Cheney Now Remembers CIA-Related Information!!

DickCheneyHeadScratchCartoonified_300pxwI’m not so much surprised that Cheney, once again, used a public speaking opportunity to bitch and moan that Eric Holder is nodding briefly (but very ambivalently) toward the requirement to investigate the use of torture.

Cheney, speaking to the Economic Club of Southwest Michigan, was harshest when addressing a Department of Justice investigation into so-called “enhanced interrogations” used by the CIA and military on detained suspected terrorists.

“I find that absolutely abhorrent,” said Cheney, who served under George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009. “It bothers the heck out of me that we would go after those people who have been instrumental in preventing further attacks against the United States.”

The techniques, he said, were approved by Bush’s justice department and closely monitored by the CIA.

I’m surprised by the contrast. After all, last we saw Cheney, he was a babbling old fool who couldn’t seem to remember an attack on the CIA he had ordered up just a year earlier–or conversations he had had about those orders just seven months before. Yet here he was last night, talking about orders he gave to the CIA seven years ago, as if they were yesterday.

It’s remarkable, the way Cheney’s memory seems to be fresh all of a sudden.

But now that I think about it, Cheney still is–at heart–that same babbling old man, unable to remember basic facts about the events he has ordered, Consider these two details from his speech.

It did not amount to torture and broke no laws or international agreements, and the simulated drowning technique known as “waterboarding” was used only three times.

In all instances, he said, the methods used produced valuable information about terrorist operations.

Just to refresh old man PapaDick’s memory, waterboarding was used at least 268 times (83 times with Abu Zubaydah, at least 183 times with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and twice with Rahim al-Nashiri). With Abu Zubaydah, waterboarding produced no information that the FBI hadn’t already elicited using rapport-based interrogation. Not even Liz “BabyDick” Cheney claims waterboarding worked with al-Nashiri. And KSM provided a lot of information–much of it long after he was waterboarded, when the CIA had begun using rapport-based interrogation with him, too. I guess, too, old man PapaDick has simply forgotten how much inaccurate information these methods elicited.

So maybe I shouldn’t be surprised about Cheney’s apparently clear memory. Turns out he was the same doddering forgetful fool last night as he was on May 8, 2004, when he couldn’t seem to remember much of anything.

I guess I should be surprised, then, that MSNBC didn’t report this speech with a caveat, noting that Cheney’s memory has now proven to be completely faulty, and no one should treat his assertions about the CIA with any credibility.

78 replies
  1. BoxTurtle says:

    I guess I should not be surprised, then, that MSNBC didn’t report this speech with a caveat, noting that Cheney’s memory has now proven to be completely faulty, and no one should treat his assertions about the CIA with any credibility.

    Corrected that last paragraph for ya!

    Boxturtle (Cheney would will have to lie to St. Peter at the gates of heaven)

  2. Mauimom says:

    Economic Club of Southwest Michigan

    Marcy, “economic” and “Michigan” in the same sentence? Isn’t that an oxymoron?

    Tell us more about this esteemed group.

    • BoxTurtle says:

      He’s not a fool, babbling or otherwise. We can poke fun at him, but we need to remember that he’s still dangerous.

      He’s untouchable legally and he knows it. There isn’t even a case out there where he is at risk of being called as a witness. He only wants to protect his legacy, how history remembers him is important to him.

      Boxturtle (I think history will show he did more damage to America than any other individual)

      • person1597 says:

        The enduring legacy of the Bush administration is systemic collapse.

        As Cheney fights his ogre-esque visage in the media and the public mind, the pet goat conservatives consume the remaining shards of American Exceptionalism even as the extreme right serves up waves of Bachmann mania.

        Such are the wages of ideological tunnel vision.

        No wonder the eviscerated Republican brand lays wasted and bereft of relevance. This ignominious end reinforced by continuing revelations of Cheney’s gross malfeasance serves only to diminish our national heritage.

