[Marxism] Cheney: waterboarding is a "no-brainer"
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Oct 27 09:08:16 MDT 2006
Cheney endorses simulated drowning
Friday October 27, 2006
The use of a form of torture known as waterboarding to gain information is
a "no-brainer", the US vice-president, Dick Cheney, told a radio
interviewer, it was reported today.
Mr Cheney implied that the technique - a form of simulated drowning - was
used on the alleged September 11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who is
being held at Guantánamo Bay.
In an interview with Scott Hennen, a conservative radio show host in Fargo,
North Dakota, on Tuesday, Mr Cheney agreed with the assertion that "a dunk
in water" could yield valuable intelligence from terror suspects.
"Would you agree a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?" Mr
"Well, it's a no-brainer for me," Mr Cheney replied. "But for a while
there, I was criticised as being the vice president for torture. We don't
torture. That's not what we're involved in."
In some versions of waterboarding, prisoners are strapped to a board and
their faces covered with cloth or cellophane while water is poured over
their mouths to stimulate drowning. In others, they are forced head first
Mr Cheney's comments set him at odds with the Military Commissions Act,
which bars, under all circumstances, treatment of prisoners that inflicts
serious physical or mental pain or suffering.
Two of the chief sponsors of the legislation, senators John McCain and John
Warner - both senior Republicans - say it outlaws waterboarding.
Last month, the US army also revised its field manual to specifically ban
waterboarding and other techniques as "cruel, inhuman and degrading
treatment" that is banned by the Geneva accords.
Military officials said such techniques did not yield reliable intelligence
Mr Cheney told his interviewer that the ability to interrogate high value
detainees had "been a very important tool that we've had to be able to
secure the nation ... we need to be able to continue that".
A spokeswoman for the vice president yesterday said Mr Cheney was not
confirming the use of any specific interrogation techniques.
"He was talking about the interrogation programme without torture," Lee
Anne McBride told the Washington Post. "The vice president does not discuss
any techniques or methods that may or may not have been used in questioning."
The US group Human Rights Watch said Mr Cheney's comments on waterboarding
contradicted the views of Congress and the defence department and warned
they could come back to haunt the US.
"If Iran or Syria detained an American, Cheney is saying that it would be
perfectly fine for them to hold that American's head under water until he
nearly drowns, if that's what they think they need to do to save Iranian or
Syrian lives," Tom Malinowski, the Washington advocacy director for the
The US has long considered waterboarding - which dates back at least to the
Spanish Inquisition - to be torture and a war crime.
As early as 1901, a US court martial sentenced Major Edwin Glenn to 10
years hard labour for subjecting a suspected insurgent in the Philippines
to the "water cure".
After the second world war, US military commissions successfully prosecuted
as war criminals several Japanese soldiers who subjected US prisoners to
In 1968, a US army officer was court martialled for helping to waterboard a
prisoner in Vietnam.
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