Ok. The torture debate is advancing. First off, Obama has now (apparently) left the door open to possible prosecutions regarding those enhanced interrogation technique "excesses". From ABC News: "President Obama suggested today that it remained a possibility that the Justice Department might bring charges against officials of the Bush administration who devised harsh interrogation policies that some see as torture." President Holds Open Door For Prosecutions of Bush Officials For Interrogation Policies, Truth Commission - Political Punch ---------- Yesterday, the New York Times reported a story claiming that the CIA authorized waterboarding 266 times for 2 Al Quaeda suspectse. One of them, Abu Zubaydah, was waterboarded "at least 83 times in August 2002" according to a Justice Dept. memo. NYT: 2 suspects waterboarded 266 times - The New York Times- msnbc.com ---------- Dick Cheney gave an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity in which he said, "There's a great temptation for a new Administration to find a problem and blame it on the predecessor." Cheney criticized the way Obama presented the United States in the recent overseas tours. Said he found Obama's apologies "disturbing", said that Mr Obama's "cosiness" with critics of America such as Daniel Ortega and Hugo Chavez set the wrong standard and was not "helpful". Also, this came out this morning: "Dick Cheney has asked for secret US documents to be released showing that harsh CIA interrogation techniques such as waterboarding produced valuable intelligence." Video: Dick Cheney demands Barack Obama reveals torture 'success' memos - Times Online --------- On Politico.com, this item was just reported: CIA denies Cheney made demand The Obama administration denied Tuesday that former Vice President Dick Cheney had directly asked the CIA to declassify memos that he claims would vindicate Bush-era techniques for harsh interrogation of suspected terrorists. A senior U.S. intelligence offical e-mailed: "The Agency has received no such request from the former Vice President. CIA denies Cheney made demand - Josh Gerstein and Mike Allen - POLITICO.com ---------- The Bush administration has repeatedly said that the United States does not torture. The enhanced interrogation techniques described in the memos include waterboarding, "boxed confinement" (a coffin-like isolation -- with and without insects that detainess were told would sting), sleep deprivation for up to 11 days blasting heavy metal music to assure the detainee does not nod off, prolonged periods of nakedness (these enhanced techniques were said to be used in combinations), death threats to the family. Bush's Justice Department decided that the Geneva Convention, and other 'international treaties prohibiting torture" could be "suspended", that laws against torture do not apply to the war on terror. In 2004, when this issue was brought out into the open, Bush told reporters, "What I've authorized is that we stay within U.S. law". Asked if torture is ever justified, Bush replied, "Look, I'm going to say it one more time. ... The instructions went out to our people to adhere to law. That ought to comfort you."