Dick Cheney: I’m Proud I Tortured to Protect Our Country But Not Our Allies

One key to Dick Cheney’s defense today is the proud boast that his torture policy worked.

I guess the other thing that offends the hell out of me, frankly, Chris, is we had a track record now of eight years of defending the nation against any further mass casualty attacks from Al Qaeda.


I’m very proud of what we did in terms of defending the nation for the last eight years successfully.


Chris, my sort of overwhelming view is that the enhanced interrogation techniques were absolutely essential in saving thousands of American lives and preventing further attacks against the United States, and giving us the intelligence we needed to go find Al Qaeda, to find their camps, to find out how they were being financed. Those interrogations were involved in the arrest of nearly all the Al Qaeda members that we were able to bring to justice. I think they were directly responsible for the fact that for eight years, we had no further mass casualty attacks against the United States. 

It was good policy. It was properly carried out. It worked very, very well.


The thing I keep coming back to time and time again, Chris, is the fact that we’ve gone for eight years without another attack. Now, how do you explain that? 

The critics don’t have any solution for that. They can criticize our policies, our way of doing business, but the results speak for themselves.

I wonder how Jose Maria Aznar feels about Dick Cheney’s proud defense of torture? Spain’s former Prime Minister who staked much on supporting Cheney’s unpopular war in Iraq had that support rewarded with a vicious attack on Madrid’s subway. The attack happened a year after we started torturing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. But somehow, all the torture of al Qaeda’s mastermind somehow failed to prevent the Madrid attack.

I wonder what the families of those who died in the Madrid attack think, hearing Cheney defend his torture program by boasting of eight years with no attack?

Or what do the Indonesians think to hear of Cheney’s boast? Several months after we tortured Abu Zubaydah in 2002, Indonesia suffered from its worst terrorist attack, in Bali. Yet somehow waterboarding Abu Zubaydah did little to prevent those more than 200 deaths.

Or how about Jordan which–in 2005–suffered from bombings at the hand of Zarqawi at multiple western hotels. How does Jordan feel about Cheney’s boast? We tortured alleged Zarqawi ally Hassan Ghul in 2004, but that failed to prevent these bombings.

And how does Tony Blair feel, our poodle, who stayed loyal to America’s wars until the end? How does he feel when Cheney boasts of going eight years with no attacks when London’s subway was attacked? We tortured Abu Faraj al-Libbi earlier in 2005, before the London Tube attack. It failed to prevent that attack.

The fact of the matter is that all the torture that Cheney sponsored did little to prevent these attacks. Which means either his boast–that he has prevented another attack for eight years–is plainly false. Or that Cheney mobilized torture solely to protect America, and not to dismantle al Qaeda.

I wonder … if and when Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon convicts Cheney’s sidekicks David Addington and Jim Haynes for enabling torture, if he convicts Yoo and Bybee and Feith and Gonzales, will Cheney have any more shame than he does today, boasting that torture kept us safe from al Qaeda for eight years?

54 replies
  1. ackack says:

    I just wish that those we elected had half the balls to prosecute the crimes those recently defeated had to commit them. I’m particularly proud, as a Democrat, of DiFi’s comment today about the timing of Holder’s investigation.

  2. alabama says:

    At first I thought that Cheney simply resented the loss of his credibility and his standing. But now I see fear: he knows he’s going to catch the blame for everything, and where Bush will end up as the proverbial success with a thousand fathers, Cheney will end up as the orphan–despised, rejected, and ignored.

    Ever the loser, and never the good sport, he’ll be remembered chiefly for shooting his hunting companion in the face and then running to hide from the press.

    • PJEvans says:

      I doubt that anyone will remember Bush favorably, outside of his family and a few people like Gonzo. He’s a walking, talking example of riding the coattails of his father to a level far above his own competence.

      • Palli says:

        Don’t suppose Gonzales thinks of Bush so fondly now; not that it means he will admit it publically.

      • alabama says:

        Agreed. A lazy turn on the nearest available proverb…. But I have to believe that Cheney feels orphaned by Bushes, and hence by the Village as a whole. He’s a frightened man. He was always a coward, and cowards never stop cowering. It’s how they pass through.

    • Bluetoe2 says:

      and who is going to hold them accountable? Obama, Eric Holder? Laughable at best. They’ll be held accountable when the American people finally regain control of their government. Until the people rise up in righteous indignation the crimes will be swept under the rug and will be perpetuated by the Obama regime.

  3. Mary says:

    Not only did we not prevent those attacks, as the German terrorism trial has been proceeding we’ve seen that disappearing people around the world into a torture regime has been the specific prompt for terrorism in other countries. Create a Khalid el-Masri, reap bombing plots against American soldiers for decades.

