who do you trust, conservatives?

Most on the right seem to accept as gospel Dick “We will be greeted as liberators” Cheney’s assertion that America is less safe because we no longer torture. Gen. David Petraeus, who saved the administration’s ass in Iraq, disagrees.


I know the Washington Post won’t dissuade many conservatives, but their reporting here is thorough.

In the end, though, not a single significant plot was foiled as a result of Abu Zubaida’s tortured confessions, according to former senior government officials who closely followed the interrogations. Nearly all of the leads attained through the harsh measures quickly evaporated, while most of the useful information from Abu Zubaida — chiefly names of al-Qaeda members and associates — was obtained before waterboarding was introduced, they said.

According to a top intelligence official, millions of dollars were wasted “chasing false alarms.”

“I’ve seen a report that was written, based upon the intelligence that we collected then, that itemizes the specific attacks that were stopped by virtue of what we learned through those programs,” Cheney asserted, adding that the report is “still classified,” and, “I can’t give you the details of it without violating classification.”

Since 2006, Senate intelligence committee members have pressed the CIA, in classified briefings, to provide examples of specific leads that were obtained from Abu Zubaida through the use of waterboarding and other methods, according to officials familiar with the requests.

The agency provided none, the officials said.

Administration mouthpieces like O’Reilly and Hannity continue to claim that, ahem, enhanced interrogation techniques saved American lives. Their proof? Dick Cheney says so.

the most annoying performances in filmdom

I’m sticking with flicks I’ve actually seen, so no “Patch Adams” or Adam Sandler.

Tom Cruise, “Magnolia” I could focus on the irony of Cruise playing a cult leader, but, having portrayed Oberon, King of the Fairies in my high school’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” I’ll pass.

But there’s no forgiving the atrocities visited upon the great Jason Robards in what would be his final film role. Imagine having to endure a weeping, badly overacting Scientologist warbling mournful Aimee Mann tunes as you lay dying. I would’ve pulled the plug.

Michael Moore, “Bowling for Columbine” “Roger and Me” holds up as one of the best documentaries ever made, and you gotta give props to anyone who gives the vile Rev. Fred Phelps his comeuppance (see clip). I was even sympathetic to some of his arguments in “Columbine” — too bad Moore’s big head kept getting in the way.

Whether it was chasing a senile Charlton Heston around or milking tears from a grieving school principal, Moore’s showboating called to mind the line in “Broadcast News,” when Albert Brooks reminded his journalist colleagues: “Let’s never forget, we’re the story.”

Joey Lauren Adams, “Chasing Amy” If Georgette from “Mary Tyler Moore Show” fame gargled erasers and cried a lot, she’d be Joey Lauren Adams. That’s not a plug. Bad actress, annoying voice, crappy flick.

Annette Bening, “American Beauty” Normally a fine actress, Bening’s performance as a suburban caricature was way over the top — all broad strokes minus any recognizable humanity. Had the movie focused on her character, it could’ve easily been re-titled: “National Lampoon Presents: Maniacal Suburban Bitch.”

Kevin Costner, “JFK” Bad Southern accents are a given in most Hollywood productions, but Costner’s stood out. He made Foghorn Leghorn sound authentic.

The cast of “St. Elmo’s Fire” Let’s review:
Bookish Mare Winningham wore a girdle.
Demi Moore tried to kill herself by opening all the windows in her apartment on a cold afternoon: “I know, I’ll freeze myself to death.”
Emilio Estevez stalked Andie McDowell and eventually won her love.
Andrew McCarthy, cynical writer. Enough said.
Rob Lowe, soulful saxophonist. Enough said.

The cast of “Very Bad Things” If the objective was to create singularly grating and loathsome characters, they succeeded. Worst movie ever.

So what did I miss?