Dick Cheney felt moved to write an entire book about the heart troubles he's had over the years, which I can understand. After all, we all find our particular maladies fascinating. What I don't get is why anybody else would care, since we don't tend to find other people's maladies interesting in the least. If you'd let me, I'd love nothing more than to blather on about my various knee injuries, but since I'm not RGIII, I have the sense to know that you really don't give a crap. Nevertheless, there's apparently an interesting tidbit or two in Cheney's book, including this, which may validate what you already thought about him:
Cheney had [his defibrillator] replaced in 2007 and his doctor, cardiologist Jonathan Reiner, with whom he wrote the book, had the device's wireless function disabled so a terrorist couldn't send his heart a fatal shock. Some years later, Cheney was watching an episode of the SHOWTIME hit "Homeland," in which that terrorist scenario was woven into the plot. "I was aware of the danger...that existed...I found it credible," he responds to Gupta when asked what went through his mind. "I know from the experience we had and the necessity for adjusting my own device, that it was an accurate portrayal of what was possible," says Cheney.
Did he also avoid sea travel, since the terrorists could use their nuclear-powered subs to send microwaves at him and fry his brains? What world was he living in?
As Americans grapple with the tragic bombings in Boston on Monday and the U.S. government works to track down those responsible, a new report on detainee treatment after 9/11 sheds important light on some of the measures adopted by the U.S. government in response to that attack.
Just after the attacks of September 11, 2001, Dick Cheney said with a gleam in his eye that in order to be safe, America would "have to work, though, sort of the dark side, if you will. We've got to spend time in the shadows in the intelligence world. A lot of what needs to be done here will have to be done quietly, without any discussion, using sources and methods that are available to our intelligence agencies, if we're going to be successful." As a bipartisan panel organized by the Constitution Project has concluded in a 600-page report released today, we did indeed go to the dark side, to our lasting shame.
I've been looking at the crisp blue sky and remembering when the world went silent. The unspeakable images—which we have not yet shown to our son—are seared into all of us who were adults, then. How strange is it that a generation of young people has come of age who were sitting on school buses or in schoolrooms that day, who didn't watch as hundreds of people burned cruelly to death, as New York City was coated with human ash?
In the wake of 9/11, dozens of people were arbitrarily detained and tortured by the American government, sometimes with lethal consequences. These practices were not only grotesquely immoral but illegal. Last week, the Department of Justice announced that nobody would be held legally responsible for these reprehensible crimes. This decision culminates a series of failures that will be a permanent black mark on the Obama administration.
As much as Hope and Change defined Barack Obama's 2008 campaign, his success was a clear rebuke of the policies in the George W. Bush presidency. Bush's approval rating hung at 25 percent on the day Obama was elected, and John McCain did everything he could to distance himself from the incumbent Republican president. Bush's legacy was tarnished for a number of reasons, but none more so than his foolhardy foreign-policy agenda. When the Democratic candidate who rose to fame for his early opposition to Iraq won the presidency, it appeared the neo-con age had come to a close.
Marcy Wheelerreports that Assistant U.S. Attorney John Durham, assigned by Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate cases in which CIA interrogators may have gone beyond the "legalized" torture guidelines established by the Bush administration's office of Legal Counsel, has recommended investigations of two cases in which detainees died. The original mandate for the investigation was " whether any unauthorized interrogation techniques were used by CIA interrogators, and if so, whether such techniques could constitute violations of the torture statute or any other applicable statute." As Ryan J.
The death of Osama bin Laden reignited debates over Bush-era detention policy. On Monday, conservatives rushed to claim that the CIA was only able to locate bin Laden as a result of information gained during "enhanced interrogation" sessions. While the details of the hunt for bin Laden are still being laid out, The New York Timesreports that waterboarding and other morally questionable tactics played little to no role in locating bin Laden.
Brian Beutlerreports on the newest Republican talking point:
Like so many memes that persist in politics, this one started on the Internet. The morning after President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan, conservatives started crowing that credit should be given to President George W. Bush -- specifically, for having the foresight and courage to torture the people who provided the initial scraps of intel that ultimately led the CIA to a giant compound just north of Islamabad. [...]
Osama bin Laden’s death was at first one of the rare political occasions that united liberals and conservatives. Today, however conservative writers began using the mission’s success as evidence for the effectiveness of the “enhanced interrogation” techniques (aka torture) that were implemented under the Bush administration.
Andrew Sullivanpoints us to a paper demonstrating that until the American government started doing it, waterboarding was almost always referred to as "torture" in elite American newspapers, but in the time since, it is almost never referred to as "torture" -- for example, from the 1930s to 2003, TheNew York Times referred to it as "torture" on 44 of 54 occasions, or 81.5 percent; but between 2004 and 2008, they referred to it as "torture" in only 2 of 143 articles, or 1.4 percent. This shouldn't be all that surprising if you've been paying attention, but it does highlight something important about our media.
Ryan J. Reillyreports that the Department of Justice's review of whether CIA interrogators who went past the Office of Legal Counsel's approved torture guidelines should be investigated is nearly finished, says Attorney General Eric Holder.
Holder took pains to emphasize how narrow the review would be:
When the torture memos were released, one of the things I noticed was that the authors used the presence of physicians in interrogations as alibis. The presence of the doctors was meant as proof of the U.S. officials' "good faith belief" that they didn't mean to inflict "severe physical or mental suffering" on the detainees they were interrogating, even though the express purpose of the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques was to inflict enough suffering on people to get them to talk.