Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Cheney & Torture

From Progressive.org:

Leave it to Dick Cheney to carry the brief for torturers.

According to
The Washington Post, the Vice President has twice now gone to Capitol Hill to try to keep Republicans from siding with Democrats on a bill that would prevent Donald Rumsfeld and the military from carrying out more torture and abuse of the likes they inflicted on detainees at Abu Ghraib, Gauntanamo, and Bagram Air Force Base.
To be specific, the bill would bar the military—but not the CIA!—from “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” of detainees. The Treaty Against Torture already bars this in its formal title, so the fact that Cheney now opposes such language tells you just how he feels about obeying that treaty.

According to the Post, the bill would also prohibit the military from hiding prisoners from the Red Cross, something Donald Rumsfeld himself did on at least one occasion.

And it would prohibit “interrogation methods not authorized by a new Army field manual.” Some of these, like the use of stress positions and the sicking of dogs on detainees, had been approved by Rumsfeld in a December 2, 2002, memo, which he later rescinded.

The need for such legislation could not be more stark. The torture and abuse of prisoners have been widespread and, according to the Pentagon itself, U.S. personnel have murdered more than two dozen detainees.
But Cheney told Republican Senators that this bill would “usurp the President’s authority” as commander in chief and impede his efforts to protect America from terrorist attacks, the Post reported.

Cheney believes in unlimited and unchecked Presidential power in foreign and military affairs—including even the power to authorize the military to torture, regardless of our treaty obligations.

Timetable quotes

President Bush; June 24, 2005:
"There's not going to be any timetables. I mean, I've told this to the Prime Minister. We are there to complete a mission, and it's an important mission. A democratic Iraq is in the interest of the United States of America, and it's in the interest of laying the foundation for peace. And if that's the mission, then why would you -- why would you say to the enemy, you know, here's a timetable, just go ahead and wait us out? It doesn't make any sense to have a timetable. You know, if you give a timetable, you're -- you're conceding too much to the enemy."

General George Casey; July 27, 2005:
"I do believe we'll be able to take some fairly substantial reductions after these elections in the spring and summer of next year"