Publicado: 04-01-2009 01:04 PM
Is Our President a ‘Carbon Communist’?
by Christopher C. Horner
Last week was pretty rough for the global warming industry. First, California Sen. Diane Feinstein joined with the Luddite Greens to oppose placing a large solar power plant in the Mojave Desert. It seems a particular tortoise might experience anxiety if intermittent, expensive feel-good measures are located near its home. To which erstwhile green hero Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger replied, “If we cannot put solar power plants in the Mojave desert, I don’t know where the hell we can put it.”
Like windmills — which we know can’t go up anywhere birds or bats fly or Kennedys live — you don’t put them anywhere, Arnold, you just wistfully pine for their deployment. Near other people.
Possibly, the Governator was snippy because of the news which contemporaneously came out — that his electric car, a Tesla roadster, isn’t working out because … he’s not able to climb in and out of it. Which, if you think about it, is not that dissimilar to the “green energy” NIMBY problem. Ann Coulter’s comment about not dating liberals because she won’t drive in their little cars never rang so beep funny.
Then Pravda, of all newspapers, piped up about the “Carbon Communism” of the U.S. elites like the Governator. Carbon communism results, according to Pravda (which is the Russian word for “truth”), in the situation where “Barack Obama keeps the temperature at 78 degrees Fahrenheit in the Oval Office while telling the rest of us to turn our thermostats down. …
Al Gore has invested heavily in the ‘carbon trading’ brokerage business. All of these men jet around the world, live in oversized houses, and ride in limousines. If the common people are to be required by law to reduce our ‘carbon footprint,’ we need to demand that our leaders and the wealthy elite be restricted to exactly the same carbon allowance as everyone else.”
Ouch. But then things got really serious. On Friday, from Spain, the land of President Oprompter’s model for the new American “green jobs” economy where we all become millionaires from selling windmills to each other, an academic dared speak up to note that this particular emperor is stark, raving naked.
Economics professor Dr. Gabriel Calzada of Madrid’s King Juan Carlos University published an analysis of the economic miracle that Oprompter seeks to import here and for which he’s already grabbed billions of your, your children’s and your grandchildren’s money.
For full disclosure, I consider Dr. Calzada a friend and colleague, but also a very courageous advocate for sound public policy. What he found is already causing some discomfort among Enron’s successors pushing for these “green jobs” schemes, prowling the halls of Congress seeking hundreds of billions in rents — requiring increased taxes and causing increased energy costs — for their uneconomic pets.
I have the study. Highlights include:
Based upon the Spanish experience that President Oprompter expressly cited as a model, if he succeeded in his (oddly floating) promise to further intervene in the economy to create 3 million (or is it 5 million?) “green jobs,” the U.S. should expect to directly kill by the same programs at least 6.6 million (or as many as 11 million) jobs elsewhere in the economy.
That is because green jobs schemes in Spain killed 2.2 jobs per job created, or about nine existing jobs — I’ll call them “real” jobs — lost for every four that are created. The latter, the study shows, then become wards of the state, dependent on the continuation of the mandates and subsidies, subject to the ritual boom and bust of artificially concocted jobs (read: ethanol).
The existing jobs most harmed were manufacturing jobs, of basic iron and steel products, basic chemical products, plastics, manufacture and first transformation of precious metals, as well as producers of cement, lime and plaster.
This does not include jobs lost due to redirection of resources, but are only the jobs directly killed by the scheme.
The study calculates that since 2000, Spain spent more than $750,000 (at current exchange rates) to create each “green job,” including subsidies of more than $1.3 million per wind-industry job. They are that uneconomical.
Dr. Calzada informed me that, as the study was being finalized, the European Commission, left-wing media and communist trade groups had all gotten wind of it and let him know of their displeasure. It seems that such gravy trains of squandered billions, funneled to well-positioned interests, is the kind of thing that some people don’t want exposed.
I have spoken in Spain on related topics numerous times to policymakers, university and general public audiences, often at the invitation of by the facilitation of Dr. Calzada. With this experience as guide, my response to reading these findings was to ask him, “What’s Spanish for ‘food-taster’ and ‘car-starter’?”
Publicado: 04-04-2009 12:04 AM
Obama did a full bow from the waist when he met King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. This is never done! A U.S. president is never supposed to bow before foreign royalty.
