Q So much of the debate on the war on terror,
(Well, not exactly debate – blather, rather; hand-wringing.)
particularly as Democrats
have encapsulated in Congress,
(to encapsulate: to epitomize, to express in brief summary. So WTF?)
is focused on the legality of the tactics.
(Legality – you say po-tay-to and I say ‘spud’.)
Could you talk a little bit behind the scenes
(Where you’re most comfortable – living on the ‘Dark Side’.)
of some of the discussions that might have focused on the morality and the ethics of the tactics,
(Not that you’d have even the most tenuous gasp of the concepts…)
and whether those things weighed into the discussions that went into --
(Oh, I’m getting lost in my own fractured syntax!)
THE VICE PRESIDENT: What kind -- which tactics?
(You better re-phrase that or I’ll have you head, you friggin’ mutt!)
Q Oh, anything from rendition to waterboarding to --
(Gawd, I hope he doesn’t snarl at me. I’ve heard he snarls!)
Q Sleep deprivation.
Q -- to deprivation, tactics that were used at Gitmo. Is there any -- I'm sure –
(Fake a weak chortle here.)
were there discussions that also focused just on American values
(Hay-rides, quilting parties, lemonade at the July Fourth picnic… We’re looking for a Norman Rockwell moment.)
and whether those can be preserved in the course of trying to protect the country from terror attacks?
(There, have we left you enough wiggle room to sufficiently dodge the question?)
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, let me, before I respond to that,
(Since that’s why you’re paying me the honorarium.)
let me state a proposition.
(So as to side-track you and avoid actually giving an answer.)
It's very important to discriminate between different elements of -- or issues that are often at times conflated and all joined together and balled up.
(Like the following non-answer is obviously going to be.)
People take Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib
(with a double-dose of Pepto-Bismol)
and interrogation of high-value detainees
(a delightful euphemism; ‘high-value detainees’- sounds much better than prisoners)
and sort of throw that all together
(in a big naked goose-pile…)
and say, characterize it as torture policy.
(snort! Preposterous, what the simple-minded John and Jane Q Public come up with.)
You've got to, I think,
(I know it’ll be a strain for you two knuckle-draggers)
back off and recognize that something like Abu Ghraib was not policy.
(Even though there’s ample proof that it was policy, we’d prefer it wasn’t recognized as such.)
It was, in fact, uncovered and then exposed by the military.
(With the New York Times and 60 Minutes giving them a gentle assist.)
There were people involved in that activity who were not conducting themselves in accordance with the standards that we would have expected,
(The standards we expected were much lower and more brutal. Underwear on the head? Naked goose-piles!? Come on! That’s kid stuff. We were thinking more of bamboo-under-the-fingernails and electrodes-on-the-genitals - you know. School of the Americas techniques.)
and they've paid the price for it.
(And luckily – knock wood – those of us who made the executive decisions to flout international law haven’t.)
Guantanamo I believe has been a first-rate facility.
(As a symbol of the American iniquity and neo-conic depravity.)
It's one we absolutely needed and found essential.
(By ‘we’ of course I mean those in the Bush administration; it was essential for us to cover our asses for criminal activity.)
It's been primarily a military facility.
(Even you dorks probably know that. But did you know that it’s held in violation of treaty?)
If you're going to evaluate how it's functioned,
(And I strongly advise that you do NOT.)
the policy that we adhere to at Guantanamo basically is the U.S. Army Field Manual.
(Although most of what is done there is in direct violation of the Field Manual in regard to torture or detainment.)
With respect to high-value detainees and enhanced interrogation techniques,
(The euphemistic jargon is so vital to the proper functioning of propaganda. Don’t you think?)
totally separate proposition under the jurisdiction of the Central Intelligence Agency
(They had carte blanche with the blessing of John Yoo and Gonzo.)
and applied to only a few people who were individuals like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed,
(a few hundred or so)
the mastermind of 9/11,
(Keep repeating that. It takes away some of the P.R. sting from the horrific things we authorized done to him.)
who we believe possessed significant intelligence about the enemy,
(Whoever we say that is on any given day.)
about al Qaeda,
(Which means ‘network’ and the title of a CIA databank used in recruiting Islamic extremists to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan.)
about their future plans, about how they were organized and trained and equipped, where they operated.
(Since we were- ahem - totally in the dark (wink-wink) about all of this even though, as mentioned, the CIA ran and funded the Mujahidins in the jihad against the Soviets which became the al Qaeda network – if you’ll pardon the redundancy.)
