Like the rest of his crazy statements, this one is calculated for effect in Iran. Doesn’t make it any less nuts, though.
From the link:
Perhaps concerned that his repeated suggestions that the Holocaust might not have happened have become less shocking over time, Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad upped the ante on Saturday, telling intelligence officials in Tehran that the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 was staged.
In remarks reported by IRNA, an official Iranian news agency, and translated by Reuters, Mr. Ahmadinejad said, “The September 11 incident was a big fabrication as a pretext for the campaign against terrorism and a prelude for staging an invasion against Afghanistan.” Mr. Ahmadinejad also reportedly described the attacks in New York as a “complicated intelligence scenario and act.” Conspiracy theorists in the Middle East have suggested that the attacks were not the work of Al Qaeda, but carried out by Israeli or American intelligence operatives.
The rabbit hole becomes more deep, more dark and more criminal.
From the link:
Worthington told TPMmuckraker that the information came from transcripts of al-Karim’s combatant status review, which he has examined.
There’s no direct evidence that al-Karim was tortured. But given what we know about interrogation techniques at Guantanamo, it certainly can’t be ruled out. And if nothing else, al-Karim’s clear belief that he was brought to Gitmo in 2002 to give information about Iraq suggests just how focused on Saddam’s regime interrogators were during that period.
It’s also worth noting that looking for information about the Iraqi army is not the same as looking for information about Saddam’s links to al Qaeda, since such information presumably had a military use, rather than just a political one. But nor is it the same as looking for information that could thwart another terror attack, which is how torture defenders prefer to portray what the program did.
Update: Even more fuel on the growing fire …
Then-Vice President Dick Cheney, defending the invasion of Iraq, asserted in 2004 that detainees interrogated at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp had revealed that Iraq had trained al Qaida operatives in chemical and biological warfare, an assertion that wasn’t true.Cheney’s 2004 comments to the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News were largely overlooked at the time. However, they appear to substantiate recent reports that interrogators at Guantanamo and other prison camps were ordered to find evidence of alleged cooperation between al Qaida and the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein — despite CIA reports that there were only sporadic, insignificant contacts between the militant Islamic group and the secular Iraqi dictatorship.
Did we get any useful information from initiating systemic torture under the Bush 43 regime? Apparently not.
Cheney and his apparatchiks continue to insist that they got reliable and vital information from these torture sessions, but they can never verify it:
Since 2006, Senate intelligence committee members have pressed the CIA, in classified briefings, to provide examples of specific leads that were obtained from Abu Zubaida through the use of waterboarding and other methods, according to officials familiar with the requests. The agency provided none, the officials said.
We sold our souls for lies.
I’ve already posted on Andrew Sullivan’s reaction to this great piece by Lawrence Wilkerson on the ridiculousness of Gitmo, and the Bush 43 regime’s “intelligence” tactics.
He also took on Dick Cheney’s recent interview with CNN and pretty much rips it to shreds. Wilkerson is someone in a position to understand the internals of the Bush administration since he was chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell.
From the second link:
Recently, in an attempt to mask some of these failings and to exacerbate and make even more difficult the challenge to the new Obama administration, former Vice President Cheney gave an interview from his home in McLean, Virginia. The interview was almost mystifying in its twisted logic and terrifying in its fear-mongering.
As to twisted logic: “Cheney said at least 61 of the inmates who were released from Guantanamo (sic) during the Bush administration…have gone back into the business of being terrorists.” So, the fact that the Bush administration was so incompetent that it released 61 terrorists, is a valid criticism of the Obama administration? Or was this supposed to be an indication of what percentage of the still-detained men would likely turn to terrorism if released in future? Or was this a revelation that men kept in detention such as those at GITMO–even innocent men–would become terrorists if released because of the harsh treatment meted out to them at GITMO? Seven years in jail as an innocent man might do that for me. Hard to tell.
As for the fear-mongering: “When we get people who are more interested in reading the rights to an Al Qaeda (sic) terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to kill Americans, then I worry,” Cheney said. Who in the Obama administration has insisted on reading any al-Qa’ida terrorist his rights? More to the point, who in that administration is not interested in protecting the United States–a clear implication of Cheney’s remarks.