  4. Loo Hoo. says:

    Chris, my sort of overwhelming view is that the enhanced interrogation techniques were absolutely essential in saving thousands of American lives and preventing further attacks against the United States, and giving us the intelligence we needed to go find Al Qaeda

    So why didn’t they go find ‘ol OBL?

    • TobyWollin says:

      Let’s look at these one at a time, shall we?
      1)”the enhanced interrogation techniques were absolutely essential in saving thousands of American lives..” How do you explain the thousands of Americans who’ve been killed and maimed over in Iraq and Afghanistan? don’t they count?
      2) and preventing further attacks against the United States,” The stuff that came out of these little ’sessions’ did nothing to prevent an attack.
      3) and giving us the intelligence we needed to go find Al Qaeda – except that it also was the greatest recruiting tool that Al Qaeda had. So there are far more people in the world who hate our guts now.
      Feel safer, Dick? I’m sure you do but again, President Obama, whom you so despise, still has you under protection, does he not?

  5. GregB says:

    If you use their rhetoric against them, this argument also falls flat.

    All during the Iraq war we were told over and over that Al Qaeda had declared that “Iraq was the front line in the war of terrorism”.

    Well, if Iraq was the front line then all of those attacks against the US in Iraq were attacks against the US, period.

    Why would they need to attack the US mainland if they considered Iraq to be the main front?

    Oh Dick, you lying sack of shit.


  6. wavpeac says:

    He didn’t torture to protect our country he tortured to validate his “opinion” that Iraq had WMD.

    He tortured to “find out” more about Al Queda instead of getting that info by having lots of arabic speaking intel and maybe reading a book. (cause he might have to look the other way and let gay people serve even after he knows they are gay).

  7. behindthefall says:

    Well, well, America. Now you can stand at the end of the long, long line of entities that have tried to justify their evils. That stain isn’t going to come easily out of the cloth.

  8. wesgpc says:

    I think a problem is that there are a lot of people in the US who do not give a tinker’s damn what happened in other countries, which they do not consider allies at all, but rather inferior chump states who are to what they are told, and gladly kiss our ass upon demand.

    Two complications are that a significant number of these insanatics are the stone cold flat out ignorant celebrities in the national affairs media, and, that attitude is a recipe for massive Loserness over the long term.

    The infantile attitude that blowing up stuff and beating up on people indiscrimantly has a wide enough audience in this country to be a theart to sensible and effective policy.

  9. RevBev says:

    Why does anyone think his daughter is a spokesperson for the truth or has any independent knowledge of anything? I have a really cute, bright daughter.. does that make her a spokesperson with authority? I really donn’t get it…that is, why she keeps getting a forum?

    • oldgold says:

      It may be a good sign that his daughter is the person on the shows defending the former VP. How so? She might be the only person willing to undertake the miserable job.

      It seems the other usual suspects don’t have the stomach for it.

    • Bluetoe2 says:

      She has been anointed as a legitimate spokesperson by the corporate media. Until the corporate media is destroyed they will continue to frame the issues and promote right wing memes. The propaganda and indoctrination of the American public continues unabated.

        • Bluetoe2 says:

          In the name of the corporate state, ie the fascist state. Today’s corporate media is all about propaganda and indoctrination. Looking at the consciousness of the American public one would have to say they have been very effective indeed.

    • brantl says:

      When did Liz Cheney get cute or bright? If you want a direct comparison, your daughter would have to be dumb, ignorant, constitutionally incapable of telling the truth, and dirt mean, to boot.

  10. Bluetoe2 says:

    I suppose many in the fascist regime of Germany were motivated by protecting their nation from foreign and domestic threats against the State. This is such bullshit!

  11. Mommybrain says:

    Teh Cheneys are trouble makers, from Lynn and her America First revisionist histories all the way thru Liz and her mad defense-of-Dick skillz. Mary should take her partner’s last name.

  12. Sharkbabe says:

    Satan Cheney knows full well most Americans could give a rat’s ass about a dead Spaniard (e.g.). Yeah they’re white enough, but they speak Mexican. And the Brits are sissies with bleeding-heart commie healthcare. And Indonesia – please. The place that veritably spawned our muslim nazi illegitimate prez.

    Cheney’s bullshit is inarguable – not one single other most-spectacular-attack-of-modern-times-completely-undefended has been allowed to happen. Dude knows what he’s doin.

  13. RieszFischer says:


    I guess the other thing that offends the hell out of me, frankly, Chris, is we had a track record now of eight years of defending the nation against any further mass casualty attacks from Al Qaeda.

    That is, after we let in the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil in history, after having received plenty of warning, including a PDB entitled “Bin Laden determined to strike in US”. But except for that we didn’t let in any other mass casualty attacks from Al Qaeda.

