Fox promotes the violent left

Fox news has been pushing quite a bit on ‘left bad, right good’ following the shooting of Republican House Whip Steve Scalise by a Bernie Sanders supporter.

This is all on their current twitter feed:

That’s toned down?

They do have the occasional attempt on balance and conciliation:

But the division goes on. just tweeted:

Levels of rhetoric, division and violence look likely to continue unabated, despite what should have been a wake up call for politicians on both sides of the chasm.

Issues facing the US

The numbers for Issues facing country today “extremely” or “very” concerned:

  • Government spending 80%
  • Economy 75%
  • Infrastructure 75%
  • War with North Korea 68%
  • Terrorist attacks 67%
  • Job market 65%
  • Russian meddling 61%
  • Climate change 60%
  • Illegal immigration 51%

That’s interesting to see a clear majority concerned about ‘Russian meddling’ and ‘climate change’.

A moment of mis-truth?

Kim Dotcom dived into the Seth Rich issue, promising #GameChanger inteview with Sean Hannity on Tuesday. But Fox News retracted a story – see Fox retracts Seth Rich story – and on his Tuesday show Hannity said ““Out of respect for the family, I am not discussing this matter at this time.”

And suggestions have been raised about the possibility Dotom tried to manufacture some ‘truth’.

Washington Post: The life and death of the Seth Rich conspiracy theory

When Seth Rich’s Gmail account received an alert this week from Mega.com, attempting to start a new account on a website created by the New Zealand-based Internet businessman and convicted hacker Kim Dotcom, his family knew that something was off.

Over seven frenzied days, Dotcom had become a leading purveyor of the theory that Rich, a staffer at the Democratic National Committee who was shot dead near his home in Northeast Washington last summer, had supplied DNC documents to WikiLeaks and was killed as a result. Multiple security analysts and an FBI investigation have tied the release to hackers with ties to Russia. D.C. police have said repeatedly that they think Rich was slain in a random robbery attempt.

According to experts and Rich’s family, the emailed invitation from welcome@mega.nz appeared to be an attempt to gain access to Rich’s email. Joel Rich, who maintains his late son’s Gmail account, did not click the link. Meanwhile, Dotcom was promising on Twitter to prove that the younger Rich had been in contact with WikiLeaks — and Fox News host Sean Hannity was telling his 2.37 million Twitter followers to be ready for a revelation.

Hannity had invited Dotcom to appear on his show for what he said on Twitter would be a “#GameChanger” interview. The implication: that Dotcom would finally offer evidence of his claim that Rich had sent internal DNC documents to WikiLeaks before his death

But that hasn’t transpired.

All that began to unravel Tuesday afternoon, when Fox News retracted a story that had claimed the same Rich-WikiLeaks connection, telling readers that the article was “not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting.” Fox News did not respond to a request for comment, but Dotcom wrote on his website that he would not speak further about his allegations.

The latest revelation — that a hacker from New Zealand may have been trying as recently as this week to hack into Rich’s email — offered fresh evidence that the conspiracy theory is false. Dotcom, it seemed, may have been willing to create a fake archive of emails from Rich to “prove” his role in the DNC hack.

Shades of 2014, when Dotcom’s ‘Moment of Truth’ show in the lead up to New Zealand’s general election fizzled when questions were raised about the authenticity of an email produced by Dotcom.

In a statement, Rich’s family told The Post that they wereinvestigating whether someone attempted to gain access to Rich’s email account. “We are outraged that certain individuals continue to try to use Seth’s name and memory to advance their political and ideological agendas,” they said. “We hope people will think twice the next time someone makes an outlandish claim to have discovered new evidence in this case.”

A family spokesman went further, criticizing Fox News for fanning the flames.

Dotcom’s story has ‘evolved’.

Dotcom did not respond to an emailed question about the Mega account, but his story about Rich has altered since some attention-grabbing tweets. On May 16, he mentioned Rich for the first time, after a follower asked what he thought of the conspiracy theory that Rich was tied to the release of thousands of internal DNC documents.

