Dick Cheney is the very embodiment of pure fucking evil.

Why is nobody asking him about the hundreds of millions of dollars he made as a Halliburton war profiteer... from a war of his own creation.
Many Americans are vengeful and bloodthirsty, looking for any excuse to "justifiably" take someone's life. It's reflected in our love of action movies where the bad guys all die at the hands of "good" people, and our politics where we believe in the death penalty. It's reflected in the comments section of any news report about a crime - locally, there were some security photos released of some people stealing wallets out of unattended purses, and the comments on Facebook were largely of the "make my day" variety. Violence is as American as cherry pie, as a wise man once observed, and we like it when we can get it in a way that makes us feel heroic.
Most "Average Americans" live very dull lives, and get most of their ideas from television. Television tells us that torture is both effective and justified, so there you are.
If you cover one side of his face and look at only the other, you can see two entirely different people in there. This isn't a scientific observation, but in my experience the less "integrated" a person's face is, the less integrated their personality is. Cheney looks like someone with a pathological personality.
Cheney lives in Fear.

Fear of being drafted.

Fear of the unknown.

Fear that he will finally be arrested & jailed for his International War Crimes in violation of the Geneva Conventions our nation is signatory to.

Fear is something only some Americans live in - the weak ones - the ones who falsely think torture works.
@4- FTW. TV shows torture working on everyone but the American Hero. The actual effectiveness, the actual application of it to the innocent by ourselves, the actual complete immorality of it in any case just doesn't matter. People see torture working on the glowing rectangle so often that they feel it must be real.
Reminds me of this bit of dialogue from "Doctor Strangelove" (1964 - how little things change):

RIPPER: Mandrake, were you ever a prisoner of war?

MANDRAKE: Well, yes I was Jack as a matter of fact I was.

RIPPER: Did they torture you?

MANDRAKE: Yes Jack, I was tortured by the Japanese, if you must know, not a pretty story.

RIPPER: Well, what happened?

MANDRAKE: Oh Well, I don't know, Jack, difficult to think of under these conditions, but well, they got me on the old Ragoon-Ichinawa railway. I was laying train lines for the bloody Japanese puff-puff's.

RIPPER: No, I mean when they tortured you did you talk?

MANDRAKE: Ah, oh, no, I don't think they wanted me to talk really, I don't think they wanted me to say anything. It was just their way of having a bit of fun the swines.
I suspect half of all Americans are untroubled by the WWII Japanese-American internment camps.
Since Obama and Holder refuse to prosecute the torturers--which in itself is a crime against US and international law--we'll have a helluva lot more torture to enjoy in the future.
God bless that man. He's someone who cares enough about this country to do what he needs to protect it. People love sausage but they don't like to see it made. Can you imagine the peril this country would face if it were up to silly crackpots like @10 to protect us?
@5: There is some serious study of this, though asymmetry is pretty common. I always find it chilling to look at Cheney, but maybe that's because we're all aware of his many machinations over the years.…………
@11: the point is: HE DIDN'T NEED TO DO THAT.

we could have eliminated the threat al Qaeda posed with a far smaller footprint and much less torture.

why are conservatives such pussies?

@ 4/7, don't you think TV caters to already existing prejudices and fantasies of American viewers? To read you two, you'd think TV was dictating them.
Paul, "Even most reasonable Republicans recognize"?

a lot of assumptions in 5 words.
a. there are reasonable republicans
b. people in this group recognize that Cheney is not admirable
c. most of a believes b

kinda doubt it.
Paul, I respectively disagree about Dick Cheney's motives for instigating a torture program post 9/11. Torture is never about getting necessary and useable information from recalcitrant sources to head off some looming disaster. Assuming so implies Dick Cheney had America's interests at heart when clearly he does not, not then, not now.

No, torture through history has been used primarily by governments and other institutions to accomplish three things: (1) instill fear or terror in the general population to 'encourage' or force right thinking and obedient behavior; (2) punish individuals when they challenge dogmatic beliefs or otherwise aggravate figures of authorities; and (3) produce 'confessions' to justify, after the fact, policies or courses of action in order to give those policies or courses of action a veneer of credibility. Dick Cheney did not instigate a torture program to help keep us safe or protect our freedoms. I don't think Dick Cheney gives a rat's ass about keeping America safe or in general about America's 'freedoms.' No, torture to him was about producing 'intel' he could use to justify his war for oil in the Middle East that helped further enrich himself and his crony buddies. And if instilling a sort-of clandestine torture program also undermined America's democratic institutions and reputation, well that was just icing on the cake. Dick Cheney has an authoritarian mindset and I'm sure he felt fully justified in making America less democratic and more authoritarian by eroding the check on executive power and by chipping away at this whole notion of America being 'as a city upon a hill.' Truly a disturbing figure in American history and if our government weren't filled and compromised by so many people like him, he'd be standing trial for crimes against humanity.
Torture is pointless, despicable, barbaric, and without any place in civilized societies.
Remember the the show "24"? Or the New York Times and other mainstream bastions of the establishment refusingl to use the term, "torture"? The poll results demonstrate how effective the propaganda has been.
#18 last time I listened to NPR (last Friday) NPR used 'harsh interrogation techniques' instead of 'torture' when reporting on the torture report. What a joke.
Matt Dear, I do think TV is something of a feedback loop that reinforces what Americans think of themselves. It's always been that way, but I think the current bunch of living Americans is much more susceptible to it. The "Greatest Generation" had a more realistic view of the world, due to the effects of the Depression and WWII.
@ 20, if you can say that about TV and movies, you can say that about pretty much everything. Music, video games, theater, books...

