Tears of a torturer

For someone so enamored of enhanced interrogation techniques, Dick Cheney sure is a sensitive guy:

“I guess the other thing that offends the hell out of me, frankly, Chris, is we had a track record now of eight years of defending the nation against any further mass casualty attacks from Al Qaeda. The approach of the Obama administration should be to come to those people who were involved in that policy and say, ‘How did you do it? What were the keys to keeping this country safe over that period of time?'”

They disabled the embed on the YouTube video that describes this perfectly.

67 replies
  1. 1
    PurpleGirl says:

    I’d love to see some proof that it was due to the Bush Administration (and torture) that there were no more attacks on American soil since September 11th. After all, didn’t 7 or 8 pass between the first attack on the World Trade Center and September 11th.

  2. 2
    Will Danz says:

    “So I authorized the crushing of innocent children’s testicles, even though it made America not one bit safer and squandered all our moral authority… I HAVE FEELINGS TOO!!”

    [Duck hugs his blankie*]

    [*Made of the skin of Iraqi children.]

  3. 3
    Will Danz says:

    Duck = Dick above.

    Apologies to the relatively benign waterfowl slandered by the comparison to this lying fascist ghoul.

  4. 4
    Zifnab says:

    I guess the other thing that offends the hell out of me, frankly, Chris, is we had a track record now of eight years of defending the nation against any further mass casualty attacks from Al Qaeda.

    They had a track record of 7 years and 4 months of defending the nation against (key word) further mass casualty attacks. Unfortunately, they failed to prevent the Madrid train bombing or the attack in England or the riots in France, and – after invading Iraq – they put our troops in the thick of guerrilla assaults and IED attacks that continue to this day.

    I mean, I guess it’s true. Ever since 9/11, we haven’t seen any more planes getting flown into the World Trade Center. But claiming that New Orleans was protected from terror attacks between 9/11/01 and 1/09/09 seems kinda, you know, hollow.

  5. 5
    Unabogie says:

    Uh, we had terrorist attacks after 9/11 and they never caught the perpetrators.

    Hint: Anthrax is not just a heavy metal band.

  6. 6
    Unabogie says:

    @Zifnab:

    Beat me to it, and said much better.

  7. 7
    feebog says:

    “track record now of eight years of defending the nation against any further mass casualty attacks from Al Qaeda”

    Too bad you didn’t get it right the first time Dick. After all you were the head of the Terrorisim Task Force on 9/11/01, no?

  8. 8
    Chad N Freude says:

    An American is riding in a London taxi. Every few minutes, the driver throws a handful of powder out the window. Finally, the American asks the cabbie what the powder is for.
    He answers “It’s lion repellent. Keeps the lions away.” The American says “But there aren’t any lions in London.” The driver answers “See, it works.”

  9. 9
    Shygetz says:

    Awww, poor Dick Cheney is butthurt. It’s like someone sodomized him with a flashlight.

  10. 10
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Benen’s comments here:

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.c.....019700.php

    I agree. Did W. and Cheney ask Clinton (Bill) and Gore how THEY kept the nation safe after a terrorist attack? The Magic 8-Ball says, “Are you fucking kidding me? Get real.”

  11. 11
    Incertus says:

    Even if we grant that Cheney is right–and I’m by no means willing to do so–then I guess the cost of preventing more terror attacks inside the US was more people than ever under the poverty line, higher unemployment, a greater divide between rich and poor, a health-care crisis worse than ever, a federal government incapable of responding to natural disasters in any meaningful way, huge yearly federal deficits, and two ruinous wars, among other things. If that’s not the very definition of a Pyrrhic victory, what is?

  12. 12
    neill says:

    god damn dick cheney’s shit-filled soul to hell.

  13. 13
    Chad N Freude says:

    @asiangrrlMN: What’s really bad about this, I think, is that a lot of people, not just the Cheney fanbase, unthinkingly take these statements at face value.

  14. 14
    MattF says:

    “We did our best to turn the country into a fascist dictatorship, but we failed… and that failure is everyone’s failure.”

