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29 May

To: MSNBC, Cheney Lies/Ask Senator Levin

Levin: CIA Torture Documents Cheney Wants Don’t Prove Squat

The Plum LineGreg Sargent’s blog

Senator Levin Speaks

Article

There’s some important news about Dick Cheney and torture in a speech that Senator Carl Levin gave before the Foreign Policy Administration this week.

Specifically: Levin confirmed that he’d seen the classified CIA documents that Cheney has been asking the CIA to declassify and release — and said that they don’t prove Cheney’s claim that torture worked by any stretch.

Levin’s comments are highly newsworthy because they give us the most detailed picture yet of what’s in the documents Cheney wants. You can watch Levin’s speech right here at TPM. This is what Levin said about the documents:

Mr. Cheney has also claimed that the release of classified documents would prove his view that the techniques worked. But those classified documents say nothing about numbers of lives saved, nor do the documents connect acquisition of valuable intelligence to the use of the abusive techniques. I hope that the documents are declassified so that people can judge for themselves what is fact and what is fiction.”

If this is true, it’s big. A Senator who has seen the documents Cheney claims will prove that torture saved lives says that those docs contain absolutely nothing about whether the torture techniques were actually responsible for yielding any valuable intelligence.

Networks such as MSNBC have given literally hours of airtime to Cheney and his daughter Liz to claim endlessly that these docs will prove Cheney’s torture assertions. These claims have gone almost entirely unchallenged, due to the classified nature of the documents. You’d think that a contrary claim from a well-respected Senator who has also seen the docs would merit a few passing mentions, too.

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