There has to be a point where we acknowledge that people aren't so easily influenced and led by popular art, and that popular art is much more a reflection of popular attitudes and fantasies than an influence upon them.
The "Greatest Generation" had a more realistic view of the world, due to the effects of the Depression and WWII.

This cannot be understated.

It's hip now to shit on those generations. Largely because they were somewhat behind the curve in terms of civil rights for black people (though they did come around - Eleanor Roosevelt for example). But they, in very large part, were extraordinarily progressive in every other respect. For exactly the reasons you state.

They survived nearly starving to death. They witnessed and defeated a madman's fascist attempt to take over the world (It wasn't a Bond movie. It was real). And they saw the complicity of the 1% in both those events.

Those generations soberly constructed first-of-their-kind in human history global institutions to try and prevent that shit from happening again. Nobody has come close to advancing the cause of humanity like they did.

The New Deal was in fact widely popular and was the start of ALL progressive institutions in this country. And the far right - who sided with Hitler, BTW - have been trying to dismantle it ever since. And now the Right finally has a very real a shot at destroying everything those generations fought for.
@22: We've had unions long enough that people don't remember what it was like without them.
Matt dear, I don't think you're accounting for the impact marketing via popular media has on the average person. Take automotive advertising - when I was a wee Catalina, trucks were for working people, and middle class people had things like sedans and station wagons. Nowadays, people who have no use for them drive huge trucks, and Cadillac has an SUV. That didn't happen by chance. It took hours of ad time and thousands of product placement.
What this issue urgently needs is for Obama to stop surpressing the detainee abuse photos by ordering the incoming Sec Def to not extend the Protected National Security Documents Act (PNSDA) protection to these pictures the next time they come up in 2015. Next time some misguided right winger defends tortue, just post pictures of detainees who were beat to death, or sodomizing detainees with a broomstick, or mock executions, etc. etc. Make them confront what they support. Bullshit weasel words won't stand up to actual photo evidence.

The rationale that these picture will rile up anti American sentiment is ridiculous. These were the sons, uncles and husbands of Iraqis and Afghanis being tortured, to imagine that the Arab street doesn't all ready "know" that Americans torture is ludicrous. The reason to suppress these photos is to enable us to continue to tortue in the future, in fact I would be surprised if it wasn't happening right now.
@23 We are also beginning to see a trend of workers using State and local voter referendums to past laws covering issues that used to be addressed by labor unions. Wage increases, paid sick time, shift schedules, and so on.

Perhaps that bodes well for a return of wide spread participation in labor unions. Way to early to tell yet but methinks something is happening here. If the trend continues corporations may decide that they'd rather negotiate directly with their employees rather then get hit with the hammer of one size fits all employment laws.

As for the topic at hand, torture is evil and no justification removes that evil stench.
dick cheney is a piece of human shit. The U.S. Govt. paid for his heart transplant, that means you and I, (taxpayers) the human piece of shit is still an asshole, he negotiated the Iraq war to try and implicate Saddam as a mastermind of the the 9-11 horrific attack on U.S.soil and no-one called him on it! W.T.F.! bush jr. just went along and did as what was bidded to do, be the stupid figurehead that cheney wanted him to be. cheney needs to have his heart transplant recalled and replaced with a lump of coal.
Catalina dear, are you really comparing the desirability of consumer goods to the major ethical concerns of the use of torture?

You have hinted that you've taken a fair number of trips around the sun. So tell me, do you really think Americans had a lot of qualms with torture before "24" and the Bush administration's euphemisms? Have things changed a lot since you were a wee Catalina?
Cheney is Kissinger reincarnated (before K has even croaked, may it be soon!). And did anyone notice Hillary Clinton kissing his ass?!.

@17 -- Reporter: “What Do You Think of Western Civilization?” Ghandi (maybe): “I Think It Would Be a Good Idea.”

