Letter to the editor: No excuse for torture

December 17, 2014
Dick Cheney

Dick Cheney


Listening to Dick Cheney defend torture on “Meet The Press” is akin to hearing Idi Amin justify cannibalism.

Imagine that you are one of the 26 innocent detainees who was confined for 29 hours in a box that measures 21 inches wide, 30 inches deep and 30 inches high, you can neither stand, sit nor lie down for 29 hours. Imagine being literally immobilized in a closed coffin for 266 hours. If this isn’t torture, I don’t know what is!

Initially, many of the other less innocent detainees provided useful “intel” to trained interrogators without resorting to torture. But these trained interrogators were fired and Cheney and company brought in unqualified “contractors” to take over the “interrogation process” using torture. No subsequent useful “intel” was obtained.

How would one best describe this sort of behavior? Depravity.

Allan Cooper is a retired Cal Poly professor and a member of Save Our Downtown.

Ted Slanders


Listen up, this is a CHRISTIAN NATION, therefore we’re to act like one! If all of you candy-assed namby-pamby liberals don’t like it, then pack up your sorry wimpy asses and move to another country post haste, Enough!

Being a Christian Nation, we therefore are under the bible for our direction of how we’re to act, and if TORTURE is a part of the Hebrew God’s plan, then as an explicit example, we’re to follow it as well. But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)

As our Hebrew God’s inspired word states, sometimes you just have to beat people as a torture for an end result that is needed!

“And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten.” (Deut 25:2)

“Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools.” (Proverbs 19:29)

“A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back!” (Proverbs 26:3)

Godly parental guidance is to beat your children hard and often. Don’t worry about hurting them even if you may break a few bones or cause some brain damage. It isn’t going to kill them, and even if it does, they’ll be better off than going to Hell and they’ll thank you in heaven for beating the Hell out of them on earth!

“Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell..” (Proverbs.23:13-14)

True Christians are told that at the end of the world, our Hebrew God will TORTURE people until they want to die. But he will not let them die so that he can continue to TORTURE them, praise!

“And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.” (Revelation 9:5-6)

Have we forgotten about the ULTIMATE TORTURE that our loving and forgiving God plans for all unbelievers, aka Hell? “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake of fire that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

“And throw them into the firey furnace . In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 13:50)

As we Christians realize, our version of God is into TORTURE and has set forth examples for us to follow as we do in other areas as well. Always remember, Bush and Cheny are true Christians, therefore they were just following the bible, listed in part, in this revealing dissertation relative to our Hebrew God’s inspired word upon the topic of “TORTURE.”

“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.“ (Proverbs 30:5)


Ted Slanders

The “dislikes” shown above are obviously from non-believers of Christianity, and that show how disgusting they think our faith is relative to our Hebrew God’s views on torture. They will pay upon Judgment Day, that is for sure!


Okay I would like to just point out that this country was founded on basically wanting to be free, and that includes freedom of religion. There is a reason that this country has

the seperation of church and state. Its because not everyone believes in the Christian God. Everyone is entitled to their own religion. I grew up in a Christian home, I know scripture, and torture is not something that God condones. And as for the beating children hard and frequently? Thats called child abuse and will get you arrested in our country.

This country is a free country, not a Christian country. Get it right Ted.

Ted Slanders


Separation of Church and State has absolutely no bearing upon the United States being founded upon Christian Principles! Case in point, have you forgotten about the Salem Witch Trials in Massachusetts starting 1692 where ungodly witches were burned at the stake, of which was substantiated by our bible?

“You shall not permit a witch to live.” (Exodus 22:18 KJV)

“A man or a woman who is a medium or a necromancer shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones; their blood shall be upon them.” (Leviticus 20:27)

I am displeased to see that your biblical ignorance has no bounds relative to you stating that our Hebrew God does not condone TORTURE, whereas He most certainly does. This is because our version of God’s “inspired words” wrote the bible.

“Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:20-21)

“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.“ (Proverbs 30:5)

“And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”

To your dismay, God wrote the child beating passage in question that a true Christian is to follow without question, even if there is a possibility that they will be arrested on child abuse. But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)

Anonymousgroverbeach, I’ve seen this many times before, in where Burger King Christians like you want to have their bibles “their way” instead of God’s way. Therefore, I am afraid that you are blatantly guilty of the following passage; “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (2 Timothy 4: 3)

I will pray for you tonight in my closet in the hopes that you will soon be enlightened about God’s true words.

Good day, and amen.


I believe the dislikes are from people payed or somehow “called’ to follow our claptrap. Please keep the Bible in these discussions. They reveal much about all of us.


the rabbi told me never strike a child . if you must strike a child use a piece of string


The kindest thing I can say is, you ain’t too bright.


