May 29th, 2009
02:26 PM ET
5 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. Paying Attention in Conn.

    How is Dick Cheney lying event remotely considered news...
    It's like reporting that the sun rose this morning.

    May 29, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  2. Joyce

    Let Cheney be judged in the International court for Human rights abuse. I hope he realize that he is not God.

    May 29, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. Chris - Denver

    I wish it were surprising that the former Vice president would lie to the American people. Alas, it is not.

    May 29, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  4. ghost

    Can't have it both ways, people. Someone's lying and we don't know who. Neither has proof. So till we release the docs, everyone needs to shut the eff up about it.

    May 29, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. buddy

    ...and this surprises who? The reason Bush told an audience that torture worked was because Cheney told him it did. Again, does this surprise you? Keep on digging that hole Dick....

    May 29, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  6. morris diehl

    bush lied so your child died, chaney was too busy to go to viet nam, just schmucks like me, so he has no standing other than he is a war criminal that the gutless world courts won't arrest. Why don't you racist right wingers go off and die.

    May 29, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  7. This liberal democrat against Obama

    I quite agree with you, Brain in AZ. Levin is the biggest liar of all time.

    He must took some pointers from Obama!

    May 29, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  8. Brian, Tamworth, NH

    Someone should humor Jesse Ventura's request for , 1 hour, a waterboard setup and Dick Cheney's presence. I'm sure we'll be able to detain someone who confesses to the Tate murders almost indefinately. We could even throw in a military trial and some hersey, since it's allowed there. California IS the frontlines of the 'war on terror and drugs', it is, after all, a battlefield according to them. No Geneva Convention violations there. Given his distain for the American people he should even be declared an enemy of the state. Good luck with that 2012 bid from the 'new Gitmo' wherever that ends up crashing down!

    May 29, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  9. Proud Member..Party of No

    I believe Cheney. I don't believe Levin.....Levin is a democrat, therefore Levin lies.

    May 29, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  10. Jyoti

    Why am I not suprised?? When has Cheney ever told the truth :)

    May 29, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  11. James, Phoenix AZ

    Cheney lied???

    Next thing they'll be saying is that the sun is big, round and hot.

    May 29, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  12. Spider

    Why can't we just leave this behind us?

    Is waterboarding torture?

    It's an interrogation technique that involves making an individual feel there is a possibility he will drown. Is that torture? I don't know. If I am able to convince a person he is going to lose something valuable if he doesn't talk, is that always torture?

    Did waterboarding work?

    Well, we came up with intelligence, somehow, that prevented another attack on this country since 9/11/2001. Was it attained through interrogation of our detainees or in some other way?

    Should we prosecute the Bush Administration for war crimes?

    Of course not!!! Leave this alone and get on with life.

    My biggest worry is what are we going to do if there is another 9/11? We can't afford it. The Obama Administration is too busy becoming owners of all of our banks, mortgage/insurance companies and auto makers.

    This worry about the past is a smoke screen to make people miss what's going on today.

    May 29, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  13. Alan

    Hint to all RATIONAL people reading these posts - any time you see someone refer to Obama's economic policies as "socialism" or "socialistic" or ask - again - about Obama's birth certificate - those are imbecils who only listen to Rush and ditto his own complete lack of knowledge.

    Obama's made his birtch certificate available since back when he was running and the idiocy first came up. The state of Hawaii certifies it.

    9 out of 10 economist predict we should see an END to the recession and possibly an UPturn by the end of THIS YEAR. THIS YEAR. Yet - Obama's plans aren't working.

    See what I mean?

    These are ALL people you can just skip. Their comments are the rattling of empty heads.

    May 29, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  14. Jon in CA

    @ Steve M Killeen, TX says,

    "I would not believe DICK Cheney if he told me the sky was blue."

    ---------

    Thank you for PROVING that liberals are blind to the truth because of their partisan hatred!

    Because you hate Cheney – you refuse to believe the sky is blue.

    Because you hate Cheney – you refuse to believe there are terrorists trying to hurt us.

    Because you hate Cheney – you think BUSH & Cheney were the ones who concocted this intelligence reports about Saddam having WMDs – irregardless of intelligence reports from France, Germany, Russia, England, and other countries saying EXACTLY THE SAME THING.

    Because you hate Cheney – you've become a blathering idiot.

    May 29, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  15. barbara

    Carl,
    Please allow ME, an American, to READ for MYSELF what the documents say or do not say. DO NOT tell us what YOU think the documents say or what you personally read in them. Let us think for ourselves. Thats whats wrong with you politicians, you dont trust the people to decide for themselves. I hate that all of you think we are stupid, and maybe we were to elect your butt to congress/senate.

    May 29, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  16. Chi Town

    So release the documents...

    Curious how long Levin knew this? When was he briefed? Was he with Pelosi...

    Release them all... and burn all who knew about it... good for the goose... good for the (well you know)

    May 29, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  17. Alphonse Bluengreenenbrownenburger

    The assumption that Cheney, Bush and the rest are trying to fool you with is the notion that torture was the best, fastest, most reliable way of interrogation. The truth is that the "enhanced interrogation" was not the best technique, nor the fastest, nor even particularly reliable, according to the interrogation professionals in our government.

    The Bush administration chose a mediocre approach over much better ones, an approach that shamed us on the world stage.

    I wish some Republican had the courage to stand up and say that Americans do not do that, that we stand for higher and better things.

    May 29, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  18. jm

    Interesting then, that the Democrats should say that Cheney is lying and the the documents prove this, and then refuse to release the documents. Unless, of course, it is the Democrats that are lying.

    Two things are made clear by the comments here: First, most of you are going to believe what your party is telling you to believe, so it doesn't matter what the documents actually reveal. Second, a lot of you should find something more productive to do with your time than spend all day bickering on these sites.

    May 29, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  19. Peter Warkentin

    I'm pleased to see that the pro-Cheney crowd is also asking for the documents to be released. There should therefore be no objection if Obama allows this.

    May 29, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  20. Randall, Georgia

    ....and Carl-the-Combover Levin has done such and outstanding job for the State of Michigan, and the taxpayers of The United States all these years. What an idiot.

    May 29, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  21. Pragmatic

    If Cheney really wanted those documents declassified and released, he had the power to do so as recently as five months ago .... and didn't.

    May 29, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  22. mike

    If that is true what levin says why is he so concerned. i guess the democrats werent that concerned prior to 9/11 and saving countless lives. now that it is in vogue they are highly concerned. great photo op for levin and the dems.

    May 29, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  23. francine

    Find a synonym for Liar....Cheney....The world knows that !

    May 29, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  24. Greg

    I think the lack of a terrorist attack on US soil the past eight proves whatever Bush & Cheney did was effective... given that reportedly every bone in McCain's body was broken, I think the terrorists' fears of being drowned are nowhere near the torture US soldiers have faced, and the namby-pamby doves in Washington need to realize the same as our government did after Pearl Harbor, the gloves are off and we shouldn't be held back by the UN or NATO or any other restrictions concerning enemies of the state... when the equivalent of 9/11 happens in the rest of the world, a new attitude will emerge towards these thugs. Maybe we should 'bounce the rubble' with a few nukes on the border mountains between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and at the same time remind North Korea what it means to be a superpower. God bless the USA!!!

    May 29, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  25. Georgia

    Why is anyone listening to Cheney for anyway??? He was a coward that had 5 deferments to not serve in the military! If he had served in the military – he would not have allowed torture (Waterboarding) because he would have known that it could have been used on him.

    May 29, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
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