        Why do conservatives hate America? Because their big crony bureaucracy, led by the wretched old coot Cheney has failed. Too bad the right can’t shake their demons. Bush/Cheney is a monkey on their backs and continues to howl and bite and brawl while America staggers through the wilderness.

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          This comment took my breath away.

          Chilling, but brilliant and fearless.

          And FWIW, perhaps if Cheney were asked about this Secret Energy Task Force, he might also be forgetful. God forbid this nation escape the stranglehold of systemic collapse accelerated by offshoring and outsourcing revenues from technologies based on oil, eh?

          In ExxonMobil we trust.

      • bobschacht says:

        He’s untouchable legally and he knows it.

        I’ll bet that’s not true. If Holder wanted to, I’ll bet Cheney could be slapped with an indictment for several war crimes under current existing laws, based on what is already in the public record.

        He should not be politically untouchable either, but because of our present complicit and spineless White House and Congress, that seems to be the situation.

        Bob in AZ

        • BoxTurtle says:

          The statue of limitations protects him from being held accountable for almost everything he’s done and the few things that have not yet expired will expire before ObamaCo leaves office. Unless you think he can be tagged for murder.

          Also, he’s the VICE president, with almost no statutory authority. Advising Bush to do something evil is not a crime in any case. Any blame would go directly to Bush.

          And he is politically untouchable. He’s never going to hold elected or appointed office again and if he was retroactively impeached, he’d only lose his VP pension. His senate/house pension would be fine.

          Boxturtle (And nobody in power on either side is interested, anyway)

        • tjbs says:

          Don’t count on it, like little dick wants you to believe.
          This little dick is an accessory to murder not to mention conspiracy to commit murder.

          Come on fat dick do a show on how you wound up in the NORAD cat bird seat on 9-11, w/ shrub out of town and after two towers fell down your delusional ass believed you could manage, with-out any command experience NORAD,YOU allowed the Pentagon to be smashed w/ loss of life from your blind greed and delusions of grandeur.

          I’ve dealt with this type in my life and they must be contained.

          You know what , for those who believe, One State Secret Assassinated Pat Tillman, the spirit of America, is on dicks case from up there and he can see the gates of Hell swung wide open awaiting dick beginning of a L-O-N-G stay.
          Sleep tight prick or dick.

      • BayStateLibrul says:

        Cheney is no dupe nor harmless, yet he “lacks judgment and prudence”
        a 20 game loser, shameful is his legacy…

  3. JTMinIA says:

    Be prepared for the following “defense” when the someone points out that the claim that “waterboarding was only used three times” is incorrect. Cheney will say that he meant it was only used on three people.

    • emptywheel says:

      Yup, and when it is proved that he did order Libby to leak to Judy Miller, he will say, “Oh, when I said I didn’t remember talking to Libby about leaking to journalists, I didn’t consider Judy a journalist.”

      Oh, wait. He probably won’t say that.

      • cinnamonape says:

        Cheney: “I considered the recipients as ‘extensions of our public relations team’, not real journalists.”

    • cinnamonape says:

      Oh except for those guys in Iraq who were simply pouring water down their prisoners throats until they gagged.

    • freepatriot says:

      Cheney will say that he meant it was only used on three people.

      that would be an open admission of guilt in three cases of crimes against humanity

      doesn’t matter if it’s under oath or not, if we get that confession on tape, it’s admissible as evidence in a court of law

      so I don’t think cheney is gonna say that

      but he might be that stupid …

  4. oldtree says:

    A public confession of torture and perjury isn’t enough for our AG. No way. Alberto must have left a memo informing the new kid how it’s done.
    If the dick is immune to prosecution, then there is no law, and no order, is there?

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    How self-serving of Mr. C to claim that state-sanctioned terror reduced the need to endure terrorist-inspired violence from others. Why should AQ bother to terrorize us further when our own government adopts torture as its preferred policy, one guaranteed to make AQ friends and us enemies?

