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Does it matter when it's over if the truth was even right?

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Last week, Vice-President Dick Cheney was asked about interrogation techniques. He was asked if he favored a "dunk in the water for terrorist detainees." His answer:

"Well, it's a no-brainer for me, but for a while there I was criticised as being the 'vice-president for torture'."

Later, we find out that:

1. He was not referring to waterboarding,

2. He does not discuss interrogation techniques.

3. The U.S. does not torture.

Let's take these one at a time and try to justify the administration's position.

1. If he was not referring to waterboarding, what was he referring to? Swim lessons at Camp Gitmo? He must have been talking about some other technique then, but it seems odd that in the same sentence his reply goes back to being defensive about torture. If Cheney was talking about swim lessons or water balloons, why did he immediately bring up the word torture?

2. If he does not discuss interrogation techniques, why did he answer this question? The question concerned interrogation techniques, and he was only too happy to answer it. It is only when they are called on it that the veil of secrecy comes down.

3. This is Orwellian in its simplicity. We can use whatever interrogation techniques we please and simply redefine them as "non-torture." If the government does not torture, why did they bother setting up interrogation factories in other countries? This should be referred to as Waterboardgate, but it will be forgotten in the blink of an eye. They know that we'll forget yesterday's lie when we're dealing with today's.

Why is it that we have to go to the blogosphere to ponder questions like these?

Why is that in two days we'll be talking about Paris Hilton's latest escapade while blatant lies from the administration go unchallenged? The latest gem - Tony Snow's statement this week that they could only find 8 occasions where George W, Bush used the phrase "Stay the course?" Either he wasn't looking very hard or he ran out of fingers.

White House



Terry Ballard was a native of Phoenix, Arizona until he made a wrong turn in 1990 - he has been living on Long Island ever since. His chief regret in life is that he does not have the option to live on some other planet.

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