Bush on Waterboarding
Someone finally asked the president directly about a torture technique he has personally authorized - waterboarding. A member of the MSM did it - Bill O'Reilly. Money quote:
O'REILLY: Now Brian Ross of ABC said — reported the CIA water boarded Mohammed. That is dunked him in water, tied him down and then that broke him. Is that true?
BUSH: We don't talk about techniques. And the reason we don't talk about techniques is because we don't want the enemy to be able to adjust. We're in a war.
O'REILLY: Is water boarding torture?
BUSH: I don't want to talk about techniques. And — but I do share the American people that we were within the law. And we don't torture. We — I've said all along to the American people we won't torture, but we need to be in a position where we can interrogate these people.
O'REILLY: But if the public doesn't know what torture is or is not, as defined by the Bush administration, how can the public make a decision on whether your policy is right or wrong?
BUSH: Well, one thing is that you can rest assured we're not going to talk about the techniques we use in a public forum. No matter how hard you try because I don't want the enemy to be able to adjust their tactics if we capture them on the battlefield.
But what the American people need to know is we've got a program in place that is able to get intelligence from these people. And we've used it to stop attacks.
The intelligence community believes strongly that the information we got from the detainee questioning program yielded information that made America safer, that we stopped attacks.
Secondly, the courts. Yes, I believe that it was necessary to have military tribunals because I ultimately want these people to be tried. And it took a while to get these tribunals in place.
The Supreme Court ruled that the president didn't have the authority to set up these courts on his own, that he needed to work with Congress to do so. And we did.
What's interesting about these votes that took place in the Congress is the number of Democrats that opposed questioning people we've picked up on the battlefield. And I think that's an issue that they're going to have to explain to the American people.
Good for O'Reilly. Bush's answer is, of course, preposterous. If al Qaeda is not aware that its members could be waterboarded by the CIA, then it has not had access to the Internet for a very long time. Notice also the abuse of English by this president. Here's his description of torture: "questioning people we've picked up on the battlefield." It's a direct lie on many levels. Many of those we have tortured were not on any battlefield. Many in Gitmo are innocent and many have been released as innocent. Secondly, we have moved from the plain English "torture" to "coercive interrogation techniques" to mere "questioning." This is simply lying. If the president were asking for the right merely to question detainees, there would be no debate at all. But he isn't. And we all know that, don't we? Even those who support the president on this have to concede he's lying, right?