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Rachel Maddow - Senator Levin refute's Cheney's claims

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Uploaded on Dec 30, 2009

Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Carl Levin speaks out against former Vice-President Dick Cheney's repeated claims that classified material proves torture 'works'.

A video of / and the complete transcript of Senator Levin's remarks at the Foreign Policy Association 2009 Annual Dinner is available at:

http://levin.senate.gov/newsroom/rele...

An excerpt from above:

"...but then last week, a voice from the recent past reemerged, claiming that America can do what we please, preaching unilateralism again, and embracing the arrogance that for too many years alienated our friends and set back efforts to achieve common goals. Former Vice President Cheneys world view, which so dominated the Bush years and which so dishonored our nation, gained a little traction last week enough to persuade me to address it head on here tonight.

I do so as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which recently completed an eighteen month investigation into the abuse of detainees in U.S. custody and produced a 200 page bipartisan report which gives the lie to Mr. Cheneys claims. I do so because if the abusive interrogation techniques that he champions the face of which were the pictures of abuse at Abu Ghraib if they are once more seen as representative of America, our security will be severely set back.

When former Vice President Cheney said last week that what happened at Abu Ghraib was the work of a few sadistic prison guards acting on their own, he bore false witness. And when he said last week there was no link between the techniques used at Abu Ghraib and those approved for use in the CIA's secret prisons, he again strayed from the truth. The seeds of Abu Ghraib's rotten fruit were sown by civilians at the highest levels of our government.

On September 16, 2001, Vice President Cheney suggested that the United States turn to the dark side, his words, in our response to 9/11. Not long after that, White House Counsel Gonzales called provisions of the Geneva Conventions "quaint", and President Bush determined that provisions of the Conventions did not apply to detainees captured in the Afghanistan war. Senior administration officials followed the President and Vice President's lead. Our recent bipartisan Senate Armed Services Committee report determined the following: Senior officials in the United States government solicited information on how to use aggressive [interrogation] techniques, redefined the law to create the appearance of legality, and authorized their use against detainees.

The aggressive interrogation techniques which our government authorized for both the CIA and the military were derived from a Defense Department training program called SERE which stands for Survival Evasion Resistance Escape..."

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