As an Army veteran who served this nation from the Nam Era thru what is called the First Gulf War, Nov 1990 - May 1991 when my Georgia National Guard unit was called up. I served 9 years on active duty and 6 years of national Guard service before I became physically unable to re-enlist.
I was taught in Basic Training that "torture" was against the geneva convention and was at the top of the list of no-no's that could NOT be done anywhere at anytime and if anyone ordered you to do it, it was an "illegal order" and it was your duty to disobey it. Kind of a simplistic deal, but in reality it is a right or wrong issue, there is no grey area in it.
I like most Americans was thoroughly disgusted by the Abu Graib pictures that came out. What they were doing in those pics was obviously illegal, but they had started doing these shenanigans right after MG Miller the Commander of GITMO had brought a team of "experts" to Iraq to show the guards what they were doing at Gitmo with the dogs, the female interrogaters degrading the prisoners, the nudity etc, all of the things that have now been shown to be on the approved list of the now released OLC memo's written by now Judge Bybee, and approved by the White House and the DOD.
Yet the administration refused to allow Donald Rumsfeld, or VP Cheney or the President to testify at the trials of the enlisted men and women who were called the "bad apples", all fo them were convicted for their roles at Abi Graib and Graner the SGT got ten years, and he is at the five year mark, so he still has 5 more to go.
So, I find it outlandish to hear VP Cheney stating that he is "protecting the little people" by speaking out now on behalf of "enhanced interrogations" (torture) by the legal name. He is trying to protect himself and Rumsfeld and Bush, because if the "little people" he is trying to protect, the lawyers, Bybee, Yoo, Gonzalez, Addington, Scooter Libby etc, because if they are able to get thru the "little people" it brings into the fact that the enablers just wrote the bogus justification to torture, bottom line is Bush the decider, Cheney and Rumsfeld had to approve the use of the techniques.
The spin is we can't hold a previous administration accountable for "decisions" that were made by a group of people that gave advice to the President, and we are not looking at the context of the fact that it was done to protect us.
How does torturing of people to find a link between Saddam and Al Qaeda fit the definition of the "ticking time bomb"? It doesn't, it was to justify the war in Iraq, that had already been decided that was going to take place come hell or high water.
I have read places that Rumsfeld and Cheney were looking for Iraq information in Dec 2000 after the election and before they even took office, more than 9 months prior to 9-11.
It was an attempt to make the means justify the tactics, to find "evidence" of the link to Al Qaeda and 9-11 after the war was even underway and they could NOT find the promised WMDs at least a link to 9-11 by Saddam would have made the war of choice more palatable to the average American.
I am ill over the fact that only enlisted people have been held accountable for torture that the White House ordered and no elected officials or military commanders have paid any price for it, they scape goated BG Karpinski by reducing her to Colonel and retired her, LTG Sanchez was denied his 4th star because Rusmfeld knew he could not get Sanchez's name past the senate on confirmation for a 4 star slot. MG Miller could not get promoted and he has retired. But this is hardly the same as sending the Commanders to jail for ordering the tactics, that put the enlisted people in jail for following.
It is time for a Special Prosecutor and let him start at the bottom and work his way up,all the way to the people that occupied the White House offices, Gonzo, VP Cheney, National Security advisors, prresidential aides, the VP staff, the OLC lawyers, DOD lawyers, the Sec of Defense and his aides and Under Secretary's that involved themselves in illegal activities, it's time for Fitzpatrick with suponea power for all of them up to and including President Bush.
It is now time for President Obama and AG Holder to get off the fence and do the job they are supposed to, find the truth and hold the law breakers accountable, they all swore an oath when they took office, to obey all laws of the US, not just the ones they wanted to.
PS I am on the DFA sight and trying to get one of the free trips to Netroots Nation this summer please visit it and consider voting for me