Carter's CIA chief labels Dick Cheney "vice president for torture"

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Stansfield Turner

The former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Admiral Stansfield Turner, in a frank interview with the United Kingdom's ITV has condemned the current US administration. His comments indicated that he believed President George Bush is not being truthful when he states that torture is not employed by the US.

Turner, whose term as CIA director was during the 1977 – 1981 administration of Jimmy Carter said, "I am embarrassed that the USA has a vice president for torture. I think it is just reprehensible. He advocates torture, what else is it? I just don't understand how a man in that position can take such a stance."

Previous statements by both President Bush and Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, have emphatically stated that torture by US forces is not condoned.

In early October the Senate supported Senator John McCain's (R-Ariz) proposed amendment on detainees and torture. The amendment would outlaw coercive interrogations and prohibits cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment of detainees and change current US laws. In contrast, Vice President Dick Cheney has lobbied Republican senators to allow an exemption for those held by the CIA. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb) said, "I think the administration is making a terrible mistake in opposing John McCain's amendment on detainees and torture," That amendment was approved by a 90-9 vote in the Senate and added to a defense spending bill.