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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Former CIA chief Stansfield Turner lashed out at Dick Cheney on Thursday, calling him a "vice president for torture" that is out of touch with the American people.

Turner's condemnation, delivered during an interview with Britain's ITV network, comes amid an effort by Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, to pass legislation forbidding any U.S. authority from torturing a prisoner. McCain was tortured as a Vietnam prisoner of war.

Cheney has lobbied against the legislation, prompting Turner to say he's "embarrassed that the United State has a vice president for torture. I think it is just reprehensible."

Turner, a retired Navy admiral who headed the intelligence agency from 1977 to 1981 under President Jimmy Carter, stood firm on his earlier remarks Friday and, in a CNN interview, scoffed at assertions that challenging the administration's strategy aided the terrorists' propaganda efforts.

"It's the vice president who is out there advocating torture. He's the one who has made himself the vice president in favor of torture," said Turner, who from 1972 to 1974 was president of the Naval War College, a think tank for strategic and national security policy.

Cheney has fought McCain's legislation, pushing for an exception for the CIA in cases that involve a prisoner who may have knowledge of an imminent attack. (Read about McCain's anti-torture campaign)

Torture diminishes the country's image and moral stature, forcing other nations to look at the United States "in a very different light," Turner said, adding that such tactics also open the door to retribution.

"We military people don't want future military people who are taken prisoner by other countries to be subjected to torture in the name of doing just what the United States does," he said.

Turner, who supported Sen. John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election, went on to say that "the vice president is out of tune with the American people, who don't want our country tarred with the label of being one that tortures."

A statement from the vice president's office said that the United States "does not torture." It also stated that Cheney's views are "reflected in the administration's policy.

"Our country is at war, and our government has an obligation to protect the American people from a brutal enemy that has declared war upon us." (Watch special on Cheney's remarks over the years)

The United States has enacted several intrusive procedures since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to protect the country from terrorists, but torture, Turner said, is an unacceptable method.

"Torture is beyond the pale. It is going too far," he said.

 2005/11/18 20:00

Joined: 2005/10/17
Posts: 48
Montreal, Canada

 Re: Torture

An interesting moral problem. If you captured a terrorist and he new where a nuclear bomb was hidden, would you as a christian be willing to have him tortured? Wouldn't it save thousands of lives?

I have no idea how to answer that one.
Martin :-(

Martin Millette

 2005/11/18 21:36Profile


I'd show him Jesus. as Brother Andrew is doing now ;-)

 2005/11/18 23:28

Joined: 2005/1/5
Posts: 432


Unfortunately, even "pushing your religion" on that prisoner is prohibited- you're allowed to give them their own "holy book" and access to a chaplain, and that's it. Heaven forbid that we "offend" a prisoner of war. Gotta love the Left in their never-ending knowledge...

This is a hard one, but I think we've come too far in wanting to be so "nice" that we've lost our guts as a country in the U.S., when it comes to some things. Like this. In Abu Ghraib, if a soldier "mishandles a Koran" and offends a prisoner, the media goes crazy. So, the military works harder to make the prisoner happy.

In this war, does the enemy care? Are they more empathetic towards those they take hostage because we were more tolerant? If you follow the war, you'll have to say no. To them it's about their ideals, their religion, and they hate the U.S. because of who we are. Will they ever treat their prisoners better because we have? No. They'll continue to chop heads off on camera, and mail them to the families of the victims.

I'm not necessarily for torture- their inhumanity isn't an excuse for ours, but it's gone too far when we have to put our prisoners in a hotel so that they're comfortable.

Going back to the point, though, unfortunately, we can't even share the Gospel without the American People having a cow about it. The U.S. demands "tolerance", and with that comes mediocrity in hopes of this unification of beliefs. It's corrupting the minds of many in our churches, and hardening many outside of our churches. All the military will let us do for them is pray.

Grace and Peace...

 2005/11/18 23:42Profile

 groh frog

in all due respect sir, its not about what the islamists do, or what their values are....its about us, as Americans, who we are.

If they make us become like them, if they make us become like nazi's, like fascists, then all the blood shed to beat the hitlerite empire back, was shed in vain.

if they compel us to become something we don't want to be, then the Constitution is a dead letter, and this great experiment called the United States of America is no longer a shining beacon to the world.