    As always, Mr. C avoids observing that 9/11 happened on his and Junior’s watch. That he finds the rule of law abhorrent rather than his torture policies is almost, but not quite, all we need know about Richard Cheney.

    Cheney’s policies were “approved” by the DoJ and “closely monitored” by the CIA? Both imply, but neither claims that the Cheney administration’s state-sanctioned torture was legal and effective. It was just well-documented. Too bad for posterity and the rule of law that so much of that documentation seems to have been lost or misplaced.

  6. fatster says:

    Thanks for this, EW. Which is more embarrassing, that Dick “Dick” was actually the vice-president of the USA or that the O-Team isn’t all over this sick Dick charade that brought our country so very low?

  7. person1597 says:

    Women in the workforce, profiles in courage…

    Army: Civilian officer shot gunman, ended rampage

    Lt. Gen. Bob Cone said Friday that Fort Hood police Sgt. Kimberly Munley and her partner responded within three minutes of reported gunfire Thursday afternoon. Cone said Munley shot the gunman four times despite being shot herself.

    That’s not all…

    Cone also said he was inspired by a woman who helped carry a wounded victim and used her blouse as a tourniquet, then later realized she’d been shot in the hip.

    Astonishing, inspiring, the stuff of legend. Medal of Freedom time.

  8. alabama says:

    Cheney’s a frightened man with something to worry about. He’s writing an autobiography, and it has to sell; in order to sell, it has to be interesting; in order to be interesting, it has to say something we didn’t know before, and about topics widely discussed; in fact he has to reveal something or other, the mere mention of which will infuriate the people described–enrage them to the point of their lashing out with tales about the man’s bumbling incompetence, his petty and self-destructive revenge, his eventual rejection by the Bush boy….

    What else can he do, then, but rail against the dfh’s who’ve been ruining the world for the past fifty years? What other story he can safely tell? Could he actually tell us, for example, that Colin Powell is pointing a loaded pistol at the back of his head (or a double-barreled shotgun at his face)?

    • bobschacht says:

      What Cheney will try to sell is a Neo-con manifesto for the next generation– the Liz Cheneys, Elliot Abrams, and Dougie Feiths, who will be plotting the next putsch. And you know they will be back.

      He will probably point fingers at GWB and others of his second term for failure of nerve to take advantage of the opportunities they had.

      But there will probably be two versions of this work: One for the public, and another, privately circulated, for his loyal followers.

      Bob in AZ

  9. TarheelDem says:

    Dunno but there might be some merit in letting Cheney think he’s gotten off the hook for a while. The more he talks, the more clear it is that torture was a government policy that he defends. And thus the more he incriminates himself.

    Now who will pick up on these confessions and carry them forward to prosecution remains to be seen, but Slobodan Milosevich was picked up with much fewer confessions.

    • Peterr says:

      (and also replying to bobschacht @14)

      Cheney doesn’t talk, unless he’s got a reason to, and the reason Cheney has been so voluble since January 20th is that he can’t shut stuff down inside the Executive branch with a single phone call any more. Instead of having Addington make it clear to the DOJ to stay well away from any kind of meaningful oversight, Cheney has to use the press to get the DOJ to back off of investigations.

      In the good old days, he could blow off the press because he didn’t need them to exercise power. Now, however, things have changed.

      Cheney talks because he *knows* that he’s in danger. The more he feels cornered, the more loudly he talks. This was the BushCo style from day one — push back hard at the first sign of opposition, and scare them into backing down. Cheney’s public speeches are designed to poison the well of political discourse, so that any and all voices that might be raised against him will have to get past the “they’re just playing politics” static.

      Vaughn Walker scares Cheney. Royce Lamberth scares Cheney. A functioning OLC under Dawn Johnsen *really* scares Cheney.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Vaughn Walker scares Cheney. Royce Lamberth scares Cheney. A functioning OLC under Dawn Johnsen *really* scares Cheney.

