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Rebuking Cheney's Torture Propaganda in 7 Easy Steps

Cheney is all over the airwaves, trotting out his propaganda and defense of the Bush administration's serial violations of the Geneva conventions.

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Sixth, at the end of the day, as Glenn Greenwald has pointed out, the debate about whether torture actually worked is not the central point here:

The debate over whether torture extracted valuable information is, in my view, a total sideshow, both because (a) it inherently begs the question of whether legal interrogation means would have extracted the same information as efficiently if not more so (exactly the same way that claims that warrantless eavesdropping uncovered valuable intelligence begs the question of whether legal eavesdropping would have done so); and (b) torture is a felony and a war crime, and we don’t actually have a country (at least we’re not supposed to) where political leaders are free to commit serious crimes and then claim afterwards that it produced good outcomes.  If we want to be a country that uses torture, then we should repeal our laws which criminalize it, withdraw from treaties which ban it, and announce to the world (not that they don’t already know) that, as a country, we believe torture is justifiable and just.  Let’s at least be honest about what we are.  Let’s explicitly repudiate Ronald Reagan’s affirmation that ”[n]o exceptional circumstances whatsoever … may be invoked as a justification of torture” and that “[e]ach State Party is required [] to prosecute torturers.”

Seventh, one last point about Dick Cheney and his little toadie Chris Wallace when they talk about how there hasn’t been another attack since 9-11. Remember toadie’s sarcastic words: “I just want to point out to the audience that it is purely coincidental that this country has not been attacked since 9/11.” How about the more than 4,300 US troops that have been killed in Iraq as a result of the Bush-Cheney lie factory? That is more American dead than perished on 9/11. Those young men and women would not have died in Iraq had it not been for the policies of Bush and Cheney.

Jeremy Scahill, an independent journalist who reports frequently for the national radio and TV program Democracy Now!, has spent extensive time reporting from Iraq and Yugoslavia. He is currently a Puffin Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute. Scahill is the author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army. His writing and reporting is available at

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