George Bush condones ‘waterboarding’ torture

Former US President George W. Bush personally allowed the use of “waterboarding“ torture on terror suspects and claims lives were saved as a result.

In his recent memoir, Decision Points, Bush admitted that he gave the go-ahead to CIA officers to perform the interrogation technique – which simulates drowning – on self-confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

“Damn right!“ the BBC cites Bush as saying to British newspaper The Times.

“We capture the guy, the chief operating officer of al-Qaeda, who kills 3,000 people. We felt he had the information about another attack.

“He says, ‘I’ll talk to you when I get my lawyer’. I say, ‘What options are available and legal?'”

However, the question of whether the technique is legal or not is a murky one.

According to the AFP, legal adviser at the US State Department, Harold Koh, said after a UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva that “there has been a turning of the page” under the country’s new President, Barack Obama.

“I think that the Obama administration defines waterboarding as torture as a matter of law under the convention against torture and as part of our legal obligation… it’s not a policy choice,” Koh told journalists after being asked about the report.

And is Bush exposing himself to potential prosecution by being so open in his memoirs? Various sources claim that this is unlikely. As for those who were responsible for carrying out the torture – they too will be spared. Obama changed the policy on his second day in office and added in 2009 that previously involved individuals would be let off as they were acting on orders and were defending their country, the AFP reports.

In his book, Bush writes: “Their interrogations helped break up plots to attack American diplomatic facilities abroad, Heathrow airport and Canary Wharf in London, and multiple targets in the United States.”

CNN cites the 64-year-old’s description of his reaction when then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice told him that a third plane had crashed into the Pentagon: “I sat back in my seat and absorbed her words. My thoughts clarified: The first plane could have been an accident. The second was definitely an attack. The third was a declaration of war.

“My blood was boiling. We were going to find out who did this, and kick their ass.”

He added: “CIA experts drew up a list of interrogation techniques. … At my direction, Department of Justice and CIA lawyers conducted a careful legal review. The enhanced interrogation program complied with the Constitution and all applicable laws, including those that ban torture.

“There were two that I felt went too far, even if they were legal. I directed the CIA not to use them. Another technique was waterboarding, a process of simulated drowning. No doubt the procedure was tough, but medical experts assured the CIA that it did no lasting harm.”

Click here to read about aquaphobia – the fear of water.

Images: The White House and Wikimedia Commons

10 thoughts on “George Bush condones ‘waterboarding’ torture

  1. Pingback: Bush: Waterboarding Legal ‘Because The Lawyer Said It Was’ (VIDEO) – TPMMuckraker | Law Advice

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  4. So the alcoholic, drug addled war monger still thinks it’s acceptable to lie. The man (using the term extremely loosely) is scum.

    There never was a terrorist attack on New York, just as there was never a terrorist attack on Madrid or London.

    And even after he has left office he still tries to pollute our minds with his diatribe. The guy is an idiot, a monkey on a rope, dangled by his father. Just another Bush in a long line of Bushes that continue to undermine the powerbase and financial welfare of America through the Carlyle Group amongst other vested interests.

    He needs to be tried as a war criminal, convicted and treated to a waterboarding himself, before being publicly hung in Baghdad.

    • So, by extension, if you are a US citizen, YOU deserve to be hung, too, because you allowed W to take the oath of office to ‘preserve and protect’ the American people and the constitution. YOU are a political extremist and don’t deserve this country! Waterboarding is nothing compared to what these people have done to our people without hesitation, including KSM. Did Daniel Perl get a trial? Was he given legal representation? Did he have ‘no lasting harm’ from his time with KSM? You and karaleigh make me want to puke. And I tell you. If you don’t wake up and smell the coffee, some day it will be you kneeling before a knife or bowing toward Mecca.

  5. Its like you read my mind! You appear to grasp a lot about this, such as you wrote the e book in it or something. I believe that you simply can do with a few percent to force the message home a little bit, but other than that, that is great blog. An excellent read. I’ll definitely be back.

  6. Personally thats just ridiculous claims. Im sure he is not the only president who has approved torture to get information. Also dont forget about the high ranking memebers of our govements. I dont approve of any torture methods, but if were going to prosecute bush, will we be prosecuting past presidents?

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