Choosing Muslims For Appointments
President Obama says he’s a Christian, but that doesn’t mean he won’t appoint Muslims to key positions in his administration in return for Muslim support during the election. Muslim groups are fretting that none have been appointed yet, and they want that to change. Polls showed about nine in 10 American Muslims voted for Obama last fall, and they want something to show for it. Don’t be surprised if Obama gives them what they want.
Politicians usually reward their supporters. But the way they do it -- and just who they reward -- is quite important.
Last weekend, news broke that various “community groups” are urging our “community-organizer-in-chief” to hire more Muslims. The Los Angeles Times reported that J. Saleh Williams, program coordinator for the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association, “sifted through more than 300 names” and forwarded a book of 45 résumés to the White House. Evidently, the White House is eager for the vetting help. The effort, stated the Times, was “bumped up two weeks ahead of schedule because White House officials heard about the venture.”
The Times quotes Abdul Malik Mujahid of the Muslim Democrats saying, “Muslims are not looking for handouts. We’re just looking for equal opportunity and inclusiveness.” Not to mention a little influence. A spokesman for the Council on American Islamic Relations didn’t mince words, saying, “We’re hoping that once [Attorney General] Eric Holder puts the [Justice] department in order and places people in different positions, we can reestablish what were very positive relations [with the FBI] in our 15-year history.” You may recall that the FBI terminated its “very positive relations” with CAIR after it was declared an unindicted co-conspirator in the government’s case against the Holy Land Foundation.
Such faith-based hiring comports with the liberal ideal of equal representation, whereby each constituency is represented in every area of public life in direct proportion to their numbers in the overall population.
Every possible demographic variable must be accounted for: ***, religion, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, and so forth. When Obama gets around to filling the more than 8,000 administration jobs that remained unfilled, his administration will end up looking like a cross-section of America.
Except, sadly, when it comes to two groups -- tax cheats, from which the administration seems determined to oversample, and conservatives, of whom we can expect none. Which is a shame since most Americans want a variety of political viewpoints in the room when big decisions are made.
There is a tinge of hypocrisy in the Left’s desire for faith-based hiring. I remember the hyperventilating in Washington when it was learned that the Bush administration made an effort to hire graduates of Regent University Law School, which was founded by Pat Robertson.
The liberal blogosphere blew up, citing it as yet another example of Bush subordinating ability to politics in hiring decisions. Reporters were aghast to discover that the school’s mission is to provide “Christian leadership to change the world.” They mocked the university for having the temerity to teach that man’s law ought not to preclude God’s law. Leftwing groups warned that America was on the verge of a theocracy and that the “separation of church and state” was under assault.
I’m not hearing much concern about the “separation of mosque and state” today from those groups. Of course, according to the Left, it is preferable to have ardent Muslims in the White House than it is to have believing Christians. For as Rosie O’Donnell once blurted, “radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America.”
Will Obama hire Muslims only for the political value? He needn’t -- he’s already done plenty to win them over. The press gleefully told us that Obama was the first president to mention Muslims in his inaugural address. And his first sit down interview was with the Arabic Al Arabiya news channel. During that encounter, Obama “reassured” Muslims the world over that that Americans are not their enemies. In recent days, the president sent a video to Tehran with the plea to begin a new relationship “…that is honest and grounded in mutual respect.”
As naïve as that is, Obama did something yesterday that no US president should ever do: he bowed to a foreign leader. Worse still, he did it to the Saudi King. At the G-20 Summit yesterday, Obama did a full bow from the waist when he met King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. This is never done! A U.S. president is never supposed to bow before foreign royalty.
Obama’s message of “mutual respect” is also the one Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been delivering around the world. When she hasn’t been reassuring China that its egregious human rights record will be no obstacle to warmer relations with the U.S., Clinton has been apologizing to Muslim governments for the supposedly egregious human rights violations of the Bush administration, which included liberating millions of their brethren in two countries at the cost of thousands of American lives.
In response to the book of Muslim résumés sent to the president, White House spokesman Shin Inouye said, “The White House appreciates the input from concerned outside organizations as we fully consider all applicants regardless of their religion or national origin, and as we continue to fill positions throughout the administration.”