    –R. B. Cheney

  15. 15
    wasabi gasp says:

    Dood, your job was outsourced to a foreigner months ago. Cash the severance and shut up already.

  16. 16
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Chad N Freude: Yeah, I know. It’s pretty damn discouraging.

    @wasabi gasp: Aaaaand, just in time, you show up with the much-needed comic relief. Thanks!

  17. 17
    SenyorDave says:

    I assume on September 12th, when God-willing we have not had another terrorist attack, that the Obama administration can trumpet the fact that Obama is the first president in over EIGHT years not to have had more than 3,000 Americans killed because of the incompetence of his administration. Wer should be hearing that from every government official, the Democrats should be using this in fund-raising, and Obama should go on national television giving himself a pat on the back (or maybe get in a flight suit on aircraft carrier).

    After all, national security is great territory for playing politics.

  18. 18
    me says:

    Dick Cheney sure is a sensitive guy

    He’s not the only one.
    (Warning: don’t click if you are at work or don’t appreciate a twisted sense of humor)

  19. 19
    GambitRF says:

    If there’s nothing morally wrong with the techniques that were used, and they’re, beyond a doubt, the reason why there weren’t any further attacks since 9/11, shouldn’t Cheney be apologizing profusely for not using these techniques since day 1, thus preventing 9/11 from happening?

    Its pretty sick how often this “We kept the country safe… after 9/11!” talking point is used, and how often its allowed to go unchallenged. The concept of terrorism didn’t magically came into existence on September 10th, 2001. You don’t get a mulligan for it.

  20. 20
    dmsilev says:

    is we had a track record now of eight years of defending the nation against any further mass casualty attacks from Al Qaeda.

    “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?”

    I’m sick and tired of this ghoul, and others of his ilk, preening and posturing because on their watch there was only *one* multi-thousand-casualty terrorist attack.

    -dms

  21. 21
  22. 22
    Chad N Freude says:

    @me: Very sophisitcated and stylistically excellent. We should add this group to last night’s discussion of good music.

  23. 23
    handy says:

    Hey Dick, elections have consequences. Here, have some cheese with your whine.

  24. 24
    someguy says:

    This is all well and good to go on and on about torture but that is frankly trivial to the mass murder being committed in the two major and several minor covert wars Cheney and Bush started.

  25. 25
    Brendan says:

    @Unabogie:

    Didn’t you get the memo?

    Incidents of DOMESTIC terrorism don’t count…at least not to Darth Cheney

  26. 26
    tc125231 says:

    @neill: Succinctly put.

  27. 27
    freelancer says:

    The approach of the Obama administration should be to come to those people who were involved in that policy and say, ‘How did you do it? What were the keys to keeping this country safe over that period of time?’”

    Well, the first thing you do is start a war. The second thing you do is start a war of choice with no real military objectives other than regime change. Then, you steady pour American personnel into a Viper’s nest until you’ve unbelievably tempted the Jihadis’ bloodlust with a target rich environment of over 200,000 American and NATO forces service members and civilian contractors. Then, you stay mired in quicksand, doing nothing, until after about 4,000 troops die, then you declare victory and say it’s time to leave. This last part is important, you don’t actually leave. Any questions?

  28. 28
    Chad N Freude says:

    we had a track record now of eight years of defending the nation against any further mass casualty attacks from Al Qaeda.

    Actually, it was about seven years and four months. The track record for the first eight months months, not so great.

  29. 29
    tc125231 says:

    @freelancer: Also absolutely on target.

  30. 30
    cmohrnc says:

    Cheney’s aggressive defense of tortuous methods makes perfect sense to me – any other course, any slight true admission of error and wrongdoing or failue to harshly counterattack against accusations of same – and it’s an inevitable slide toward a criminal trial and conviction for Cheney.

  31. 31
    ellaesther says:

    Hey, you know what happened on their watch?

    Nine-fucking-eleven happened on their fucking watch!

