Cheney Still Popular Among The GOP

The National Republican Congressional Committee, which focuses on electing Republicans to the U.S. House, asked Mitt Romney to headline its March fundraising event recently.

It is reportedly the committee’s biggest fundraiser of the year, states Politico.  For whatever reason, Romney declined.

So, the NRCC moved on to its second choice: former Vice President Dick Cheney. The fallback speaker seems to have worked out well, states The Hill.

The National Republican Congressional Committee brought in $17.5 million at its annual fundraising dinner featuring former Vice President Cheney, sources told The Hill.

“That take is larger than the election-year total NRCC brought in when it had former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as a headliner last year,” reports The Hill.

The NRCC’s take in 2014 – an election year – was $15 million, and the fundraiser was considered a successful, states MSNBC.

This year isn’t an election year.  The NRCC was stuck with a failed and ethically questionable V.P. as the headliner, and the party raised more than $17 million.

The Hill’s report stated, “The total shows the controversial former vice president is still a big draw in GOP circles.”

More here

Cheney Wrong On Meet The Press

On NBC’s “Meet The Press,” Dick Cheney denied to host Chuck Todd that Japanese soidiers had been prosecuted for waterboarding after World War II.  As the Washington Post shows, Cheney got it wrong.

Chuck Todd: “When you say waterboarding is not torture then why did we prosecute Japanese soldiers?”

Former vice president Richard B. Cheney: “Not for waterboarding. They did an awful lot of other stuff.  To draw some kind of moral equivalent between waterboarding judged by our Justice Department not to be torture and what the Japanese did with the Bataan Death March, with slaughter of thousands of Americans, with the rape of Nanking and all of the other crimes they committed, that’s an outrage. It’s a really cheap shot, Chuck, to even try to draw a parallel between the Japanese who were prosecuted for war crimes after World War II and what we did with waterboarding three individuals — all of whom are guilty and participated in the 9/11 attacks.

Cheney dismissed the question as “a cheap shot” and not worthy of comparison.

What did the Washington Post find?  According to the Washington Post:

At the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE), which lasted from April 29, 1946 to Nov. 12, 1948,  there were indeed Japanese war criminals who were tried and ultimately executed for some of the events mentioned by Cheney.

The Post continues:

“The judgment of the IMTFE included a description of the type of torture known as ‘the water treatment,’ in which ‘the victim was bound or otherwise secured in a prone position; and water was forced through his mouth and nostrils into his lungs and stomach until he lost consciousness,’ according to ‘Drop by Drop:  Forgetting the History of Water Torture in U.S. Courts,’ a 2007 article in the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, by Judge Evan Wallach. (The article is generally behind a paywall, but a plain type version can be found on the Internet.)”

“…as Wallach makes clear, Japanese soldiers other than the Class A war criminals were also prosecuted for mistreatment of American prisoners—and water torture ‘loomed large in the evidence presented against them.’

“For instance, at the Yokohama Class B and C War Crimes Trials in 1947,Yukio Asano, an interpreter, faced a charge of violating ‘the laws and customs of war…” through various acts of water torture.

Asanao was sentenced to 15 years confinement at hard labor.

First Lt. Seitara Hata, Sgt. Major Takeo Kita and Sgt. Hideji Nakamura faced similar charges.

One American victim, Cpt. William Arno Bluehe, described what happened to him:

“After beating me for a while they would lash me to a stretcher, then prop me up against a table with my head down. They would then pour about two gallons of water from a pitcher into my nose and mouth until I lost consciousness. When I revived they would repeat the beatings and ‘water cure’ . . . . The tortures and beatings continued for about six hours.”

Another soldier, Thomas B. Armitage, provided this testimony about his experience:

“[We] were strapped to stretchers and warm water poured down our nostrils until we were about ready to pass out. [The Japanese] strapped him to a stretcher and elevated his feet and then poured on his face so that it was almost impossible for him to get his breath. [The victim] was then taken into the corridor, strapped to a stretcher, which was tilted so that his head was toward the floor and feet resting on a nearby sink.Water was then poured down his nose and mouth for about twenty minutes. Then I was taken into the hallway of the barracks. Both of the Japanese still insisting I was guilty and urging me to confess.”

Hata received 25 years of hard labor, Nakamura 20 years and Kita 15 years. (More information on waterboarding charges in these trials can be found in an academic article by Wolfgang Form of the University of Marburg.)

Remember, host Chuck Todd asked Cheney, “…why did we prosecute Japanese soldiers?”  

Cheney answered:  “Not for waterboarding,” which was clearly untrue.