Advocacy groups have every right to send their lists to the White House. It’s standard practice. And the president can pick whomever he wants to fill out his administration. But if Obama’s choices are being made on the basis of identity politics rather than ability and competence, it would mark a clear departure for an administration the media have been telling us is made up of the “best and the brightest.” On the bright side, it may awaken the few Americans still clinging to the fantasy of a post partisan presidency.
Publicado: 05-21-2009 05:17 PM
Obama: I believe with every fiber of my being that in the long run, we also cannot keep this country safe unless we enlist the power of out most fundamental values
Cheney: Critics of our policies are given to lecturing on the theme of being consistent with American values. But no moral value held dear by the American people obliges public servants ever to sacrifice innocent lives to spare a captured terrorist from unpleasant things
Obama: Unfortunately, faced with an uncertain threat, our government made a series of hasty decisions … based upon fear rather than foresight, and all too often trimmed facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions.
Cheney: No decision of national security was ever made lightly, and certainly never made in haste.
Obama: During this season of fear, too many of us – Democrats and Republicans; politicians, journalists and citizens – fell silent. In other words, we went off course.
Cheney: For all that we’ve lost in this conflict, the United States has never lost its moral bearings. And when the moral reckoning turns to the men known as high-value terrorists, I can assure you they were neither innocent nor victims.
Obama: I know some have argued that brutal methods like water-boarding were necessary to keep us safe. I could not disagree more. As commander-in-chief, I see the intelligence, I bear responsibility for keeping this country safe, and I categorically reject the assertion that these are the most effective means of interrogation.
Cheney: The interrogations were used on hardened terrorists after other efforts failed. They were legal, essential, justified, successful, and the right thing to do. The intelligence officers who questioned the terrorists can be proud of their work and proud of the results, because they prevented the violent deaths of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of innocent people.
Obama: They undermine the rule of law. They alienate us in the world. They serve as a recruitment tool for terrorists, and increase the will of our enemies to fight us, while decreasing the will of others to work with America.
Cheney: The recruitment-tool theory has become something of a mantra lately, including from the president himself. And after a fashion, it excuses the violent and blames America for the evil that others do.
Obama: The record is clear: rather than keep us safer, the prison at Guantanamo has weakened American national security. … We are cleaning up something that is, quite simply, a mess, a misguided experiment that has left in its wake a flood of legal challenges that my administration is forced to deal with on a constant, almost daily basis.
Cheney: The administration has found that it’s easy to receive applause in Europe for closing Guantanamo. But it’s tricky to come up with an alternative that will serve the interests of justice and America’s national security.
Obama: Listening to the recent debate, I’ve heard words that are calculated to scare people rather than educate them, words that have more to do with politics than protecting our country. … Let me begin by disposing of one argument as plainly as I can: We are not going to release anyone if it would endanger our national security, nor will we release detainees within the United States who endanger the American people.
Cheney: On this one, I find myself in complete agreement with many in the President’s own party. Unsure how to explain to their constituents why terrorists might soon be relocating into their states, these Democrats chose instead to strip funding for such a move out of the most recent war supplemental.
Obama: I released the memos because the existence of that approach to interrogation was already widely known, the Bush Administration had acknowledged its existence, and I had already banned those methods. The argument that somehow by releasing those memos, we are providing terrorists with information about how they will be interrogated makes no sense.
Cheney: Releasing the interrogation memos was flatly contrary to the national security interest of the United States. The harm done only begins with top secret information now in the hands of the terrorists, who have just received a lengthy insert for their training manual.
Obama: The American people are not absolutist, and they don’t elect us to impose a rigid ideology on our problems. They know that we need not sacrifice out security for our values, nor sacrifice our values for our security.
Cheney: The administration seems to pride itself on searching for some kind of middle ground in policies addressing terrorism. … But in the fight against terrorism, there is no middle ground, and half-measures keep you half exposed.
Publicado: 05-22-2009 07:32 PM
Cheney lo esta es bien loquito...
Todos los argumentos de Cheney fueron revocados por su propia administracion en 2005.
In its 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, the U.S. Department of State formally recognized "submersion of the head in water" as torture in its examination of Tunisia's poor human rights record, and critics of waterboarding[who?] draw parallels between the two techniques, citing the similar usage of water on the subject.
