Tag Archives: dick cheney

Former Bush Official: CIA Torture Program Produced False Information to Justify the Invasion of Iraq

Following the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the torture techniques used by the Central Intelligence Agency on terror suspects after September 11, 2001, the reason given for the use of practices such as waterboarding, rectal feeding, and sleep deprivation, was that the CIA was in search of information that would secure the nation’s defense against any post-9/11 attacks.

With the emphasis on preventing another 9/11-style attack on the United States, Vice President Dick Cheney stated that while he wouldn’t call the methods used by the CIA “torture,” he would say that they had worked, and that he would “do it again in a minute.”

While President Barack Obama admitted that the United States had “tortured some folks,” and that “some terrible mistakes were made,” he defended the Bush administration, stating that it acted in self-dense, and that there were “a lot of people who did a lot of things right and worked very hard to keep us safe.

On Tuesday, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, the chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell from 2002 to 2005, revealed that there were other motives behind the torture program, and that the U.S. government used it to gather information from hostages to build false information, and to link al-Qaeda to Saddam Hussein, in order to justify the invasion of Iraq.

One of the main cases presented on why the United State should invade Iraq, stemmed from a speech Powell gave to the United Nations in February 2003. In that speech, Powell used the testimony of Ibn Shaykh al-Libi, a hostage who was sent by the U.S. to a prison in Egypt.

Libi asserted that Iraq gave chemical and biological weapons to al-Qaeda, which fueled the claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. However, Libi later recanted the statement, claiming that he had been tortured, and had “only told them what he assessed they wanted to hear.

Wilkerson helped Powell prepare his speech for the UN, and he told Democracy Now that the choice to include Libi’s statement in the speech was the most “seminal moment” in his memory of the time he spent at CIA headquarters.

Wilkerson detailed a confrontation with Powell, in which Powell lectured Wilkerson on how “he was dissatisfied with and very unhappy with the portions in his presentation that dealt with terrorism, particularly the connections with Baghdad and al-Qaeda.” Wilkerson said that he felt the same way, and that he and Powell agreed to remove that section of the presentation.

However, Wilkerson said that shortly after the confrontation, CIA Director George Tenet “laid a bombshell on the table.

He essentially said: ‘We have learned from the interrogation of a high-level al-Qaeda operative that not only were there substantial contacts between al-Qaeda and Baghdad, that those contacts included Baghdad Mukhabarat, secret police, Saddam’s special people, training al-Qaeda operatives in how to use chemical and biological weapons.'”

Following Tenet’s statement, Wilkerson said Powell turned to him and told him to put the portion on terrorism back into the presentation. Wilkerson went on to say that while he did “take some of the stuff out,” he did so with George Tenet’s counterterrorism czar standing behind him, trying to prevent him from removing parts of the presentation.

People were trying to get that portion back into the presentation,” said Wilkerson. “But the damage was done. The secretary, as you know, presented the information as if there were substantial contacts.”

Wilkerson said that after the “Abu Ghraib incident was made public,” Powell instructed him to look into how the U.S. had gotten to that point. During his investigation, Wilkerson discovered that the CIA’s torture program had been used for more than just ensuring the prevention of another 9/11-style attack:

I learned that there was, as early as April-May 2002, efforts to use enhanced interrogation techniques, also to build a legal regime under which they could be conducted, and that those efforts were as much aimed at al-Qaeda and contacts between Baghdad and al-Qaeda, and corroboration thereof, as they were trying to ferret out whether or not there was another attack coming, like 9/11.

Dick Cheney Says Torture Report “Full of Crap”

Former President George W. Bush knew which torture techniques were used by the CIA to interrogate subjects, according to former Vice President Dick Cheney. The controversial politician made the claims in an interview with Fox News, while also saying the recently release Senate report detailing the harsh methods is “full of crap.”

Meanwhile CIA Director John Brennan spoke to reporters Thursday and explained that while the overall interrogation program did provide actionable intelligence, it is “unknowable” whether or not “enhanced interrogation techniques” led to actionable intelligence.

Flashback: Video shows Rand Paul accusing Dick Cheney of going to war to benefit Halliburton

 

Senator Rand Paul and former Vice President Dick Cheney have been sparring on multiple TV appearances for a few weeks now.

According to the AP, President Barack Obama says he’s sending about 200 more U.S. troops to Iraq to protect Americans and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. That makes a total of 800 troops on the ground in Iraq.

