Friday, November 04, 2005
Is Saddam Hussein Cheney's Role Model?
"The United States doesn't engage in torture," but Dick Cheney sure wants to!
|Vice President Dick Cheney made an unusual personal appeal to Republican senators this week to allow CIA exemptions to a proposed ban on the torture of terror suspects in U.S. custody, according to participants in a closed-door session.|
Cheney told his audience the United States doesn't engage in torture, these participants added, even though he said the administration needed an exemption from any legislation banning "cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment in case the president decided one was necessary to prevent a terrorist attack.
Cheney's decision to speak at the meeting underscored both his role as White House point man on the contentious issue and the importance the administration attaches to it.
Cheney's appeal came two days before a former senior State Department official claimed in an interview with National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" that he had traced paperwork back to Cheney's office that he believes led to U.S. troops abusing prisoners in Iraq.
"It was clear to me there that there was a visible audit trail from the vice president's office through the secretary of defense down to the commanders in the field," Lawrence Wilkerson, a former colonel who was Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff during President Bush's first term, said Thursday.