On September 6, 2006, the U.S. Department of Defense released a revised Army Field Manual entitled Human Intelligence Collector Operations that prohibits the use of waterboarding by U.S. military personnel. The department adopted the manual amid widespread criticism of U.S. handling of prisoners in the War on Terrorism, and prohibits other practices in addition to waterboarding. The revised manual applies only to U.S. military personnel, and as such does not apply to the practices of the CIA. Nevertheless Steven G. Bradbury, acting head of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Legal Counsel, on February 14, 2008 testified:
There has been no determination by the Justice Department that the use of waterboarding, under any circumstances, would be lawful under current law.
In addition, both under the War Crimes  and international law, violators of the laws of war are criminally liable under the command responsibility, and they could still be prosecuted for war crimes. Commenting on the so-called "torture memoranda" Scott Horton pointed out:
...the possibility that the authors of these memoranda counseled the use of lethal and unlawful techniques, and therefore face criminal culpability themselves. That, after all, is the teaching of United States v. Altstötter, the Nuremberg case brought against German Justice Department lawyers whose memoranda crafted the basis for implementation of the infamous "Night and Fog Decree."
Publicado: 05-22-2009 07:39 PM
Cheney Clashes With Obama
By Hans Nichols and Justin Blum
May 22 (Bloomberg) — Former Vice President beep Cheney accomplished something yesterday that Republicans have seldom been able to do: directly challenge President Barack Obama in real time on a major policy issue.
In a nationally televised speech delivered just minutes after Obama had spoken on how to protect the U.S. against terrorism, Cheney defended the decisions he and former President George W. Bush made after the Sept. 11 attacks, including using harsh interrogation methods on terror suspects.
While Republican leaders have largely avoided direct attacks on Obama and focused instead on Democratic congressional leaders, Cheney, 68, has taken the opposite tack. Republican lawmakers and strategists said he was able to raise the intensity of the criticism yesterday because, unlike other party members, he isn’t worried about damaging any future political ambitions by taking on a popular president.
Cheney “might not have the highest favorability ratings, but on this issue, I think he’s viewed by people across the country as being very credible and very knowledgeable,” said Senator John Thune, a South Dakota Republican. “What he says carries a lot of weight.”
In a poll by CNN/Opinion Research Corp. that was released this week, 55 percent of respondents said they had an unfavorable opinion of Cheney, compared with 37 percent who had a favorable view. That was an 8 percentage-point improvement from January, when Bush and Cheney left office with approval ratings near the lowest levels in history. By contrast, Obama’s approval ratings have been above 60 percent since he took office Jan. 20.
Still, Republican strategist Jim Pinkerton said Cheney’s popularity “doesn’t really matter,” because he “is not running for anything.” What is important, he said, is that “Cheney absolutely has the better of the argument.”
Ask Harry Reid
Pinkerton pointed to the 90-6 vote in the Senate on May 20 when Democrats, including Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, joined Republicans to strip from a spending measure the $80 million Obama requested to fulfill his promise to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by the end of the year.
“Don’t take my word for it, take Harry Reid’s word for it,” Pinkerton said.
Obama appeared yesterday at the National Archives, the repository of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, to criticize the previous administration’s policies and build public support for his national-security approach in the wake of reversals such as the Senate vote.
The detention center at Guantanamo, he said, “set back the moral authority that is America’s strongest currency in the world.” The Bush administration “was defending positions that undermined the rule of law,” he said. Its decisions on how to handle suspected terrorists were built on “ad hoc” legal measures that were “neither effective nor sustainable.”
‘Most Fundamental Values’
“We also cannot keep this country safe unless we enlist the power of our most fundamental values,” Obama said. “Time and again, our values have been our best national security asset.”
The president also indicated that some prisoners who can’t be tried for legal reasons and are considered too dangerous to let go may be held indefinitely.
He noted that more than 500 Guantanamo detainees had been released under the Bush administration.
Almost as soon as Obama finished his remarks, Cheney began speaking just two miles away, at the American Enterprise Institute, a research organization that generally supported Bush’s policies.
He opened his speech by joking about Obama’s address starting late. His tone quickly turned more grave as he claimed that interrogation tactics such as waterboarding saved American lives.
“When an entire population is targeted by a terror network, nothing is more consistent with American values than to stop them,” he said. He would make those decisions again “without hesitation,” he said.
“Our government prevented attacks and saved lives,” Cheney said at AEI, where his wife, Lynne, is a senior fellow. “Only detainees of the highest intelligence value were subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques.”