Thats the problem I have with this current administration, I love this nation too much to have a bunch of cheapjack oilmen take us down the highway to hell, without raising my voice.........

 2005/11/20 20:31

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: groh frog

Could do without the rhetoric

"It's the vice president who is out there advocating torture. He's the one who has made himself the vice president in favor of torture," said Turner, who from 1972 to 1974 was president of the Naval War College, a think tank for strategic and national security policy.

Thats ridiculous

Mike Balog

 2005/11/20 21:06Profile

Joined: 2005/1/5
Posts: 432

 Re: groh frog

Hey, Neil.

I was just commenting mostly on YeshuaIsMyGd's comment about leading them to Jesus.

Actually, I was just today reading an aritlce about religion in the military. It was talking about the possibility of passing a bill that make it illegal for any military person to talk about religion while on duty- essentially it would be the same as sexual harrasment, etc.

I'm not, however, saying he's wrong. Just that I don't know for how long that will be feasible in this country. Weather we realize it or not, some of our rights are being parted to make way for things like tolerance, security, etc.

Grace and Peace...

 2005/11/21 7:34Profile

 Re: Torture

21st November: [u]Start The Week[/u] (45 mins) - presented by Andrew Marr, BBC Chief Political Correspondent.

Panel interview order:

Englishman Clive Stafford-Smith (Reprieve) (Lives in the US) - Article in this week's New Statesman about Guantanamo Bay (from the inside).

American author John Battelle - new book on Google - concerns about Patriot Act.

[And English crime-writer PD James (85 years old) - defends 'the book' in a lecture at Cambridge, Frederic Raphael - radio adaptation The Glittering Prizes.]

Link to 'listen' or 'website' from alphabetical listing.

 2005/11/21 8:40

 Re: Mike Baalog

you might not like the rhetoric, but when a guy like Brent Scowfort saying he doesn't "know" Dick Cheney anymore, something's wrong.

We are in deep deep trouble as a nation with this conflict in Iraq, when a nation is in an armed conflict with no real discernible parameters of victory explainable, or visible...something's wrong.

When a leading Reagan conservative, Bruce Bartlett says this about the President:

"Just in the past few months," Bartlett said, "I think a light has gone off for people who've spent time up close to Bush: that this instinct he's always talking about is this sort of weird, Messianic idea of what he thinks God has told him to do." Bartlett, a 53-year-old columnist and self-described libertarian Republican who has lately been a champion for traditional Republicans concerned about Bush's governance, went on to say: "This is why George W. Bush is so clear-eyed about Al Qaeda and the Islamic fundamentalist enemy. He believes you have to kill them all. They can't be persuaded, that they're extremists, driven by a dark vision. He understands them, because he's just like them. . . ."

"This is why he dispenses with people who confront him with inconvenient facts," Bartlett went on to say. "He truly believes he's on a mission from God. Absolute faith like that overwhelms a need for analysis. The whole thing about faith is to believe things for which there is no empirical evidence." Bartlett paused, then said, "But you can't run the world on faith."

somethings wrong. This is no blue state liberal with an agenda, this is a republican talking.

"he believes you have to kill them all".

terrorists or muslims?

and when would that line start to blur when you do the berserker thing, like we did in the last days of WW2?

"kill them all"?

Do you see why Jesus Himself told us to love our enemies?

Do you know in WW2 Germany a SIGNIFICANT portion of the Lutheran church gave spiritual cover to Hitler?...and that most Germans were just doing what they thought was their patriotic duty.

If the American church starts to ally itself with a national apparatus that tortures, than its a long slippery slope to maintaining secret prisons where due process and legal rights are a thing of the past.

watch out what you term ridiculous and what you exalt.

respectfully and lovingly, neil


later edit: URL for Scowcroft article:

 2005/11/21 19:24

Joined: 2005/10/18
Posts: 490



I would suggest we pray. If you want to get a deeper understanding of what is going on in the Nations Capitol go to

This administration is not what it seems as I say that as someone who works in the "beltway" meaning in the DC area. I'm very conservative myself but believe this administration will prove to be one if not the most corrupt ever.

This is the first time in our history in which we attacked a country and were not directly provoked. I pray for God's mercy and pray that you will as well.

Ed Pugh

 2005/11/21 19:55Profile

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