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Is Cheney Going to Call Odierno and Petraeus Conspiracy Theorists? « The Washington Independent

Jul 31, 2020
You remember Dick Cheney’s defense of torture from two weeks ago, I’m sure. This was my favorite excerpt:
Another term out there that slipped into the discussion is the notion that American interrogation practices were a “recruitment tool” for the enemy. On this theory, by the tough questioning of killers, we have supposedly fallen short of our own values. This recruitment-tool theory has become something of a mantra lately, including from the President himself. And after a familiar fashion, it excuses the violent and blames America for the evil that others do. It’s another version of that same old refrain from the Left, “We brought it on ourselves.”
Well, tell it to Gen. Raymond Odierno, commander of U.S. troops in Iraq. As referenced in today’s Washington Post storyabout U.S.-Pakistan relations, Odierno, along with his Central Command boss, Gen. David Petraeus, submitted a recently declassified statement (PDF) to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in support of keeping 21 photos depicting detainee abuse hidden. Among the reasons he supports that designation? The role of images from Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib in recruiting terrorists. Here’s Odierno blaming America first:
The graphic revelations of detainee abuse motivated some terrorists including foreign fighters from Syria, Yemen and Saudi Arabia to join the jihad. Reporting also indicates that some organizations may have staged and disseminated photographs of Arab women being abused by men in U.S. uniforms. Extremist groups intentionally misrepresented the depicted abuse as evidence of the widespread rape of female Iraqi detainees by U.S. soldiers as a further motivation for recruitment and to support the exhortation for attacks against Coalition Forces (CF).
And here’s Petraeus, who must be one of those mantra-chanting conspiracy theorists Cheney derided:
An influx of foreign fighters from outside Afghanistan and new recruits from within Afghan could materialize, as the new photos serve as potent recruiting material to attract new members to join the insurgency.
These are statements made by Odierno and Petraeus on May 27 under penalty of perjury. Whatever you think about the release of the torture photos — and it’s worth reading Odierno and Petraeus’ statements for stark appraisals of the security situations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan — there can be little doubt that detainee abuse is a strategic asset for al-Qaeda and affiliated insurgent and terrorist organizations. Cheney can be proud of his role in doing bin Laden’s work for him.
Dexter Cooke

Dexter Cooke

Dexter Cooke is an economist, marketing strategist, and orthopedic surgeon with over 20 years of experience crafting compelling narratives that resonate worldwide. He holds a Journalism degree from Columbia University, an Economics background from Yale University, and a medical degree with a postdoctoral fellowship in orthopedic medicine from the Medical University of South Carolina. Dexter’s insights into media, economics, and marketing shine through his prolific contributions to respected publications and advisory roles for influential organizations. As an orthopedic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive knee replacement surgery and laparoscopic procedures, Dexter prioritizes patient care above all. Outside his professional pursuits, Dexter enjoys collecting vintage watches, studying ancient civilizations, learning about astronomy, and participating in charity runs.
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