Cheney faulted Obama for releasing Justice Department memos that authorized the use of those techniques. Doing so “was flatly contrary to the national security interests of the United States,” Cheney said.
John Feehery, a Republican consultant, said Cheney’s instant response to Obama gave his party one of its rare victories since the Democrats took control of the White House and both chambers of Congress in the November election: the ability to challenge Obama’s domination of the airwaves and the news cycle.
That success, said Feehery, who served as spokesman for former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, was linked to the decision to engage the Democrats on the theme of national security, a subject where Republicans have historically had an advantage.
‘Everything We Could’
“The percentages are more with Cheney than Obama,” Feehery said. “What Cheney is basically arguing is that we did everything we could to make the country safer, and what Obama is arguing is that we don’t have to do as much to make the country safer.”
Feehery said Cheney had gotten the better of the president with barbed lines like one in which he said the current administration’s approach is more geared to receiving “applause in Europe” than protecting America’s security.
“There’s no doubt about it, this is the first time they’ve got him,” he said. “This is the first time that Republicans feel like they have some momentum.”
He said Cheney’s defense of the Bush policies as necessary to protect the U.S. will seem prescient in the event of a terrorist attack.
“If something goes wrong, people are going to remember what Cheney said,” Feehery said.
To contact the reporters on this story: Hans Nichols
Publicado: 05-22-2009 10:18 PM
Obama Debating Cheney Is a Plus for GOP
May 22, 2009
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — In political debate, the side that keeps its arguments simple and repeats them again and again is likely to gain the advantage. It is an easier sale, especially when the topic is as scary as terrorism.
That’s how Republicans got the edge in the dispute over President Barack Obama’s planned closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison. And it put former Vice President beep Cheney on a separate but almost equal platform with the president of the United States, which is a plus any time the party out of power can manage it.
Their back-to-back speeches on Thursday gave Cheney “a lot of credibility” and put Obama on the defensive, said Republican pollster David Winston.
“From a political standpoint, I think Cheney wins on points,” said GOP strategist Rich Galen. Long-term, the former vice president’s premier role may have a downside for the Republicans, given his 25 percent approval rating and his status as the most unpopular top figure in an unpopular administration. But Galen said that at this point, “It’s either Cheney or who else. There’s no who else, so you take Cheney.”
In the Guantanamo argument,Obama’s critics didn’t worry about legalities, court decisions or complexities. They invented an argument about letting terrorists move next door to Americans.
Although no one had ever suggested such a thing, it worked, and the Democratic Senate voted overwhelmingly to deny Obama an $80 million appropriation to close the prison camp by eight months from now, as he had promised. Now Democratic leaders are saying that if Obama will come up with a plan on what to do with the prisoners _ there are about 240 of them _ they might agree.
He said he’s working on it, but it isn’t easy. If it were, the place might already have been shut, since former President George W. Bush said that he wanted to close it but 2008 wasn’t the right time.
“We’re cleaning up something that is, quite simply, a mess,” Obama said. He said the prison Bush ordered opened in 2002 has left prisoners in legal limbo, flooded the government with legal challenges and distracted officials who should be spending their time dealing with potential threats.
“There are no neat and easy answers here,” he said. “I wish there were.” He said the issues are too complicated for absolutes or rigid ideology. So instead of scrapping everything the Bush administration did, he is adapting some of it, notably the use of military commissions to try terrorist suspects, to bring them “in line with the rule of law.”
To which Cheney, in his own terrorism speech minutes after Obama’s, said there’s no place “for some kind of middle ground” on the issue. “ ... Half measures keep you half exposed,” he said. “You cannot keep just some nuclear-armed terrorists out of the United States, you must keep every nuclear-armed terrorist out.”
There’s no disputing that. But conjuring nuclear terrorists serves his argument that it is all or nothing, with no room for “sensible compromise” or “splitting differences,” in Cheney’s words.
Even debating the issues is wrong in Cheney’s view. “The terrorists see just what they were hoping for _ our unity gone, our resolve shaken, our leaders distracted,” he said.
And not only over Guantanamo, but also over the interrogation tactics Cheney calls enhanced and Obama calls torture.
“Torture was never permitted,” Cheney repeated. But waterboarding and other methods certainly sound torturous. Cheney dismissed that issue as “contrived indignation and phony moralizing.” He also said that hard-line questioning produced information that “prevented the violent death of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of innocent people.”
