Bring back waterboarding, says Cheney
2011 05 09
By Mark Wilson | YahooNews.ca / AFP
Harsh interrogation methods such as waterboarding played a role in tracking down Osama bin Laden and should be reinstated, former US vice president Dick Cheney said Sunday.
Another top member of the Bush administration, former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, credited the use of so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" with yielding "a major fraction" of US intelligence on Al-Qaeda and called ending them a "mistake."
In one of the first acts after entering the White House in 2009, President Barack Obama suspended such methods, equating them with torture and saying they represented all that was wrong with the Bush-era "war on terror."
But the killing of bin Laden, or more exactly the way the intelligence was gathered that led the CIA to track him down, has reopened a raging controversy in the United States over their use.
Cheney, speaking on the "Fox News Sunday" program, said top intelligence officials had stated that "some of the early leads" that helped agents find bin Laden had come thanks to the harsh interrogation techniques used on terror suspects.
"All have said one way or the other that the enhanced interrogation program played a role," he said. "My guess is that’s probably the case that it contributed, just as did a number of other factors."
Asked whether the methods should be reinstated if the United States were to capture a new high-value target, Cheney replied: "I certainly would advocate it. I’d be a strong supporter of it."
Rumsfeld said three former CIA directors -- George Tenet, Porter Gross and retired general Michael Hayden -- say suspects subjected to waterboarding during CIA interrogations provided a "major fraction of all our knowledge about Al-Qaeda."
"I think that it’s clear that those techniques that the CIA used worked. And to have taken them away and ruled them out I think may be a mistake," he told CBS television’s "Face the Nation."
Chene also dismissed the notion that waterboarding, or simulated drowning, amounted to torture, saying he and the rest of the Bush team had gone to great lengths to ensure what they did was legal.
"Waterboarding and all of the other techniques that were used are techniques that we use training our own people," he said. "This is stuff that we’ve done for years with own military personnel and to suggest that it’s torture I just think is wrong."
Vice president at the time of the September 11 attacks, Cheney was one of the Bush administration’s biggest hawks as the United States launched its invasion of Afghanistan and the hunt for bin Laden.
A vehement opponent of Obama, he has nonetheless congratulated him on killing the of Al-Qaeda chief, while paying tribute to the "tireless work" of the US military and intelligence services.
Key intelligence over the identity of a courier -- among the few men bin Laden trusted, passing messages from the him to commanders in the field -- ultimately led US agents to the Al-Qaeda leader’s compound in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad.
And detainees once held at secret CIA "black sites," or secretive prisons, were linked to the courier, known as Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, in previously classified intelligence assessments of Guantanamo prisoners released by whistleblower website WikiLeaks.
Kuwaiti has been identified as a protege of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and assistant of Abu Faraj al-Libbi, another key Al-Qaeda operative.
Some Republicans and Bush officials have claimed the pair may have revealed important details about Kuwaiti’s identity after being subjected to harsh interrogations.
"Information provided by KSM and Abu Faraj al-Libbi about bin Laden’s courier was the lead information that eventually led to the location of [bin Laden’s] compound and the operation that led to his death," Jose Rodriguez, who headed the CIA’s counterterrorism efforts from 2002 to 2005, told Time magazine this week.
Yet some Obama administration officials have hit back at such claims, insisting that they finally identified bin Laden’s whereabouts after years of intelligence gathering from a broad variety of sources.
White House National Security Adviser Tom Donilon told Fox News Sunday that enhanced interrogations were "not consistent with our values, not consistent and not necessary in terms of getting the kind of intelligence that we need."
Article from: ca.news.yahoo.com
Obama and GOPers Worked Together to Kill Bush Torture Probe
US defends itself against criticism of its human rights record; "torture"
Iraq war logs: When torture becomes routine
Government Nanny Censoring "Conspiracy Theories" is Also Responsible for Letting Bush Era Torture and Spying Conspiracies Go Unpunished
Remembering the US Soldier Who Committed Suicide After She Refused to Take Part in Torture
CSIS (Canadian Spy Agency) would use torture-tainted info, internal notes say
New Normal? Obama failed to stop torture, worst Bush-era policies (Video)
Prosecuting a Tortured Child: Obama’s Guantanamo Legacy
Judge orders freedom for alleged 9/11 plotter tortured on Rumsfeld’s orders
MI-5 Devious, Dishonest, Complicit In Torture
Authors of Bush torture memos to be cleared of misconduct
Can Nobel Prize Winner Obama at LEAST stop the torture?
Latest News from our Front Page
Illegal Aliens Cleared For U.S. Military Service
2014 10 18
The Pentagon announced a new policy allowing illegal immigrants the opportunity to enlist in the armed forces, Thursday.
USA Today reports that the new recruitment policies will focus on people with "high-demand skills" like foreign language acumen and health care training:
"For the first time, the program — known as Military Accessions in the National Interest, or MAVNI — will ...
Bronze Age Sundial-Moondial Discovered in Russia
2014 10 16
A strange slab of rock discovered in Russia more than 20 years ago appears to be a combination sundial and moondial from the Bronze Age, a new study finds.
The slab is marked with round divots arranged in a circle, and an astronomical analysis suggests that these markings coincide with heavenly events, including sunrises and moonrises.
The sundial might be "evidence of ...
Humans may only survive 68 days on Mars
2014 10 15
Space enthusiasts planning a move to Mars may have to wait to relocate: conditions on the Red Planet are such that humans would likely begin dying within 68 days, a new study says.
Oxygen levels would start to deplete after about two months and scientists said new technologies are required before humans can permanently settle on Mars, according to the study ...
Tom Sunic’s letter to the US Ambassador to Hungary
2014 10 14
October 11, 2014
Mr. André Goodfriend
Embassy of the United States of America
Szabadság tér 12
Dear Mr. Goodfriend,
As an American citizen I would hereby like to express my concern over the recent decision by the Hungarian government to ban the National Policy Institute (NPI) conference which had been scheduled to take place in Budapest from October 3 to October 5, 2014. ...
"Vampire grave" found in Bulgaria
2014 10 14
A "vampire grave" containing a skeleton with a stake driven through its chest has been unearthed by a man known as "Bulgaria’s Indiana Jones".
Professor Nikolai Ovcharov – a crusading archaeologist who has dedicated his life to unearthing mysteries of ancient civilisations – said that he had made the discovery while excavating the ruins of Perperikon, an ancient Thracian city ...
|More News » |