Mr. Cooper:

For someone with so much education, you sure are not very smart. It’s people like you who make our great nation look weak. I have been in the Middle East and seen what the devil can do. You have no real idea about torture or war crimes Mr. Professor.

Wake up people and don’t buy into this appeasing crap. Those people we are talking about want nothing more than to see every one of us dead.

Those overpaid liberal academia who enjoy hiding behind books in classrooms think they know it all, don’t have a real clue about the world around them.



any reader recognizing resonance with Paxton’s observation?


No fascism here. I’m just a man who has been there and served my country and understands somethings first hand that you do not. Go ahead and pasts Wikipedia to make yourself feel smart and good. I’m just a realist who has lived outside the bubble of the Central Coast and I care about people of my country (even you Zap) and want you all safe.


What say you Sgt D to John McCain then?

You are classically uneducated to believe the end justifies the means thus its ok to trash the US Constitution.

You thinking is every bit the fanatical zealot as the worst of the Taliban.

You wrap yourself in the American flag and then use it as a mop to wipe up your drivel. It is you who are weak


Classically uneducated? Gee, you must be one of those smart ones.

I am surprised to read some of the posts on this board suggesting that posters believe that Constitutional protections apply to enemy combatants, apparently including non-citizen enemy combatants taken into custody on foreign soil. Wow.


War is hell


which war is hell?



All wars



Wouldn’t THAT be a nice discussion? We’re debating the process of making sausage, not why we’re eating it.


The US has never had the moral high ground. Interestingly, when other nations do it, it is torture and those who authorized and committed it are tried as war criminals. When the US does it, it somehow becomes a necessary and justified. The mental gymnastics required by some to rationalize their continued apologetics for their sick and twisted politicians is fascinating to observe. Cheney has only become worse from his days as the town drunk. Just more evidence that the right wing fascist coup which Prescott Bush attempted in 1933 has finally come to fruition… Not that any of these torture revelations are a surprise, the US has long engaged in, supported and facilitated torture worldwide since the beginning. Nothing new as the US was founded upon slavery, genocide and torture. Nothing has changed…

When the trials for these war criminals finally take place, it will be curious to see what those who supported such cowardly sick and twisted behaviors have to say for themselves. At least they won’t be able to claim “We had no idea what they were doing in our name.”


“…when other nations do it, it is torture and those who authorized and committed it are tried as war criminals.”

Oh really? When was the last “war criminal” tried? The last two that I recall were 1993 and 1994 for Serbia (ethnic cleansing) and Rwanda (ethnic cleansing). Before that, Nuremberg.

So please, enlighten me about these “other nations” who were tried for torture.

Gotta love people who just make shit up to take a political stand.


Saddam Hussein was captured and tried for war crimes and convicted according to the Geneva Convention and sentenced to death by his own people in Iraq.

You are correct about the other ones as well.


It is much better that we use drones to kill innocent women and children (collateral damage) than it is to make a couple of Known Terrorists a little uncomfortable? Obama is killing hundreds of innocent people on his carpet bombing runs. But, then again, I would not suspect anything will be told of this in the mainstream media.

Keep in mind that our US Navy Seals are required to be water boarded as part of their training.

Since NO ONE interviewed the man (men) that actually waterboarded these terrorists, I suspect the report was issued to take heat away from obama’s Undocumented Democrat amnesty program.


Dick Cheney is a war criminal …now admitted and on tape.

He can’t travel anywhere else in the world, lest he be arrested, dragged to the Hague to face prosecution for crimes against humanity.

Everything he self-declares is not torture has been codified as exactly that, and it is against the law by the Geneva Conventions, the Nuremberg protocols, and aas defined in our own US Constitution.

It’s embarrassing and shameful that so many ‘good Americans’ put up with this filth from Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, Feith, Addington and others that should spend the rest of their natural lives locked up like Rudolph Hess had to.

I’m generally not in favor of the capital penalty, but Cheney is guilty as hell, and in his case I would make an exception.


he’s like our own Mr Pinochet! a Spanish judge let him have it


Pursuant to topper’s reply to my comment; Pinochet had Salvador Allende ( the democratically elected president of Chile ) assassinated, and thousands of others. Many of them were tortured first.

Since Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11, one could argue that he was assassinated by Bush and Cheney.

Read Vincent Bugliosi’s “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder”, as 4,000 American service personnel and at least 500,000 innocent Iraqi’s were murdered for no other reason than that Bush, Cheney, and the other neo-con war criminals wanted to do it.

They will and DO kill our own.

