Ed Schultz asked former Colin Powell Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson about Donald Rumsfeld's repeated claims that the United States got actionable intelligence from waterboarding Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and others, and his claim that waterboarding is not torture. Wilkerson did not hold back his disdain for this torture apologist.
Wilkerson reminded me a little bit of Jesse Ventura when he said this a couple of years ago about Dick Cheney -- Jesse Ventura: You Give Me a Water Board, Dick Cheney and One Hour, and I'll Have Him Confess to the Sharon Tate Murders.
WILKERSON: Well my former boss Colin Powell recently said that Donald Rumsfeld was delusional and deceptive and he could prove both points. My former boss is right. And on this issue Donald Rumsfeld is more delusional than deceptive, probably than any other.
First of all his last statement about hordes of intelligence is preposterous. It didn't produce hoards of intelligence. In fact, I never saw any raw intelligence pass my desk that came from such things that was actionable, that really led to any circumstance at all that produced a result that was positive.
Secondly, Donald Rumsfeld only has as knowledge what his bureaucracy gave him. He wasn't there. He wasn't at the site. Multiple tiers of bureaucracy gave him the information that he had. And he made damned sure that that bureaucracy was sycophants, yes men, yes women. He made sure that the people working for him told him what he wanted to hear.
So one has to expect that Donald Rumsfeld heard what he just said and that was that actionable intelligence was produced by these procedures. It is preposterous.
And let me say one last thing. As Christopher Hitchens said after he was actually waterboarded, this is torture, changing his view. Let me waterboard Donald Rumsfeld and then we'll see if he says it's torture or not.
Schultz asked him why he thought Rumsfeld was doing this.
WILKERSON: He's got to. He's got to cover his rear end. I mean there are cases in foreign countries right now being worked by lawyers there. one in Switzerland actually kept President George Bush from visiting Switzerland that will under international auspices against Cheney, Rumsfeld, Feith, Addington et al. They don't dare resort to anything other than defending their positions because ultimately even within their lifetime they may be subject to litigation.
I will predict that as I've said many times before, they will not travel except perhaps to Israel and Saudi Arabia. Those will be the only two countries Cheney, Rumsfeld and others will travel to.
Now that's something you don't hear anyone remind the public of on television. Thanks Lawrence.