Monday, December 15, 2014

Res ipsa loquitur

Dick Cheney's appearance on Meet the Press yesterday was about as categorical as it gets. Read it yourself; here are a couple of exchanges with Chuck Todd that I find particularly illuminating:

So if an American citizen is waterboarded by ISIS are we going to try to prosecute for war crimes?

He's not likely to be waterboarded, he's likely to have his head cut off. It's not a close call.
--well, let me ask you this, why do you not have some doubt in the C.I.A.? This is the same intelligence community that didn't get it right on WMDs in Iraq. Why are you so confident that they're telling you the truth in these memos?

Well, because I know the people involved because I've worked-- five out of the six former directors and deputy directors are men I've known for years and trust intimately with the difficult problems they'd dealt with. Jose Rodriguez is one of the outstanding officers in the agency.

I know what they were asked to do and I know what they did. And I'm perfectly comfortable that they deserve our praise, they deserve to be decorated. They don't deserve to be harassed. Can you imagine what it's going to be like if you were out there now as an officer in the agency and you were undertaking a complicated, difficult, dangerous task and you had the view that ten years from now even though the president approved it, even though the Justice Department signed off on it, some politician on Capitol Hill is going to come back and want a piece of your fanny.
I'll say this -- the guy doesn't mince words. Lots more at the link.

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