@22 -- Really good analysis. Americans have the attention span of gnats. I.e., we are ahistorical; the past doesn't exist. Thus the future will be just like the present. Won't we be surprised when things fall part?
I can't wait to piss on his grave.
When I think of the immense medical resources that have been brought to bear to keep that man alive...
Matt dear, I think you are missing my point: as I said, most Americans live dull lives, and really do take a lot of their "knowledge" from what they see on TV. It's been proven that the average Fox News viewer, for example, is less informed about the world around him, yet more certain that his information is correct. Thus, if people are told by what they consider a reliable source that the torture was just "enhanced interrogation", and that only alarmist weenies call it torture, a lot of people will go with that. If they see a TV drama showing torture, or a cop "doing what he has to" to get a predator or something, they accept that idea without much examination.

Just the other day, a girl I know who grew up in Iowa, served in the peacetime military, and promptly returned back to Iowa was assuring everyone on her page that torture produced results, because so many attacks were averted. She insinuated that she knew that because of her service, which is absurd - the woman is really an idiot, and probably spent her time in the military typing something - but people were buying it, because she is a vet.

It's basically the same mindset that lets people think that the Victorian Era was a wonderful time, or that "Gone With The Wind" is an accurate depiction of life in the old south.

People are dumb. They are very susceptible, especially to carefully crafted messages, designed to appeal to emotion, not reason. That's what TV is all about.
I got your point entirely, Catalina. My point is that it's wrong because it ignores the fact that people are brought up believing things are right and wrong, and whatever that sense of what is right and what is wrong, it tends to be very rigid and not easily influenced by media manipulation. And in the case of our society, we have a deep set belief that violence is a right way to settle grievances, under certain circumstances. Torturing foreign enemies* fits right in with that value.

Keep in mind this country's history. McCarthyism worked well because enough ordinary people believe that some political viewpoints are dangerous enough that the Constitution doesn't really protect them, and many lives were destroyed - not so much by the allegations as by the soft ethical code most Americans live by, where who you are justifies what happens to you. It's the same idea that allows people to believe that being shot to death is just desserts for fucking around with a cop.

I guarantee that had a 9/11-scale terrorist attack happened in 1971, back when the news media was at its height of respectability and its ability to freely call a spade a spade, and that Islamic fundamentalist Arabs were responsible for it, that a 1984 poll about torture would still find statistically significant support for torture. We didn't just lose our moral footing because of government and media doublespeak.
Shorter version: The Fox News viewer is attracted to Fox News because they're in the propaganda business and they reinforce his or her beliefs. The Fox News viewer came to Fox because they believe torturing enemies is justified, and think due process is something the guilty game in order to get away with it. Same with shows like 24, movies like Dirty Harry, and other examples I could cite.
@28- "...are you really comparing the desirability of consumer goods to the major ethical concerns of the use of torture?"

Why not? Do you really think people's moral reasoning is different from all their other kinds of reasoning?

"So tell me, do you really think Americans had a lot of qualms with torture before "24" and the Bush administration's euphemisms?"

They had more. I've only had 4 decades on this earth and I know they liked to show the cops slapping suspects around in the old cop shows. I know these ideas aren't new. But I also know things really have changed. The idea that our government would hold people in black sites and torture them endlessly would not have flown with half the public in 1980.
@ 36, yes. Psychological studies have proven that over and over. And you overestimate what people under the duress of war (even if it's trumped up) will do. In the 1980s our government openly supported known repressive dictatorships which employed death squads, with nary a peep from the general population. Why is that, if many Americans weren't just jim dandy with extrajudicial murder and mayhem when the victims were commies?
@37- Sorry which studies? I've never heard of a study that showed moral reasoning was immune to propaganda. I do know that the Milgrim Experiment clearly demonstrated that people would commit acts of torture when the authorities said it was proper to do so.

As to you second point: There was a peep, much more than a peep in fact. Of course we had the excuse of it not being us that was doing it. It was (supposedly) either our guys or the communists, and given that the communists were usually authentically terrible... What could we do? (except stay out of it, which we weren't allowed to think of as an option because of flood of anti-communist propaganda.)

Propaganda works. I don't see how you can deny it.
And I don't see how you can deny that Americans have few qualms about violence against perceived enemies. But the studies I mean are the ones showing that you can't use suggestion, hypnosis, or other means to get people to do things against their ethical codes. Google will verify this for you.

Propaganda works on things like convincing us that a bunch of nomads with no arms can bring down our country. It cannot convince people to go against their ethics. Ergo, a lot of people's sense of right and wrong is skewed.
@39- Name a study so I can look it up. You're being so vague it's almost like you don't actually have any backing. The Milgrim experiment volunteers didn't say they would torture someone, but then when a guy in a lab coat told them they needed to "for science" they did.

Propaganda worked to convince the Germans (what had been the best integrated nations in Europe) that they needed to exterminate the Jews.

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