Darth Cheney spoke today in response to President Obama's morning speech about torture and Guantanamo Bay. As Dave Noon at LGM says, it was "a masterwork of dishonesty founded on the assertion that torture works, that Americans should be proud of and grateful for an administration that broke the law, and that such lawlessness did nothing to undermine the nation's values or moral standing."
He called on Obama to use his presidential powers to declassify the intelligence that Cheney says will prove torture worked, ensuring that this debate will continue.
Cheney’s bid for that intel, you’ll recall, was denied by the CIA, because it’s at the center of a separate legal battle. ... This seems like an effort to try and keep this debate going beyond today and to keep the “Obama versus Cheney showdown” meme alive in the media. It’s only a matter of time before Cheney starts saying that Obama’s failure to declassify this info shows that the President has broken his vow of transparency and is refusing to release the info because it proves Cheney is right that torture works.
I'm wondering how Cheney can continue to claim that a torture regime and a horrific facility like Gitmo "kept us safe" when, in fact, we've seen many times over -- recently embodied in the brouhaha over the torture detainee photos' release -- the reality that it has made America less safe over the long haul, because it has inspired the recruitment of a fresh generation of America-hating terrorists. That 2006 National Intelligence Estimate made this point explicitly.
Yes, Dick Cheney and his wrecking crew may have effectively overcompensated for their manifest failures in counterterrorism on 9/11 by resorting to intelligence-gathering that destroyed America's moral standing in the world, and it may have been enough to tamp things down while they were still in office (though the evidence of that is quite thin indeed).
But the ends do not justify the means. Especially not when the end is only a temporary safety, gained by measures that promise even worse attacks in the years to come.
Thanks for nothing, Dick