Now that we’ve been told about actions that can only be described as war crimes, the folks on the TV let the perps walk through their studios this weekend:
As vice president, Dick Cheney was the most enthusiastic sponsor for the brutal C.I.A. interrogation program used on Al Qaeda suspects, protesting when President George W. Bush scaled it back in his second term. Now that a Senate Intelligence Committee report has declared that the C.I.A.’s methods, later prohibited, violated American values and produced little or no useful intelligence, Mr. Cheney is fiercely defending not just the agency’s record, but his own as well.
“I would do it again in a minute,” Mr. Cheney said in a spirited, emotional appearance Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” He denied that waterboarding and related interrogation tactics were torture, noting that three of the last four attorneys general have agreed with his view. …
The NBC host, Chuck Todd, pressed Mr. Cheney on what might constitute torture, reading actual episodes from the Senate report: Holding a prisoner in a coffin-sized box for 11 days? Handcuffing a prisoner’s wrists to an overhead bar for 22 hours a day? But Mr. Cheney gave no ground.
“I can’t tell from that specifically whether it was or not,” he replied.
He even declined to criticize C.I.A. practices used on prisoners called “rectal feeding” and “rectal rehydration,” though he noted that “it was not one of the techniques approved” by the Justice Department. “I believe it was done for medical reasons,” he said. The Senate report suggests that it was largely used without medical orders to punish prisoners who refused water or food. …
Indeed, Mr. Cheney’s latest remarks were part of a barrage of commentary attempting to undercut the Senate’s blistering report on the C.I.A. program. Defenders of the program, including a former C.I.A. director, Michael V. Hayden, and the official who actually ran the program, Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., outnumbered those criticizing its methods on Sunday morning’s political shows.
It’s official. We don’t need the Sunday talk shows anymore. Let the torturers have their say. Never ask them why they shouldn’t be renditioned to The Hague to stand trial for crimes against humanity. Because torture is a crime. And torture is:
... any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is
intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or
a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a
third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or
intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on
discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at
the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or
other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or
suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.
But Dick Cheney says shoving a hose up a guy’s ass to feed him was done “for medical reasons.” And I’d bet he’d say that telling someone that you’re going to rape his mother right in front of him is just “guys being guys.”
Want to know what the worst part is?
I’ll bet if you ask average Americans what they think of torture, they’ll say it was necessary. Because a majority of Americans voted for George Bush (the Dumber) twice. And we knew what was being done in our name.
A quote from a very long time ago comes to mind:
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.