of his facts/fantasys would make for a very enjoyable show. Cheney couldn’t take the heat without losing it. Make it a hour long and live but better have a Dr. standing by in case Cheney actually explodes.

  7. prostratedragon says:

    It’d be nice if Kerry’s remarks on This Week today were the start of a co-ordinated counterstrike to prepare the way for proper DOJ action.

    He reminds the audience of Cheney’s disrespect for law and the Constitution, and points out (I hope it’s clear that this is what he was doing) the difference between the blatantly political direction by the WH of the DOJ under AGAG especially, and the suggestion that Holder’s DOJ might be acting against some resistance from the politicos.

    In the end though, maybe all that’s necessary is for Cheney to keep barking.

  8. GregB says:

    You see, in today’s America, healhcare advocacy is the work of domestic Nazis and torture advocacy is the work of latter day Jeffersons and Washingtons.

    It’s that simple!

    Is it time to start calling America a failed state?


  9. MadDog says:

    And one of my favorite parts of PapaDick’s interview was this part:

    …WALLACE: Well, on another issue, the CIA has stopped a program to kill or capture top al Qaeda leaders, top al Qaeda terrorists. And CIA Director Panetta told lawmakers that you told the CIA not to inform Congress.

    Is that true?

    CHENEY: As I recall — and frankly, this is many years ago — but my recollection of it is, in the reporting I’ve seen, is that the direction was for them not to tell Congress until certain lines were passed, until the program became operational…

    So the answer to Wallace’s question, was yes. PapaDick did order the CIA not to tell Congress.

    • Rayne says:

      And yes, he’s laundering his version of what happened through the media.

      “…in the reporting I’ve seen…”


      I’m beginning to have a greater degree of confidence in Durham’s marching orders, as narrow as they are, given that the Dark Lord himself had to come out and tell us/DOJ/Obama to piss off and not to bother him. Obviously he felt threatened enough to come out from under his rock.

  10. fatster says:

    Waaaay O/T. Somebody tell me this is a spoof.

    Former first daughter Jenna Bush joins ‘Today’
    Associated Press – 2 hours, 22 minutes ago

    “NEW YORK NBC’s “Today” show has hired someone with White House experience as a new correspondent former first daughter Jenna Bush Hager.

    . . .

    ‘”It wasn’t something I’d always dreamed to do,” she said. “But I think one of the most important things in life is to be open-minded and to be open-minded for change.” ‘


    • fatster says:

      I am not alone.

      SUNDAY AUG. 30, 2009 18:31 EDT
      It’s time to embrace American royalty

      Glenn Greenwald

      “They should convene a panel for the next Meet the Press with Jenna Bush Hager, Luke Russert, Liz Cheney, Megan McCain and Jonah Goldberg, and they should have Chris Wallace moderate it.  They can all bash affirmative action and talk about how vitally important it is that the U.S. remain a Great Meritocracy because it’s really unfair for anything other than merit to determine position and employment.  They can interview Lisa Murkowski, Evan Bayh, Jeb Bush, Bob Casey, Mark Pryor, Jay Rockefeller, Dan Lipinksi, and Harold Ford, Jr. about personality responsibility and the virtues of self-sufficiency.  Bill Kristol, Tucker Carlson and John Podhoretz can provide moving commentary on how America is so special because all that matters is merit, not who you know or where you come from.  There’s a virtually endless lists of politically well-placed guests equally qualified to talk on such matters.”


    • SparklestheIguana says:

      Nice to see someone who already has a job, being offered a second job. It’s not like any actually unemployed people were in need of a job on the Today show or anything.

  11. Styve says:

    How about the crap that came out of Liz Cheney’s mouth on Stephanopolous’s show…torture never occurred…no rapes…re-investigating creates double-jeopardy, etc.?!

  12. Garrett says:

    I’ve started work on a dKosopedia torture timeline. It is starting to accumulate some weight.

    It should be of use to anyone here. It has a different style than historycommons.

    I’d solicit help from anyone that wants to contribute. Even small additions or edits help to collectively build it.

  13. LabDancer says:

    Health Alert: Partial list of side effects of a concentrated dosage of Congressionally & judicially un-reviewable preliminary investigation:

    – elevated paranoia levels from not knowing WTF is going on;

    – increased breathlessness from having to articulate so many variations & conditions to account for all possible responses capable of completely undermining one’s sophistry;

    – appearing seriously overmatched by batting practice tosses from own coaching staff;

    – Village sheep start taking liberties with one’s hellspawn, talking over her efforts to talk over them;

    – blurred vision from floaties looking like George Will auditioning to cheer-lead the Appeasement Wave.