No proof, but he said that is because it’s in classified memos Obama hasn’t released. That is said to be under review. Still, in an information sieve like Washington, it is hard to conceive that information involving hundreds of thousands of lives saved would not have been leaked by now.
Cheney argues that closing Guantanamo will make America less safe, and that in promising to do it, Obama and his allies are trying to cozy up to European opinion. Cheney’s administration wanted it shut at some point, and so did Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee who now says it can’t be done without a plan on what to do with the inmates.
It was, as Obama said, opened without a plan on what to do with the prisoners except lock them up. Bush did it by presidential order; there was no discussion or legislation involved, and in 2006 the Supreme Court overruled the system by which the administration planned to try prisoners. At one point, Guantanamo held up to 750 inmates. The new president noted that more than 525 prisoners were released under the Bush administration, before he took office and ordered the place closed.
“Rather than keeping us safer, the prison at Guantanamo has weakened American national security,” Obama said. “It is a rallying cry for our enemies. It sets back the willingness of our allies to work with us in fighting an enemy that operates in scores of countries.”
That’s complicated. Republicans are still keeping it simple.
“Guantanamo has worked very well,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell, the GOP leader. “I’m not sure this is broken and needs fixing.”
And certainly not if it will mean bringing prisoners to the United States to be tried and imprisoned if convicted.
“Republicans oppose releasing these terrorists or importing them into our local communities,” said Rep. John Boehner, the House Republican leader.
Obviously, but nobody has proposed either.
Obama said trying to scare people won’t protect them. “And we will be ill-served by some of the fear-mongering that emerges whenever we discuss this issue.”
But for the present, it serves the political purposes of his opponents.
Publicado: 05-23-2009 07:35 AM
Here are some quotes from the article from McClatchy
Cheney quoted the Director of National Intelligence, Adm. Dennis Blair, as saying that the information gave U.S. officials a "deeper understanding of the al Qaida organization that was attacking this country."
In a statement April 21, however, Blair said the information "was valuable in some instances"
but that "there is no way of knowing whether the same information could have been obtained through other means. The bottom line is that these techniques hurt our image around the world, the damage they have done to our interests far outweighed whatever benefit they gave us and they are not essential to our national security."
A top-secret 2004 CIA inspector general's investigation found no conclusive proof that information gained from aggressive interrogations helped thwart any "specific imminent attacks," according to one of four top-secret Bush-era memos that the Justice Department released last month.
FBI Director Robert Mueller told Vanity Fair magazine in December that he didn't think that the techniques disrupted any attacks.
Cheney said that President Barack Obama's decision to release the four top-secret Bush administration memos on the interrogation techniques was "flatly contrary" to U.S. national security, and would help al Qaida train terrorists in how to resist U.S. interrogations.
However, Blair, who oversees all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, said in his statement that he recommended the release of the memos, "strongly supported" Obama's decision to prohibit using the controversial methods and that "we do not need these techniques to keep America safe."
Cheney's speech contained omissions, misstatements
By JONATHAN S. LANDAY AND WARREN P. STROBEL
WASHINGTON -- Former Vice President beep Cheney's defense Thursday of the Bush administration's policies for interrogating suspected terrorists contained omissions, exaggerations and misstatements.
In his address to the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative policy organization in Washington, Cheney said that the techniques the Bush administration approved, including waterboarding - simulated drowning that's considered a form of torture - forced nakedness and sleep deprivation, were "legal" and produced information that "prevented the violent death of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of innocent people."
He quoted the Director of National Intelligence, Adm. Dennis Blair, as saying that the information gave U.S. officials a "deeper understanding of the al-Qaida organization that was attacking this country."
In a statement April 21, however, Blair said the information "was valuable in some instances" but that "there is no way of knowing whether the same information could have been obtained through other means. The bottom line is that these techniques hurt our image around the world, the damage they have done to our interests far outweighed whatever benefit they gave us and they are not essential to our national security."
A top-secret 2004 CIA inspector general's investigation found no conclusive proof that information gained from aggressive interrogations helped thwart any "specific imminent attacks," according to one of four top-secret Bush-era memos that the Justice Department released last month.
FBI Director Robert Muller told Vanity Fair magazine in December that he didn't think the techniques disrupted any attacks.
Some other omissions and misstatements by Cheney in his Thursday speech: