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When I grow up, I want to invade Iraq... just like Dad did!

Dick Thou Doth Protest Too Much, Methinks!

Recently I wrote an article on the torture controversy(See article here). I wrote it because it bothered me that many leaders in this country were justifying our actions as OK.   Lindsey Graham recently tried to justify it by saying “one of the reasons these techniques have survived for about 500 years is apparently they work.”  The problem is that it doesn’t work.  Just because torture makes someone talk, it does not mean that the information is worth anything.  We also keep forgetting…it’s illegal.

Today I want to share portions of an article that I just read on the Washington Note.  It was written by Col. Lawrence B. Wilkerson, who is former chief of staff of the Department of State during the term of Secretary of State Colin Powell.  Col. Wilkerson served under Bush/Cheney.  Col. Wilkerson has firsthand knowledge of what was going on under Vice President Cheney’s watch.  Col. Wilkerson, who is a Republican, felt compelled to write this article after appearing on Rachel Maddow's show on MSNBC.  While waiting to go on, Col. Wilkerson heard in his earpiece, “videotape from the last few days of former Vice President Dick Cheney extolling the virtues of harsh interrogation, torture, and his leadership.”  As Col. Wilderson writes in his article:

“Let's just say, that five minutes of (Cheney) was stunningly inaccurate… So, when I got home last night, I thought long and hard about what I knew at this point in my investigations with respect to the former VP's office. Here it is.

First, more Americans were killed by terrorists on Cheney's watch than on any other leader's watch in US history. So his constant claim that no Americans were killed in the "seven and a half years" after 9/11 of his vice presidency takes on a new texture when one considers that fact. And it is a fact.

Second, the fact no attack has occurred on U.S. soil since 9/11--much touted by Cheney--is due almost entirely to the nation's having deployed over 200,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and not to "the Cheney method of interrogation."

I have learned that as the administration authorized harsh interrogation in April and May of 2002--well before the Justice Department had rendered any legal opinion--its principal priority for intelligence was not aimed at pre-empting another terrorist attack on the U.S. but discovering a smoking gun linking Iraq and al-Qa'ida.

So furious was this effort that on one particular detainee, even when the interrogation team had reported to Cheney's office that their detainee "was compliant" (meaning the team recommended no more torture), the VP's office ordered them to continue the enhanced methods. The detainee had not revealed any al-Qa'ida-Baghdad contacts yet. This ceased only after Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, under waterboarding in Egypt, "revealed" such contacts. Of course later we learned that al-Libi revealed these contacts only to get the torture to stop.  There in fact were no such contacts.

Less important but still busting my chops as a Republican, is the damage that the Sith Lord Cheney is doing to my political party.

He and Rush Limbaugh seem to be its leaders now. Lindsay Graham, John McCain, John Boehner, and all other Republicans of note seem to be either so enamored of Cheney-Limbaugh (or fearful of them?) or, on the other hand, so appalled by them, that the cat has their tongues. And meanwhile fewer Americans identify as Republicans than at any time since WWII. We're at 21% and falling--right in line with the number of cranks, reprobates, and loonies in the country.

When will we hear from those in my party who give a damn about their country and about the party of Lincoln? When will someone of stature tell Dick Cheney that enough is enough? Go home. Spend your 70 million. Luxuriate in your Eastern Shore mansion. Shoot quail with your friends--and your friends.

Stay out of our way as we try to repair the extensive damage you've done--to the country and to its Republican Party.”*

Again, this is coming from a Republican, United States Col. who served under Bush and Cheney, under Colin Powell.  What we did was wrong, illegal, it was ordered from as high up the chain as it gets, and the justification that it worked, which is still up for debate, does not make it ok.  In addition, it seems to be that this approved torture was more to justify us invading Iraq then to prevent another terrorist attack.  There is a saying, “Thou doth protest too much.” For 8 years we barely heard a word from Dick Cheney, now he won’t go away.  Mr. Cheney, if you did nothing wrong, why do you keep defending yourself?

* The full article can be found at:


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