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May-16-2018 22:58printcomments

Open Letter to Dick Cheney

Torture is illegal under the Geneva Conventions, and redefining it does not make it legal.

Dick Cheney

(SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.) - Mr. former Vice President— or Dick, if you don’t mind — I was greatly disturbed to hear that you endorsed Gina Haspel or “Bloody Gina” as she has been affectionately called, for Director of the CIA, and your call to restart the use of torture, or as you once euphemistically called torture, “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

Shame on you Dick, torture is never justifiable.

President Obama banned CIA torture by executive order in January 2009. I don’t want a CIA Director who has used torture and might use torture again.

I assume you have read the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on CIA Torture (Senate Torture Report). If you have not, I suggest you read it.

The Senate Torture Report found, among other things, that the CIA misled Congress, the Justice Department, and your president, George W. Bush, about the effectiveness of torture methods used, including waterboarding, shackling detainees in painful positions, prolonged sleep deprivation, rectal feeding, and slamming detainees against walls.

The Senate Torture Report also found that those abuses did not help locate Osama bin Laden or thwart any terrorist plots, and were in fact counterproductive.

Remember what went on at Abu Ghraib at the Guantánamo Bay detention camp, and our extraordinary rendition program (secret abductions, and transfers of prisoners to other countries where torture was used)?

Haspel oversaw one such site in Thailand and it was Haspel who ordered the destruction of video tapes showing torture sessions, on orders from Jose Rodriguez, the CIA’s notorious former Counter-terrorism Center director.

The release of the Senate Torture Report should have reminded you and the Trump administration that human torture is not only morally unacceptable – it is also a crime.

Torture is illegal under the Geneva Conventions, the U.N. Convention Against Torture, the U.S. Constitution, and the U.S. Army Field Manual. Redefining it (as the Bush lawyers tried to do) does not make torture legal.

Hopefully your statement was not made to pander to those who believe themselves superior to other countries and thus, anything the U.S. does to further Trump’s “America First” policy, including torture, is somehow justifiable.

Dick, by using torture, we lose any moral or ideological advantage we might have including the promotion of democracy, freedom, and human rights. We become the thugs our enemies say we are.

I urge you to void your statement advocating the use of torture and your endorsement of Gina Haspel for CIA Director.


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Randy May 17, 2018 7:24 am (Pacific time)

History will look back on this period in the USA as one of its darkest times.

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