My Dad was a non-violent man, but he killed Nazi’s in WWII, and would have desired to put a bullet in the head of Hitler , Goebbels, Goering, Himmler and the rest of the top war thugs.


little did your father suspect how many blue blood uppercrust industrialists and bankers in America I helped bring Adolf Hitler to power for the purpose of crippling global labor. Hitler copied whole paragraphs of anti labor anti semetic garbage from Henry Ford’s Dearborn Independent newspaper for his famous book


Yes, It was a cabal that arranged an attempted coup against President FD Roosevelt in 1933 by Senator Prescott Bush ( father of GHW Bush, G’father of GW Bush ), his brother, the DuPont family, executives of US Steel, Remington Arms, J.P. Morgan, Standard Oil.

They wanted to establish a fascist state and align with Nazi Germany.

Discovered and exposed by General Smedley Butler.

These traitors should have been exiled and all their properties confiscated at the least.

Some should have said their last farewell’s to the hangman.


Why then, did your anointed one and his right hand man (holder) not indite anyone? Could it be that NO LAW was broken? After all that was the ruling when holder investigated this the first time!

Political. Pure simple Politics!


People masquerading as human beings that commit torture would have no problem committing assassinations.

Wherever Cheney’s hidey-hole is, it would take something on the order of what the Israeli’s did with Adolph Eichmann when he was brought to justice.

Cheney and his band of neo-con nazi’s will be subject to the judgnment of history, no matter what.

Those among you that are apologists for these monsters are nothing but Quislings.


Perhaps Mr. Cooper would like to retract his statement in light of the 132 children killed while in school by these clowns.


I’d like to win this war.


No TMA, you don’t get it. Torturing another human being is wrong, as a nation we should never condone it. We don’t want our troops tortured when they are caught, and we shouldn’t torture either. Let’s not stoop to their level. Cracks me up how the conservative bible thumpers are all into their guns and torture…..makes no sense. Stick to talking about Benghazi and legitimate rape…..


…but our troops ARE tortured when they are caught… always have been, always will be.


Yes, SandyK, It is much better to use drones to kill hundreds of innocent women and children (called collateral damage) than it is to make a couple of known terrorist a bit uncomfortable.


Topper01–we should be doing neither–both are bad


This seems to be a common attitude by many “true-believers.” There are some problems with that the use of torture that they either ignore or try to minimize.

Torture does not reliably provide good information. Once in a while it does but how much time is wasted checking out the bad information that torture victims give up to stop the process whether they have any worthwhile knowledge or not. Their are interrogation techniques that work better than torture on the vast majority of those being interrogated although they take a bit longer.

Torture kills most efforts to “win hearts and minds” which is the only reliable long-term solution to turning the tide in areas like Afghanistan. We lose our moral authority and the respect of those we want to help. The fact that significant numbers of completely innocent people (1 in 6?) are tortured doesn’t help these matters either. These people were often grabbed, imprisoned and tortured on the word of “informants” who are about as honest and reliable as the ones drug war” cops use to get search warrants that end up terrorizing/killing innocent citizens in SWAT raids. If we have to become as evil as the enemy to fight them we are too stupid to deserve a description of a “free and moral society”.

We probably can’t win this war short of turning the Middle East and Central Asia into a “glass parking lot.” That has consequences worse than the problems we want to solve. The best we can do is to assist those living in that area in fighting the fanatics and that will take a lot of time. The second best we can do is to make sure that the multi-national corporations whose actions in that part of the world create more enemies either have incentives to behave better or suffer consequences when they use corrupt foreign officials to rape the resources of those countries.


Yea let’s play nice. Hmm let’s see in Afgan. our fighters would be in a fire fight with Taliban. The Taliban would be fighting from trenches. So our troops would be in these fire fights for quite some time. Then all of a sudden the Taliban would stop shooting and put down their weapons. A short time later they would then walk out. We wouldn’t shoot at them, even tho we knew they were the one’s just firing at us, because of rules of engagement etc. So is it (all this crap of war) perfect? Hell no but this world is far from perfect.


There is NOTHING USA can do to win the hearts or minds of these muslims!


I think in war you do what you have to win or you don’t fight. I am not sure how people rationalize leveling buildings and killing 1000’s even if we try to avoid civilians they will be collateral damage. But talk about torture or really just tough interrogation, (most I would not consider torture). and people say were to good for that. What… didn’t we drop a nuclear bomb on innocent civilians in WW2. But torture is bad. Makes no sense. And oh ya if you are not getting good info you are not doing it right.