  14. tbsa says:

    What about the fucking rule of law? Are we a nation of laws or not. The GOP assholes impeached a sitting president for lying about a blowjob, yet bushco can murder a million people or more and that is called protecting the country. We are not safer because several middle eastern countries want us all dead for bombing them back to the stone age and killing millions of people.
    Bushco was the best recruiting tool Al Qaeda could have ever dreamed up.

    • Bluetoe2 says:

      You want the rule of law? Then go out on the streets with your fellow citizens and don’t “demand” it but take it! The ruling class surrenders nothing willingly.

      • tbsa says:

        We are on the street corner protesting weekly. I write and call my critters almost daily, especially since the whole healthcare debate got so crazy. I write letters to the editor. I have even tried to write to Obama(which is a joke). I am also an elected member of the county central committee and we have registration drives which I have participated in monthly. I wouldn’t say I am surrendering anything. It is being ripped from me.

        • Bluetoe2 says:

          You’re not alone in your efforts to reclaim our government. Obama provided a brief ray of light but he is turning out to be just another part of the problem. The only way this will change is if there is a mass movement of tens of millions of people willing to storm the “Bastille.” With over 300 million people and only 32 posts it’s going to be a very protracted struggle but then of course “Big Brother” is on the TEEVEE this evening. The fascists have the public just where they want them. Dumbed downed and stressed out.

  15. SomeGuy says:

    How can we give a free pass for war crimes in the name of looking forward not back when the former Vice President won’t shut up about how those war crimes make him a hero?

      • Mymy says:

        Possibly. Remember how many rightwingers support the Family and Coe-Christianity’s belief that Hitler was another embodiment of Jesus.

        • tbsa says:

          I do remember that, however, Jesus did not kill anyone nor did he ever condone the killing of anyone. How could any group of people so twist reality that it would make a pretzel look completely straight? And look how they’ve turned from that train of thought now. Obama is their new embodiment of “hitler”

  16. SanderO says:

    Actually I am curious. Did we actually learn lots about Al Qaida such as what operations they had actually planned?

    What about all the information about the planning of 911. We know that happened. Did they spill enough to put together the entire narrative?

    What did they find out about the attacks mentioned in this post? Anything at all?

    I have this feeling that whatever Al Qaida is, chances are they are very much not a pyramidal structure where all decisions come from the leadership down to the operatives. It sounds like operations, of they exist are done by the so called “cells” on their own with at most some financial support.

    Why don’t we know what they found out? Why would they not tell us in a little show and tell?

    Frankly, I think Al Qaida is 98% hype.

  17. bgrothus says:

    I think every one of your posts should be sent to the MSM, Marcy. I send them e-mails practically every day now, telling them they are not reporting the facts, and I refer them to you.

    This is an excellent post, really ties the knots.

    I hope Cheney gets what he deserves someday.

  18. lllphd says:

    cheney? shame?? more likely W might feel humbled.

    it shames the concept of shame to place it within a mile of cheney’s name.

  19. 1boringoldman says:

    Actually, Cheney only kept us from being attacked for 7.332 years rather than the 8 years he claims. He seems to have forgotten that 9/11 occurred on his watch [in spite of deafening warnings from Paul O’Niell and the CIA].

    I guess it just slipped his mind…

  20. perris says:

    we need to not forget, with each report demonstrating saddam had nothing to od with al qaeda cheney would go in front of the camera and claim that there was no douby they had a relationship

    here we have the same thing going on

    • tbsa says:

      It reminds me of Baghdad Bob standing in front of the camera telling Iraqi’s that Americans were not in Iraq, while american tanks could be seen rolling past him in the background.

  21. wmcsmithjr says:

    Cheney’s rhetoric continues to downplay what Greg Palast pointed out in Armed Madhouse. I don’t have a scanner so bear with me while I type this out and forgive the typos which are certain to occur:

    “Osama’s Mission Accomplished

    On Thursday, May 1, 2003 President Bush landed on the deck of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln. Forgetting to undo the parachute clips around his gonads, our President walked bowleggedly on the ship’s deck in a green jumpsuit looking astonishingly like Ham, first chimp in space. The scene was so exciting that the media failed to notice that the War on Terror had ended on the previous Tuesday.

    On that day, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld quietly acknowledged that he was withdrawing America’s armed forces from Saudi Arabia.

    I’m always surprised at the debate over “What drives Osama? What does Al-Qaeda want?” There should be no confusion: Al-Qaeda states its mission, like most enterprises, on its Web site. Osama had it written out in English, in capital letters, so it wouldn’t be difficult to miss the point.


    The “two holy places” are Mecca and Medina, and their “land” is Saudi Arabia. That’s what Osama wanted: US troops out of Saudi Arabia.

