Torture: A Conservative Defense of Bush/Cheney

W.J. Astore About seven years ago, I had an impassioned debate with a conservative friend about whether the U.S. had engaged in torture and, if we had, whether it had been effective.  My position was clear: we had engaged in torture, and it was both wrong and counterproductive.  My friend was unconvinced.  His arguments, which…

The Torture Was the Message

W.J. Astore Leading figures in the Bush Administration — Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz — fancied themselves to be the new Vulcans.  As in Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and the forge, armorer for gods and mortals.  In the aftermath of 9/11, they didn’t look to Darth Vader in their journey…

More on the Torture Report

W.J. Astore Six years ago, Vice President Dick Cheney admitted that he had approved waterboarding as one of the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Waterboarding had been defined as torture by the U.S. during World War II when the Japanese had employed it (although the U.S. had used the so-called water cure during the Filipino Insurrection…

Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the End of History

W.J. Astore Mark Danner has a probing article at TomDispatch.com on the career arc of Dick Cheney, the self-selected Vice President under George W. Bush.  Cheney’s approach to history, an attitude he shared with Karl Rove and Donald Rumsfeld, was the idea he could make his own reality, independent of history.  Previous precedents on waterboarding…