Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How Torture Works

Yes, it is disgusting that we have to talk about torture in terms of efficacy rather than as the amoral and unconscionable practice it is. But that's the way the debate is being framed, so we might as well get good at it. And since the Framer-in-Chief of this argument is Dick Cheney and his Nebulous Claims of Security, we really should keep this story in mind when listening to him:

In their book "Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War," Michael Isikoff and David Corn said Libi made up the story about Iraqi training after he was beaten and subjected to a "mock burial" by his Egyptian interrogators, who put him in a cramped box for 17 hours. Libi recanted the story after being returned to CIA custody in 2004.
And just in case that name isn't familiar:
Libi was captured fleeing Afghanistan in late 2001, and he vanished into the secret detention system run by the Bush administration. He became the unnamed source, according to Senate investigators, behind Bush administration claims in 2002 and 2003 that Iraq had provided training in chemical and biological weapons to al-Qaeda operatives. The claim was most famously delivered by then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell in his address to the United Nations in February 2003.
Cheney, of course, still insists the invasion of Iraq was an unalloyed good, and has never admitted any intelligence justifying that war was in error. So his evaluations of the value of torture need to be seen in the light of what we know about him, and his opinions.

I wrote this yesterday, then last night heard Lawrence Wilkerson on Rachel:

And heard about this comment by Jesse Ventura:

(I do love the way Jesse makes Larry uncomfortable with his critique of Bush.)

What can I say? When I agree with Jesse Ventura and a retired colonel who's still in the GOP...well, it's gotta at least be worthy of publication on a blog.

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