    It’s not that “nothing else terrible happened” (a fact that I think might be disputed by the families of the more than 4,300 soldiers killed in the useless and unnecessary Iraq War that was launched on the basis of craven lies, and the nearly 800 soldiers killed in Afghanistan, some of whom very likely lost their lives because we were too busy fighting a pointless war in Iraq to do what needed doing in Afghanistan) — it’s that one of the worst things that could have happened DID!! Right after Bush/Cheney ignored a little piece of paper produced by their own intelligence services entitled “Al Qaeda determined to strike in US”!!

    And not incidentally, THEY LET THE GUY WHO DID THAT GET AWAY!!

    Fucking, fucking hell.

  32. 32
    ellaesther says:

    @dmsilev: Well yes, what you said. Much more succinctly and with fewer curse words than me.

  33. 33
    ellaesther says:

    @cmohrnc: an inevitable slide toward a criminal trial and conviction for Cheney.

    Please God. Please God. Please God!

  34. 34
    Jamie says:

    Its surprising Dick didn’t take credit for ensuring the planet wasn’t hit by a giant Meteor during the Bush presidency.

  35. 35
    sugarfree says:

    The good news is that in about two weeks, the Obama administration is going to have an anti-terrorism record significantly better than Bush’s over a comparable amount of time.

  36. 36
    jibeaux says:

    You know, aside from all the other (better) points already made, the only reason to seek the advice of a guy with an eight percent approval rating is so that you can do exactly the opposite of whatever he did. And Obama is probably sharp enough to figure that out on his own: DON’T torture. DON’T shoot friends in the face. DON’T engage in wars of choice., etc.

  37. 37
    Roger Moore says:

    @Brendan:

    Incidents of DOMESTIC terrorism don’t count…at least not to Darth Cheney

    Of course not, and for two important reasons:

    # Domestic terrorism doesn’t give him an excuse to invade other countries, and

    # Most of the domestic terrorists are right wing, so it doesn’t do to mention them.

    Between those two, they absolutely don’t want to talk about domestic terrorism.

  38. 38
    pharniel says:

    what i’m tired of is the ‘if it prevents even one death..’ while following it up with an implied ‘freedom isn’t free’

    they don’t seem to get that freedom isn’t free means that sometimes the ‘badguys’ get a cheapshot in.

    they also tend to forget that the tree of liberty is watered with the blood of tyrants AND patriots, and that when nations are involved ‘bloody noses’ means a few thousand poor fuckers loose their lives.

    THey appear to think that ‘intellegence gathering tools’ have to consist of sessiosn that could be confused with insex/hardtied or any other exxxtreme snm site and it
    1. will never ever be used on american citizens. honest
    2. will never be used on them by a militiarized police force
    3. will totally keep us safe.

    knuckle dragging adrenizlied douche bags.

  39. 39
    Ryan says:

    I’m a modern man these days I find, you have to be awfully cruel to be kind. I’m a modern man, you must agree — it’s either you or me.

  40. 40
    MikeJ says:

    what i’m tired of is the ‘if it prevents even one death..’

    And they’re not even consistent about that. If killing or torturing prevents one death, fine, no limit. How about building better schools, here or abroad? No, that’s just too expensive. How about not propping up murderous right wing regimes? No no, we can’t let the terrorists tell us what to do.

  41. 41
    SenyorDave says:

    And Obama is probably sharp enough to figure that out on his own: DON’T torture. DON’T shoot friends in the face. DON’T engage in wars of choice., etc.

    In Cheney’s defense, the shooting friends in the face really didn’t go badly for him at all. After all, the guy he shot did apologize, presumably for being careless enough to put his face in front of incoming birdshot).

  42. 42
    Roger Moore says:

    @MikeJ:

    If killing or torturing prevents one death, fine, no limit. How about building better schools, here or abroad? No, that’s just too expensive. How about not propping up murderous right wing regimes? No no, we can’t let the terrorists tell us what to do.

    How about giving sick people medical care? Absolutely not; it might help the Democrats win elections.

  43. 43

    This recalls Barney Frank (my Congressman!) and his characterization of Newt Gingrich: “The thinnest skinned bully I ever met.”

