source: Raw Story
Last spring, the news media trumpeted Vice President Dick Cheney’s challenge to release the CIA’s torture memos.
It was a move Cheney supported because, he said, the documents would vindicate his claims that the Bush administration’s torture program operated within the law, and provided indispensable information in protecting the US from further terrorist attacks.
Since Monday, when the CIA released a significant part of those documents — a 2004 CIA inspector general’s report on torture practices — there has been hardly a mention in the mainstream press about the fact that the report largely contradicted what the former vice president has been saying in public.
“The professionals involved in that program were very, very cautious, very careful — wouldn’t do anything without making certain it was authorized and that it was legal,” Cheney told ABC News last December. “And any suggestion to the contrary is just wrong. Did it produce the desired results? I think it did.”
Yet, this week, as the report was slowly processed by reporters and analysts, it became increasingly clear that the program did not produce “the desired results.”
As Greg Sargent points out at WhoRunsGov, a senior homeland security adviser to President George W. Bush now admits the report’s conclusions do not make it possible to give credit to the torture program for the fact the US has not suffered a major terrorist attack since 9/11.
“It’s very difficult to draw a cause and effect, because it’s not clear when techniques were applied versus when that information was received,” Frances Townsend reportedly told CNN. “It’s implicit. It seems, when you read the report, that we got … the most critical information after techniques had been applied. But the report doesn’t say that.”
Cheney’s efforts to paint the torture program as being professionally run and closely supervised run into problems in light of the report.
In February of 2008, Cheney told a meeting of the Conservative Political Action Committee: “The procedures of the CIA program are designed to be safe, and they are in full compliance with the nation’s laws and treaty obligations. They’ve been carefully reviewed by the Department of Justice, and very carefully monitored. The program is run by highly trained professionals who understand their obligations under the law.”
He had used almost the exact same words in a speech at the Heritage Foundation a month earlier.
“The procedures of the CIA program are designed to be safe,” Cheney told the conservative group. “They are in full compliance with the nation’s laws and treaty obligations. They’ve been carefully reviewed by the Department of Justice, and they are very carefully monitored. The program is run by highly trained professionals who understand their obligations under the law. And the program has uncovered a wealth of information that has foiled attacks against the United States; information that has saved countless, innocent lives.”
Yet some of those “highly trained professionals” had little more than two weeks of training on the job.