5 Telling Dick Cheney Appearances in the CIA Torture Report

His involvement with CIA black sites, justification of waterboarding, and more.

Louie Palu/ZUMA

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It may come as little surprise that former Vice President Dick Cheney’s name crops up 41 times in the Senate report on the CIA’s use of “enhanced interrogation.” Here are some of his noteworthy appearances:

1. Cheney personally worked to quash press coverage of the CIA’s secret prison network.

Abu Zubaydah, an Al Qaeda suspect captured by the United States in 2002, was subjected to years of detention and torture by the CIA. According to the Senate report, Cheney tried to prevent a newspaper from reporting Zubaydah’s whereabouts at a CIA black site dubbed “DETENTION SITE GREEN,” which the Washington Post reports was located in Thailand.

 

2. Cheney attended a CIA briefing focused on justifying torture techniques.

On July 29, 2003, Cheney attended a CIA briefing with Condoleezza Rice, John Ashcroft, and others, seeking “policy reaffirmation” of the CIA’s “coercive interrogation program,” including waterboarding. The CIA warned that “termination of this program will result in loss of life, possibly extensive,” and claimed “major attacks” were averted thanks to detainee torture.

 

3. Cheney reportedly did not know the specific location of a CIA black site.

Cheney was reportedly lined up to help lobby the government of an unnamed country, but as with President Bush, the CIA aimed to keep Cheney in the dark so that he couldn’t refer to the location of “a more permanent and unilateral CIA detention facility” in that country.

 

4. After leaving office, Cheney declassified a CIA report arguing that torture worked.

The CIA assessment argued that torture “saved lives” and “enabled the CIA to disrupt terrorist plots, capture additional terrorists, and collect a high volume of critical intelligence on al-Qa’ida.” The Senate report indicates that Bush’s Department of Justice used this specific assessment to defend the legality of torture. Cheney declassified the report in 2009, just after President Obama took office.

 

5. Cheney blew off Senate leaders investigating the CIA interrogation program as early as 2005.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.)—a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee at the time—called for a formal investigation of torture, but Cheney clearly wasn’t interested.

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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