        Another reason why the conservative Mr. Obama will never follow through and get Dawn Johnsen appointed to head the OLC. He seems quite happy not having a permanent head to the OLC. Acting heads haven’t the stature, the pull, the network to stay clued in to informal networks, to persuade and cajole, and to get the final, last word in their opinions just so. The gap in leadership leaves lots of room for White House Counsel and others to put their two cents in and get them into final opinions.

      • knowbuddhau says:

        Poisoning the well of political discourse is exactly right, and it’s the same method as I’ve been calling myth-jacking. Cheney is obviously engaging in myth-making of a sort Robespierre would envy:

        SCOTT HORTON, HARPERS.ORG: Every revolution needs its heros [sic]. That was Maximilien Robespierre’s thought when he rose to praise a young soldier named Joseph Barra in a speech in the Assembly in 1793. Barra, engaged in an action against counterrevolutionaries in the Vendée, had been encircled and told to cry “vive le roi!” to save himself, but instead answered with “vive la république!” and was killed. Modern historians sharply discount this as myth making. But Robespierre knew how to go about myth making in a grand way. He commissioned David to paint a memorial to this young martyr to the republic. Büchner’s Revolutionary Spirit

        A recent report confirms the enduring power of myths over facts to jack electorates. I’m betting this is Cheney is only too well aware of this basic tenet of propaganda or “influence ops:”

        Subjects were presented during one-on-one interviews with a newspaper clip of this Bush quote: “This administration never said that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated between Saddam and al-Qaeda.”

        The Sept. 11 Commission, too, found no such link, the subjects were told.

        “Well, I bet they say that the commission didn’t have any proof of it,” one subject responded, “but I guess we still can have our opinions and feel that way even though they say that.”

        Reasoned another: “Saddam, I can’t judge if he did what he’s being accused of, but if Bush thinks he did it, then he did it.”

        Others declined to engage the information at all. Most curious to the researchers were the respondents who reasoned that Saddam must have been connected to Sept. 11, because why else would the Bush Administration have gone to war in Iraq?

        The desire to believe this was more powerful, according to the researchers, than any active campaign to plant the idea.

        Such a campaign did exist in the run-up to the war, just as it exists today in the health care debate.

        “I do think there’s something to be said about people like Sarah Palin, and even more so Chuck Grassley, supporting this idea of death panels in a national forum,” Hoffman said.

        He won’t credit them alone for the phenomenon, though.

        “That kind of puts the idea out there, but what people then do with the idea … ” he said. “Our argument is that people aren’t just empty vessels. You don’t just sort of open up their brains and dump false information in and they regurgitate it. They’re actually active processing cognitive agents.”

        That view is more nuanced than the one held by many health care reform proponents — that citizens are only ill-informed because Rush Limbaugh makes them so. (For the record, the authors say justifying false beliefs extends equally to liberals, who they hypothesize would behave similarly given a different set of issues.)

        The alternate explanation raises queasy questions for the rest of society.

        “I think we’d all like to believe that when people come across disconfirming evidence, what they tend to do is to update their opinions,” said Andrew Perrin, an associate professor at UNC and another author of the study.

        That some people might not do that even in the face of accurate information, the authors suggest in their article, presents “a serious challenge to democratic theory and practice.”

        “The implications for how democracy works are quite profound, there’s no question in my mind about that,” Perrin said. “What it means is that we have to think about the emotional states in which citizens find themselves that then lead them to reason and deliberate in particular ways.” Many Still Believe Saddam Was Behind 9/11, And Now We Have Some Idea Why

        IOW, we have to explain us organic humans as organisms, complete with desires and such, not reduce us to wind-up Skinnerian voodoo dolls and then rely on kinetic activity to predict and control our behavior. In that latter world, endorsed by APA since 1956, torture is the order of our days.

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          Brilliant comment.

          And I happen to agree with you that Cheney and his bots are deliberately poisoning the well, as Grassley did (probably far less wittingly) on health care.