Um, yeah, no. Please look up what General George Washington told all of the American troops in the battle for freedom from the British Government; he said, in very plain terms, that he did not want any British soldier mistreated in any way, shape or form, period. Seems like the last administration has brought us down from those humanistic goals that our first president thought was what our country should be about.


But would Washington feel the same way today give the atrocities associated with war throughout the decades? Somehow, I think not.


I wonder what his wife Martha would have to say about torture after all she was the Christian in the family George generally stayed in the carriage during the services that Martha loved to attend


Please tell me why its bad to torture the hell out of one person who has a chance to give us info that could save thousands, including thousands of the citizens of that country. Many have a perverted sense of morals. Okay to kills thousands but don’t pour some water on a guys face. I say its Okay to do all of the above when national security is at stake.


the Golden Rule


Wartime atrocities are nothing new. They sometimes take different forms but they have always existed and, in many ways, they were worse in the past. Washington and other Revolutionary War leaders were well aware of them. In fact, the only reason current “terrorism” seems worse is because of the intense and instantaneous media coverage it generates.


Really bob? That’s your best argument? The British where a HELL of a lot more civilized then what we deal with today. Also if you remember your history well, we went onto a battle field (both sides) and lined up in rows facing each other. Do we still fight like that today either? Um… NO!!! Oh and one last towards the end we started to get away from the lining up type of fighting and started to introduce…………guerrilla warfare and the Brits where ASTOUNDED that we would turn to such uncivilized type fighting.


Were you aware that the British also engage in offering Indians payment for scalps or other evidence of slaughter of the rebellious colonials? Their definition of “uncivilized” was as inconsistent as our definitions are today in considering use of high tech weapons civilized merely because our own hands don’t get as bloody while we condemn the fanatics for using IEDs which is their “high tech.”


Yea nice try and you are WAY off. Our tech same as their low tech. REALLY!?? We at least try and make an effort to target specific targets with laser guided weapons vs days of ol like WWII when you had to just carpet bomb and take out all kinds of innocents. Theirs? IED’s in market places, roadsides etc. and they take out whoever and they make NO EFFORT to control who it hits. Give me a break!!!!!!


” …. That’s your best argument?” Before he was our first President, General George Washington established a culture of honor for those in the military. We are a signatory to the rules of the Geneva Convention, which was formed after the atrocities of World War 1, to try and remove some of the inhumanity of war. No more poison gases on the battlefield, and no torturing of prisoners or civilians. Period.

Make all the excuses you want, but wrong is wrong. Torture is not acceptable, no matter if you have some lawyer type adviser telling Cheney he has the right to do so, it is not only wrong, it is unAmerican.


YES, bobfromsanluis, It is much better to use drones to kill hundreds of innocent women and children and call it collateral damage than it is to make a few Known Terrorists a little uncomfortable!

Keep in mind that the US Navy Seals must undergo this “Torture” in order to complete their training. Not a single person has ever died from Waterboarding!


they ended up in a wheelchair and then their wheelchair was taken from them now they are dragged from cell to cell never had a trial


The first TWO Geneva Accords were established long before WWI. But your Geneva stance means nothing, as the Genevas ONLY covered established governmental armies, and civilians. None of the Geneva’s establish ANY conditions for non-government enemy combatants. Did you notice we have zero Iraqi Army members at Gitmo?

Each time you bring up the Geneva Conventions, you prove to everybody that you have no idea what you are talking about.


we believe that all men are endowed with certain unalienable rights,just because a guy doesn’t have a passport doesn’t mean you can torture him or that universally accepted rules of conduct no longer apply .this is one of the points of fascism you can look it up


Certain inalienable rights, do not include killing people for no other reason than they do not believe as you do.

That’s when good people step in to stop it. If that means creating an atmosphere of fear and the thought of imminent death or injury due to methods that do not cause any injury…so be it.

Were these enemies of mankind an actual part of a government sanctioned army or group, the use of methods by the CIA and Army would be wholly different. But,,,,these people are only warriors in their own minds.

No international agreement protects non-government combatants, guerrillas, “freedom fighters”, or underground. They remain criminals, and must be dealt with as criminals. Harshly, quickly, and permanently.

Rich in MB

Two words: Firebomb Dresdon


The author refers to innocent detainees and less innocent detainees.

How is one “less innocent”. Is that a new politically correct term invented in academia?


Our prisons are filled with the innocent and the less innocent. Stop the madness!


A “less innocent” detainee would probably apply to some low-level enemy fighter who had no real knowledge of strategy or plans. The “War on Terror” version of what used to be called a POW. The innocent ones would be those accused by our wonderful, opium-drug-lord allies merely because they wouldn’t go along with their commercial ventures.