And after 9/11, we badly needed to acquire good intelligence on the enemy.
(Since we had no good intelligence in Washington DC. None that we wanted to pay any attention to, anyway.)
That's an important part of fighting a war.
(So I’m told.)
What we did with respect to al Qaeda high-value detainees, if I can put it in those terms,
(And since that’s the standard party line we’ve been using for years, don’t even think of denying me.)
I think there were a total of about 33 who were subjected to enhanced interrogation;
(A magical term, isn’t it: enhanced interrogation. A good quick round of ’20 Questions’ followed by tea and cucumber sandwiches.)
only three of those who were subjected to waterboarding -- Khalid Sheik Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah, and a third, al Nashiri. That's it, those three guys.
(It’s not like we did to thousands or millions. So, since it was only those three guys –and we all know what nasty dudes those guys were (take our word for it) - international law and the US Constitution outlawing torture can be waived under those conditions. Right? Ask John Yoo.)
Was it torture?
(Of course it was. Oh, sorry. That was meant to be rhetorical, wasn’t it.)
I don't believe it was torture.
(“And what a fool believes… no wise man has the power to reason away”.)
We spent a great deal of time and effort getting legal advice,
(To cover our asses…)
legal opinion out of the Office of Legal Counsel, which is where you go for those kinds of opinions,
(Otherwise we’d have called it something different like the Office of Obfuscation or the Department of Dissemblance.)
from the Department of Justice as to where the red lines were out there in terms of this you can do, this you can't do.
(That’s how we asked them to lay it out for the Frat-boy Brush-cutter – color coded. He still couldn’t follow it. )
The CIA handled itself, I think, very appropriately.
(They were doing what they do best after all – torture and undermining democratic process.)
They came to us in the administration, talked to me, talked to others in the administration,
(Of course, they talked with me first since I’d summoned them to my office. Addington was there along with those other knuckle-heads – they always reminded me of those little toy dogs in the back windows of cars, their heads bobbing up and down, up and down… very gratifying.)
about what they felt they needed to do in order to obtain the intelligence that we believe these people were in possession of.
(Since, as I said, we had none of our own in DC.)
I signed off on it;
others did, as well, too. I wasn't the ultimate authority, obviously.
(George W Bush.)
As the Vice President, I don't run anything.
But I was in the loop.
(Hell, I WAS the loop.)
I thought that it was absolutely the right thing to do.
(Which goes to show I haven’t the foggiest notion anymore about what is right or wrong.)
I thought the legal opinions that were rendered were sound.
(Because we had lawyers write down what we wanted in legalese.)
I think the techniques were reasonable in terms of what they were asking to be able to do.
(Reasonable as far as criminal activity and in terms of what we demanded that the CIA do.)
And I think it produced the desired result.
(Although we got nothing as far as actionable intelligence as a result of our non-torture torture.)
I think it's directly responsible for the fact that we've been able to avoid or defeat further attacks against the homeland for seven and a half years.
(That and the fact that I’ve had interns continuously shredding newspapers in my office, lighting incense and ringing a little silver bell. Oh, and the monkey paw blessed by Alexander Haig that I wear under my shirt.)
And come to the question of morality and ethics, in my mind,
(Comes up blank…)
the foremost obligation we had from a moral or an ethical standpoint was to the oath of office we took when we were sworn in on January 20th of 2001,
(What was it again…?)
to protect and defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
(Actually, it’s ‘protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic’ – not the neo-conic ideology.)
And that's what we've done.
More or less. Probably less than more.)
And I think it would have been unethical or immoral for us not to do everything we could in order to protect the nation against further attacks like what happened on 9/11.
(In hopes that we could somehow make up for the fact that we didn’t do diddley-squat – ethical, immoral or fattening – to stop those attacks in the first place despite multiple reports, memoranda and advisories warning us of imminent attack.)
We made the judgment, the President and I and others, that that wasn't going to happen again on our watch.
(Not again. Getting caught flat-footed with our pants down once was enough. Heh-heh.)
And I feel very good about what we did.
(And so do the stock-holders of Halliburton, etc)
I think it was the right thing to do.
(Whatever that means to you. It means shit to a tree.)
If I was faced with those circumstances again, I'd do exactly the same thing.
(Because I am that freaking stupid, insane or obstinate.)
To be continued...