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bush: "I broke International and Domestic Law!"


By jimstaro - Posted on 04 November 2010

Bush admits he approved waterboarding

In his new memoir, former president says his reply was "Damn right," when asked if CIA could waterboard detainee.

Nov. 3, 2010 - Human rights experts have long pressed the administration of former President George W. Bush for details of who bore ultimate responsibility for approving waterboarding of CIA detainees, the simulated drownings that many legal experts say was illicit torture.

In his memoir due out Tuesday, Bush makes clear that he personally approved the use of that coercive technique against alleged Sept. 11 plotter Khalid Sheik Mohammed, an admission the human rights experts say could one day have legal consequences for him.

In his book, titled "Decision Points," Bush recounts being asked by the CIA whether it could proceed with waterboarding Mohammed, who Bush said was suspected of knowing about still-pending terrorist plots against the U.S. Bush writes that his reply was "Damn right," and he states that he would make the same decision again to save lives, according to someone close to Bush who has read the book.

Bush previously had acknowledged endorsing what he described as the CIA's "enhanced" interrogation techniques — a term meant to encompass irregular, coercive methods — after Justice Department officials and other top aides assured him they were legal. "I was a big supporter of waterboarding," Vice President Dick Cheney acknowledged in a TV interview in February.

The Justice Department later repudiated some of the underlying legal analysis for the CIA effort. But Bush told an interviewer a week before leaving the White House that "I firmly reject the word 'torture,'\u2009" and he reiterates that view in the book.

Since the 2003 waterboarding of Mohammed and similar interrogations of two other CIA detainees in 2002 and 2003, the intelligence agency has forsworn the technique, which involves pouring water onto someone's face while strapped to a board, to convince them they will shortly drown. {read rest}

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