Among the ways Dick Cheney defended "enhanced interrogation" on Meet the Press today was by saying that it's categorically impossible to imagine our enemies doing what we did, as the Free Beacon reports:
While being interviewed by Chuck Todd Sunday, former Vice President Dick Cheney fervently defended the CIA's enhanced interrogation program, particularly waterboarding.
"So if an American citizen is waterboarded by ISIS, are we going to try and prosecute them for war crimes?" Todd asked.
Cheney responded bluntly, "he is not going to be waterboarded, he is going to have his head cut off. It's not a close call."
Todd put forward another scenario in which the Iranian regime captured an American and planned on waterboarding him, to which Cheney responded swiftly.
"Chuck, you are trying to come up with hypotheticals, but waterboarding, they way we did it was in fact not torture, Cheney said. "When you dealing with terrorists the likes of Al Qaeda or the likes of ISIS, I haven't seen them waterboard anybody. What they do is cut their heads off and what they did to three thousand Americans on 9/11, that was brutal bloody murder. It absolutely can't be compared with what we did in the enhanced interrogation program."
Is Cheney right? Well, I saw this a few days ago:
EXCLUSIVE: There are reports ISIS is now planning to use methods described in #TortureReport & tape it, UN Rapporteur Ben Emmerson tells me.— Christiane Amanpour (@camanpour) December 11, 2014
I have no idea if this is true. But what if it happens? What if ISIS waterboards or rectally feeds a U.S. hostage -- and then just holds on to the hostage instead of killing him, the way we have?
Oh, but it wouldn't matter -- if ISIS tortures a U.S. or other Western hostage following the script of the Senate report, right-wingers and centrists, including those in the mainstream media, will agree that Dianne Feinstein and the other Intelligence Committee Democrats deserve 100% of the blame, for telling the world that we did this (as if the world didn't already know the truth, at least in broad outline). The Americans who actually did the torturing and who ordered it will avoid all blame. And no one will remember this Cheney clip.
And if the waterboarder or rectal feeder is somehow captured alive by Americans, the right will say that he should go to Gitmo and be waterboarded -- the virtuous, humane, appropriate response to the non-torture act of waterboarding.