Wednesday, February 24, 2010

David Petraeus Refutes Cheney on Torture.

Damn it... Who forgot to send Gen. David Petraeus the memo?

Here, David Gregory seeks to get Petraeus to say that he wishes he still had the ability to torture prisoners, and Petraeus simply refuses to take the bait. Indeed, he appears to insist that people like Dick Cheney are wrong when they repeatedly call for enhanced interrogation techniques to be part of the US arsenal for tackling terrorists.

MR. GREGORY: Can I ask it a slightly different way, if you don't want to talk about what specifically is being learned? Presuming that both U.S. forces and Pakistani officials are doing the interrogation, do you wish you had the interrogation methods that were available to you during the Bush administration to get intelligence from a figure like this?

GEN. PETRAEUS: I have always been on the record, in fact, since 2003, with the concept of living our values. And I think that whenever we have, perhaps, taken expedient measures, they have turned around and bitten us in the backside. We decided early on in the 101st Airborne Division we're just going to--look, we just said we'd decide to obey the Geneva Convention, to, to move forward with that. That has, I think, stood elements in good stead. We have worked very hard over the years, indeed, to ensure that elements like the International Committee of the Red Cross and others who see the conduct of our detainee operations and so forth approve of them. Because in the cases where that is not true, we end up paying a price for it ultimately. Abu Ghraib and other situations like that are nonbiodegradables. They don't go away. The enemy continues to beat you with them like a stick in the Central Command area of responsibility. Beyond that, frankly, we have found that the use of the interrogation methods in the Army Field Manual that was given, the force of law by Congress, that that works. And...

MR. GREGORY: Well...

GEN. PETRAEUS: And that is our experience...

MR. GREGORY: In terms of recruitment threats...

GEN. PETRAEUS:, in the years that we have implemented it.

MR. GREGORY: In terms of recruitment threats, do you consider the prison at Guantanamo Bay in the same way? Do you consider it to be related, or do you think, in other words, should it be closed, or do you believe it was short-sighted to set a deadline certain for its closure?

GEN. PETRAEUS: I've been on the record on that for well over a year as well, saying that it should be closed. But it should be done in a responsible manner. So I'm not seized with the issue that it won't be done by a certain date. In fact, I think it is--it's very prudent to ensure that, as we move forward with that, wherever the remaining detainees are relocated and so forth, whatever jurisdiction is used in legal cases and so forth, is really thought through and done in a very pragmatic and sensible manner.
How long before the same right wingers who idolised Petraeus during the surge, turn on him as someone who doesn't know what he is talking about?

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