Okay, let's do this one more time: The torture Dick Cheney insisted on applying to every detainee about whom he had any knowledge -- and that seems to be most of them, given the files (photographs? videos?) he kept close at hand -- was perpetrated with one objective. Here it is. Again: The authorized harsh interrogation in April and May of 2002 -- well before the Justice Department had rendered any legal opinion -- had as its principal priority an attempt to force the confession of a link between Iraq and al-Qa'ida. It was not an attempt to obtain intelligence that would uncover the plans for some sort of terror attack against the U.S. The Bush Crime Family used torture and the fear of imminent death to elicit what it wanted to hear. Confess, and we stop. Withhold what you know we want to hear and we will kill you, slowly and painfully. Any public statement to the contrary by Dick Cheney is a goddam lie.
"So furious was this effort [torture] that on one particular detainee, even when the interrogation team had reported to Cheney's office that their detainee "was compliant" (meaning the team recommended no more torture), the VP's office ordered them to continue the enhanced methods [torture]. The detainee had not revealed any al-Qa'ida-Baghdad contacts yet. This ceased only after Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi, under waterboarding in Egypt, "revealed" such contacts. Of course later we learned that al-Libi revealed these contacts only to get the torture to stop. There in fact were no such contacts."
And now, the announcement declares, al-Libi "committed suicide" earlier this week in a Libyan prison cell. And as expected, media in the US -- with a few notable exceptions -- completely ignored the story. Astonishing? This US media blackout on the "suicide" of the man whose "confession" allowed Cheney and Bush to launch a war that has killed thousands of American soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis? Get serious. Mainstream media dare not report such facts. They are too heavily invested in the eight years of Bush Crime Family lies that sucked out everything moral and ethical from this country and spat it into the nearest gutter.
It was nearly a month ago that Jonathan Landay first reported this hideous story for McClatchy Newspapers (McClatchy being one of the few "notable exceptions" mentioned above.) Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman, another of the "notable exceptions" -- blogging at the New York Times -- put it this way:
"Let's say this slowly: the Bush administration wanted to use 9/11 as a pretext to invade Iraq, even though Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. So it tortured people to make them confess to the nonexistent link. There's a word for this: it's evil."
One of Jonathan Landy's lead sources was former U.S. Army psychiatrist, Maj. Charles Burney, whom Landy said...
"...told Army investigators in 2006 that interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility were under "pressure" to produce evidence of ties between al Qaida and Iraq. "While we were there a large part of the time we were focused on trying to establish a link between al Qaida and Iraq and we were not successful in establishing a link between al Qaida and Iraq," Burney told staff of the Army Inspector General. "The more frustrated people got in not being able to establish that link . . . there was more and more pressure to resort to measures that might produce more immediate results."
Cheney could not get the "confession" he wanted. Nor could his Special Operations torturers produce the results he demanded. Remember all those months when the torture -- we now realize -- was at its apex and Vice President Dick Cheney was AWOL from his duties? Remember the light-hearted and half-witted speculation from mainstream media as to this monster's whereabouts? Is there now any doubt where he was? What he was overseeing? What he was directing?
Yes, there is a word for this. And, yes, it is the word . . . evil.
Mike Malloy is a former writer and producer for CNN (1984-87) and CNN-International (2000). His professional experience includes newspaper columnist and editor, writer, rock concert producer and actor. He is the only radio talk show host in America to have received the A.I.R (Achievement in Radio) Award in both (more...)