Friday, October 27, 2006

Dickie's Very Bad Day


Poor Dick. It's been a very bad news day for the world's shyest & most secretive vice-president.

First, he sticks his foot in it the other day on a radio show aired in Fargo, North Dakota. Asked by the show's host if it would save American lives, for cryin' out loud, would he condone something to do with"a dunk in the water"?

Dick fearlessly stood up & said that he would, & all a sudden he's beset by the nattering nabobs of negativity, accusing him of endorsing water-boarding, which the nabobs imagine is tantamount to torture.

Use of water is not necessarily water-boarding, you ding-dongs! How many times do we have to say this? America does not torture. (Alberto Gonzales). America does not torture. (George Bush). America does not torture (Dick Cheney). America does not torture. (Tony Snow, White House Press Secretary).

Dick said it best in his own defense, I think:

"In his interview, Mr Cheney described the torture debate as 'a little silly'. He cited the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the senior al-Qa'ida figure captured in Pakistan in 2003, who provided 'enormously valuable information'.

"Mr Cheney said: 'you can have a fairly robust interrogation programme without torture. We've got that now'." (Title bar.)

See, you guys, there's a difference between a "fairly robust interrogation program" and torture. We wonder what it is, exactly, but we are not going to pry. If you can't trust your government, who can you trust?

Besides, others in the government have said torture is not permitted:

"In September the Pentagon issued a new field manual on intelligence interrogation that explicitly forbids the use of water boarding. On that occasion General Jeff Kimmons, the US Army's top intelligence officer, said that 'no good intelligence is going to come from abusive practices. I think history tells us that.'

"The manual states that 'torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment is never a morally permissible option, even in situations where lives depend on gaining information'. Those who do use them, 'lose moral legitimacy'.

So America does not torture! Ya got that yet?

Second, the shameless flogging of that tired old story about Dick's former company, Halliburton & its subsidiary KBR in Iraq & Afghanistan. Don't tell me it's not about partisan politics when an independent investigator chose this day, only weeks before the elections, to remind us that those operations have been fast & loose with the tax-payers' dollars & that bribery was involved, as well as price-gouging. And the fact that it was a no-bid contract? Hell, that's all old news, tired news, & who cares, anyway. In the next rounds, Halliburton will have some competition.

Except that the report charges that Halliburton/KBR "classified" so much information under the private trade secrets provision of the contracting regulations, it'll be well-nigh impossible to tell whether the taxpayers will really be getting a better deal, & probably take another 5 years before somebody really does something about it if so.

Wonder where Halliburton got the notion that it should keep everything secret?


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