May 29th, 2009
02:26 PM ET
6 years ago

Levin: Memos don't show what Cheney says they do

Democratic Sen. Carl Levin is challenging former Vice President Cheney's recent claims about the effectiveness of the Bush administration's use of harsh interrorgation techniques.
Democratic Sen. Carl Levin is challenging former Vice President Cheney's recent claims about the effectiveness of the Bush administration's use of harsh interrorgation techniques.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, says former Vice President Dick Cheney's claims - that classified CIA memos show enhanced interrogation techniques like waterboarding worked - are wrong.

Levin, speaking at the Foreign Policy Association's annual dinner on Wednesday, said an investigation by his committee into detainee abuse charges over the use of the techniques - now deemed torture by the Obama administration - "gives the lie to Mr. Cheney's claims."

The Michigan Democrat told the crowd that the two CIA documents that Cheney wants released "say nothing about numbers of lives saved, nor do the documents connect acquisition of valuable intelligence to the use of abusive techniques."

"I hope that the documents are declassified, so that people can judge for themselves what is fact, and what is fiction," he added.

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Filed under: Carl Levin • CIA • Dick Cheney • Popular Posts
soundoff (329 Responses)
  1. Master of the Obvious

    Cheney is a liar. And in other news, water is wet.

    May 29, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  2. sammieb51

    I am so surprised ... Dick Cheney lied! Who would have ever thought him capable of such? Pssst .... don't tell his "base".

    May 29, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. Mitch

    Cheney, a liar? Who would of guessed it? Thanks Senator. Sometimes it doesn't hurt to restate the obvious.

    May 29, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  4. Big Ed

    O.K, Cheney lied when he spoke, he lied when he wrote. This is nothing we do not already know. What bothers me is that there is no consequence for his actions. We teach our children not to lie, cheat and steal, yet when it is done by Mr. Cheney and others in that Administration (Remember the party of Family Values?), we do not prosecute them.

    Crime DOES pay, i guess. And we wonder why we have the social ills we have.

    May 29, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  5. @OBAMA SHRUGGED

    I saw that same story on RUSH BOUNCY, MAKING THE STATEMENT THAT OBAMA IS PURPOSLY CLOSING DOWN CAR DEALERSHIP WHO ARE OWNED OR CONTRIBUTED TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY! Idiot, that is because the only dealership being closed by a Democrat is that isthe only one owned. He is such an idiot why we even bother to repeat anything that comes out of that idiots mouth.
    Regarding releasing the photos, does it really matter, it happend and those responsible should be prosecuted. We already have seen photos don't need more gory details. Bush admitted to authorizing the use of torture or should I be PC and say "alternative methods" Yeah just ask McCain about torture.

    May 29, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  6. brian

    A lot of you people are just evil. So giving the go-ahead to the Navy to 'drop' three pirates to save ONE america is GOOD but using EIT NOT torture to garner information on more attacks against thousands and thousands of americans is BAD? Most of you have NO idea how to defend a nation.

    May 29, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  7. Pluto

    Matt M, Cheney's a DEMOCRAT now? They're defecting so fast I can't keep 'em straight. Yeah, Obama releasing classified documents for such a dumb reason is pretty unlikely.

    May 29, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  8. nom deplume, esq.

    It is an old Washington trick to say that a classified document says something, and to even call for its release (knowing it won't be released).

    Cheney and Levin say different things about the same document. Both call for its release. Until it is, there is no rational basis to conclude which is lying. Unless, of course, your partisanship shapes your view.

    Total War. Coming to an election near you.

    May 29, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  9. Sam Ellison

    I can’t believe how the so-called “liberal” media is letting this guy get away with these distractions. Whether it works or not is irrelevant, it is torture, has been since the Spanish Inquisition, and is below the moral standard of America. To justify torture is to say America is filled with the same a-moral dogs as al Qaeda. If you want to make money, robbing a bank works. If you don’t like your neighbor, murder works. Effectiveness does not constitute morality.

