Cheney confirms that detainees were subjected to water-boarding:
Vice President Dick Cheney has confirmed that U.S. interrogators subjected captured senior al Qaida suspects to a controversial interrogation technique called "water-boarding," which creates a sensation of drowning.Congrats to the McClatchy writer for putting it in context. Maybe the press is waking up at last?
Cheney indicated that the Bush administration doesn't regard water-boarding as torture and allows the CIA to use it. "It's a no-brainer for me," Cheney said at one point in an interview.
Cheney's comments, in a White House interview on Tuesday with a conservative radio talk show host, appeared to reflect the Bush administration's view that the president has the constitutional power to do whatever he deems necessary to fight terrorism.
The U.S. Army, senior Republican lawmakers, human rights experts and many experts on the laws of war, however, consider water-boarding cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment that's banned by U.S. law and by international treaties that prohibit torture. Some intelligence professionals argue that it often provides false or misleading information because many subjects will tell their interrogators what they think they want to hear to make the water-boarding stop.
Lee Ann McBride, a spokeswoman for Cheney, denied that Cheney had confirmed that U.S. interrogators used water-boarding or endorsed the technique.But here's what Cheney actuallyy said in an interview on Tuesday with Scott Hennen of WDAY Radio :
[Hennen] told Cheney that listeners had asked him to "let the vice president know that if it takes dunking a terrorist in water, we're all for it, if it saves American lives."The U.S. Army Field Manual (revised last month) bans water-boarding as "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment." Various GOP Senators (including former POW John McCain) who signed last month's Military Commissions Act claim that it prohibits water-boarding. LEt's hope they have some hard questions for the Big Dick.
"Again, this debate seems a little silly given the threat we face, would you agree?" Hennen said.
"I do agree," Cheney replied, according to a transcript of the interview released Wednesday. "And I think the terrorist threat, for example, with respect to our ability to interrogate high-value detainees like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, that's been a very important tool that we've had to be able to secure the nation."