Admits on national TV that he knew the waterboarding program was going on, supported it and helped in getting it cleared
by Larry Simons
December 16, 2008
On Monday, VP Dick Cheney admitted on national TV to ABC news reporter Jonathan Karl that he supported the waterboarding program and actually helped in getting it cleared.
When Karl asked the VP if he approved of the interrogation tactics used against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who the Bush administration blames for masterminding the 9/11 attacks, Cheney said:
“I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared, as the agency in effect came in and wanted to know what they could and couldn’t do,” Cheney said. “And they talked to me, as well as others, to explain what they wanted to do. And I supported it.”
He added: “It’s been a remarkably successful effort, and I think the results speak for themselves.”
Then Karl asked, “Do you think any of those tactics used against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed went too far?”, Cheney replied, “I don’t”.
Jonathan Karl got even more specific and asked Cheney, “And on KSM (Khalid Sheikh Mohammed), one of those tactics, of course, they reported was waterboarding and that seems to be a tactic we no longer use. Even that, you think was appropriate?” In which Cheney replied, “I do”.
Those two words alone make Dick Cheney a war criminal.
After World War II, Japanese soldiers were tried and convicted right here in the United States for waterboarding. Evan Wallach of the Washington Post wrote about this in 2007 and said, “After World War II, we convicted several Japanese soldiers for waterboarding American and Allied prisoners of war. At the trial of his captors, then-Lt. Chase J. Nielsen, one of the 1942 Army Air Forces officers who flew in the Doolittle Raid and was captured by the Japanese, testified: "I was given several types of torture…. I was given what they call the water cure." He was asked what he felt when the Japanese soldiers poured the water. "Well, I felt more or less like I was drowning," he replied, "just gasping between life and death."
Even fellow neocon John McCain admitted last year during a news conference that waterboarding is torture and we convicted the Japanese of it for doing it to Americans. “There should be little doubt from American history that we consider that as torture otherwise we wouldn't have tried and convicted Japanese for doing that same thing to Americans”, McCain said.
Funny, I haven’t seen any footage, since Cheney’s confession on Monday, of McCain demanding that Cheney be prosecuted.
Here’s a clip from the debates last year of John McCain telling Mitt Romney (after Romney had just admitted that what happened to KSM was “just exactly how it ought to be”) that “how could anyone believe that is not torture? It is a violation of the Geneva Conventions. It’s a violation of existing law..” Then McCain said to Romney, “We’re not going to torture people. We’re not going to do what Pol Pot did. We’re not going to do what’s being done to Burmese monks as we speak…..and how in the world anybody can think that that kind of thing could be inflicted by Americans on people who are held in our custody is absolutely beyond me.”
Well, Johnny-boy, your buddy Cheney just admitted that it was “appropriate” and that he “supported it”. When will you give him the same speech? Remind Cheney that the punishment for violating the Geneva Conventions is death while you’re at it.
Watch the clip
Here’s Cheney admitting his crime
Constitutional law professor from George Washington University, Jonathan Turley says, “…it is most certainly a crime, to participate, to, in many ways, monitor a torture program.” Then Turley adds, “…so you have the Vice President sitting there saying, ‘Yeah, we talked about it, they came to me, I supported it and I helped put it through’. The only problem is that what he is describing is most certainly and unambiguously a war crime”.
Turley then goes on to discuss what the actions of Obama will be in light of this confession. Will he bring REAL change and have Cheney prosecuted?
Turley adds that is also the duty of the citizens of America to not sit in silence when a crime has been committed. “It is equally immoral to stand silent in the face of a war crime and do nothing. And that is what the citizens are doing. There’s this gigantic yawn as we hear about a war crime on national television being discussed matter-of-factly by the Vice President.”