On May 19, Dotcom asked for Google to release the contents of Rich’s Gmail account, as well as two accounts that online sleuths had claimed belonged to him.

Later that day, Dotcom said that he was willing to “give written testimony with evidence” that Rich had passed the DNC documents to WikiLeaks.

That attracted the interest of Hannity, who had devoted several segments of his radio and TV show to the conspiracy theory. Dotcom then claimed that he would be able to reveal what he knew after talking to lawyers.

But in a Tuesday message that Dotcom posted on his website, he claimed only to know that “Seth Rich was involved” in the DNC hack, and that he would give his full statement after a “guarantee from Special Counsel [Robert S.] Mueller, on behalf of the United States, of safe passage from New Zealand to the United States and back.”

So it sounds like we won’t be getting a full statement. It’s unlikely the US will give Dotcom safe passage to allow him to grandstand on Fox’s Hannity show.

Dotcom is linked to Wikileaks.

WikiLeaks’s Julian Assange had persistently fed rumors of a connection with Rich without providing evidence. He has offered a $20,000 reward for information about Rich’s killer, and he has used an interview with Dutch television, an interview with Hannity and several tweets to suggest that Rich’s case showed why WikiLeaks sources tread carefully. He has never explicitly said whether Rich was a source.

But Dotcom did.

The collapse of the story came only after a number of conservative voices drew attention to it. On Monday, Rush Limbaugh told listeners that Dotcom was “renowned” and “world famous,” with a story to tell.

“This story is now starting to get legs, that Seth Rich was murdered, it was a contract hire killing because he was leaking to WikiLeaks,” Limbaugh said.

On Tuesday, Hannity told his radio listeners that he would keep fighting to disprove “this Russia collusion narrative” and be proven right.

“I will do the mainstream media’s job like I have for most of my career,” Hannity said. “All you in the liberal media, I am not Fox.com or FoxNews.com. I retracted nothing.”

But…

…on the Tuesday night episode of Hannity’s show — the one that conspiracy theorists hoped would showcase the “game-changer” interview with Dotcom — Hannity said he had exchanged letters which Rich’s family and would not discuss the story.

“Out of respect for the family, I am not discussing this matter at this time,” Hannity said. “But to the extent of my ability I am not going to stop trying to find the truth.”

In the meantime he could stop promoting fake truth.

Fox retracts Seth Rich story

Fox News and especially Sean Hannity have pushed a story about murdered Democrat staffer Seth Rich. Kim Dotcom has been given airtime by Hannity.

Salon: Newt Gingrich and Sean Hannity keep Seth Rich conspiracies alive

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich appeared on “Fox and Friends” on Sunday morning, only to use his platform to further promulgate the previously debunked conspiracy theory that former Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was assassinated because he was the source that provided Wikileaks with tens of thousands of hacked Democratic Party emails.

“We have this very strange story now of this young man who worked for the Democratic National Committee, who apparently was assassinated at 4 in the morning, having given WikiLeaks something like 53,000 emails and 17,000 attachments,” Gingrich told Fox News. “Nobody’s investigating that, and what does that tell you about what’s going on? Because it turns out, it wasn’t the Russians. It was this young guy who, I suspect, was disgusted by the corruption of the Democratic National Committee. He’s been killed, and apparently nothing serious has been done to investigative his murder. So I’d like to see how [Robert S.] Mueller [III] is going to define what his assignment is.”

Gingrich didn’t just say it could be a possibility that Rich was the Wikileaks source or that the murder may be worth some sort of further investigation, he baselessly asserted that Rich was the source — on national television — and that it effectively negated any alleged Russian involvement.

But Gingrich isn’t even the only notable person peddling this theory, it’s also being peddled by Sean Hannity, and more recently Kim Dotcom, the internet entrepreneur who founded Megaupload.

