Long Read Watch: Torture & the Good Congressman (Angus) King

Kudos to Steve Kornacki, and MSNBC, for going beyond the Media Village comfort zone. Via Salon:

…. Last week, before any information from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report went public, Cheney appeared on a college television station to defend the Bush administration’s “enhanced interrogation program.” “Some people call it torture,” Cheney said. “It wasn’t torture. We were very careful in all respects to abide by the law.”

King called the executive summary “shocking,” and said he was ”stunned” to hear Cheney’s comments to the contrary…

“That’s ridiculous to make that claim,” King went on. “This was torture by anybody’s definition.” Even John McCain agrees it was torture, he added, “and I think he’s in a better position to know that than Vice President Cheney.”

“What they did was bad, but then to misrepresent it the way they did throughout a number of years — that’s what’s really the worse thing.”…

Sen. King’s portion starts around 6:00 in the clip above. But you should really listen to the whole thing, because his statement at the end is pretty important, too.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit

20 replies
  1. 1
    IowaOldLady says:

    I watched that this morning. King sounded righteously worked up and good for him.

    Or should I say he’s too “emotional” to be making good judgments?

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    I’m glad an accounting will be released.

  3. 3
    Trentrunner says:

    Here’s hoping the report is released right after Jeb Bush has clinched the nomination.

    Reading that WaPo “We’re Gettin’ the Bush Band Back Together!” story today was enough to give me a wave of Bush PTSD.

    The rest of the country needs to be reminded what clusterfucks those presidencies were.

  4. 4
    Mike in NC says:

    Dick Cheney spent his entire political career setting up strawmen just so he could knock them down with one puff. He was also often aided and abetted doing so by hacks like Joe Lieberman (see “VP Debate 2000”).

  5. 5
    ulee says:

    Angus was my governor when he appropriated funds for laptops for poor kids so the playing field would be equaled. There were those who were aghast and wrung their hands over the waste of funds. He was right, they were wrong. He’s still right.

  6. 6
    Cervantes says:

    The report is not being released to the public.

    What they’re talking about is declassifying parts of the report: the executive summary, the conclusions, that kind of thing.

    The CIA is being asked to prepare a redacted version that can be declassified. Something tells me that the portions of the report that were written in dissent by Republicans will see the least redaction.

    The agency has not been given a hard and fast deadline by which its redaction process has to end. “As expeditiously as possible” is not a deadline at all.

    Will the president or the White House assume oversight of the declassification process? We shall see.

  7. 7
    WaterGirl says:

    @Cervantes: I heard Angus King say this morning that the executive summary was over 400 pages long and that includes lots of details. So this is not what we normally think of as an executive summary.

    I hope President Obama moves quickly to get this released, with the minimum of redactions.

    Edit: I have to give Angus King a lot of credit. Last week he couldn’t say whether he would vote to release it or not because he hadn’t read the whole thing. I kinda thought that might be a bullshit excuse, but I was wrong. He said he spent the week reading the whole 400+ pages. And now he’s speaking out very strongly. Good for him.

  8. 8
    JPL says:

    Kind sounds to emotional to be taken seriously.

  9. 9
    hildebrand says:

    This should take the air out of the Jeb Bush boomlet (I am certain I am mixing my metaphors, but so it goes). I know it isn’t particularly cricket, but I want the Republican field in 2016 to be as bat-shit crazy as 2012.

  10. 10
    Cervantes says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I heard Angus King say this morning that the executive summary was over 400 pages long and that includes lots of details. So this is not what we normally think of as an executive summary.

    Sen. King was right: the Executive Summary is about 400 pages long. The whole report is more than 6000 pages long.

    Edit: I have to give Angus King a lot of credit. Last week he couldn’t say whether he would vote to release it or not because he hadn’t read the whole thing. I kinda thought that might be a bullshit excuse, but I was wrong. He said he spent the week reading the whole 400+ pages. And now he’s speaking out very strongly. Good for him.

    Yes, I agree, he’s doing what’s right. Deliberation is not a bad thing.

  11. 11
    the Conster says:

    @ulee:

    My SO’s coworker in Maine was so pissed off by that, he calls him King Angus.

  12. 12
    Persia says:

    Even John McCain agrees it was torture, he added, “and I think he’s in a better position to know that than Vice President Cheney.”

    Nice slap at Cheney there. I’m so relieved to see people speaking out on this shit. Finally.

  13. 13
    Tommy says:

    @Persia: I have said this here from time to time. I recall as a young kid, dad a teacher at the Army War College. I recall I must have been like seven, going to see John McCain speak. At that time it wasn’t a campaign speech. He talked straight up about how it was like to be subjected to this. It was like 1977! People that have been tortured know what it is.

  14. 14
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Tommy: And yet, as a pathetic slave to his Presidential ambitions, McCain openly embraced the policies of a deserting coward and the Dark Lord.

    McCain has betrayed everyone he was in the Hanoi Hilton with through that action.

    He’s scum.

  15. 15
    Gypsy Howell says:

    Is it too much to hope that someday there will be a reckoning for Cheney and Bush for their war crimes?

  16. 16
    JGabriel says:

    Angus King:

    What they did was bad, but then to misrepresent it the way they did throughout a number of years — that’s what’s really the worse thing.…

    I think most of the people who were tortured probably think this is one of those rare times where the cover-up really was not worse than the initial crime.

  17. 17

    @Gypsy Howell:
    Yes. Legally and politically, there is no feasible way for it to happen. It’s legally very grey whether a former president can be tried for his actions as president. You go straight to the Supreme Court, and even some of the liberal justices might side with the inevitable ‘If the president did it and congress didn’t stop him, it’s not a crime’ decision. I’ve heard people talk about other countries trying members of the administration for war crimes, but if any country has actually said they’d like to, I missed it. It would take a country that actively wants to slap America in the face. Congress passed a law retroactively making all the torture, indefinite detention, and extraordinary rendition stuff legal, so there’s probably nothing in the US to try them on anyway.

  18. 18
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I don’t think John McCain was ever that popular with his fellow servicemen. He was considered a pampered and privileged jackass, if various off-the-record comments are to be believed.

    Of course, betrayal isn’t the same as unpopularity.

  19. 19
    El Cid says:

    Cheney and those like him backed torture because they liked the idea of torturing people, not because they thought it effective or would help keep anyone safe or anything like that. They just really liked being able to order people to be tortured or to cheerlead those doing the ordering. They derived then and derive now deep pleasure from it, not exclusively but quite frequently extending to some sexual or parasexual pleasure. They are awful, awful people, and it disgusts me that on news programs and in print [the torture programs] must be discussed as [if it involved] serious people pursuing serious policy, when it was really the inevitable outcome of a horde of scoundrels given authority to act lawlessly.

  20. 20
    Paul in KY says:

    @JGabriel: I would think tyhe people who were tortured probably are more pissed at actual torture than any cover-up. I think they would expect a cover-up as par for the course, plus a cover-up is less painful.

Comments are closed.