          And so the work of undoing synaptic connections, and then re-learning them in new ways, is simply too cognitively (and metabolically) demanding for a large portion of the populace. And even at that, they’d have to be motivated to want to rethink.

          That’s part of why Cheney is so toxic.

          Wow, two brilliant comments on this thread.
          Just… wow…

      • selise says:

        In the good old days, he could blow off the press because he didn’t need them to exercise power. Now, however, things have changed.

        Cheney talks because he *knows* that he’s in danger. The more he feels cornered, the more loudly he talks. This was the BushCo style from day one — push back hard at the first sign of opposition, and scare them into backing down. Cheney’s public speeches are designed to poison the well of political discourse, so that any and all voices that might be raised against him will have to get past the “they’re just playing politics” static.

        this is very helpful to me. i’ve been recently using the phrase “poison for political discourse” in reference to dishonesty. but as you rightly describe, it’s much bigger an issue than dishonesty. thanks.

  10. WTFOver says:

    Local Coverage Of The Fat Gout Ridden War Criminal Spewing His Vile and Disgusting Bullsh*t

    from St. Joseph / Benton Harbor Michigan Herald Palladium

    from South Bend Indiana Tribune

    from Elkhart Indiana Truth

    from WSJM Radio St. Joseph / Benton Harbor Michigan

    • Peterr says:

      From the Elkhart link, at the very end:

      “Whatever else you can say about our policies over the last eight years,” he said. “We have without question succeeded in defeating all further attacks against the United States of America.”

      Cheney’s being modest. Not only did they defeat all further attacks by al-Qaeda, but also further attacks by Grenada and Nazi Germany.

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        Oh, indeed.
        As if the derivative trading and economic predation somehow ensured America’s national security?

        Cheney’s definitions of ‘security’ and ‘nation’ are more strange than I have ever managed to fathom.

    • PJEvans says:

      Probably fell off the table. Or down the memory hole.

      At this point, I think almost nobody in DC actually cares that the rest of the country is going to hell in a handbasket: they’re busy covering their own tracks. Or at least most of them are; some, like the Dicks, seem to be sure they can avoid the consequences of everything they’ve done in the last forty years.

      I’d like to see a million-pitchforks-and-torches march, though.

      • fatster says:

        and Bob @36. Yep, remarks made during the campaign. Many were made, how many materialized? Talk is cheap. Democratic tables have a definite slope, leading things to fall off them. And, while Dick “Dick” has a damned poor memory at times regarding certain subjects, so, apparently, do Biden and Obama.

        • bmaz says:

          Some things were never “on the table”.

          And, as a result, history will again repeat itself. It always does when left unaddressed.

        • fatster says:

          Yep, and the tragedy is the trampling of the Constitution and the Republic, something most politicians seem eager to forget–and hope we do, too. Thus, the quote from the “18th Brumaire” is seemingly truncated to farce being repeated over and over and over, endlessly. And you are certainly right, only when the tragedy is addressed will this end.

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          It’s possible that Biden and Obama have poor memories, but it seems unwise of them.

          More prudent would be to expose Cheney and thereby defang him.
          They don’t need the threat of Cheney hanging around, IMVHO.

          I attribute this more to Cheney’s dug-in auks, the lethargy in D.C institutionally, the (presumably) ‘political knife fights’ with the Pentagon and contractors, and other institutional problems that may be slowing down Obama and Biden’s agenda.

          But for them to leave Cheney with any shred of power or influence doesn’t make sense on the face of it — and yes, I realize there are layers and layers that I don’t fathom.

          After all, even Bush won’t support Cheney publicly, which suggests that probably the Bush partisans, and presumably many in the institutions in D.C., are completely fed up with Cheney and his CheneyBots.

        • fatster says:

          I do hope you’re correct, readerOfTeaLeaves, and it’s a slowing down rather than a turn-about and complete halt. And thnx for sharing; that means a lot.

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          Well, it’s pragmatism on my part: no one causes the harm that Cheney has created without creating a whole lot of enemies.

