Cheney’s water torture
Did Vice President Dick Cheney really endorse waterboarding? The Financial Times thinks so, with its headline today “Cheney endorses simulated drowning.” Reuter’s AlertNet blares with “Vice President Endorses Torture,” though the Post is a little more cautious with “Cheney’s Remarks Fuel Torture Debate.” So did he or didn’t he? The answer: Not really. The issue here ...
Did Vice President Dick Cheney really endorse waterboarding? The Financial Times thinks so, with its headline today "Cheney endorses simulated drowning." Reuter's AlertNet blares with "Vice President Endorses Torture," though the Post is a little more cautious with "Cheney's Remarks Fuel Torture Debate." So did he or didn't he? The answer: Not really.
The issue here is semantics – a game that the current administration and its supporters love to play. Recall that Bush-Cheney’s supporters respond to “Bush lied, people died” by saying that the president never explicitly said that Iraq is pursuing WMD, he said that the evidence shows Iraq is pursuing WMD. Because Bush avoided using a more direct accusation, he was able to hide behind his language. Cheney was similarly guarded in his remarks to conservative radio. He agreed that “a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives.” He also denied that the United States uses torture.
We all know that “a dunk in water” is a euphemism for waterboarding. But as soon as the left gets worked up about Cheney admitting he supports harsh anti-terror tactics (and some already have), the right will attack with charges of distorting the truth. So, now Cheney has managed to give a wink and a nod right before the midterms to those who don’t want the United States to go soft on terrorists. All these semantic twists are getting more than a bit torturous.
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