FPA 2009 Annual Dinner

Event offered by:
Foreign Policy Association

Event Details

Wednesday, May 27, 2009
6:30 PM - 10:00 PM 
The Pierre Hotel
5th Avenue at E. 61st Street
New York, NY
Event type
Lecture / Panel  

Event Transcripts and Video

The Foreign Policy Association hosted its Annual Dinner on May 27th, 2009. Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee Carl Levin delivered the opening remarks, lashing out at former Vice President Dick Cheney over detainee policies of the Bush administration. See more below. Video embed and other media available upon request via email to editor Robert Nolan.


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Levin enters the fray, lashes out at Cheney

New York, NY -- The Democratic Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee last night lashed out at former Vice President Dick Cheney for bearing "false witness" and straying from the truth in recent comments about U.S. treatment of foreign detainees. Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, speaking to the Foreign Policy Association in New York City, said Cheney's recent attempts to justify harsh interrogation techniques at Guantanamo Bay and other U.S. run facilities threatened to undermine U.S. security. It was the latest blow in an ongoing debate between top former Bush administration officials and Democratic leaders over detainee policies in the U.S.-led fight against terrorism.

"Former Vice President Cheney's world view, which dominated the Bush years and so dishonored the nation, gained a little traction last week," said Levin. "If the abusive interrogation techniques he champions - the face of which are the pictures of abuse at Abu Ghraib - if they are once more seen as the face of America our security will be severely set back."

Levin's remarks came in the wake of a Senate Armed Services Committee investigation conducted over the past 18 months that holds senior officials in the U.S. government responsible for creating a culture in which such practices were allowed to flourish. The report claims "senior officials in the U.S. government solicited information on how to use aggressive interrogation techniques, redefined the law to create the appearance of legality, and authorized their use against detainees," according to Levin.

"The seeds of Abu Ghraib's rotten fruit were sown at the highest levels of our government," he said.

Levin's remarks drew a mixed response from those in attendance, with some walking out before the speech ended and others giving a standing ovation.

Watch a clip from his remarks at www.fpa.org. Embed code and other media, including an exclusive interview with Levin, available upon request to Robert Nolan ([email protected]).

The Foreign Policy Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring the American public to learn more about the world. Founded in 1918, the Foreign Policy Association serves as a catalyst for developing awareness, understanding of, and providing informed opinions on global issues. Through its balanced, nonpartisan programs and publications, the FPA encourages citizens to participate in the foreign policy process.


Clip of Senator Levin on Detainees and War on Terror (2:34)

Complete Remarks of Senator Carl Levin