Hannity who has increasingly gone on Trump-like twitter sprees over the recent months has not been able to contain himself from spreading this theory along with the hashtag #SethRich to his nearly 2.5 million followers.

Dotcom on the other hand, has has recently inserted himself into this situation, and claimed that he has irrefutable evidence that Rich was the Wikileaks source, and will be releasing some sort of statement on Tuesday, though it’s currently not clear what that will consist of.

Hannity has been busy on Twitter.

Fox has now retracted: Statement on coverage of Seth Rich murder investigation

On May 16, a story was posted on the Fox News website on the investigation into the 2016 murder of DNC Staffer Seth Rich. The article was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting. Upon appropriate review, the article was found not to meet those standards and has since been removed.

We will continue to investigate this story and will provide updates as warranted.

Dotcom announced this week — seemingly out of nowhere — that he would release the information on his website Tuesday, but the supposed bombshell drop that many were desperately hoping for was quite anticlimactic.

“I KNOW THAT SETH RICH WAS INVOLVED IN THE DNC LEAK,” Dotcom — who is fighting extradition charges to the U.S. from New Zealand — wrote on his site.

I know this because in late 2014 a person contacted me about helping me to start a branch of the Internet Party in the United States. He called himself Panda. I now know that Panda was Seth Rich.

Panda advised me that he was working on voter analytics tools and other technologies that the Internet Party may find helpful.

I communicated with Panda on a number of topics including corruption and the influence of corporate money in politics.

“The Rich family has reached out to me to ask that I be sensitive to their loss in my public comments. That request is entirely reasonable,” he continued. “I have consulted with my lawyers. I accept that my full statement should be provided to the authorities and I am prepared to do that so that there can be a full investigation. My lawyers will speak with the authorities regarding the proper process.”

In reality, the Rich family thanked Fox News for retracting the story, according to CNN reporter Oliver Darcy.

Bill O’Reilly leaving Fox

Following controversy over allegations of sexual harassment of female colleagues Fox News has dumped one of their most prominent presenters, Bill O’Reilly.

StatementFoxOreilly

 

Trump defends O’Reilly over sexual harassment

I think it would have been wise for Donald Trump to keep as far away as possible from issues involving sexual harassment, but he has said he thinks Bill O’Reilly (Fox News) should not have settled over claims of sexual harassment.

Hollywood Reporter: Trump Defends Bill O’Reilly: “He Shouldn’t Have Settled”

President Donald Trump is standing by Bill O’Reilly.

Trump praised the Fox News anchor while discussing the alleged unmasking of former national security adviser Susan E. Rice with the New York Times on Wednesday.

“I think he’s a person I know well — he is a good person,” said Trump of the O’Reilly Factor host while speaking from his desk in the Oval Office. “I think he shouldn’t have settled; personally I think he shouldn’t have settled. Because you should have taken it all the way. I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”

a) How would Trump know whether O”Reilly had done anything wrong or not?

b) Why the hell is he involving himself in an issue like this?

Over the weekend, the Times published an exposé detailing claims against the O’Reilly and Fox News that resulted in $13 million in payouts from both. According to the report, five women alleged that O’Reilly sexually harassed them or engaged in other forms of inappropriate behavior. Two of the settlements were previously known, but the Times uncovered three additional settlements, two involving women who alleged sexual harassment and another who claimed O’Reilly verbally abused her.

Fox News has reportedly renewed its contract with O’Reilly, despite the claims.

Since the report, nearly two dozen advertisers have pulled ads from the program and The National Organization for Women (NOW) is now calling for Fox News to fire O’Reilly and, linking the claims to those against former Fox News chief Roger Ailes, launch an investigation into the “culture of sexual harassment at Fox News.”

Ailes resigned from Fox last July after allegations of sexual harassment.

Reuters: Fox News chief Ailes resigns after sexual harassment claims

Roger Ailes on Thursday resigned as chairman and chief executive of Fox News Channel following allegations of sexual harassment, an abrupt end to his 20-year rein over America’s most lucrative and powerful cable news channel for conservatives.