But far worse is the unmistakable stoking of the 20 million listeners of Rush Limbaugh, half of whom we could label, judiciously, as half-baked nuts. Such remarks as those of the former vice president’s are like waving a red flag in front of an incensed bull. And Cheney of course knows that.
Cheney went on to say in his McLean interview that “Protecting the country’s security is a tough, mean, dirty, nasty business. These are evil people and we are not going to win this fight by turning the other cheek.” I have to agree but the other way around. Cheney and his like are the evil people and we certainly are not going to prevail in the struggle with radical religion if we listen to people such as he.
… for a desperate CYA move.
The man has admitted to war crimes and hopes beyond hope for a terrorist attack to stave off the inevitable prosecution for those crimes.
This should be shouted down by the GOP with full force. But it won’t be.
From the link:
Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Sunday again asserted that President Obama has made the country less safe, arguing that the new administration’s changes to detention and interrogation programs for suspected terrorists would hamper intelligence gathering.
Daniel Larison, blogger at The American Conservative, offers his take on the theoretical truth commission to look into war crimes and abuses of the Bush 43 regime in the name of the “war on terror.”
From the link:
Naturally, then, the main objections to the truth commission Sen. Leahy has been trying to organize are that it will be highly politicized and will be nothing more than a witch hunt. Of course, the use of the phrase “witch hunt” today implies a hunt in pursuit of something that does not exist, while we are fairly certain that there were criminals in the outgoing administration who have thus far escaped the appropriate sanctions of the law. The best argument that witnesses testifying against the idea of forming a commission seem to have had is that the abuses of power and crimes in question are not as numerous as they were under Pinochet and apartheid. Now that’s a claim to moral authority.
In one of his first acts as president, Obama issued a directive to close the Guantanamo prison camp. The move restores the rule of law to our current military operations and makes the successful prosecution of international criminals in the “war on terror” much more likely.
From the link:
Saying that “our ideals give us the strength and moral high ground” to combat terrorism, President Obama signed executive orders Thursday effectively ending the Central Intelligence Agency’s secret interrogation program, directing the closing of the Guantánamo Bay detention camp within a year and setting up a sweeping, high-level review of the best way to hold and question terrorist suspects in the future.
“We intend to win this fight,” Mr. Obama said, “We are going to win it on our own terms.”
As he signed three orders, 16 retired generals and admirals who have fought for months for a ban on coercive interrogations stood behind him and applauded. The group, organized to lobby the Obama transition team by the group Human Rights First, did not include any career C.I.A. officers or retirees, participants said.
One of Mr. Obama’s orders requires the C.I.A. to use only the 19 interrogation methods outlined in the Army Field Manual, ending President Bush’s policy of permitting the agency to use some secret methods that went beyond those allowed to the military.
The Cato Institute applauds this move:
Within a day of Barack Obama’s inauguration, he has asked the military commissions judges to halt all trials in Guantanamo. All indications point toward detainees being tried in federal courts. This is a good decision for a couple of reasons.
First, the military commissions play into the propaganda game that terrorists thrive on. It confirms their message that normal courts can’t address the threat that they pose. In fact, the opposite is true. When you convict a terrorist and lock him up with murderers and rapists, you take away his freedom fighter mystique.
As more information comes to light, these findings aren’t surprising. They are still very disturbing and against every principle of our nation’s history before Bush 43 took office.
From the Daily Dish link:
Last week, we reached some closure on a burning and controversial question that has occupied many for many years now. That is the simple question of who was responsible for the abuse, torture, rape and murder of prisoners in American custody in the war on terror, most indelibly captured by the photographic images of Abu Ghraib. The Senate’s bipartisan report, issued with no dissents, reiterates and adds factual context to what we already know. And there is no equivocation in the report.
The person who authorized all the abuse and torture at Abu Ghraib, the man who gave the green light to the abuses in that prison, is the president of the United States, George W. Bush.