LATimes Says Cheney ‘Glad’ We ‘Tortured People’… Except VP Never Said It

-By Warner Todd Huston

In one of the most egregious examples of MSM bias I’ve seen lately, Tim Rutten of the L.A.Times has blatantly lied about remarks that Vice President Cheney made at CPAC in a February 8th piece headlined “Bush’s message for McCain.” Rutten makes the outrageous claim that Cheney said he was “glad the administration had tortured people” during the Conservative Political Action Conference, but a review of the transcript of Cheney’s remarks easily shows that this is not what he said at all. Rutten simply reorders the VP’s words to get his desired meaning quite despite what was really said.

Here is what Rutten wrote on the 8th:

Meanwhile, in another part of the city, Vice President Dick Cheney was addressing the meat-eaters at the Conservative Political Action Conference. He told them that he was glad the administration had tortured people and that he’d do it again: “Would I support those same decisions again today? You’re damn right I would.”

Over at Patterico’s Pontifications, however, we get the real words Cheney spoke at CPAC.

The United States is a country that takes human rights seriously. We do not torture — it’s against our laws and against our values. We’re proud of our country and what it stands for. We expect all of those who serve America to conduct themselves with honor. And we enforce those rules. Some years ago, when abuses were committed at Abu Ghraib prison, a facility that had nothing to do with the CIA program, the abuses that came to light were, in fact, investigated, and those responsible were prosecuted.

Mr. Cheney is obviously proud of the country, but he stressed that we do not torture. There is no passage where he said that we “torture people” and that he is “glad” that we do it. Not one such passage occurred in the Vice President’s remarks.

So, where is it that Cheney said he was glad we tortured and he’d do it again, Mr. Rutten? How the heck did you misconstrue that claim?

The only way that Rutten could have gotten a support of torture out of what Cheney said is to splice another section of Cheney’s speech to Rutten’s own interpretation that this country does torture people. Here is that section (my emphasis):

From the very morning our nation was attacked on 9/11, the President of the United States has had to make some immensely enormous decisions. Every day he faces responsibilities that others would pale before. I’ve been there with him. I’ve seen him make the tough calls, and then weather the criticism and take the hits. President Bush has been tough and courageous. He’s made the right decisions for the right reasons, and he always reflects the best values of the American people. I’ve been proud to stand by him and by the decisions he’s made. And I would support those same — and would I support those same decisions again today? You’re damn right I would. (Applause.)

Here the VP is saying that he would make the same decisions he made again, that he is proud of the Administration’s actions. So, yes, the VP did say “You’re damn right” that he’d make those decisions again, but no where did he link that surety to an admission that he was “glad” he “tortured people.”

As Patterico says, “Rutten has told a lie. And he should be called on the carpet for it.”

I couldn’t agree more. How about you?


Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as,, New Media Journal, Men’s News Daily and the New Media Alliance among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book “Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture” which can be purchased on He is also the owner and operator of Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston

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