          But I want him held accountable under the law; that would be the ultimate ‘penalty’ for a man who doesn’t seem to believe that he’s accountable.

          But also recall the stories of GWBush having both his personal attorney, and also a second pair of protective eyes, present in the room with him at the final meeting with Cheney on the weekend before Obama was inaugurated. Why would a sitting President require two ‘assistants’, or ‘protectors,’ in a conversation with his own VP? Was Bush afraid that Cheney would intimidate him again? Or play him again? Or did Laura ensure that her spouse would have ‘extra protection’ before his last conversation with Cheney?

          Then also recall that immediately after Obama’s inauguration, Cheney was wheeled out to either a plane or helicopter — NO ONE was there to wave him off. I think one of his family members was pushing his wheelchair, and there was no crowd of well-wishers around to see him off. There were no onlookers or well-wishers on the scene; it was bizarre.

          And that was after GWBush and Laura didn’t even appear to make eye contact with him at any point during the inauguration of Obama.

          Things are strangely amiss.
          I suspect there are many things we do not know.

          But when a man is that isolated, and then his FlameKeeper buddies are a bunch of right-wing ideologues who have to give one another trophies to keep their morale up, then sooner or later a shoe or two will drop.

        • fatster says:

          I surely hope when the shoes drop, they’ll be large, wooden ones so the sound will reverberate everywhere and efforts to muzzle it will be futile.

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          The one thing that I’ve learned from watching this thing play out since July 2003, when I remember hearing about Plame’s outing on the radio and thinking, “Huh??!!!” is that its full of Black Swans.

          The least likely, most overlooked, nearly impossible thing is generally what ends up happening.

          Which may be why I still find it so intriguing.
          Well, that and the insightful, witty commenters ;-))

        • thatvisionthing says:

          Shoes dropping or shoes throwing? Paperino makes these wonderful paper whirligig thingies — they’ve got one of Bush pumping oil — I wish someone would make a shoe-throwing/bush-ducking whirligig. On your roof, on your lawn, in your public square:

          + this:

          or this: muntadhar
          + this: george

          = can’t you see it? kinda? I wish.

          “Art is the making of something that has to be”

        • thatvisionthing says:

          Hallelujah I’m in wonderland! I immediately glommed onto the paper sound sculptures (need to see the space they represent to understand what they’re telling–what if the space was inside a hollow tree?) and the google treemap one–I thought I was seeing that google had a Mondrian mapping filter for urban trees from aerial views… oops! Well my brain stretched anyway. Bookmarked, thank you!

        • thatvisionthing says:

          Then also recall that immediately after Obama’s inauguration, Cheney was wheeled out to either a plane or helicopter — NO ONE was there to wave him off. I think one of his family members was pushing his wheelchair, and there was no crowd of well-wishers around to see him off. There were no onlookers or well-wishers on the scene; it was bizarre.

          Something like this would have been nice:

    • bobschacht says:

      Yeah, but did you notice the date on that blog?

      Sep 03, 2008

      I’d like a reporter to ask him if he stands by that same statement today, and if so, when we can expect the first indictment?

      Bob in AZ

      • thatvisionthing says:

        It also linked to this Obama interview by Will Bunch:
        Monday, April 14, 2008

        WILL BUNCH: I mentioned the report in my question, and said “I know you’ve talked about reconciliation and moving on, but there’s also the issue of justice, and a lot of people — certainly around the world and certainly within this country — feel that crimes were possibly committed” regarding torture, rendition, and illegal wiretapping. I wanted to know how whether his Justice Department “would aggressively go after and investigate whether crimes have been committed.”

        Here’s his answer, in its entirety:

        OBAMA: What I would want to do is to have my Justice Department and my Attorney General immediately review the information that’s already there and to find out are there inquiries that need to be pursued. I can’t prejudge that because we don’t have access to all the material right now. I think that you are right, if crimes have been committed, they should be investigated. You’re also right that I would not want my first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of Republicans as a partisan witch hunt because I think we’ve got too many problems we’ve got to solve.

