Tuesday, August 25, 2009

So Dick Cheney Wasn't Telling the Truth?

I for one am shocked:
For months, former Vice President Dick Cheney has said that two documents prepared by the CIA, one from 2004 and the other from 2005, would refute critics of the Bush administration’s torture program. He told Fox’s Sean Hannity in April:

“I haven’t talked about it, but I know specifically of reports that I read, that I saw, that lay out what we learned through the interrogation process and what the consequences were for the country,” Cheney said. “I’ve now formally asked the CIA to take steps to declassify those memos so we can lay them out there and the American people have a chance to see what we obtained and what we learned and how good the intelligence was.”

Those documents were obtained today by The Washington Independent and are available here. Strikingly, they provide little evidence for Cheney’s claims that the “enhanced interrogation” program run by the CIA provided valuable information. In fact, throughout both documents, many passages — though several are incomplete and circumstantial, actually suggest the opposite of Cheney’s contention: that non-abusive techniques actually helped elicit some of the most important information the documents cite in defending the value of the CIA’s interrogations.
And surprisingly enough, after repeating Cheney's claims as a valid counterpoint during the torture "debate", the media seems less inclined to pick up on the "Dick Cheney: Fucking liar about fucking everything" angle of the story:
While Cheney’s original assertions that the docs would prove torture worked garnered reams of stand-alone print and TV coverage, the fact that the docs themselves don’t actually prove Cheney’s claims was either not covered at all, buried deep in stories, or described in highly hedged language.

To its credit, The New York Times stated this conclusion very clearly, saying that the docs, which were released yesterday, “do not refer to any specific interrogation methods and do not assess their effectiveness.” But this came in the 13th paragraph in an article not directly focused on Cheney’s claims.

The Washington Post buried its description of the documents and didn’t even take a stand on whether they backed up Cheney. The Associated Press ran one story featuring Cheney’s repetition of his claim yesterday, with no mention at all of the documents. Another AP story said it was “not clear” whether the docs show torture worked — in its 21st paragraph.

CNN’s story featured paragraph after paragraph of Cheney’s claims and only noted in the second to last graf that it was “unclear” whether the docs proved him right.

Precious few news orgs ran stand alone stories on this. ABC News did one. The Washington Independent did another.

This is all particularly absurd when you think of the shitstorm that Joe Biden caused by harshly critizing Cheney earlier this year. It's nice to know that an angry and dismissive tone (what Biden was accused of) is "not becoming of the Vice President", but constantly lying about everything is.

No comments:

Post a Comment