Is Dick Cheney right?

Dick Cheney is calling for the CIA to release memos and documents detailing the successes resulting from the use of torture:

Why not release all the related documents? Do results justify the means? How many terrorist would need to be captured to make it worthwhile? How many lives saved?

My view is that some of this is definitely political. Nobody wants to defend torture solely for torture’s sake. But if it got good and relevant results. (Lives saved, etc), then the whole issue becomes a little bit more murky, and it’s not so easy for Obama to claim he has sole possession of the high ground. The last thing Obama wants to answer is the question “If torturing a suspect would get information that might save a hundred lives, would you do it?” if it has some basis in fact.

Of course, this assumes facts not in evidence - namely that there is a postive record of results for torture.

Golly. How very astute of you.

The ends don’t justify the means. It doesn’t matter if Dick can point to a specific torture session that yielded valid information, because there’s no telling if we could have gotten that information without torturing.

I think it would be a stupid move to essentially brag to the world how well our torture techniques work.

So, if an armed force fighting the US captures a senior US military officer, and they know that torturing him will save the lives of hundreds of their soldiers, they should go ahead and do it? And, when brought before an international court for war crimes, they can just say, “Dick Cheney, a former Vice President of the US, said it was morally justified, so we did it.”

What would be real sweet would be for someone to torture Darth Cheney to learn all the dark secrets of Halliburton, but he’s not going to go anywhere where that’s likely to happen.

Dick Cheney had several years to argue for the importance of torture, since Congress had been debating torture and Guantanamo as a hot topic since probably 2005. He showed no reticence in declassifying information if it suited his political ends (e.g., Valerie Plame). For him to come out now and say that certain documents ought to be declassified to support his view of waterboarding is simply beyond the pale.

I cannot think of a major public figure who has less credibility when talking about national security, and yet, he is deluded into thinking that his views are beyond reproach. He is the Republican version of Lyndon LaRouche.

So if we torture 100 people and 5 of them give us good information that does saves lives does that justify it? Does that justify the innocents that are tortured?

The very same principles and liberties that we claim our troops are defending with their lives must be lived up to if they mean anything at all. We can’t commit the same heinous acts and justify them with rhetoric about being the good guys.

As others have said the ends do not justify the means. Could information have been gotten via other means? Most analysis I have seen suggest torture is a rather lousy means to get information and can even be counter productive (eg person being tortured makes shit up hoping it’ll be what the torturer wants to hear and the’ll stop).

The answer to the thread title is always “No”.

The question “If torturing a hundred suspects would get information that might save one life, would you do it?” would be more in line with the way the interrogation process has gone.

Why does Cheney have to “call on the CIA” to release the information? Can’t he just torture them for it?

Seems to me that if what Cheney says is true, he should be jailed for leaking classified info. IF those reports exist, Obama left them classified for a reason, and Cheney undermined that reason by talking about them in public.

When will he stop torturing us by opening his yapper?

Amen. If Dick Cheney tells you the sky is blue, you’d better check again.

And if Dick Cheney tells you the Pope is a Catholic, you know that Benedict XVI is already making his first pilgrimage to Mecca.

The question to ask isn’t if torturing a suspect to get information is worth it. It’s if systematically torturing tens, hundreds, maybe even thousands of suspects, many of whom will be completely innocent and most of whom likely have no useful knowledge to give is worth it, for the possibility that you may get something useful from one or two. Of course you might not get anything either. You just don’t know, and then all the suffering you’ve caused has been for nothing.

There is no justification for torturing anybody, but to do it to an innocent person, to leave them broken with the nightmares of the injustice done them for the rest of their lives, or consumed with rage and desire for revenge (and so further endanger our country further down the road), is just wretched and unforgivable.

And if you torture you will inevitably torture an innocent person. A person that doesn’t even have the answers you want and so has nothing they can say or do to make you just please stop drowning them, beating them, letting dogs bite them. “I don’t know anything!” Yeah right, they all say that, wrap the plastic around his mouth again and refill the bucket. How many people can you do this to for the vague possibility of ‘information’ somewhere along the way? This isn’t even hyperbole, this is actually what happened and will happen again if we continue to allow torture. What kind of monster do you have to be to even attempt to justify this?

Fuck that evil bastard. What bugs me is that some on the right seem to think “Harms national security!!!” is a trump card. I don’t think it is. Frankly, I’m willing to sacrifice a certain amount of safety and security in order not to be an evil fuck. Safety is not the highest human value, or the only human value.

But see, if we only torture the bad people (defined as “people we torture”) …
It’s astonishing how quickly some people turned into their own version of Saddam Hussein.

What standing has the ex-VP to ask that anything be declassified?

If he had any balls, he could just come out with what he knows, and then the CIA would have to try to clarify, confirm, or deny whatever he says.

Then again, I suspect any copies Cheney had are either A) stuck together or b) got “accidentally” wrecked in that fire toward the end of his time there.

I remember up until November, 2008 or so that it was actually considered to “harm national security” if one were to actually remove their slobbering lips from the President’s knob. I wonder what changed?


No. It’s definitely only 14, if you call insect boxes and rough treatment torture. IIRC, only 2 people were waterboarded. Not hundreds or thousands.

Note that it’s a very coherent system. Torture some random guy, he’ll almost immediately turn into your deep, personal and eternal enemy. Meaning it’s inherently impossible to torture a good guy !