    With apologies to the late Plimpton & his Crimson correctness cheer of:

    Repel them
    Repel them
    Make them relinquish the ball

    a bipartisan truthiness commission with Justices Sandra Day O’Conner & David Souter would seem likely to inspire:

    Confess all
    Confess all
    Just get the immunity first.

  14. alabama says:

    Cheney hasn’t figured out that the A team is taking him down. But then Bush hasn’t figured it out, either–not any more than Scooter Libby or Don Rumsfeld.

    Did Nixon figure it out? I doubt that he did (but John Mitchell, he certainly figured it out).

    The NYTimes and the Washington Post have yet to figure it out. They seem to be even more clueless than Cheney, Bush, Libby, or Rumsfeld. And as for those folks on t.v….. Maybe the Ken Burns of 2050 will run a one-hour special on the whole gang, but no one else will touch it for the next forty years….

  15. fatster says:

    How to have it both ways.

    McCain pushes back against Cheney, says torture violated law

Published: August 30, 2009 
Updated 5 hours ago

’“I think the interrogations were in violation of the Geneva Conventions and the convention against torture that we ratified under President Reagan,” McCain told CBS’ Bob Schieffer Sunday.

    ‘“I think these interrogations, once publicized, helped al Qaeda recruit. I got that from an al Qaeda operative in a prison camp in Iraq… I think that the ability of us to work with our allies was harmed. And I believe that information, according go the FBI and others, could have been gained through other methods,” said McCain.

    “McCain disagreed with Attorney General Holder’s decision to probe interrogation techniques that went beyond legal recommendations, saying he agreed with President Barack Obama that the country needs to “look forward,” not back.”


  16. fatster says:

    How to have it both ways, Pt. 2

    Democratic lawmaker questions probe of CIA interrogations

    “Saying she, too, was “horrified” by a classified 2004 Central Intelligence Agency report that detailed abusive interrogation practices, Feinstein said she understood Attorney General Eric Holder’s reasons for ordering a review of the interrogation program.

    ‘”However, I think the timing of this is not very good,” Feinstein said.

    “She said the intelligence committee was already well along in conducting a bipartisan “total look” at the interrogation and detention techniques used on so-called high value detainees.”


  17. regret says:

    Defending the nation the last eight years successfully? Oh, right, they didn’t fail except for when they did. Apparently 9/11 — you know, that whole terrorist attack thing — is only useful as a talking point when you’re trying to scare someone into acquiescing to your agenda.

    • fatster says:

      Yep. And that one fatal slip-up has had us in a world of hurt, confusion, loss, moral wretchedness ever since–and for how many more years to come? And it’s being used as an excuse to do major damage to what we used to consider our “democratic principles and institutions”.

    • Boston1775 says:

      I find it refreshes my thinking to ponder the enormous rewards that Dick and his Flying Monkeys reaped from 911.

      It’s only a slight paradigm shift to follow the facts to his participation.

  18. fatster says:


    Breaking: Pentagon cancels “Rendon Group” contract
    by calchala
    Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 04:23:55 PM PDT

    “Today, after a week long bashing by Stars and Stripes Magazine, among others, the Pentagon cancels the Rendon Group’s contract involving analyzing military reporters with “positive”, “negative” or “neutral” connotations for their stories.”


    • acquarius74 says:

      Thank you, fatster! I had not seen that. I posted a diary on Seminal last week about it, as Spencer did at his site and in the Washington Independent.

      BTW, over at RawStory there is a small notice that the shoe-bomber is to get early release on 09/12/09, for good behavior. His original sentence was to 3 years. I guess it wasn’t good PR to keep a national/world hero in prison.

      • fatster says:

        So, here’s a guy caught in the act of trying to detonate a bomb in an airplane full of people somewhere over the Atlantic. He gets three years. Then he gets an early release.

        Compare that to, say, Jose Padilla.

  19. fatster says:

    Rise of Mercenary Armies Imperil World, Peace Movement
    By Sherwood Ross (about the author)     Page 1 of 2 page(s)   

    “The growing use of private armies not only subjects target populations to savage warfare but makes it easier for the White House to subvert domestic public opinion and wage wars.

    “Americans are less inclined to oppose a war that is being fought by hired foreign mercenaries, even when their own tax dollars are being squandered to fund it.

    ‘“The increasing use of contractors, private forces, or, as some would say, ‘mercenaries’ makes wars easier to begin and to fight—it just takes money and not the citizenry,” said Michael Ratner, of New York’s Center for Constitutional Rights. “To the extent a population is called upon to go to war, there is resistance, a necessary resistance to prevent wars of self-aggrandizement, foolish wars, and, in the case of the United States, hegemonic imperialist wars.”’


    • lllphd says:

      boy, this story needs tons more attention, along with tons more coverage of scahill’s work on blackwater. mercenaries should be completely outlawed, imho. scott horton quoted machiavelli the other day, noting he fully recognized the folly of depending on mercenaries. when you start outsourcing your own defense, it’s all over but the shouting. or the scalping, i should say.