    Bid Laden issued his demand on August 23, 1996; and on April 29, 2003, the Tuesday before the President was chauffeured by fighter jet onto the deck of the Abe Lincoln, Mr. Bush gave bin Laden exactly what he wanted: U.S. troops sent packing form the Land of the Holy Places.

    That’s astonishing. Until George W.Bush, the United States of America has never, ever, removed all our military bases from a foreign land no matter how much locals bitched and moaned. We even keep troops in Okinawa over the island’s strong objections, and World War II ended sixty year ago.”


    Maybe nobody ever mentioned this to Dick.

  22. rafflaw says:

    I know it has been said earlier in this thread, but I am sick and tired of hearing from Dick Cheney. Especially when he “forgets” that 9/11 happened on his watch. What was he doing on 9/10???

  23. Robt says:

    As Old Dick Cheney says, ” the fact of the matter is”.

    Well the fact of the matter is his daughter is still out in the media making a fool of herself in her plea to leave her daddy alone.

    But the Fact of the matter ism Dick Cheney has not and cannot specifically point to one individual and say “this person’s life was saved directly and specifically by torturing a specific detainee, BEYOND ANTREASONABLE DOUBT.

    It doesn’t count when Cheney just says “SO”………….

    • PeorgieTirebiter says:

      I’m not sure anyone can make that direct of a connection, but the Brits can get close. Unfortunately for Dick, torture wasn’t in their tool kit.
      Our media’s enabling of these goons makes me want to cry.

  24. nick1936 says:

    Let me see Bush went on vacation after being told that america was going to be attacked. Bush intrupted his vacation and came back to Washington to save Terrie Shavio and stick his nose into family business

  25. BlueSun says:

    Point 1 – after ignoring increasingly specific and strident warnings of an attack on American soil for 8 months, Cheney and Bush saw their inaction and unconcern result in the worst terrorist attack in American (world?) history, with the result of close to 3,000 deaths and the destruction of the Twin Towers and a cost to our economy approaching 1 trillion dollars. Bush and Cheney were beaten by 19 fanatics armed with boxcutters and a plot that cost less than $500,000.

    Six weeks later, we experienced a second terrorist attack, with the Anthrax letters.

    Immediately afterward, Bush shifted the fight to Afghanistan and then, with no credible evidence of Saddam’s involvement or possession of WMDs, Iraq. Since then, an additional 4,336 (at least) Americans were killed by Islamic jihadis in Iraq (4654 total coalition members), and an officially acknowledged 37,512 wounded – many profoundly.

    In addition, 807 Americans have been killed by jihadis in Afghanistan (177 through this year alone – already the highest annual account) and an additional 540 coalition deaths were recorded.

    Also, has has been pointed out, all of the major al-Qaeda inspired terrorist attacks since 9/11 in Madrid, Bali, Jordan, London and around the world were committed after Bush/Cheney’s torture program. Why didn’t the torture reveal any of the plans for these attacks if it was, as Cheney persists in claiming, they were so effective in revealing plans against the U.S.?

    Lastly, how can you make a legal or moral justification of torture merely by asserting that it ‘works’ (irrespective of whether it does or not)? By that standard ANY atrocity is permissible as long as the U.S. can claim it produces intelligence.

    That attitude ‘justifies’ the North Vietnamese horrific torture of John McCain and 600+ other pilots shot down, any of whom might have had operational information of subsequent bombing raids.

    Would it be acceptable to Cheney and Republicans to murder a suspect in front of another in order to terrorize him to give up intelligence? Would it be acceptable to torture and murder his wife and children in front of him as long as the result was ’successful’ in getting him to give up intelligence?

    Once you cross the slippery slope of asserting that the end justifies the means, that torture is acceptable because it works (though that is highly disputed), then you remove ANY barriers of humanity and civilized society and nothing, no matter how brutal and obscene, is out of bounds.

    Is this the lesson we want to teach other nations about the nature of American values? Is this what we are teaching our own citizens? Is this the new international standard that will be used by any country that captures or kidnaps American military personnel or civilians.

    For those not well versed in international law, and not well schooled in morality and ethics (an all too common problem among Americans) here is a very practical yardstick we can use to determine whether any given treatment is acceptable or not. Would we accept the same techniques used by an enemy on our own soldiers and citizens? If the answer is no, then we shouldn’t be doing it ourselves. Period. End of story.

    Try Bush, Cheney, Yoo, Addington, Rumsfeld, Bybee, and any other administration official who gave the orders or created the faux legal rationales that the miscreants are now hiding behind. If found guilty, throw the book at them. We still have capital punishment in this country thanks in large part to the very people who have supported the Bush doctrines. Let’s see how any administration official tried and fairly convicted of gross war crimes feels as he is strapped down and faces the lethal injection.

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