  44. 44
    kay says:

    @MikeJ:

    If torturing a suspect to prevent even one death is the new standard, people have to know that, or they can’t reasonably comply with the new standard.
    That new conservative legal standard should go to the elected Congress, be written into law, and then to the (immediate) court challenge.
    Unless Cheney is now writing law, and Joe and Mika are the judges of the validity of the law Cheney writes.
    Cheney and his slavish press hacks are the single best argument to get this to a court.
    Really. They don’t have the power to do this. It doesn’t matter how many times they say it.

  45. 45
    catclub says:

    Cheney also has said that he was pushing ahrd for ant attack on Iran at the end of the Bush term.

    I will repeat. It continues to amaze and befuddle me that George W Bush
    was the sane one in the Bush administration who kept a rein on the totally insane Dick Cheney.

    I have plenty of bad things to say about Bush, but still must thank him for keeping a leash on the rabid dog.

  46. 46
    ellaesther says:

    @Thomas Levenson: As a rule, bullies tend to be pretty thin-skinned, in my experience. That’s why they have to become bullies. Gingrich, Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Palin, McCain — scratch a bully, and you’ll find someone who feels very sorry for him/herself.

    In an aside: I love Barney Frank, because he tells the truth, he’s very smart, and he’s damn funny. He’s #2 on my Fantasy Seder list (#1 is Jon Stewart. Hey, I’m only flesh and blood!)

  47. 47
    pharniel says:

    all bullies are thin skinned.
    the thinner the skin, the more scared you should be.
    the modern GOP projects like nobodies business, and every bad faith act they accuse the democrats of doing should pretty much clue you in on how they want to run the country:

    a one party loyalty oathfest where disagreement with dear leader or (public) deviation from the norm is not tolerated.

  48. 48
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    First, why did they disable embeds on the video?

    Second, I’m taking a break. The Cheney stuff + HCR + Kennedy bashing has pushed me to the breaking point. This afternoon, I’m driving to the local animal shelter and wander amongst the dogs and kittehs.

    Hopefully that will change my mood.

  49. 49

    @ellaesther: I love the concept of a fantasy seder list. Will start accumulating one now — and yes, both of your choices would be on mine (as would the late great Father Robert Drinan, were he available — I remember seeing him at my niece’s Bat Mitzvah in turned around collar and all, having the time of his life.

  50. 50
    ppcli says:

    Yep, we had eight years with “no further mass casualty attacks from Al Qaeda”. Just like Bill Buckner had a baseball career with “no further World Series losing grotesque fielding errors”. Yet Boston fans aren’t grateful either.

  51. 51
    Cat says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: How do you manage to goto an animal shelter and not come away guilty for adopting at least one of them?

  52. 52
    Chad N Freude says:

    @catclub:
    Apparently GW Bush

    had a track record now of eight years of defending the nation against any further mass casualty attacks from Al Qaeda Cheney

  53. 53
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Brendan:

    Incidents of DOMESTIC terrorism against people who aren’t rich white Republicans don’t count…at least not to Darth Cheney.

    Fixt.

    @Jamie:

    Its surprising Dick didn’t take credit for ensuring the planet wasn’t hit by a giant Meteor during the Bush presidency.

    In the upcoming Michael Bay movie version of the Bush presidency, the Giant Meteor will be played by Darth Cheney.

  54. 54
    GregB says:

    I will repeat my previous statement.

    If you use the Bush/Cheney rhetoric about Iraq being the central front in the war on terror then why in the name of God would Al Qaeda need to attack the U.S. mainland.

    I mean, they are telling us over and over again that attacking the U.S. mainland doesn’t matter, what matters are attacks in Iraq, the central front.

    Al Qaeda has launched thousands of attacks and have killed thousands of Americans since 9/11.(If you believe that all Iraqis are Al Qaeda.

    Dick!

    -G

  55. 55

    Here is embeddable version of the video you linked.

    Just be careful around Republicans, you’ll hurt their feelings. Kaboom! They’ll hurt more than your pretty little brains.

  56. 56
    Fulcanelli says:

    I read the transcript of Cheney’s recent remarks and the only explanation is that he is a textbook sociopath, period. There’s no dancing around it, parsing it or “putting it in context”, that fucker is flat out evil and dangerous to anybody who doesn’t share his scary worldview.