    May 29, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  10. itbeme

    he needs to be charged with war crimes......

    May 29, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  11. Scott

    What?! A government official is lying?! Unheard of

    May 29, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  12. Bob of Lompoc

    Cheney, the five deferment Chicken Hawk during the Vietnam War, who wanted others to handle the dirty work for him in Iraq, Gitmo and the basement of CIA Torture Central – he just wanted to look at the pictures – he lied ? I'm shocked to discover this. Shocked.

    May 29, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  13. jm

    Polar Bears for Palin,

    You are the lowest of the low. Maybe you should wish for yourself what you wish for other people. :-).

    May 29, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  14. Don

    In this post the writer Ed Hornick calls Carl Levin the "Michigan Democrat senator..." This is code used by right wingers, where the word "democrat" is constantly and derisively substituted for the correct word that should be used in such context, which would be "democratic". Is Hornick writing commentary here from a right wing perspective, or is he just ignorant?

    May 29, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  15. Independent in Virginia

    Didn't the redacted memos that were released have that information? Why not just show what's under the redaction.

    Either way, there's no way to quantify how many lives were saved. The only way to do something like that is after the fact, after lives are already lost.

    Speaking of quantifying lives – Any statistics to prove how 150,000 jobs have been saved/added? When I see unemployment rates going up, who's winning?

    May 29, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  16. Steven L. Rowe

    It is very simple. Release the documents.

    How did the comment of Polar Bears Against Palen at 12:59 PM ET get in here? Isn't this monitored by CNN?

    May 29, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  17. echo

    Oh so now the unelected GOP representatives want the Dems to endanger lives by declassifying documents? If they do, the GOP will turn around and accuse them of putting lives at risk. We are to smart to fall for this again ppl!

    May 29, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  18. Colonel TR

    I see the DNC mindless little twerps who never had a set of gonads, have again crawled out of their little holes to yap about VP Cheney again. Free speech only pertains to them in their little perverted world. Why would ANY of you pissants think that putting the squeeze on terrorists who would slit your throat in a second is a problem? You are the ilk and bottom feeders of the country and should be spit on. If there is another terrorist attack in the US, may it be on your neighborhood.

    May 29, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  19. jason

    Cheney's 'claims' are SOLEY his opinions, and extremenly warped ones at that...I really think he lives without a heart

    May 29, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  20. anita

    Carl Levin or Dick Cheney?
    Belief in either would be unbelievably STUPID!

    May 29, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  21. Greg Smith, Clifton Heights PA

    Dick Cheney is telling the truth. The Democrats are kings of lying, they need the power no matter what it costs.

    May 29, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  22. John, Rochester MN

    It's interesting that the righties on here keep talking about demanding proof, when there have been so many instances where proof that Bush and Cheney lied in the past has been shown. Apparently they're beyond reproach to these people. Why would you automatically assume that Levin is lying, other than the fact that he's a Democrat? And all this crap about Obama refusing to release the memos is ridiculous as well. It clearly states in the article that the documents cannot be declassified due to lawsuits. How does Obama figure into that exactly?
    Well, it's not like the righties here are known for their fairness and truth, so I'm not sure why I'm even pointing these things out. *sigh*

    May 29, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  23. Kevin B.

    I always thought Cheneys request to release the memo's was a bluff, now he is being called on his bluff. If these memos do not show "lives saved" then Mr Cheney and team should face charges for lying and torture. Plain and simple.

    Anyone foolish enough to defend torture deserves his fate.

    May 29, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  24. Andrew

    To every one saying, "Declassify, declassify, declassify," from bwhat I understand, those two specific memos are tied up in some sort of lawsuit and until that's resolves, the documents can't be released. I could be wrong, but that's my understanding.

    May 29, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  25. Randy, San Francisco

    Why are we delaying war crime charges against Cheney, Bush Rumsfeld, and Rove?

    May 29, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
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