Monday, February 22, 2010
GENERAL POWELL, GENERAL PETRAEUS
POWELL: "We are NOT LESS SAFE under Obama."
Claims that the United States is less safe under President Obama are not credible, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said on "Face the Nation" Sunday.
He also challenged criticism by some (including former Vice President Dick Cheney, who say that by not using extreme interrogation techniques such as waterboarding on terror suspects the United States is more vulnerable.
"The point is made, 'We don't waterboard anymore or use extreme interrogation techniques.' Most of those extreme interrogation techniques and waterboarding were done away with in the Bush administration," Powell said. "They've been made officially done away with in this current administration."
Powell stuck by his conviction that Guantanamo Bay prison facility should be closed. "I think Guantanamo has cost us a lot over the years in terms of our standing in the world and the way in which despots have hidden behind what we have at Guantanamo to justify their own positions," he said.
"I think we ought to remove this incentive that exists in the presence of Guantanamo to encourage people and to give radicals an opportunity to say, 'You see? This is what America is all about. They're all about torture and detention centers.'"
Petraeus on DADT: Not Sure Soldiers Care
General Petraeus was asked about “don’t ask, don’t tell” on Meet the Press and spent the bulk of the time praising the year-long review process which will determine if the ban on gay and lesbian troops serving openly in the military should be lifted.
Petraeus stopped short of saying whether or not he felt “don’t ask, don’t tell should be overturned and said he wasn’t sure how the majority of soldiers felt.
“We have experienced certainly in the FBI and the CIA… I know. I’ve served in combat with individuals who were gay and who were lesbian in combat situations, and frankly, over time, you say, ‘How is his shooting?,’ or, ‘How is her analysis?’”
AND FINALLY, an open letter to Liz Cheney from Spencer Ackerman on TORTURE:
Dear Ms. Cheney,
I don’t know if you saw ‘Meet The Press’ this morning, but a general you may have heard of named David Petraeus — he’s the commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East and South Asia and is the most distinguished Army general since Colin Powell — graced your television. He was asked about whether the U.S. ought to torture Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the deputy commander of the Taliban, recently captured in Pakistan. “I have always been on record, in fact since 2003, with the concept of living our values,” Petraeus replied. Every time the U.S. took what he called “expedient measures” around the Geneva Conventions, those deviations just “turned around and bitten us on our backside.” The effect of torture at Abu Ghraib is “non-biodegradable,” he continued, and boasted that as commander of the 101st Airborne in Iraq, he ordered his men to ignore any instruction to use techniques outside the Army Field Manual on Interrogations. Besides, the non-torture techniques that manual has long instructed? “That works,” he said. “That is our experience.”
But hey. You’re a former deputy assistant secretary of state! You obviously know better than the man who implemented the surge in Iraq. Why don’t you enlighten Gen. Petraeus about all the glories of torture? And since you consider “enhanced interrogation” so necessary to secure the country, perhaps there’s a full-page ad you’ll take out in a major newspaper?