    But the amusing upside to this (if there is one) is how his supporters are utterly oblivious to the fact that someone this disturbed could turn on them and treat them the same way and show the same lack of remorse.

    A guy as disturbed and twisted as Dick Cheney would skullfuck Sean Hannity’s kids on pay-per-view if he thought it would keep him out of prison.

    Let him rattle and hum on TV all he wants. The more the better as he repulses the public and increases the likelihood he’ll be indicted. And he’ll slip up sooner or later running his mouth…

  57. 57

    […] DougJ’s earlier post today on Cheney reminded me of this article from Walter Pincus the other day: […]

  58. 58
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Cat:

    Lease restrictions? I am thinking about a cat, but i live in a small apt. and I’m not sure if they allow pets, or what the deposit is if you have one. I’m checking on that today. I think a “roommate” would do good for my mental health.

  59. 59
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    On September 10, 2001, I was in Dick Cheney’s presence for an hour or so (at a Governors’ conference) (N.B. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a Governor) when he was one of the keynote speakers. He didn’t talk about terrorism (or if he did it was so obliquely that I’ve forgotten about it) — IIRC it was all about the importance of tax cuts — but what I mainly remember is the astonishingly high level of security at and before his talk. It was already pretty elevated just to register as an attendee at the conference. But on top of that, in order to get into the Cheney plenary, we went through a gamut of showing several forms of photo I.D., biometrics, and signatures. And this was the day before the attacks on the WTC and Pentagon.

  60. 60
    R-Jud says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    On September 10, 2001, I was in Dick Cheney’s presence for an hour or so…

    I presume you took a mirror, to stop his basilisk gaze turning you to stone?

  61. 61
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne 3:06 pm

    Hmmm. Only the word “before” was supposed to be italicized.

    I should have mentioned that in addition to all the I.D. checks and biometrics and so on, purses and briefcases were thoroughly examined and there were Secret Service agents simply swarming in the halls as well as the auditorium.

    And this was the day BEFORE the attacks.

  62. 62
    Lee says:

    The problem Cheney has with the investigation is that it is about restoring honor back to the US. He doesn’t know anything about honor, so the only thing he can frame it as in his mind is that it is about politics.

  63. 63
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @R-Jud: the security folks probably confiscated it.

  64. 64
    Dr.BDH says:

    The approach of the Obama administration should be to come to those people who were involved in that policy and say, ‘How did you do it?’ and when it’s confirmed they broke the law, prosecute and imprison them.

  65. 65
    Cpl. Cam says:

    Awesome, I guess that’s why they had Dick Clarke in the oval office every morning at 6am giving Bush Jr. intelligence briefings. No, they didn’t do that? But he had twarted all attacks on the homeland after ’93. I’d go for it if I were Obama but only if Cheney agrees to first admit that 9/11 was totally a result of his failure to pay Dick Clarke enough attention.

  66. 66
    Tom Degan says:

    Thank you, Dick Cheney, for saving the United States of America. But seriously, folks….

    It sure is fun watching poor old Dick Cheney stumbling all over the right wing airwaves, desperately trying to poison the jury pool and dodge a VERY long stretch in a federal prison. I only saw clips of his “interview” with Chris Wallace on FOX Noise on Sunday. Someone described it as a starry-eyed teenage girl interviewing one of the Jonas brothers.

    It sure is funny observing the meltdown of Dick and Liz (Cheney – not Burton and Taylor). The trillion dollar hammer is about to hit the fan. They’re like cornered rats. Oh, man! I’m lovin’ this!

    Don’t take your eye off the Cheneys. For your best entertainment bargain, these two are the show that should not be missed. We’re talking essential viewing here!

    http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

    Tom Degan, Goshen, NY

  67. 67
    feebog says:

    Remind me again, who was the Chairman of the White House Terrorism Task Force on 9/11? Oh yeah, the same guy who is bragging that he “kept us safe” after 9/11. Sorry Cheney, you should have gotten it right the first time.

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