        So this is an area where I would want to exercise judgment — I would want to find out directly from my Attorney General — having pursued, having looked at what’s out there right now — are there possibilities of genuine crimes as opposed to really bad policies. And I think it’s important– one of the things we’ve got to figure out in our political culture generally is distinguishing betyween really dumb policies and policies that rise to the level of criminal activity. You know, I often get questions about impeachment at town hall meetings and I’ve said that is not something I think would be fruitful to pursue because I think that impeachment is something that should be reserved for exceptional circumstances. Now, if I found out that there were high officials who knowingly, consciously broke existing laws, engaged in coverups of those crimes with knowledge forefront, then I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law — and I think that’s roughly how I would look at it.


  11. Hmmm says:

    Well, JudyJudyJudy isn’t a journalist, she’s a key IC operative with critical war propaganda responsibilities.

  12. alinaustex says:

    readeroftealaves @46
    Whats a black swan ?
    The word down here in Texas is that the Cheneybots are going to be thrown under the bus at the appropriate time to save W’s legacy. Recall that the Bush family places a high value on the Family name.
    And all of Daddy Bush’s minions have been tasked to not only save W’s failed two term presidency -after the fact- but also to make certain the Cheney clan can never again gain power.
    And to Alabama ‘s @ 20 comment regarding Gen Powell -yes the good general will also be looking to help take down the Big Dick

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Oh, how I wish that I was sitting at the end of a bar counter with some of the commenters here…

      I used the term ‘Black Swan’ congruent with these meanings:Black Swan:

      The term black swan (not capitalized) comes from the 17th century European assumption that ‘All swans must be white’. In that context, a black swan was something that was impossible and could not exist. In the 18th Century, the discovery of black swans in Western Australia[1] metamorphosed the term to connote that a perceived impossibility may actually come to pass….

      Writing in the New York Times Taleb averred “What we call here a Black Swan (and capitalize it) is an event with the following three attributes. First, it is an outlier, as it lies outside the realm of regular expectations…. Second, it carries an extreme impact. Third, in spite of its outlier status, human nature makes us concoct explanations for its occurrence after the fact, making it explainable and predictable. I stop and summarize the triplet: rarity, extreme impact, and retrospective (though not prospective) predictability….

      And I heartily look forward to watching your predictions play out. At present, I think Maddow referenced the Cheney daughters setting up shop to lobby in D.C. on behalf of dictators and thugs; here’s hoping even that revenue stream dries up for them.

  13. alinaustex says:

    alabama @ 20
    Gen Powell will also be waiting for the appropriate moment to discuss further how his one time student/protege Condi Rice was fully involved in propagating and helping to execute the illegal torture . Its all going to be when to engage in this confrontation withe the gwb43 Team B – headed of course by the VEEP -with all those bad actors like Addington. At least thats the buzz down here in Texas…

    • thatvisionthing says:

      I wonder if Powell isn’t probably at risk as well… I wonder if Wilkerson’s many public anti-Cheney statements aren’t his offense-is-the-best-defense for Powell and perhaps himself too. Cheney corrupted everything he touched.

  14. thatvisionthing says:

    Just want to say what a great picture of Cheney! He looks like the cancer he is… plus there’s really an English dish called Spotted Dick — “log-shaped suet pudding studded with currants.” He and his could be Spotted Dick and the Dicklets. ~ :- )

  15. alinaustex says:

    thatvisionthing @ 59
    With justice in mind this whole bunch should be at risk . I make no brief for any of these actors that got in bed with the neocon visionaries lead by among others VP Cheney . Its still horrible to remember sitting there watching Secretary of State Powell give his dog and pony show at the United Nations. A pox on all of these careerist that did not try to stop the NeoCon putsche that was the eight years of gwb43. ( They could have at least resigned .)
    I am simply relaying what is in the rumour mill down here in Texas as to how all of this ongoing lookback at this criminal conspiracy known as the Dubya Years might finally play out.
    And just to fling one more nugget against the wall -three different sources are now stating w/ the caveat not for attribution that former White House Press Secretary has been before the Durham grand jury more then once answering question regarding how he was coached to misdirect the MSM when it came to the “EIT ” programs , and whether or not there was other destruction of torture media much earlier that was being viewed regurly at the White House .

