Let’s just be clear on this from the jump…water boarding is a war crime. America has prosecuted it as a war crime many times in history when it has been used against our soldiers (source). So – we have to ask ourselves first…if we have a soldier or spy captured by Iranian, Chinese or Russian soldiers when they’re on a covert mission (and they are)…is it legal for those countries to water board American agents? When pressed on that answer – President Bush said “I’m not going to debate it with you”.
Forget for a moment that water boarding doesn’t work. It DOES NOT WORK. Forget that. It’s not honorable. It’s not morally just. America was a world pariah from 2002 to 2008 courtesy of illegal actions on behalf of the U.S. Well – despite all of the videos being destroyed … clearly obstructing justice and trying to remove evidence - new facts have come to light regarding the water boarding that took place during Bush’s reign. It wasn’t a picnic.
And if you think that water boarding is still an acceptable solution in the so-called “war on terror” – you’ve failed in life.
The BBC has the story – article HERE:
On one or more of them, I understand Zubaydah is shown vomiting and screaming.
John Rizzo, the CIA’s top legal counsel who oversaw the legalisation of the techniques in an exchange of memoranda with the Department of Justice, wanted to be certain that what was happening at the black site was in accordance with what had been legally agreed.
He had not anticipated that waterboarding would be used as often as it was. And he sent one of his most experienced colleagues to the black site, believed to be in Thailand, to find out.
Rizzo’s colleague viewed all the 92 hours of video and concluded that the techniques were being legally applied, but he was uncomfortable about what he saw.
“He did say that portions of the tapes, particularly those of Zubaydah being waterboarded, were extraordinarily hard to watch,” Rizzo told me.
“He [Zubaydah] was reacting visibly in a very disturbing way.”
So was he being sick?
“He was experiencing some physical difficulties, I’ll just leave it at that… ‘tough to watch in places’ was his term.”
Matt Lauer interviews George W. Bush in the oval office in 2006:
Matt Lauer: These alternative methods you talked about in terms of extracting information from these suspected terrorists…were you made personally aware of all of the techniques that were used for example against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and did you approve all of those techniques?
George W. Bush: I told our people get information without torture and was assured by our Justice department that we were not torturing.
Matt Lauer: It’s been reported that with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed he was what they called waterboarded.
George W. Bush: I’m not going to talk about techniques we use on people. One reason why is because we don’t want the enemy to adjust. The American people need to know that we are using techniques within the law to protect them.
In November 2010…things changed. Lauer interviewed George W. Bush again – just 4 years later Bush has a different take:
Bush: Let’s talk about waterboarding!
Lauer: Why is waterboarding legal?
Bush: Because the lawyer said it’s legal
Lauer: Would it be OK for a foreign country to waterboard an American?
Bush: All I ask is that people read the book
The Guardian has a good rundown of this interview HERE.
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