Bush seemed eager to explain himself on the use of waterboarding, which simulates drowning, as a method of interrogation. He said he personally approved use of the tactic on Khalid Sheik Mohammed, a plotter of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, adding that when he was told that it and other harsh interrogation techniques were legal, he ordered: "Use 'em."Oh, it seems that Bush's defense is, "Hey, don't blame me, I was just giving orders!" According to his version of history, it was his advisors to blame. They kept feeding him bad information that he had to act on, reluctantly. First the WMDs in Iraq, then the legal issue of torture. Bush's defense of using torture is the same defense proffered by every state that uses torture and is meaningless. They all torture in the name of security.
Interviewer Matt Lauer of NBC News asked Bush why he believed that waterboarding was legal, a topic of significant dispute.
"Because the lawyer said it was legal," Bush replied. "He said it did not fall within the anti-torture act. I'm not a lawyer. But you gotta trust the judgment of people around you, and I do."
"Using those techniques saved lives," Bush said. "My job was to protect America. And I did."
Well, John the Baptist after torturing a thief
Looks up at his hero the Commander-in-Chief
Saying, "Tell me great hero, but please make it brief
Is there a hole for me to get sick in ?"
The Commander-in-Chief answers him while chasing a fly
Saying, "Death to all those who would whimper and cry"
And dropping a bar bell he points to the sky
Saying, "The sun's not yellow it's chicken.
- Bob Dylan, Tombstone Blues
Bush's orders resulted in horrific abuses, many of whom had done nothing. Numbers are hard to come by, and the government has deliberately obfuscated the issue, but an early report from the Red Cross based on military sources held that 70-90% of the people swept up in raids and taken prisoner were innocent. Since then, at Guantanomo, supposedly the site of the worst of the worst, a large number of prisoners have been found not guilty of much of anything at all. Even those whom we label terrorists did little more than act in defense of their homeland from invaders. In a recent high profile case, the U.S. sentenced Omar Khadr to 8 years in prison after holding him for 8 years after capturing him at the age of 15. Khadr's confession was coerced using torture, which the judge refused to throw out.
But hey, Bush was just giving orders and the Obama Administration has already vowed not to investigate the past, choosing to look forward, never backward. The CIA has helpfully burned the video tapes of torture after viewing, of course destroying evidence of such high crimes is not a crime in the U.S. Obama has refused to release other evidence, documentation so twisted that Congressmen and women reported that they were sickened and nauseated after viewing it in secrecy, one calling the experience a descent into "the wings of hell." And so Bush, by his telling a simple cog in the machine, is allowed to stalk the land a free man, hawking his memoirs and turning a quick buck on his blood soaked memoirs.