A 2005 memo says that the C.I.A. used waterboarding 183 times in March 2003 against Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-described planner of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
I found this intriguing. Keep in mind, this happened during the course of one month. That's about 6 times per day for an entire month. They're also talking about sleep deprivation through the use of excessive lighting and sound. And some kind of mass insect exposure in a confined area.
I'm hardly an expert on what constitutes torture, but this sounds like torture to me. THIS HAPPENED ROUGHLY 2 1/2 YEARS AFTER 9/11. How much credible information could you possibly extract? Maybe I'm naive.
I've often thought about how Dick Cheney sold the Iraq war to George Bush. I'm pretty sure this is how it transpired. After 9/11, Cheney correctly came to the conclusion that the greatest threat to the United States was a band of suicidal terrorists working in conjunction with a state sponsor. This sounds credible to me. Hell, Saddam Hussein was worth about 6 billion at one point. The late Yassir Arafat had about 1 billion. There's a ruling class of about 5,000 in Saudi Arabia with basically unlimited funds. Cheney thought to himself... We got lucky this time. These jihadists were harbored by the penniless Taliban in Afghanistan. What happens when the suicidal religious fucks have some real backing?
So we invaded and occupied, ousted the Taliban and chased whatever was left into the Afghan/Pakistan border region. Here's where it gets interesting. Cheney thinks to himself... This just isn't enough. The war in Afghanistan just doesn't cut it. The U.S. needs to send a stronger message to the world that the U.S. will not tolerate terrorists working in concert with rogue governments. I still think he's on credible ground here.
Cheney didn't need to look far to find the next enemy to send a message. Saddam was definitely a regional threat and had previously tried to go nuclear. Cheney figures it's just a matter of time. And to be honest, considering the stranglehold the family had on the country, he was probably right.
Cheney knew when we invaded Iraq, that we most certainly would NOT be greeted as liberators. I swear to fucking god. HE KNEW THIS. The guy is not some naive idiot. He knew there would be endless waves of violence and organized rebellion for about a decade. He knew that a civil war would erupt between the Sunni and Shia. BUT HE NEEDED THE WAR TO SEND THE REST OF THE WORLD THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE... If you're a third world dictator and you align yourself with jihadists, you will be ousted from power and your country will be demolished and transcend into endless chaos.
But he had to sell the war to Bush and he knew that this explanation wouldn't sell to the United States population. So he went with broader themes... The amped up nuclear threat and the axis of evil. Bush would be able to comprehend this. The Iraqi people would welcome us. They've needed us and we will come to their rescue. The scary part is that one person (Cheney) was able to sell it. When you've got a naive Texas country boy in the White House, anything is possible.
The sad truth... I think Dick Cheney had a reasonable position. An Al Gore administration would have just cleaned up Afghanistan. Would that have been a strong enough message to the rest of the world? I'm not so sure. In fact, I doubt it.
I was planning on blogging about torture but ended up on this tangent. Sorry for the confusion.
And I often wonder about the other links on my friend Amanda's blogslist. I access my blog from hers. I occasionally read them and wonder what they must be thinking if they read mine. Their blogs are usually about family and friends, whereas mine is about concerts, looting, terrorism, mediocre restaurants and mythical superheroes such as Cumburglar. They probably think I'm nuts. And they're probably right.