Thursday, May 21, 2009

I think Cheney's lying -- but let's find out

Barack Obama and Dick Cheney had their dueling speeches on interrogation and national security today. I printed them out but still haven't been able to bring myself to read them in their entirety yet, though I saw excerpts on TV. I'm inclined to agree with Glenn Greenwald on what I know of Obama's speech -- nice words, but we haven't seen much action yet. I'm still unclear on whether he reserves the right to torture, he plans to use military commissions for some prisoners, he sure seems to be declaring a right to use indefinite detention without charges, and he's escalating atotally unnecessary war in Afghanistan. Perhaps for understandable reasons -- domestic policy seems to be what really interests him -- he has followed Bush's lead in almost every area of foreign policy. Not much change I can believe in.

Cheney is really a piece of work. He came right out and said we weren't getting anything useful from some of these guys until we went to "enhanced interrogation." That contradicts what I've been able to discern from the record and what can be inferred from it, as well as from discussions with professional interrogators. Torture simply doesn't furnish reliable information. I think Cheney is lying, but I'll take my chances. Release all the relevant documents and let experts and bloggers have at them. If I'm wrong I'll admit it. But I doubt if I am.

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