Fresh from urban combat in the American heartland, US Vice President Dick Chenney was on the offensive again as he delivered his hard hitting speech at the institute of War Studies. He lashed out at civil rights organizations in particularly, US Lawyer Organization Human Rights First. Human Rights First published a detailed report setting out nearly 100 murders in US custody in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr Chenney refuted the reports finding as "sensational nonsense" he went on to state "the fact that the report is based on internal pentagon documents does not prove its accuracy, on the contrary, it proves quite the reverse". He explained "Internal pentagons documents showed Saddam sitting on piles of nukes dipped in biological toxinsâ¦..and how many of those were found in Iraq?".
He went on to warn critics not to equate Bush regime with Usama Bin Ladinâs Al Qaida organistion "There was and never can be any moral equivalence between us and them". He elaborated:
"On 11 September 2001 they launched an attack in which nearly 2875 people died and many thousand were left to mourn, we learnt from this experience and we learnt how ordinary lives are blighted by sudden loss of a loved one. So we ensured as far as possible where ever we took action be it in Iraq or Afghanistan or in any other part of the Muslim world that it must be a humane raid ensuring that the relatives are taken care of at the same time as the targets. Now in Iraq this has meant killing nearly 200,000 individuals in the process of eliminating 1000 wanted men. But if we looked at just the figure of 200,000 that is negative thinking. We should be thinking in terms of zero continued suffering of those that otherwise would have been left behind and called "relatives of the dead".
VP Chenney went on to explain his point using an example from Afghanistan:
"Now put Al Qaida in that situation, what would they do? Lay a land mine and blow up bus/car carrying the wanted person- the casualties would be 5, 10, 20. Those that die never come back. Think of the suffering caused to the relatives; children of the deceased, wife, sisters, brothers, mother, father not to mention cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews . Al Qaida do not care about them. After having their kill they leave, like deadbeat fathers in America leave kids to the welfare system. Put us into that situation. We got intelligence from the ground that the 2 wanted men, who were cohorts of Taliban, were present in the village. We sent drones to have visual contact. Once visual contact was made, B52 bombers pulverized the whole 2 mile area. The operation was a precision strike and there were no relatives left to suffer in the aftermath of those bad guys". VP Chenney then went on to explain Bush regime's strategy to win hearts and minds : "we did not just leave the matter at middle of the night raid on the village. We understand the sudden loss of whole village on the economy of a local area. So we left behind 2 goats for every person that died in that humane raid".