A reader writes:

Although I hesitate to read too much of a Freudian slip into what Bush says, it did seem telling when Bush said to Matt Lauer that if he had the mastermind of 9/11 in custody, the American people would say 'Why don’t you see if you can’t get information out of him without torturing him, which is what we did.'

This statement can be read two different ways, one of  which is a plain admission of torture.

Also, when pushed on the techniques used against KSM, Bush says 'I told our people 'get information without torture.'' What a truly bizarre thing to have claimed to have said! Can you imagine Ken Lay on the stand, testifying 'I told my people at Enron to make the company as profitable as possible, but not to use any kind of illegal or off-balance sheet accounting.'? The courtroom would have erupted in laughter. You would only ever say something like that unless you knew that was already going on.

It seems indisuptable to me that a) Bush has authorized "water-boarding"; b) he told his lawyers to come up with a formulation declaring this was legal (they did, finding Serbian precedents); c) his public strategy is to use euphemisms and make the ludicrous argument that he cannot discuss "specifics" because it could tip off the enemy. Does he really think that al Qaeda doesn't know KSM was waterboarded? It was in the New York Times, confirmed by his own aides. Lauer made a good start. Now we need a journalist to call the president on this guff and get him to answer simply whether he believes "water-boarding" is torture or not. A simple question in the abstract. And very simple for a Christian to answer.

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