“I take particular pride in the role that I have played advancing the careers of the many women I have promoted to executive and on-air positions,” Ailes wrote in the letter, which his lawyer Susan Estrich provided to Reuters.

The resignation marks a swift downfall for Ailes, the 76-year-old media executive who advised several U.S. Republican presidents, including George H.W. Bush, and turned Fox News into the most-watched U.S. cable news channel.

His departure comes on the final and biggest night of the Republican National Convention, where Donald Trump will formally accept the Republican presidential nomination.

Trump tweeted on Thursday, “Roger Ailes just called. He is a great guy & assures me that ‘Trump’ will be treated fairly on @FoxNews. His word is always good!”

But Ailes is still under fire. Two days ago from NY Times: More Trouble at Fox News: Ailes Faces New Sexual Claims and O’Reilly Loses Two Advertisers

The sexual harassment scandal that engulfed Fox News last year and led to the ouster of its chairman, Roger Ailes, continued to batter the network on Monday, as a new lawsuit described unwanted sexual advances by Mr. Ailes and two major advertisers pulled their spots from the show of its top-rated host, Bill O’Reilly.

Earlier on Monday, Julie Roginsky, a current Fox News contributor, filed a lawsuit against Mr. Ailes, Fox News and Bill Shine, the network’s co-president, asserting that she faced retaliation for rebuffing Mr. Ailes’s sexual advances and for refusing to disparage Gretchen Carlson, the former Fox News host who sued Mr. Ailes last summer.

And a former regular guest on Mr. O’Reilly’s program, Wendy Walsh, who had recounted her allegations against him to The Times, held a news conference with her lawyer to discuss those claims and to call for an independent inquiry into sexual harassment at the network.

And Salon claims Feds investigating Fox News for possible hush payments to alleged sexual harassment victims

Mark Kranz, the cable news channel’s former chief financial officer, is reportedly cooperating with a federal investigation of payments that were made to women who claim to have been victims of sexual harassment by Ailes during his Fox News years.

Through his attorneys, the Fox News founder has repeatedly denied these allegations.

According to the Financial Times, Kranz is one of “multiple” Fox News executives who have been subpoenaed by U.S. attorneys who are looking into allegations that Ailes used corporate funds to pay off women who accused him and other employees of illegal behavior.

The existence of the federal criminal investigation was revealed at a hearing for a $49 million civil suit initiated by Andrea Tantaros, a former Fox News commentator who has accused Ailes of operating the channel “like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny.”

Those who voted for Trump would have known they were unlikely to get a President who would do much to criticise sexual harassment, but some will be surprised that he is still openly supporting people facing allegations of harassment.

The current RCP President Trump Approval Rating average:

  • Approve 40.2%
  • Disapprove 52.7%

21st Century Fox, the parent company for Fox News, has dropped on the share market over the last few days.

FoxSharemarket

21st Century Fox compared to the Dow Jones

 

Pressure on Trump as he stands by wiretap claim

Sean Spicer has flailed in attempts to explain Donald Trumps wiretap claims, while Trump continues to reassert his claims despite still producing no evidence (in public at least).

SpicerZeroIntelligence

That’s from a video of a media conference with edits shown at Business Insider – ‘CALM DOWN’: Watch Sean Spicer spar with reporters over Trump’s wiretap claims

That particular sequence went:

Spicer: Somehow, you seem to believe that you have all of this information, you’ve been read in on all of these things, which I find very interesting.

Reporter: I haven’t been read in by the FBI…but the House and Senate committees have been

Spicer: So you’re coming to some serious conclusions for a guy who has zero intelligence…ee ah…classifi…

[Laughter]

That was funny and even Spicer smiled. But it’s very ironic considering how little information Spicer has had in trying to defend the president’s accusations, and how little intelligence the President appears to have had to base his claims on.

And in his meeting with Angela Merkel Trump reiterated his claims.

