Bush/Cheney kept us safe through torture.

If 3,000 Americans had been killed on your watch, in an attack that could have been prevented, perhaps you’d be a little hesitant to accuse anyone else of endangering America. And if you had advocated torture, and the torture produced false information that you used to mislead America into an unwise, unjust and unwarranted war, you might be a tad sheepish about defending the use of torture.

Paul Begala, “Mr. Cheney, You did not keep us safe.”  

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3 responses to “Bush/Cheney kept us safe through torture.

  1. AJ

    Someone might want to remind Begala that the President he advised stood back and literally watched al-Qaida build bases. There were 3 acts of war against America during the Clinton years, and Clinton did not act. He could have gotten bin Laden, and saved us the trouble of 9/11, 2 wars, and the whole mess we’re in now.

    In 1996, the Clinton administration was informed that a move by bin Laden to Afghanistan, if not stoped, would allow him to become a larger threat. As far as I’m concerned, it’s just as damning as the “Bin Laden determined to attack” memo.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/17/international/asia/17osama.html

    I’d love to hear what Begala thinks about that, and Nancy Pelosi, who aided in torture just as much as Cheney. If Congress knew, and did not act, then this was not the policy of the executive branch alone.

    This country does not torture to kill and to maim. America’s version of torture is a watered down version of old techniques, and nothing we have not put our own soldiers through.

    Water boarding Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to extract information does not outrage me. Cutting off the heads of civilians for video propaganda purposes does.

    Why is it our nation must always be on the defensive? Who is Begala’s source? Why are we not questioning al-Libi or who ever is telling this to Begala? Why are the words used from or in defense of a terrorist, people known for using propaganda as their main source of recruitment of followers and supporters, being trusted over the United States government?

    More importantly, when Begala and his pals finish trying to destroy any Republican they can? I thought the age of Obama was supposed to be unification, and leading away from partisan politics?

  2. 9/11 happened under Bush/Cheney, so the very idea that they kept the US safe is laughable.

    Let’s not forget that both Bush and Cheney are chicken hawks, who did everything they could to avoid serving in Vietnam. Bush got daddy to fix it, Cheney got five deferments. Perhaps that’s why they had no idea how to protect the country?

    Some choice quotes from Begala, just to get them out there again:

    “Richard Clarke, the counterterrorism chief under both Clinton and Bush, presented the new Bush-Cheney administration with a plan to roll back al Qaeda. He briefed Dr. Rice on the plan. Nothing. In February, 2001, he briefed Vice President Cheney on the plan. Nothing.”

    “On May 8, 2001 – three months after being briefed by Clarke – Cheney was instructed to chair a task force on terrorism. It did not meet before the 9-11 attacks.”

    “The FBI asked the Bush-Cheney Justice Department for 58 million to beef up its domestic counterrorism capacity by hiring more translators, more field agents and more analysts. The Bush-Cheney Administration told the FBI no.”

    “Congressional Democrats sought to shift 800 million in the Pentagon budget from Star Wars into counterterrorism. The Bush-Cheney administration threatened to veto the entire defense budget.”

    “In July, 2001, an FBI agent in Phoenix reported that Middle Eastern men – possibly al Qaeda – were taking flying lessons. He suggested that al Qaeda operatives might be trying to infiltrate the US civil aviation system. No response.”

    “On August 6, 2001 Pres. Bush received a classified briefing, the President’s Daily Brief. On that day, the headline blared: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” According to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind, Bush told the briefer, “All right. You’ve covered your ass, now.” 


    “And the attack came. Over three thousand Americans were killed.”

  3. Vasil

    I remember we had this discussion in class once. I still don’t know the right answer to this issue of torture, but I will say that it is internationally illegal and considered a crime against humanity by most western nations, including the US, and the punishment for such a crime is not a pretty one. The issue really is what is our definition of “torture”?
    I personally think that being water boarded over 100 times is torture, but that’s just my personal opinion, not that I have any remorse for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Instead, im worried about the type of precedent this will leave for future conflicts and how much power this really gives the executive and the armed forces. Remember, once the camel gets it nose inside of the tent…well its almost impossible to prevent the camel from coming inside. Perhaps the executive and the armed forces are sticking their noses were it doesn’t belong. All i can say is that torture (e.g., cutting off body parts, and other physical and mental inflicted injury) is considered wrong under the constitution, which I’m told is the “supreme law of the land”, but of course that’s open to interpretation. I think most experts agree that torture for the most part does not work. Actually, I think other types of duress would work better. Like threatening the person’s family or telling him that you will nuke his home town, this seemed to work pretty well for saddam Hussein, but then again look where he turned up right? Normally i would say torture, the type that the government under Bush, was utilizing is not effective. There are other civilized ways, but there is no “perfect way.”
    However, if a nuclear bomb scenario were to happen, I would still green-light torture, any type of torture. I think the principles of utilitarianism would start to look very good in a crises like that. Torture one to save millions? Sure, where do I sign?
    But then again, that’s just my opinion, but I’m pretty sure most US courts and even the “liberal” president, Obama, would green-light torture if they thought it would help in a crises. So, i guess the question is then, should torture be allowed in a crises situation, were the lives of thousands are at stake? I say yes, but there should be laws to punish those who use torture against people in a situation which cannot be thought to be a crises situation by a reasonable man. Just because the camel is in the tent, does not mean that the tent will be destroyed or that you can’t tie the camel down and control it.

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