Political Animal

Blog

March 28, 2014 5:12 PM I Want My Torture!

By Ed Kilgore

If you looked up the word “incorrigible” in the dictionary, you might well see a photo of Joe Biden’s predecessor as Vice President of the United States. Here’s fresh evidence from Paige Lavender at HuffPost:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney revealed he has no regrets about the Bush administration’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques like waterboarding, telling a crowd at American University in Washington, D.C. he would “do it all over again.”
“If I would have to do it all over again, I would,” Cheney said, according to American’s student newspaper The Eagle. “The results speak for themselves.”

Cheney’s hardly alone, though. Today Digby notes that the senior U.S. Senator from South Carolina is beside himself that a successfully concluded court proceeding that led to the conviction of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith (better known as “Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law”) precluded the opportunity for “enhanced interrogation,” which is generally shorthand for torturing the man at Gitmo.

Digby briskly goes through the weighty evidence that information gleaned via torture is highly unreliable, particularly as compared to smart interrogation techniques that don’t involve torture. But she figures Graham isn’t interested in the effectiveness of this or that technique anyway:

I doubt very seriously that Lindsay Graham is concerned about actionable intelligence. He’s running for re-election in South Carolina which is one of the most conservative states in the union and one where the primary is getting ugly. He’s never had to prove his macho bonafides more.

Support for “enhanced interrogation” is a cultural signifier for a “patriotism” based on dehumanizing “enemies” wholesale, and for the kind of “toughness” that has led to some of America’s most shameful moments (My Lai, anyone?). So don’t expect Graham or Cheney ever to change their torturing ways.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

(You may use HTML tags for style)

comments powered by Disqus