Fox News: Trump stands by wiretap claim, jokes he has ‘something in common’ with Merkel

President Trump on Friday once again suggested former President Barack Obama wiretapped him during the 2016 election, joking during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel that they have “something in common.”

Trump continues to face pressure to provide evidence for his widely disputed claims that Trump Tower was the target of an Obama administration wiretap during the presidential campaign.

On the sidelines of the press conference, Trump’s Justice Department said it had “complied” with a request from several congressional committees for information relating to surveillance during the 2016 election. A high-profile hearing is set for Monday that could turn up answers on the matter, and confirm or refute certain allegations.

At the same press conference Friday, Trump also was asked about claims originally made by a Fox News analyst regarding British intelligence services.

“We said nothing,” Trump said. “All we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for [the claim].”

Trump was referring to a report by Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News’ senior judicial analyst, charging that British intelligence services were involved in the alleged spying of then-candidate Trump.

The allegation was cited by spokesman Sean Spicer at Thursday’s White House briefing. British officials have vigorously denied the claims, and Fox News cannot confirm the allegations.

Napolitano’s claims  are still on Fox News’ website in a column:

Sources have told me that the British foreign surveillance service, the Government Communications Headquarters, known as GCHQ, most likely provided Obama with transcripts of Trump’s calls. The NSA has given GCHQ full 24/7 access to its computers, so GCHQ — a foreign intelligence agency that, like the NSA, operates outside our constitutional norms — has the digital versions of all electronic communications made in America in 2016, including Trump’s. So by bypassing all American intelligence services, Obama would have had access to what he wanted with no Obama administration fingerprints.

Fox News have added a link to the GCHQ’s statement.

In a public statement in the UK the Rt. Hon. Dominic Grieve QC MP, Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, echoed the vigorous denials:

…I should make clear that the President of the United States is not able to task GCHQ to intercept an individual’s communications.

…an individual can only be the target of interception by GCHQ under a warrant signed by a Secretary of State. Such warrants can only authorise action where it is necessary and proportionate for a valid national security purpose. It is inconceivable that those legal requirements could be met in the circumstances described.

I note GCHQ’s public denial of the potentially damaging allegations against them. This was an unusual step by the Agency, but it clearly indicates the strength of feeling about this issue, and I echo that sentiment.

See UK v Trump on GCHQ accusation.

Trump contradicted himself with “We said nothing. All we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for [the claim]”. The president is saying nothing when he quotes?

“Fox News cannot confirm the allegations” – Shepard Smith said on Fox News:

Fox News cannot confirm Judge Napolitano’s commentary. Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind that the now-President of the United States was surveilled at any time, in any way. Full stop.

Bret Baier on Fox News:

We love the Judge. We love him here at Fox, but the Fox News division was never able to back up those claims, and was never reported on this show on Special Report.

So Trump appears to be relying on claims made on Fox by one person that Fox can’t verify. Why they haven’t checked things out with Judge Napolitano?

In less important news: Tillerson refuses to rule out nuclearization of Asian allies to keep North Korea in check

“Nothing has been taken off the table,” he said, when asked whether he would rule out nuclearization of the peninsula, during the interview with Fox News.

Tillerson, who’s called the past 20 years of diplomacy toward North Korea a failure, has said the world needs a new strategy.

“Let me be very clear: the policy of strategic patience has ended. If they elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level we believe requires action that option is on the table”.

This may be of historic interest: US releases secret footage of nuclear bomb tests

Nothing to worry about.

Trump versus women

The issue of Donald trump’s attitude to women and his alleged inappropriate behaviour with women continues to dominate the US presidential election. More allegations have been published from women claiming that Trump has acted with them much like he described him being in the tape conversation that emerged a week ago.

This also brings to the surface a major issue of (some) male attitudes to woman.

The latest allegation is in the Washington Post: Woman says Trump reached under her skirt and groped her in early 1990s

Kristin Anderson, who was pursuing a modeling career, has told The Post that Donald Trump groped her on a couch in a crowded Manhattan nightspot in the early 1990s. The Trump campaign denied the allegations, as it has denied claims made by other women who have come forward in recent days.

