Dick Cheney and his fellow Republicans have spent more than a decade claiming that torture both generated intelligence and was vital national security. The Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture proved both of these claims wrong.
Here is Dick Cheney on CNN last year claiming that what the CIA did wasn’t torture and that the “enhanced interrogation tactics” provided information:
Every claim that Cheney made in the video above was a lie.
The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s torture program found that torture jeopardized national security, “The CIA, in the conduct of its Detention and Interrogation Program, complicated, and in some cases impeded, the national security missions of other Executive Branch agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the State Department, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). The CIA withheld or restricted information relevant to these agencies’ missions and responsibilities, denied access to detainees, and provided inaccurate information on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program to these agencies.”
The report also concluded that torture did not provide good information, “The Committee finds, based on a review of CIA interrogation records, that the use of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of obtaining accurate information or gaining detainee cooperation….While being subjected to the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques and afterwards, multiple CIA detainees fabricated information, resulting in faulty intelligence. Detainees provided fabricated information on critical intelligence issues, including the terrorist threats which the CIA identified as its highest priorities.”
The significance of this report goes beyond looking at the past. Torture remains a part of the Republican national security platform. Mitt Romney supported “enhanced interrogation tactics” in 2012, and there are several candidates lining up to run for the Republican nomination in 2016 who support torture.
Supporting torture has become a qualification for Republican presidential candidates. It isn’t surprising that Cheney lied about the effectiveness of torture. An administration that lied to invade Iraq would not have qualms when it came to lying about torture.
Everything that Republicans have been selling the country for more than a decade was not true. Torture did not provide actionable intelligence. Torture did not keep the country more secure and safe.
Torture jeopardizes national security. The American people can add national security to the list of issues where Republicans have been completely wrong.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association