As more information comes out on the illegal torture program carried out by the Bush administration, the more hollow Dick Cheney and his daughter's rhetoric becomes. Rachel sat down with the ACLU's Ben Wizner to discuss the recently released detainee statements which showed we got wrong information from torture. The ACLU has more on the case here. Rachel summed it up better than I ever could with this statement:
They can no longer brag about torturing Abu Zubaydah. Now, it appears they can no longer brag about torturing Khalid Shaikh Mohammed either. But not only was it illegal, but it was also ill-advised, self-destructive, counterproductive.
Sadly, I don't think it will get Liz Cheney off my television screen. She and her father have little use for allowing something like a few facts to interfere with their lying.
Maddow: But we begin tonight with some breaking news about the Bush administration‘s self-titled “enhanced interrogation techniques,” which are increasingly widely known as torture. Tonight, thanks to an ACLU lawsuit, we have obtained less redacted CIA transcripts released from the tribunals at Guantanamo. These are the parts of the transcripts in which prisoners explained how they had been treated since being in U.S. custody.
In addition to revealing some new details of what was done to the prisoners, this newly-revealed testimony refutes one of the Bush administration‘s still-used justifications for their torture program.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, FMR. U.S. PRESIDENT: Once in our custody, KSM was questioned by the CIA using these procedures. And he soon provided information that helped us stop another planned attack on the United States.
RICHARD CHENEY, FMR. U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: The information we‘ve collected from the detainees, from people like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11, has probably been some of the most valuable intelligence we‘ve had in the last five years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: The claim from the Bush administration has been that by torturing Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, they got actionable intelligence that saved American lives. Well, in these new less redacted transcripts, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed describes a very different scenario. During his 2007 hearing at Guantanamo, in very broken English he says, quote, “I make up stories, just location, Osama bin Laden, where is he? I don‘t know. Then he torture me. Then I said, ‘Yes, he‘s in this area.‘”
In other words, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed says he lied when he was tortured. “I make up stories.” He says he‘s giving up bad information. He gave up wrong information while being tortured.
And that puts a much different torque on the folks, prominently members of the Cheney family, who are still using the supposed utility of what we learned by torturing Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in their public defense of the torture program.