Kristin Anderson was deep in conversation with acquaintances at a crowded Manhattan nightspot and did not notice the figure to her right on a red velvet couch — until, she recalls, his fingers slid under her miniskirt, moved up her inner thigh, and touched her vagina through her underwear.

Anderson shoved the hand away, fled the couch and turned to take her first good look at the man who had touched her, she said.

She recognized him as Donald Trump: “He was so distinctive looking — with the hair and the eyebrows. I mean, nobody else has those eyebrows.”

Over the years, Anderson, now 46 and a photographer living in Southern California, has recounted the story to people she knew, casually at first.

One friend, Kelly Stedman, told The Washington Post that Anderson informed her about the encounter a few days after it happened.

Anderson, who said she doesn’t support Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton, did not initially approach The Post. A reporter contacted her after hearing her story from a person who knew of it, and she spent several days trying to decide whether to go public.

“Mr. Trump strongly denies this phony allegation by someone looking to get some free publicity. It is totally ridiculous,” Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said in an emailed statement.

The growing number of complaints against Trump, triggered by his denial he never acted the way he described in the tape, are a major distraction for his presidential campaign.

And they seem to be having an effect in polls. Trump is losing support amongst women.

A spokesperson for Trump has just said on Fox News that the allegations are very difficult to deal with (understandably). He also said he knows Trump very well and “he didn’t do any of these things”. That means nothing unless he was with at the time of each alleged grope.

The latest Fox News poll: Clinton leads Trump by 7 points:

Hillary Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump has increased to seven points, as more than half of voters say he is not qualified to be president.

  • Hillary Clinton 45%
  • Donald Trump 38%
  • Gary Johnson 7%
  • Jill Stein 3%.

Last week, Clinton was up by two points in the four-way contest (44-42 percent).

In the two-way matchup, it’s Clinton over Trump by eight (49-41 percent).  She had a four-point edge a week ago (48-44 percent, Oct. 3-6).  

That’s a significant move.

Breakdowns show that Trump is best supported by less educated white males, and his support from women is slipping.

Trump’s support:

  • Men +5 points
  • Whites +14
  • Whites without a college degree +25

But he has declining support with:

  • Voters ages 65+ down 11 points
  • White college graduates down 6
  • Regular church goers down 8
  • Women ages 45 and over down 12
  • Suburban women down 10
  • White women with a college degree down 7
  • GOP women down 6

That is significantly reducing support from women.

Trump’s enthusiasm advantage is also down, and Clinton’s is up:

70 percent of his backers “strongly” supported him last week.  That’s 63 percent now.  

For Clinton, it’s 66 percent, up from 57 percent.  

Honest and trustworthy:

  • Clinton 32% (up 1)
  • Trump 31% (down 3)

The right temperament to serve effectively as president:

  • Clinton 62% (up 1)
  • Trump 34% (down 3)

“Regardless of how you might vote, how qualified do you think Hillary Clinton is to be President of the United States?”

  • Very 41% (up 4)
  • Somewhat 26% (up 1)
  • Not very 8% (down 3)
  • Not at all 24% (down 3)

“Regardless of how you might vote, how qualified do you think Trump is to be President of the United States?”

 

  • Very 16% (no change)
  • Somewhat 26% (down 1)
  • Not very 9% (down 5)
  • Not at all 49% (up 7)

 

Clinton has her own problems with the drip feed from WikiLeaks, but at this stage it seems that Trump is being damaged more by the sexual impropriety allegations, especially amongst female voters.

UPDATE: There’s yet another woman who has come out and claimed Trump assaulted and kissed her during episode 5 of The Apprentice. She has just appeared with her lawyer in an interview from Los Angeles.

I’ve been watching Fox News coverage of this as it happens and as they covered the latest Trump speech and even from Fox he is getting bad coverage. They are showing contradictions in Trump’s denials, and showing him calling all the women liars and implying and saying that some of them are too ugly for him to assault.