Greenwald: Dick Cheney Should Be In Prison

Glenn Greenwald (Still from YouTube video/IamNews)

Glenn Greewald is a journalist who became widely known after The Guardian published the first reports of United States and British global surveillance programs that were based on classified documents disclosed by Edward Snowden.  Greenwald worked on the first articles about Snowden.

According to HuffPost, Greenwald responded to Dick Cheney’s recent “Meet The Press” appearance with a blistering critique that indicted both Cheney and President Obama.

“The reason why Dick Cheney is able to go on ‘Meet The Press’ instead of being where he should be — which is in the dock at The Hague or in a federal prison — is because President Obama and his administration made the decision not to prosecute any of the people who implemented this torture regime despite the fact that it was illegal and criminal,” Greenwald said.

Dick Cheney Video Compilation

MSNBC’s Hardball created a compilation of Dick Cheney talking points about Iraq from 2002 and 2003.

Secular Talk video.


Russell Brand Speaks With Former Guantanamo Prisoner


Wikipedia states: “Moazzam Begg is a British Pakistani citizen who was held in extrajudicial detention by the U.S. government in the Bagram Theater Internment Facility and the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp, in Cuba, for nearly three years after being arrested in Pakistan in February 2002.

“Arrested by Pakistani police at his home, he was transferred to the custody of US Army officers, who took him first to their detention center at Bagram, Afghanistan.

“Begg has said he spent time at two Islamic training camps in Afghanistan, supported militant Muslim fighters, bought a rifle and a handgun, and was acquainted with persons linked to terrorism, but he denies (other) U.S. allegations.

“Begg says that when he was incarcerated at Bagram, he was abused, which the Pentagon denies. He has claimed that he witnessed two detainees being beaten to death while detained at Bagram. After an investigation, in 2005 United States officials concluded the detainees were murdered by American soldiers.

Wikipedia: “President George W. Bush had Begg released without charge on 25 January 2005. The Pentagon, CIA, and FBI had objected, concerned that Begg could be a dangerous terrorist.  Begg and other British citizens who had been detained at Guantánamo sued the British government for complicity in their alleged abuse and torture while in the custody of the United States.”

Here Russell Brand speaks with Moazzam Begg about his capture and detainment.

Torture Report Includes Evidence Of Many Brutalities

TYT video.

The Senate Intelligence Committee torture report contains evidence of many brutalities.

According to the New York Times, the report released by the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday found that the Central Intelligence Agency’s methods were more brutal than the C.I.A. acknowledged either to Bush administration officials or to the public.

Should those who were in power be prosecuted?

Truthout: Our Use Of Torture Made It Acceptable For Others To Use It

According to Truthout:

When we, the supposed leaders of the free world, don’t punish the worst political criminals in our history, it sets a terrible example for the rest of the world.

And when we fail to come to grips with our own country’s crimes, we don’t have any business calling out other countries for their crimes.


To see how badly our not prosecuting the Bush war criminals is affecting the rest of the world, all we need to do is take a peak across our southern border at what’s going on in Mexico right now.

According to a new report from Amnesty International, the use of torture by Mexican authorities has grown by over 600 percent over the past decade as the War on Drugs has spiraled out of control.

This is a humanitarian disaster, and under normal circumstances the U.S. government could use its clout as the world’s leading democracy to pressure the Mexican government into changing its ways. But thanks to the Bush administration, we have no moral authority left.

We can talk all we want about human rights and respecting the rule of law, but when people like Dick Cheney are allowed to get away with running an illegal and unconstitutional torture program, everything we say rings hollow.

Sure, the Obama administration ordered the CIA to stop torturing people five years ago, but until Dick Cheney and everyone else who actually authorized and ran that torture program are sent to jail, or at least publicly repudiated, countries around the world will continue to imitate our bad behavior and use us to justify it.

Like it or not, as the most powerful country in the world, the United States sets the gold standard for global behavior. So when we do terrible things and nobody is held accountable, that gives the green light for everyone else to do the same.

But being the most powerful country in the world is also opportunity, an opportunity to show other countries how things should be done.

That’s why it’s time we put Dick Cheney and the other senior officials in the Bush administration who promoted torture on trial for their crimes.

This isn’t about politics, it’s about common sense.

If we ever want to be a moral authority in the world again, we have to lock Bush, Cheney, and everyone else in their criminal crew in jail and throw away the key.

It’s a vicious cycle:  some countries see that the U.S. tortured people, so now it becomes “fair game” for them, too.

ISIS certainly does it.  Mexico does it.  It is exceedingly difficult for America to claim the moral high-ground after the previous torture campaign.