    • bmaz says:

      Your sources might want to look up the statute of limitations if they think Durham is GJing destruction acts before the ones known already.

        • bmaz says:

          No. Statutes of limitation are good things in the normal course of events. And they are designed to be jurisdictional and are therefore not easily “worked around”, nor should they be. It doesn’t matter anyway, as the Federal government and the DOJ, as run by Obama and Holder, have no desire to prosecute these crimes in the first place. In fact, their desire is quite the opposite.

        • thatvisionthing says:

          I get that, but it’s also clearly unjust and I’m trying to find the path to justice. There has to be one. As to the “no constitutional right not to be framed” — !? Not anywhere? Where do prosecutors constitutionally get the right and power to frame an innocent black high school captain of his football team being recruited by Yale only to end up imprisoned for life? Splode splode splode

          They do all this crap in my name. Where’s MY power to disable that and get justice?

        • thatvisionthing says:

          Where did the prosecutors get the right to frame an innocent person? It’s surely not in the Constitution — ?

          And where do prosecutors get the power to NOT charge crimes? Is there a way for the public to impeach failed functionaries including attorneys general? I know I saw some efforts toward local impeachment of Bush during his occupation, but I don’t understand what they were or could be.

        • bmaz says:

          To charge or not to charge is solely the province of the executive branch as exercised through prosecutorial discretion. That is just the way it is and it would be inadvisable to have outside forces, especially citizen mobs, determining who gets charged and who does not. No system is perfect, but this one works. Your beef is not with the system, it works just fine; the problem is with the people inhabiting the system. It is society’s job to police that and to give a damn.

  16. thatvisionthing says:

    I truly, TRULY object to the phrase “citizen mobs” in this discussion. Before November 5, 2008, we were called something else, and I recall a certain candidate saying “if crimes have been committed, they should be investigated” and “Now, if I found out that there were high officials who knowingly, consciously broke existing laws, engaged in coverups of those crimes with knowledge forefront, then I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law.” (#57 above) I also do not think this system of politicized crippled justice is “working just fine” (dude, seriously?). Instead I’d call it democracy rotting from the inside out. The last healthy part is the citizens, as I see it, and which is also exactly what the Constitution apparently expected. We the People, highest authority, checks and balances, you know. Just saying, there’s a broken circuit if the citizens can’t touch their government and make it work. There must be something missing or something extra, the thing is diseased.

  17. alinaustex says:

    Except the SOL does not apply ( I am told by yet another lawyer -this one a local defense attorney ) for the destruction of the torture ‘media’ if that same media was evidence in a homicide .
    There were detainees murdered while in United States custody yes ?

    • bmaz says:

      He is wrong. There would be no statute for the death itself; for destruction of evidence there still would be. No, I am not aware of any deaths in the US unless you try to count Guantanamo, but my guess is based on the inclination of the court in Rasul that would not hold up.

  18. alinaustex says:

    So for discussion sake – the torture /homocide would have had to occurred in the United States even if evidence was brought forth from recovered media that the orders to committ the torture /homicide came from senior Principals in the Executive ?.
    Also bmaz do you think it my be true that all the ‘tapes’ were not destroyed -and that many of these “tapes” were viewed by Principals in the Executive Branch ?

    • bmaz says:

      You mentioned the US discrimination line, I responded to that; it is not limited to that. I have no idea whether copies or originals still exist, but the operational premise at this point is that they do not. There has been mention that Principles did view, but that may have been remotely and not off the tapes; I do not think any of that is certain.

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