    • bobschacht says:

      “The growing use of private armies not only subjects target populations to savage warfare but makes it easier for the White House to subvert domestic public opinion and wage wars…”

      This all sounds so familiar. Didn’t the Romans do something like that?

      Bob from HI

  20. lllphd says:

    i suspect this question is pretty out there, but i can’t help but wonder….

    do you suppose cheney might be somehow, through whatever routes he might have available to him, getting fed legal argument suggestions from friendly judges, even his buddy scalia?

    i mean, this is just beyond ballsy. i’ve said before he is just double-daring anyone to come after him, all the while exposing pretty clearly just how afeared he really is that his ass might be in a real sling.

    in fact, i’m struck from listening to this tape that his voice does not sound terribly strong, and he seems thinner. anyone else notice that?

    • Boston1775 says:

      I said on the last thread that I am reading something Cheney said as a veiled threat to Obama. I’ll go get it and paste it:

      You know, when Dick says:

      But my concern is that the damage that will be done by the President of the United States going back on his word, his promise about investigations of CIA personnel who have carried those policies, is seriously going to undermine the moral(e), if you will, of our folks out at the agency.

      I’m reading a veiled threat.
      This “morale, if you will” about “our folks at the agency”

      morale ( ) n. The state of the spirits of a person or group as exhibited by confidence, cheerfulness, discipline, and willingness to perform assigned tasks.
      Another *poof* and the Attorney General *poof* is neutered *poof*
      And he lays a warning out to Obama that “our folks at the agency” will be unwilling to follow out Obama’s assignments.

      Message: Obama is at risk.

      Doesn’t Dick live within walking distance of a CIA building? And how many of our/his folks are in that building?

  21. alinaustex says:

    Alabama @ 22 ,
    Totally agree with you the A Team across all depts and agencies are feed ing this investigation . The men & women who have built careers keeping all of us safe -across all the federal government -are now reclaiming that which was stolen during the ongoing criminal conspiracy aka gwb43 – that which was stolen was our Rule of Law , our national honor, and most importantly the stolen lives lost in the illegal occupation of Mesopatemia /Irak ., the stolen lives of our brave service members , the stolen lives of the innocent civilains .
    Its important to also remember why (IMHO) its taken so long to get the real investigation engaged -ie the mandated Durham posse holding its first GJ -it took awhile because there is also a political context for this – we can’t go off half cocked or without a heavy enough caliber weapon when hunting big game like PappaDick or even David Addington. We want to take our time as Ross Perot said -measure twice cut once .
    The reckoning day for justice is now visible Alabama -It will be most interesting to see which of the Bush Prinicpals turns ’states evidence ‘first — as all the A Teams across the spectrum keep giving more and more damning information to Durham .( My best guess on who turns first is former Sec State Rice -hell maybe she already has cut her own deal – if I had reason to believe that she had to started to rat out Cheney I might have doubled my bet with bmaz – (hey wait I already have double downed with the bmazesiter ) -my next best guess would be that Fredo will also be leading the flipping parade -especially if the charge is Murder by Torture .
    Alabama- you are right the A Team(s) are even as we speak helping reclaim our Country and our Sacred Honor – that oath after all cites defending the Constitution from enemies both Foreign and Domisetic . PappaDick is a clear and present danger.

  22. Stephen says:

    Opening question for Dick, ” Can you give us a ballpark figure on how many deaths are attributed to the Bush Administration’s Interrogation Policies of suspected terrorists and detainees? “.

  23. Jkat says:

    oh i know it’s been said already but .. gawd dammit .. i am soooo tired of hearing these various assholes talk about “keeping us safe for eight years” as if their hubris ..lack of attention ..and incompetence didn’t directly lead to giving bin laden’s boyz the opening to pull off 9/11 ..

    they didn’t “keep us safe for eight years” .. they were helming the ship-of-state when we got hit with the worst attack on the nation in our history .. the captain of the ship-o-state wasn’t even on the bridge .. nor in the capn’s ready room ..he wasn’t even on the ship ..

    “kept us safe” …

    my ass too [spit]

  24. Spencer Ackerman says:

    I ain’t no lawyer. And you did the yeoman work on Libby. But isn’t this, like, a foreshadowing of Cheney obstructing justice?

  25. maryo2 says:

    My favorite part is where Cheney conflates quality and quantity of intelligence again:
    “But the interesting thing about these is it shows that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah provided the overwhelming majority of reports on Al Qaeda.”

    The part that leaves me wondering what kind of story line he is going to push going forward is this:
    “The fact of the matter is the lawyers in the Justice Department who gave us those opinions had every right to give us the opinions they did.”

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