He spent most of his speech (in Greensboro, North Carolina) denying accusations and attacking the women who have come out and accused him.

And he also continued with claims that the media is conspiring with the Clintons against him and that the whole election is rigged.

Some lap this stuff up but it’s looking increasingly like a major stuff up for the Republican Party.

There’s some irony here – Clinton has been promoted as a a great role model for women, especially if she wins the presidency.

But it may be Trump’s abuse of women and women’s reaction to that in the ballot box that loses the election for Trump more than Clinton winning it.

Politico:

Dick contradicts himself trying to defend torture programme

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is described by The Atlantic as “the de-facto leader of the national-security team” during the period that the CIA illegally detained people and tortured them.

Cheney had an interview on Fox News trying to defend what happened but Fox News Catches Dick Cheney Lying About Torture.

Early on, interviewer Bret Baier says, “The Feinstein report suggests that President Bush was not fully briefed on the program and deliberately kept in the dark by the CIA.”

Dick Cheney denies this.

“Not true,” he says. “Read his book. He talks about it extensively in his memoirs. He was, in fact, an integral part of he program. He had to approve it before we went forward …. We did discuss the techniques. There was no effort on our part to keep him from that.” Cheney goes on to declare that “the men and women of the CIA did exactly what we wanted to have them do in terms of taking on this program.”

According to Cheney Bush was an integral part of the program, had to approve it, discussed the techniques, and the CIA “did exactly what we wanted them to do”.

Later in the interview, Baier asks:

“At one point, this report describes interrogators pureeing food of one detainee and then serving it in his anus,” he says, “something the agency called ‘rectal rehydration.’ I mean, is that torture?”

Cheney replied.

“I can’t speak to that. I guess the question is, what are you prepared to do to get the truth about future attacks against the United States. Now, that was not one of the authorized or approved techniques. There were 12 of them, as I recall. They were all techniques we used in training on our own people.”

What is Cheney prepared to do to avoid the truth and to make excuses?

He claims they were fully briefed, the CIA did exactly what they wanted them to do. But that technique wasn’t authorized or approved.

Either way, he story doesn’t hold together. He can’t have it both ways. Either the CIA hid depraved, unapproved tactics, or Cheney was perfectly okay with subjecting prisoners to anal rape.

A harsh assessment but makes a valid point.

Bret Baier: Did the ends justify the means?

Dick Cheney: Absolutely.

Cheney is defending it. Still.

Cheney is told about a prisoner, Gul Rahman, who died after unimaginable brutality—beaten, kept awake for 48 hours, kept in total darkness for days, thrown into the Gestapo-pioneered cold bath treatment, and then chained to a wall and left to die of hypothermia. The factors in his death included “dehydration, lack of food, and immobility due to ‘short chaining.”

Defending this sort of treatment.

This is Cheney’s response: “3,000 Americans died on 9/11 because of what these guys did, and I have no sympathy for them. I don’t know the specific details … I haven’t read the report … I keep coming back to the basic, fundamental proposition: how nice do you want to be to the murderers of 3000 Americans?”

A defiant defence of abhorrent treatment. And it gets worse.

But Gul Rahman had nothing whatsoever to do with the 9/11 plot.

He had engaged in no plots to kill Americans. He was a guard to the Afghan warlord, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, part of an organization that began by fighting the Soviets in occupied Afghanistan. It had alliances with al Qaeda at the time, but subsequently engaged in peace negotiations with the Karzai government.

His brother claims Rahman was even involved in rescuing Hamid Kharzai in 1994.

To equate him with individuals who committed mass murder of Americans or who were actively plotting against Americans is preposterous.

He was emphatically not a threat to the US. Yet we tortured him to death. And the man running the torture camp was promoted thereafter.

And the man in charge of the torture programme is unrepentant.

Did the ends justify the means? Absolutely not.