The Republican war hawks are trying hard to convince President Obama to go to war in Iraq and Syria. But there is one problem. They have to combat libertarian Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul who seeks a peaceful solution in the Middle East.

But apparently Paul has been calling out neocons like Dick Cheney for years.

In a 2009 video, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) told students at Western Kentucky University that former Vice President Dick Cheney had plunged the U.S. into the Iraq War so as to benefit Halliburton, of which he had been CEO.

In the video Paul said, “There’s a great YouTube of Dick Cheney in 1995 defending [President] Bush Number One [and the decision not to invade Baghdad in the first Gulf war], and he goes on for about five minutes. He’s being interviewed, I think, by the American Enterprise Institute, and and he says it would be a disaster, it would be vastly expensive, it’d be civil war, we would have no exit strategy. He goes on and on for five minutes. Dick Cheney saying it would be a bad idea. And that’s why the first Bush didn’t go into Baghdad. Dick Cheney then goes to work for Halliburton. Makes hundreds of millions of dollars, their CEO. Next thing you know, he’s back in government and it’s a good idea to go into Iraq.”

Watch the video below:

There is no doubt there is history behind the recent spats between Paul and Cheney.

But the battle between Paul and Cheney is really emblematic of the current ideological war within the GOP itself regarding foreign policy.

When asked to comment on Rand Paul’s Presidential aspirations, Cheney simply told the DailyCaller, “Isolationism doesn’t work as a philosophy for defending the nation.”

Cheney added, “Isolationism, I think, is a flawed concept. My disagreement with Rand Paul isn’t personal. It’s on substance. I just think he’s wrong.”

Paul is mulling over a 2016 Presidential bid, but it appears that Paul is not backing down from fighting the wars hawks and neocon wing of the GOP.

It appears that Paul is trying to save the soul of the Republican Party and wants to change America’s war culture to a peaceful culture based on his core beliefs.

Paul explained his view of the “Just War Theory” during an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network.

“I think you need to remember that [Jesus] was the ‘Prince of Peace’… blessed are the peacemakers not blessed are the war makers,” said Paul.

 

Follow Joshua Cook On Facebook & Twitter.

Megyn Kelly Confronts Dick Cheney: “History Has Proven That You Got It Wrong” About Iraq

Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz appeared on Megyn Kelly’s show The Kelly File on Wednesday to discuss their launch of a new organization, The Alliance for a Strong America, aimed at “preserving freedom and restoring American strength and power in the wake of the Obama administration’s national security failures.”

The father-daughter duo also were on the show to discuss an op-ed they had written for the Wall Street Journal titled “The Collapsing Obama Doctrine“. The piece was critical of Obama’s handling of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and implied that Obama’s foreign policy has played a part in leading to the current crisis in Iraq. “He seems blithely unaware, or indifferent to the fact, that a resurgent al Qaeda presents a clear and present danger to the United States of America,” wrote Cheney.

“Too many times to count, Mr. Obama has told us he is “ending” the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—as though wishing made it so. His rhetoric has now come crashing into reality.”

Cheney’s op-ed spurred a response from Paul Waldman, who wrote a rebuttal for The Washington Post. Kelly read an excerpt on air for Cheney: “There is not a single person in America…who has been more wrong and more shamelessly dishonest on the topic of Iraq than Dick Cheney. And now, as the cascade of misery and death and chaos he did so much to unleash rages anew, Cheney has the unadulterated gall to come before the country and tell us that it’s all someone else’s fault.” 

Kelly then asked, “The suggestion then is that you caused this mess, Mr. Vice President, what say you?” Once again, Cheney boldly defended going into Iraq and made the same criticisms about Obama’s decisions regarding Iraq.

It was after Cheney’s repetitive defense of the Iraq war that Kelly went on to challenge him concerning statements he has made in the past: “But time and time again, history has proven that you got it wrong as well in Iraq, sir. You said there was no doubt Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. You said we would be greeted as liberators. You said the Iraq insurgency was in its last throes back in 2005, and you said that after our intervention, extremists would have to quote ‘rethink their strategy of jihad.’ Now, with almost a trillion dollars spent there, with 4,500 American lives lost there, what do you say to those who say you were so wrong about so much at the expense of so many?”

“No, I just fundamentally disagree with you,” Cheney replied.

Kelly’s confrontation ended with that question, but it’s come as a surprise to many that Kelly briefly scrapped with Cheney in an unlikely outlet.

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